A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 007

Dead Or Just Sleeping? In a final communiqué to the world, Marilyn Daly, former president of Farmington Jaycee Women, writes, "It is with deep regret that I must announce the dissolution of the Farmington Jaycee Women. Reasons being that the president had to step down for personal reasons…

"We do have certain assets which will be divided between March of Dimes and the Farmington Community Center for all the great help we have received from John Nolan."

Fine speech, Marilyn. Here's tae, us. Wha's like us? Damned few and they're a' deid, as Mr. Ramgunshoch would say.

Mostly Dead: Farmington, along 38 other settlements, great and small, has provided the United States with a vice-president. Only New York City has done it twice. Most places haven't done it ever. Farmington's man was called Henry Wilson, or at least he was after he left town, and under that name he is remembered today, on a small historic marker near the Country Club.

The town of Cody, Wyoming, has named gas stations, museums, hydro-electric dams and even laundromats after Buffalo Bill; that is not Farmington's way. Apart from the marker, only the Henry Wilson Grange reminds passersby of their famous son. And from that very Grange comes forth news. The mouthwatering subject - chocolate cake. In a recent chocolate cake baking competition, the chocolate cake judges were Mrs. Mary Ann Welch of Nute Ridge Grange, Philip Estes of Rochester Grange and Etta Smith, also of Rochester Grange. Chocolate cake winners were 1. Lorraine Doe 2. Laura Worster 3. Betty Webster.

At that same meeting on Jan. 9, Doug Boothby of Lebanon, Maine gave a talk on part-time farming and sampled chocolate cake. Master of a Grange at present experiencing a resurgence of enthusiasm, is Ralph Russell. The Grange, as a National Organization, was founded in 1867 for farmers and their families, some six years, incidentally, before Henry Wilson was inaugurated. It is pleasing to report that at a local level, at least, old-time dance nights are still held on occasion, with music supplied by piano and fiddle. That alone should be reason enough to lead your family away from M.T.V. and into the hall.

Selectmen's Meeting of Jan. 2, 1985

Dog Officer Part 94: In a dramatic new development, Mr. Alan Spear, front-runner in the betting, stepped out from the benches not to sign his Dog Officer Application form, but to withdraw it! With another Dog Officer applicant, Alan Caldwell, listening intently, Spear quoted "insurance reasons" for his sensational change of heart. Two candidates now remain, and references required to be checked; a decision on who is appointed was scheduled for the following week.

Blouin Out Of Proportion: Paul Blouin Avenue is too narrow to permit parking on both sides. The selectmen stated that an ordinance had been signed to allow cars to park only on the north side, and Percy Day would affix signs to walls so saying.

Chief Worster, when asked "to come up with a better mousetrap" is stumped. The present one-way street system is the best he can suggest.

Conversation then spread like lava to engulf nearby Winter Court, the Community Center and Trudy Pence's lunch club. The persons in the last mentioned have, on occasion, suffered the vexation of food below "a certain temperature" due to the food truck being obliged to park some distance away from the town hall side door in Paul Blouin Avenue.

Thought for the Week: "It's a wide street that has no sidewalks."

Budget Proposal - Water Department: This was presented by Dale Sprague and delved into great detail, with regard to the diameter of future water mains in the area of Tappan Street. Arguments were difficult to follow, owing to the technical aspect of the language and to interfering gusts of cheerleading from an adjoining room. E.g. A suggestion to ask Community Development Director John Freeman if money was available for a sewer study, was overshadowed by exhortations to "Do the funky chicken!" Nonetheless, optimism and eight-inch pipes seemed to prevail.

Water News II: A letter from the Army Engineers disclosed that it was not economically justifiable to stabilize further stretches of the Cocheco River. Local canoeists were boosted by the pledge of Selectmen Plante to remove obstructions caused by fallen trees in those locations owned by the Town.

For the record: It was resolved to store tapes of Selectmen's meetings for a period of one year, after which time they will be re-used. One trusts that this present tape will re-awake to discover a dog officer has been appointed. It has been decided to add a word processor, priced at $1,400, into the budget. This will greatly expand the capabilities of the computer that the town already owns.

Community Center news: Basketball Backboards: I am fascinated by the democratic process that is so vigorously alive in Farmington. Everyone in the Men's Basketball League, and many who are out of it, agreed that the wooden backboards (which have seen numberless seasons of service) had to go. Agreement ended there, and individual opinions flew out in all directions like bursts of shrapnel. Glass boards, steel boards, how about aluminum, let's save up and just get hoops for now, collapsible hoops or regular, hmm, how about wooden backboards? I, who don't know one end of a basketball from another (call yourself a Recreation Director, mister?) could only listen and be utterly won over by the opinions of the person I had spoken to last.

Then upspake the Town Father of basketball. A man more grizzled and wise in the way of ball-bouncing than even Clarence Garnett. It was Ronnie Howard.

"Go north young man," he said, "until ye cometh unto the humble carpenter DiPrizio, who will even giveth lumber unto thee, that ye might construct them thine self in spare moments." And so it was done and many shekels were saved, causing opinions to convergeth magically.

Martha Blais reports that the Junior High girls currently have a 4-3 record. The janitor reports that Martha Blais, parked on the wrong side of Paul Blouin Avenue, is risking a $50 fine.

Jan. 22, 1985

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