A continuing tale of life in the boonies
Selectmen's meeting of Feb. 27, 1985
The Selectmen, having earlier decided to meet at the new ultra-convenient time of 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, managed to attract a packed house of complainers, inquirers, requesters, advisors and voyeurs, in addition to a couple of poorly paid hacks. Unfortunately, only Chairman Plante showed up, making this mass pilgrimage purposeless. It takes two to tango and make a quorum.
Chris Kenyon fell victim to a flu bug and was required to rest; Willis Berry fell victim to a basketball bug and was required to work. (For important result of High School State Championship play-off game--see below, if I remember.) Nonetheless, quorum or no, folks who had come, stayed, and Mr. Plante nobly held unofficial court.
Percy Day and Dale Sprague, who between them hold sway over roads, sewers, culverts, bridges and water, issued a joint communiqué concerning the 1972 dump truck. First the good news - the tires will last two years, the body is "usable", the front end is fair and the back end is okay. This leaves the middle, which brings us to the bad news, and an estimated $2,500 for a transmission and engine. Both of these sound like fairly important parts, and not easily ignored.
The fate of the dump truck and associated departments will rest with Town Meeting. It should be stated that Percy, a recent recipient of a helium balloon (without dog), looked particularly splendid in a new gold braid hat. Further congratulations have flowed Percywards from the State Department of Solid Waste, for the running of a clean dump.
Stop Goes: Stop signs on East Grove Street have disappeared as a result of a "four wheel drive and chain routine." Who would steal "Stop" signs, one wonders? Rochester? Milton? Greenpeace? While my mind was tussling with this conundrum, others were describing the exact location of a tree that overhangs wires near Trudy Pence's house on Bunker Street, but notwithstanding, is rooted to a spot where Glen intersects Mount Pleasant. Conversation then ambled up Route 75 to where another tree was dying in similarly precarious circumstances. A section of the press than congratulated Mr. Silvia on the ability to be at the hub of local politics once again. It was Biff, indeed, who was able to pinpoint with uncanny accuracy, the diseased Glen Street elm.
Meeting needs meeting
On Monday, Feb. 25, Gayle Richards of C.A.P. met with Davidson Rubber, Rev. Puffer, Rev. Eckholm, Jonathon Sindorf and Mrs. Jane Cooper-Hall for the purpose of discussing how, together, they can work towards meeting the needs of Farmington. The meeting was productive and encouraging and will lead to another meeting. C.A.P. will be holding workshops on how to save money by using coupons and refunds. (Cut along dotted line, etc.) They will also be covering other topics such as: The four basic food groups; How to feed your family for less; How to eat better (not butter, typesetter) and other related topics.
Despite heavy betting that the first police zapper victim would be Officer White erroneously numbing his own skull, the honor fell to a belligerent Saturday night drunk. A few volts managed to penetrate five layers of clothing and a skinful of beer, to produce a mildly invigorating tingle. Similar, one imagines, to spearmint toothpaste. Sergeant Brown, disdainful of the newfangled device from the start, was particularly unimpressed. "If these can't stop 'em, I let 'em go," said Brownie, waving a pair of hands that could throttle a hippopotamus. I have been unable to find a recorded instance of the sergeant "letting anyone go." Other members of the force are looking forward to warmer weather and fewer clothing layers.
A dry season offensive by Marshal Colwell, the well-known balloonist, has been successful in breaking up large concentrations of dogs. Some have been captured, others pressed towards Milton Town Line. Reports of the enemy foraging for food continue to filter in to operational headquarters, and I was fortunate to be able to accompany the marshal on a recent patrol.
A dog had been reported eating garbage down a dirt track leading from Waldron Cross Roads, and on reaching this obscure location, I was reminded of the furthest out jungle trenches in "Apocalypse Now." Suddenly as our two-vehicle convoy rounded a bend, out bounded a large shaggy mutt to munch the rust on the Dog Officer's Chevy. (So the creatures are reduced to iron rations, eh?)
Luring the beast into his vehicle on a pretext, the marshal was able to ascertain it was wearing a Dover Dog Tag, and so, fittingly, to Dover it went. Fifteen dogs have been captured to date and conveyed to P.O.W. camp. Six have been ransomed back to sympathizers, allowing for only 11 more prisoners to be taken, before the budgeted figure of one score is reached. Reduced to a mathematical equation, this reads 15-6+11 equals 20. Assuring me that enemy strength is below 300,000, and that this war can be won, General Colwell is confident that the public will meet its responsibilities and grant an increase in funding if this is necessary.
News has come-to-hand regarding the fortunes of the Hole-In-The-Barn gang. This canine six pack, whose base was recently over-run, has been reported by a lady to have taken up residence under her porch.
"Don't pat 'em," the marshal sternly advised, and went off to call a second lady who was the rumored owner of this furry band. The second lady, while admitting to only one dog, grudgingly conceded to tying them all up. Hmmm!
Lone Star Avenue also witnessed the marshal in action in response to a call concerning children being stalked by a large rat. Colwell is, in addition, hanging up wanted posters for a yellow-headed Australian parrot.
Folk Hero II
Henry Wilson Week at the Goodwin Library has been expanded into Henry Wilson Month after several people were spotted lurking near documents in the glass display case. There may be still time to read how Wilson, leaving Farmington at a tender age, struck the big time, first as a cobbler in Natick, and later as a vice-president in Washington.
All classes have now moved into the new wing at Farmington, including fifth grade. This has allowed Readiness to move out of their broom cupboard and into the Annex. Mrs. Jolles, blinking in the unaccustomed daylight, brings back nostalgic memories as she imparts to her charges the timeless shibboleth "I don't want to see anybody stab anybody with a pencil."
Meanwhile, at Main Street School a musical theme was prevailing. When I called, Jim Bibbo had been driven from his office by a blast of Londonderry air from three intruding clarinets, while the ladies next door were counter-attacking with Grizabella from the Musical Cats, using a wind-up gramophone.
Anyone interested in a white-water canoe trip (grade two) down the Isinglass River from Barrington to Rochester (10 miles) in March or April?
Latest results: Dogs 14, Dog Officer 22; Farmington 61, Hopkinton 59.
March 5, 1985
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