Raindrops on a Nail Keg
Published in 2010

by the author of The Maine Quality of Running and A Bracelet for Lily

Dick Goodie can remember, with exactitude, the many summers spent on his grandmother's Orono, Maine dairy farm during the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression.

In this lively book he also reaches back to youthful games of baseball, writes about his boyhood hero, Joe DiMaggio, recalls neighborhood pick up games and can even remember - during those years of reduced circumstances - that the bats they used were split-handled throwaways from the Bucksport High School team that he had taped up.

Several essays in this compilation recount his adventures as a combat soldier when in his early twenties during World War II. He served with the storied U.S. 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division, First Army, from Normandy to Central Germany and earned five battle stars. The essays are presented in a-day-in-the-life-of mode.

After the conflict, Dick Goodie made happen - often with his family - many varied adventures over the years, including distance running (he is a 1992 inductee into the Maine Running Hall of Fame), cross-country skiing up Cadillac Mountain, fly-fishing on the Miramichi, and backpacking in Baxter State Park.

His award winning essay, REFLECTIONS - a treatise on distance running that appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram - was chosen Best Sports Feature of 1979 by the Maine Press Association. His essays have been published in Runner's World, Wilderness Camping, and often in the Maine Sunday Telegram. And, he is a long time student of the American Civil War.

So come along as he shares these varied adventures, or as he often puts it: Life's various happenings - whether gainful, regretful, adventurous or solemn - are all irreversible and often hark back to memory like "summer raindrops drumming softly upon an abandoned nail keg".

Dick Goodie was born in Bangor, Maine, educated at Portland Junior College, the University of Denver, by Life's experiences, and by reading innumerable books along the way. He lives in Westbrook, Maine with his wife Joyce.

How to order Raindrops: Mail to Irving Books, P.O. Box 818, Westbrook, ME 04098. Per copy: $19.95, plus $2.38 postage, plus 5% sales tax for Maine residents only. Checks payable to Irving Books.


A Bracelet for Lily
Published in 1997

A classic tale of love and war and the destinies of an enchanting Belgian school teacher and the two men who loved her, a shot down American fighter pilot and a German physician.

An unforgettable novel exploring the will of the human spirit to survive the horror of Nazi oppression in Belgium during WW II.

But above all, this is a story of tender love and high adventure when beautiful Lily guides the American pilot through the German army toward the advancing, American liberating forces.

A love story that will live in your memory.


During World War II, after the Battle of the Bulge in late January, 1945, my gun crew found a few days of tranquility on a Belgian farm. For the first time in over a month, we enjoyed the luxury of spreading our bedrolls on the floor of a house rather than on the snow.

We activated our half-track on a hill behind the farm and, when not on guard duty, the seven of us wrote letters, read, or repaired our battle equipment.

It was during this rest/refitting break when the farmer, Michael Van Ausdale, told me that during Nazi occupation, five months earlier, at the risk of his families' execution, he agreed to hide a shot down American fighter pilot in the same back room that he assigned our gun crew. He further stated that while the American pilot stayed with his family, a German doctor, who was stationed at the village garrison, came to billet in a front room of his rambling stone farmhouse.

He mentioned that both the German and the American were attracted to his daughter, whom the reader of this novel will come to know as Lily, a charming schoolteacher.

I learned from the Belgian patriot that the American pilot was from Maine, that he and Lily had fallen in love, and that after they began seeing artillery flashes on the night skyline, she insisted on guiding him on a dangerous journey through the back country toward the advancing American ground forces, and that they had vowed to marry after the conflict.

I never met Lily or her mother. They had evacuated the area during the Battle of the Bulge, which raged a few kilometers from their farm. But I do remember from a picture on the parlor wall, that they both were very beautiful.

After fifty years I finally wrote the story as I perceive it could well have happened at the Van Ausdale farm in Belgium during those horrific years of Nazi occupation from May 1940 to September 1944.


Unless one happened to have been an aborigine, locked in the New Guinea Rain Forest, World War II touched every life on the planet. Cataclysmic in scope, intensity and duration, it easily will qualify as THE EPIC EVENT of the 20th century.

Besides exploring the lives of three people, whose destinies became interwoven in that combat, this novel is also about the Allied Forces that liberated Belgium, whose citizens endured more than four years of terror under the Nazi yoke of oppression.

My job during the conflict was that of a squad leader assigned to the U.S. 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division - a powerful battering ram that stormed across the Belgian border on 2 September, 1944. (If pride slips through when I refer to this great unit, forgive me. But all veterans will understand.).

And for those who were there, how can one forget the ever-present P-47 Thunderbolt dive-bombers, an integral part of our armored thrusts across France, Belgium and into Central Germany?

To this day, in the skies above the ground war, I can see the P- 47s wheel majestically in tandem formations, then strike at over 400 mph, their eight .50 caliber machine guns ripping enemy defensive positions, just in front of our attack columns. And I can still hear the spine-chilling roar as the big fighters turned at tree line and went for altitude.

"Groundpeckers" we called them.

"Jabos'' the Nazis called them. And how many of the terrified enemy surrendered after such attacks, there is no accurate count.

On a personal note, the Thunderbolts saved my hide on several occasions, notably when our small unit found itself surrounded at Falaise Gap in western France.

So besides relating a story of love and war in Belgium during World War II, may this novel also serve as a belated expression of appreciation to the fighter pilots, who made our ground war less severe, thus preventing a large number of us from ending up in body bags.

Even though their casualties were extremely high, they never deserted us.

Dick Goodie - 1997
Portland, Maine

Front Cover  Back Cover


The Maine Quality of Running
Published in 1984

Mainers were running and racing many years before jogging and running became a national pastime. Fact is, running in Maine was a cherished tradition for decades before marathon races became so fashionable.

Finally, a long time and long distance runner, Dick Goodie, has assembled the story of Maine running, runners and races in this lively book.

From the earliest runners, through family running traditions, from early races attended by only a few hardy competitors, to modern Maine races with a thousand competitors, this book covers the Maine running scene, past and present.

You'll meet some of the earliest and best runners. You'll discover Maine trendsetters and pace setters. You'll relive some of the tightly fought road races, and enjoy the descriptions of the participants that the author knows so well. You'll find a detailed listing of race winners through the years.

And, the author's personal story of and about Maine's Joan Benoit, from her early years to Olympic gold.

From historic documents and race results, to present day world-class runners, you'll enjoy new excitement in this book and with your sport, so aptly described in the title, The Maine Quality of Running.

Whether you run for fun, for health, for sport or for stretched out competitive pursuit, this book captures the facts, the fun and the flavor of Maine running.


Dick Goodie's mother enjoyed getting letters from her son who was away at war. "She loved the way I described the battles," Goodie recalls. "She told me once that anyone who had unusual experiences and didn't share them with other people by writing was selfish."

Mary Goodie's son took that notion to heart. A runner for 40 years, and race director for ten, Dick Goodie has long been in the frontlines of the running revolution.

And here is his offering. Run through the village of Lamoine with him and Robin Emery, a pioneer among the state's women runners, and visit Charlotte Gilbert with them. Train with Goodie along Baxter Boulevard. Race with him against Carlton Mendell in the "age group" races he helped make popular. And read about how he "beat" the legendary Ralph Thomas.

Join him as he talks with colorful Sam Ouellet and hears about the February, 1984 race in which Sam skied 62 miles in two days. "I didn't beat too many people," Sam says. "But I think it was because of a bad toe. The one next to the big toe. It hurt my concentration all through the race and cost me many places. A week later I had it amputated at Augusta. Next year, I'll go back to that same race and see if I improve my time. I will be 80 years old then ... "

Dick Goodie, like Sam, doesn't go in for all the trappings that surround running today. He doesn't buy $179.95 running suits and $89.95 running shoes. He wears regular old sweats on cold days. And he'll tell you the secret he has learned to keeping them clean.

But the fact he isn't caught up in the glitter is not to imply Goodie doesn't take his running seriously. Consider: He owns six pair of running shoes and two pair of dress shoes. And how about this: "For my 6 a.m. run, if it's 43 and no wind I'll go barelegged in shorts. If it's 43 or below, I'll wear sweats."

Dick Goodie brings that same preciseness, seriousness, and most importantly, an untainted enthusiasm to "The Maine Quality of Running." He has loved and lived the sport as runner, racer, race director and writer through the years.

From Andrew Sockalexis, fourth in the 1912 Olympic Marathon, to superstar Joan Benoit, Maine has had a long and proud running heritage. Come along as Dick Goodie - like his mother recommended - shares his version of it.

~ Allen Lessels


I first became interested in distance running during World War II. Stationed in England during the months prior to the Normandy invasion, our battalion ran five miles every morning at five o'clock, wearing combat boots that must have weighed five pounds.

And we won the war, didn't we?

After the war I decided to adopt distance running as a lifelong habit.

Dick Goodie - 1984
Portland, Maine

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