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Up to His Belly. As a woods boss, Adams won success the hard way. "I guess all of us bucked him at one time or another," says Old Woodsman Ed Gillman. "He was smart and hard to get along with, but he would try everything, and most of us got to like him." Says Abe ("The Cub") Boyle: "He was a cocky little devil. I mind a time he was giving this old woodsman the devil about something. So the old boy laid down his tools, picked Sherm up and threw him into a deep snowdrift. He picked up his tools again and went to the camp clerk. Sherm followed him in, and said, 'What the hell are you doing?' The old boy said, 'I'm quitting before I get fired.' 'The hell you are,' said Adams. 'Get back out there on the job.'
"I'll say this for him," Boyle continues, "he'd pitch in and do anything, whether he knew anything about it or not. On river drives, he'd be right out there with a pickaroon, keeping the logs moving. You got to move fast, and he'd move fast. Being a little guy, he'd be right up to his belly in that cold water."
Sherman Adams still carries the scars of the logging camps. He lost his upper front teeth when an unbalanced log skid came up and smacked him full-front. He was partly deafened by a flying chunk of wood that clipped him behind the left ear. One day Adams was showing off Barker-Young stock to a visiting horse dealer. An old plug named Snowball kept getting in the way. Adams swatted Snowball on the rump; Snowball kicked Adams in the face, fracturing his frontal sinus.
String in His Sandwich. In 1922, while still at Healdville, Adams met a local girl named Rachel Leona White, home from school for a holiday. He heard her say that she was quite a square-dancer, one of the lesser arts at which Adams still considers himself adept. "You've got to show me," he challenged. She did. They were married the next year and settled down in Lincoln, where they still have a barn-red home. The Adams house faces Loon Mountain, while Little Coolidge Mountain juts almost out of the backyard. Ten miles distant is Franconia Notch, above which looms the Great Stone Faceof which Adams is said to be a rival.
For Sherman Adams, pretty, rippling-voiced Rachel (he calls her "Plum," but a more popular name is "Pebble," deriving from his nickname, "The Rock") has been a saving grace. When his nerves fray, she calms him; when he begins slashing about with his sharp tongue, she takes him aside and puts him smartly in his place. While he was governor, and frugally carrying his lunch box each day to the State House, she once put string inside his sandwich to get even for "something he was fussing about." Currently, Pebble is playing another little trick on her rock-like spouse. He has decided that he likes Sanka better than regular coffee and demands it for breakfast. So Rachel makes regular coffee but leaves the Sanka jar in full view. Adams sees it and sips happily away, murmuring about the superior taste of Sanka. It is also one of the trials in the life of Sherman Adams that Rachel at latest count was three games ahead of him in Scrabble, at which he is a fanatic for the letter of the rules.