OTISFIELD — Footloose and curious.
Henry H. Hamilton III, a retired international aid and development professional who spent nearly a quarter century working in some of the most dispossessed and war-torn countries in the world, has spent much of his life footloose and curious.
And now, he shares his life stories in his latest book, appropriately entitled “Footloose and Curious.”
Hamilton, former president of the Otisfield Historical Society and hobby farmer, is a storyteller. He shares his engaging and entertaining narratives, many of which he read during a five-year stint on the NPR radio program Sundial, a job that he won after applying for the storytelling competition while working as a research assistant in Alabama.
Hamilton said his desire to travel developed from his childhood access to a closet of National Geographic magazines dating from the publication’s earliest days. In a synopsis written about his book, Hamilton said the magazines “excited his imagination to seek a career that would enable him to experience exotic lands the world around.”
His work for various international organizations in war torn countries such as Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan, included the Peace Corps, GTZ (a German equivalent to USAID), the International Rescue Committee, the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, the United Methodist Committee on Relief and others.
Hamilton traveled to more than 50 countries, across North Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, and Europe. Many of the stories in the book tell of his experiences during that time, but he also tells stories of his years in the Oxford Hills and more specifically his family home on Bell Hill in Otisfield.
Readers will learn about Hamilton’s first auction where for 27 cent he bought a Victorian sideboard that sat on his grandmother’s piazza on Bell Hill for many years, the lifelong effect of his first deer kill at the age of 12 in the Flat Iron section of Otisfield Gore.
But they will also learn about the night he and his wife Shirley experienced the overthrow of the President of Niger and their flight on the last plane out of Freetown in Sierra Leone before the Revolutionary United Front rebels overran the airport and later killed some 5,000 people.
Hamilton’s latest book, published by PRGOTT Books Publishing, is now available on Amazon and in The Tribune on Main Street in Norway( former Books n Things.)
He dedicates the book to his wife Shirley, who worked along side her husband as an international humanitarian relief and development worker and at home on their Otisfield hobby farm. He calls her “life’s greatest gift to me.”