A continuing tale of life in the boonies


No. 010

Selectmen's meeting of Feb. 2, 1985

The meeting got off to a peppery start with a Mr. Antonio Marti approaching the selectmen's table and launching into a fairly long speech, without recourse to notes. Due to the passion of his delivery, it was difficult to pinpoint the theme of the charges, and subsequent inquiries with Town Hall officials have not illuminated his beef.

Reduced to Percy Day style notes, my pad reads " am Spanish…gun...slam me in cruiser...use to gotta gotta gun...guys go to court...Brownie and Buttons...I just kill time in dump...harassed right down-town with a gallon of milk...citizen... hard to live...a hundred witnesses...Button's nose" The selectmen agreed to take the matter up with Police Chief Worster.

Mrs. Rachael Strout, accompanied by a friend with a non-speaking role, then moved into the slot vacated by Antonio. She wished to have a property tax situation clarified. Once upon a time she had developed land, then it was undeveloped, then re-developed. The septic system labored, slumbered and then (this is crucial) was reactivated!

"Somebody goes to the bathroom and it's a $2,000 hike", wailed Mrs. Strout to an uneasy Board.

"I'm not an assessor, I'm an electrician," protested Chairman Plante.

"I'm a custodian," Selectman Berry volunteered quickly, as her glance moved along the table. Selectman Kenyon did not make the error of looking up from a bundle of papers. Gradually it became clear that if an over-assessment had been made, it was not recently but in the Age of Dormancy, and should have been appealed at state level.

"Well, you got to try!", concluded Mrs. Strout, with a fine display of good nature, as she left the building.

After these two items, normal business was an anti-climatic affair. From court statisticians it was learned that in 1984 there were 25 cases of delinquency in Farmington...which any upper-middle class city suburb would be delighted with. Well done kids! Keep up the high standard!

An executive session then demanded the amassed ranks of press and public be swept from the room, and so I opened the door and closed it behind me.

News from the battlefront

The story so far - Taking advantage of a period when Farmington was several months without a Dog Officer, dogs have successfully captured large areas of the countryside. Newly appointed lawman, Marshal Colwell, swearing to clean up the town and surrounding hamlets, has managed to break up the Hole-In-The-Barn gang, though not without serious gun play. The impact of this victory, however, seems marginal, as reports now filter in of daring doggie raids in broad daylight right in the downtown area.

Now read on…

Word reached the marshal's ears that a bunch of 'em had just watered the fire hydrant on the Square. The one painted patriotic colors.

"That does it! Those varmints have gone too far," said Marshal Colwell, strapping on a sixgun, and wiping the crumbs of a fudge brownie from his face with determination. Soon, Main Street bore witness to a curious procession. Following closely behind a striding marshal, came Deputy Dog Officer Rusty Thomson, a noose on a pole slung over his shoulder, and, bringing up the rear, a war correspondent/referee with notebook and pencil poised. Further up the street, a police cruiser took off on urgent business elsewhere, Betty Mros trundled a rack of dresses inside her shop from their daytime spot on the sidewalk, and a small panicky crowd crammed into the laundromat.

But the dogs, in a classic tactic, had melted into the shadows, depriving Colwell of a 4-point double-skunk for a shootin' hangin' party. Mailman Biff Silva, quickly taking in the situation, revealed there was a whole parcel of dogs milling around on Bunker Street. For the next hour, marshal and deputy followed tracks, but gave up before it grew dark, with the trail gone cold. To be continued...

Cribbage Results: Harold Butts, the best cribbage player on Hussey Mountain, has struck again. With his water froze up and the cat run off, Harold battled with two flat tires and a snowstorm to reach last week's tournament. Together with daughter Jackie, whose hobbies include sitting on the basketball team bench, he scooped the runners up prize of $5.

Other Sports: Late Result - The owner of a Pekingese dog (valued at $450) wishes to express her gratitude to Marshal Colwell for rounding up her stray pooch and then taking the trouble to trace its home, rather than shoot it. One point for the marshal.

Feb. 11, 1985

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