A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 011

A column without a selectmen's meeting is like a slice of Life's Fruit Cake without the raisins, and so this week's offering is dull fare. The public hearing that filled the 10 a.m. spot on Saturday, Feb. 9, proved to be no serendipitous substitute, and only the empty benches, reminded one of the usual happy hour. The hearing, called to discuss a rate hike by New England Cablevision, was presumably insufficiently important to lure people away from M.T.V. Only the redoubtable Biff Silvia, in a cameo appearance, rather like Davy Crocket at the Alamo, prevented a walk-over victory.

Reasons for the increase are, according to executives Lee Stanley and Bob Clark, that satellite services, formerly free, now cost money. C.N.N., for example, is being forced to pass on expenses. "How about M.T.V.?", I asked, "They made a profit. Why are they charging money?" The answer is that their success puts them in a strong bargaining position. (Heads we lose. Tails we lose.)

"Can we look forward to an increase every two or three years?" demanded Biff. An evasive reply might have given him a chance, but an unswerving "Yes" left no hope of recovery. Ammunition exhausted, Biff withdrew to his mail route, and the hearing concluded at a little after 10:30 a.m

Jaycee News: The Jaycees, like the Keep Fit Ladies, are expanding, and report the signing up of four new members. If things continue at this rate, they should be able to field a whole regiment of Santas later in the year. Tom Harding and Teddy Balch are finalizing arrangements for the winter softball tournament, to be held at Ferland Park on Feb. 23 (and 24th if needed). Sign up sheets are available at Ron's Discount and the Community Center. For full details call 755-3603.

Outdoor Club: This formed itself on Feb. 7 and judging by the bizarre combinations of people liable to intermingle socially on forthcoming outings, the club may well become a regular feature of this column. The first trip planned is to Gunstock for a day of cross-country skiing under the tutelage of Nick Quinn. Following this outing will be a snowshoeing trip to Devil's Den in New Durham, fixed for Saturday, March 9.

Dogmatism: One might have thought that Marshal Colwell would be currently riding high on a popular wave of support for his heroic efforts to win back Farmington for mankind. Imagine my surprise when I answered the phone last week to be greeted by the rhetorical question "Have we hired a monster?"

The caller, fired up by the Bean's Barn episode, announced, "I am now frightened to put my dog out on the doorstep in case it is shot as a communist." Dogs, the cunning creatures, have obviously won him over to their cause...and he is not alone. Archie Corson confesses to feeding a leashless black mongrel its daily hot-dog and sympathizes with a "red" setter that ambles soulfully up and down Main Street. Would Wyatt Earp have brooked such public ambivalence? Or Pat Garrett? Or, for that matter, Senator Joe McCarthy? Carry on with your difficult task, marshal, I say.

Escape Goat: This week, the marshal responded with commendable speed to a three alarm call from a Mrs. Baldi, who was pursued along Paulson Road, by a goat. However, on his arrival at the location, the Balch family goat (which is not called Ted) was on its own land quietly munching a set of wooden steps. Early reports of the Dog Officer being armed with a bazooka have been discounted.

Boy Scouts: Further news has arrived! A committee for the formation of a troop has been formed and includes Mrs. Judson, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Butler. The leader of the prospective troop is Dave Randall and an assistant leader is being sought. More news as it develops.

C.A.P. News: At a recent two-day distribution, over 600 pounds of cheese and 1,200 pounds of butter was liberated from federal clutches by some 450 applicants. Director Gayle Richards wishes to thank Jeanne Blinkinsop-Call, Edna Dexter, Grace Page, Millie Cook and Debbi Day for their help and the Congregational Church for making the basement available.

Historical Society news: At the February gathering, in the vestry of the Congregational Church, an excellent turnout of over 50 people listened to the talk on Wedding Ceremonies and Customs given by Judge Eugene Nute. Beulah Thayer's committee served refreshments with a Valentine motif. On March 1, Matthew Thomas of Freemont will speak on old churches.

School news: Teachers recently took 12 kids sledding at a well-known incline near the Henry Wilson historical marker, and the group was also given a conducted tour of the Post Office, where they watched letters being posted.

Feb. 19, 1985

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