A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 003

Missing persons

Some townspeople are puzzled by the recent mysterious disappearance of the well-loved Mr. William Hussey, of North Main Street, but let me enlighten them. Bill is still with us - disguised as a clean-shaven man! He obviously wishes to distance himself for the flock of bearded Santas stamping around Farmington streets of late.


John "Biff" Silva is the newly elected chairman of the Budget Committee, a body that is extremely busy at this time of year. Nonetheless, Biff, in a down-to-earth touch, took time out from high finance to draw the committee's attention to the passing of a wee bit of history.

Over the course of a recent weekend, a nostalgic sign that had been in the Town Hall for many years vanished! The sign, of cardboard construction and bearing the word "Gents," had been affixed to a downstairs door. Now, said Mr. Silvia, it wasn't. But at least the lamentable incident will be in town records.

On an even sadder note, Phyllis Kuligowski, president of the Historical Society, cannot recall seeing any document or minute, in past years, registering the loss of the "Ladies" sign.

In a gesture intended to ease the pain, two local boys, Micky De Palma and Keith Gagne, presented a new sign that they had made themselves, but it isn't the same. This one is of real wood and grouted instead of printed. Small knots of people gather to look at it blankly, and without affection.

Where I Stand On Gum

Gum has a few friends in the non-chewing world and often shares a mental file with acid rain and seal hunters. I confess a soft spot for gum, though, which I put it down to the early influence of American movies, in which loggers logged, truckers trucked, and G.I.s fought the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, all on a diet of gum. To chew gum was somehow to strike a blow for Freedom.

Some years after seeing this film, and while busking the cafes of Paris, I met a beautiful girl, the reputed heiress of Hollywood Gum Inc. With an eye to an opportunity, I dashed off an advertising jingle that ran, "Letís chew gum and letís have fun..." to the accompaniment of a fast banjo lick.

The concept, rather ahead of its time, did not impress her and I was briefly detained by the gendarmerie for being a nuisance. Though her face has faded in my mind, the song has stuck with me ever since. In the light of recent Town Hall events, I will close the subject forever with a quote from Chairman Mao: "To get rid of the gum it is necessary to take up the gum."

Selectman's Meeting of Dec. 15, 1984

This commenced at the later time of 10 a.m., fooling both reporters, but not the public who stayed away to a man. After letters were signed, Police Officer Steve White was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Chairman Joel Plante, for service beyond the call of duty in saving the life of a child.

The meeting then went into Secret Conclave or Executive Session as it is more fashionably called, and had any member of the public chosen to attend this meeting, they would have been consigned to a draughty hallway for almost two hours.

Bridges and Culverts - Proposed projects for 1985 include: upgrading the River Road bridge for which a contract price must be obtained, and replacing the bridge on Reservoir Road with a culvert.

A school of thought exists that this bridge is on Four Rod Road, and another that it is on Sheepboro Road. One assumes these routes converge at this point. Anyway, this job, if located, will also be contracted out.

The storm drain on Central Street will be done in-house. Further proposals include hauling, filling and replacing culverts on country roads and tarring a small section of road off Central Street that leads to Cameron's development.

Signs II - Mr. Harold Butts, cribbage player extraordinaire, of Pound Road, who has improved a Class VI road at his own expense, has been granted permission to erect a sign, also at his own expense, warning the public that they use this route at their own risk. I recommend the wooden grouted.

The Huggins Hospital request for $5,000 from the town, in light of their $294,000 bad debt and $111,000 free care, was nonetheless not acted upon.

Dog Day Afternoon - With a 1 p.m. guillotine decided upon, business scurried ahead, reminiscent of a chess player in time trouble. Cocheco Valley Humane Society, estimating that in 1985 Farmington would board 24 dogs at $40 per seven dog days, was requesting a deposit of $960, with credit given if the dog target was not reached.

Considered against the Laconia facilities, was this cheaper? asked Selectman Kenyon.

"Oh yeah!" chorused Selectmen Berry and Plante with great fervor, nervously eyeing the clock.

Sidewalks - For those of little faith, it comes as a relief to learn that walking on water will not be necessary. Sidewalk parts, ordered for the temporary bridge on Central Street, are at present being installed.

Sandmen - Town Administrator Bill Cooper, stabbing at a calculator, announced that if two men sifted 400 tons of sand per day for 15 days, the resulting 6,000 tons of sand, valued at $12,000, would cost only $1,500, based on the hire of a sifter at $100 per day, if wages, paid anyway, were ignored. No one disagreed. Then a similar argument in favor of a crusher was aired, before the meeting lapsed once more into executive session, like the sun going behind a cloud.

Community Center news

Break-dancing practices are now held at the Center on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Music lovers are advised to note these times and avoid the locality. Break-dancing sounds emitting from a silver suitcase combine with M.T.V. and the Juke Box to create triphonic cacophony. Winners of last week's Cribbage tourney were Dave Parent and Dave French with Jack Nelson and Les Varley the runners up. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center. Absent from this tourney was Cribbage whiz Harold Butts, who may have been tacking up a sign. (See Signs II above.)

Dec 25, 1984

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