Corey Ford's "Lower Forty Club"
Corey Ford was one of Earl’s most prominent patrons. He was a professor at Dartmouth College and a prolific writer, well known for his special hunting stories in "Field and Stream". His work was also found in "The New Yorker", "Saturday Evening Post" and "Readers' Digest". He wrote several stories about the dogs bred and trained by Earl Twombly, including “Yankee Dog in Dixie”, “Every Dog should own a Man”, “A Dog Named Cider”, and “The Road to Tinkhamtown”. Corey’s life with his Twombly Setters, his friends “Cousin Sid" Hayward and "Doc" Hall along with their Twombly dogs, Bucky and Timber, also inspired the “Minutes of the Lower Forty” books and regular monthly series in Field and Stream during the 1950s and 60s.
Video of Corey Ford's "The Road to Tinkhamtown"
For a real treat, please watch this 12 minute video with our dog Earl's Coronation as Corey's beloved "Cider" in The Road to Tinkhamtown, perhaps the greatest sporting dog story ever written.
Laurie Bogart Wiles, John Wiles, Dez Young and our Earl collaborated to make this video near Tinkhamtown; in and around Freedom, NH., where Corey lived, hunted, and shared his life with his English Setters.
Our Twombly Setter Earl makes Corey's great story of life and the human-dog connection come alive.
April 5 - Tober arrived at the kennel for summer training
Oct. 3 - Corey came up to see Tober go - went to field at 2:30, had 3 birds out. Worked cover away from bird field, started 2 grouse, no shots for Corey.
Went down toward water house then across meadow into bird field - got 3 good points, Corey killed first 2 birds and Tober retrieved, then let one of the boys shoot on 3rd bird and he missed. Corey was very pleased with everything and Tober never worked or showed up better.”
Oct. 21 - Rec’d check from Corey ...Also a good letter saying Tober is doing just fine, has pointed both woodcock and partridge. What pleasant news to have a pup you have worked hard on, come thru and prove good in the hands of his owner. Looks now as if Tober could take Cider’s place for Corey and this sure gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
From Earl Twombly's training journal in 1959
Earl Twombly with Corey Ford and Tober, training with quail in Vermont.
Corey Ford, Tober, John Borden, and Jewell (Tober's daughter) partridge hunting in New Hampshire.
Corey Ford with Cider,
Sid Hayward with Bucky, both Twombly Setters
From Corey Ford's “Yankee Dog in Dixie”:
“It was not the easiest hunting. There were tangles of honeysuckle and cat-briars that coiled around our legs as we walked, like spaghetti winding onto a fork; several times Tober got completely hung up. Cockleburs loaded his ears and feathered legs and tail, pinching his coat into little tufts until he resembled a lady with her hair in curlers. The lean southern pointers could slip unharmed through the brambles, but Tober's face was soon bloody. With Yankee prudence, he trotted up and down in front of the thicket as though he were looking for a gate in a barbed-wire fence....
...A bird-dog is a bird-dog, set him down where you will. He found out how to negotiate the brambles, he learned to work the open cover, and presently on the far side of a stubble-field, I heard the guide shout "Point!" and I hurried across the uneven furrows, past the three southern pointers halted in a line, toward my big Yankee setter standing motionless in front of them. I can close my eyes now and see it again...
Best of all, he was scrupulous about honoring the points of the other dogs. I like to think that manners are born in a dog, inherited from a long line of well-bred ancestors. We were visiting the Calloway Gardens Hunting Preserve at Pine Mountain in Georgia and our guide, Henry Koone, had brought two local pointers to work with Tober. I dropped a bird on a covey
rise, and Tober picked it up to bring back to me. A jealous female ran to him and snatched the bird out of his mouth. Tober surrendered it to her with perfect courtesy, and went over and pointed another. Henry shook his head in appreciation.
“I’ll tell you wha's a fact,” he said. “That’s a northern gentleman.”