A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 006

Farmington Jaycees, now in their 10th year of serving the town, are continuing the vigorous recruiting drive that commenced four or five columns back and they may receive an influx due to the recent sad folding of a mirror organization - the one that was just for women, until men were let in. Then again, maybe that influx wonít transpire. The War of the Santas caused deep wounds. So what will become of Newell Hitchcock, former Jaycee Man and now former Jaycee Woman? Perhaps President Tom Harding will kill the fatted calf? To find out, or to join up, call Tom or his right-hand Claus, Ted Balch.

School Deaths: In what can only be described as a hush-up, two well-known characters, Jibber and Whitey, died in a gas explosion in Farmington High School last week. On the same unlucky day, Ditrius was decapitated by a sword in a sewer and a certain Mr. O. Zadfrack had the misfortune to perish when toxic green slime dropped on his head. So endeth the science classroom peek into the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

Selectmen's Meeting of Jan. 5, 1985: Stimulated, no doubt, by this column, a large expectant audience occupied the public benches for the start of the meeting. All three people were crushed, though, by the failure of selectmen to make a quorum. Selectman Plante, sitting alone, stated that Willis Berry was obliged to be at the High School and that Chris Kenyon was in ill-health. Therefore all business was frustrated for a week, including the appointment of a dog officer.

Readers may recall that with only hours to go, Alan Spear, the only candidate, looked a certainty for the job. Someone once said that a week was a long time in politics. Let me say that five minutes is a long time in Farmington. Before the deadline for applications had expired, two more prospective Dog Officers had galloped over the horizon to throw their hats into the ring, one of these a former dog officer in Rochester determined to disprove Once Bitten Twice Shy. If this serial ever becomes a musical, may I suggest that an appropriate fiddle tune would be The Old Yellow Dog Came Trotting Through The Meeting House. Part 94 next week.

C.A.P. News: A full-time replacement for Kim Sherburne has been appointed. The new director of Farmington operations is Gayle Richards of Rochester, who formally worked as a youth counselor in Dover. I thought it unfair to press her for a list of priorities in her first week, but did notice that she was re-arranging the office desks with some gusto, the eighth furniture dance in as many months.

Historical Society: At a recent meeting, members listened to Ann Place give a talk on one of the older buildings in Farmington, Waldron House. On Feb. 1, Jean Nute will inform the Society of Marriage Customs and Ceremonies. In the 1880s, a period to which Judge Nute will possibly refer, the insolent Ambrose Bierce was defining marriage as "a feminine device for imposing silence, whereby one woman is made to guard the good name of a dozen more." It is a brave man who would take that public stance nowadays, and I hasten to disassociate myself from it.

Things Beginning With B: Farmington has been called a breakfast town. And a Budweiser town. But most of all it is a Basketball town. One hundred and sixty-five different league games in one season will testify to that. Almost the entire population appears to be preoccupied with this seasonal outbreak of ball-bouncing, from small elementary girls at one extreme to Davidson Rubber pensioners at the other.

And if they ain't playing, they're giving advice. Reputations are made or destroyed in the course of a few weeks. The pecking order is in a constant state of flux and could well supply a student of anthropology with an excellent thesis. No need to rush off and study African tribes. The Men's League, which accounts for a major portion of all those games, has been a constant source of fascination since its inception in November. New Durham, captained by the incorrigible Curly Randall, started out favorites, but on the day of their first clash with the Community Center, went out on a spree. Like the remnants of a gale-battered armada, five tattered players were assisted onto court that evening - the Community Center later moved into first place.

The Centers are led by Gary Boulay, who did something or other 1,000 times several years ago, and shot to the top of the pecking order. Two weeks after the New Durham game, his team clashed with old school friends, Farmington Bud Men. Near the end of a tight game, Gary and F.B.M. Jimmy Mabey, after a chummy exchange of opinions, decided to sit out the remaining minutes. The Center went down in extra time and the pro-referee faction of the league picked up recruits. In other developments, Davidson Rubber, newly turned out in sulfur yellow shirts, have won two of their last three games and when I gaze upon Clarence Garnett I am reminded of lines by John Donne:

"No spring, nor summer hath such grace

As Iíve seen in one autumn face."

East Rochester players seem to enjoy their games more than anyone else, win or lose, and would surely pick up the trophy for most sporting, if some benefactor cared to donate one. Farmington Nets continue to attract better and better players and as a peculiar consequence, have sunk to the bottom of the table. Championship coach Mike Lee and Y.M.C.A. Director Jose Casado have joined Casey Howard of the 18-foot wing span, to no avail. Team of the future, one wagers.

Puddledock Press News: The town's monthly paper was put together at the Community Center this month. Nancy Bibbo was there compiling her Calendar; Mr. Rumgunshoch was frantically checking his crossword for more duff clues; Mrs. Goodwin was a flurry of paper scraps and paste; daughter Nora, with minutes to go, was trying to come up with a front page story. All good fun. Spectators welcome.

Jan. 15, 1985

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