A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 019


Let me start by saying farewell to the few fans of this column. Due to the infuriating ineptitude of newspaper typesetters, this will be the last piece cranked out, but be assured that Marshal Colwell, Percy Day, Archie Corson, Biff the Mailman and Boondock Butt are still out there, doing the things that ensure their immortality.

Electrical news

Officer Nick Quin, of Farmington P.D., recently attempted a delicate intervention in an eight-person tiff, but his pleas for peace were repeatedly rebuffed. It was so stated in Judge Nute's court. After the fourth entreaty for conciliation, fur flew and zappers zapped, and as a consequence, a gentleman appeared before the bench charged on several counts, one of which was police assault.

His defense was praiseworthy for its ingenuity. Explaining why Officer Quin was accidentally kneed twice in the groin, the citizen stated that the reflex flinch from being zapped had caused his feet to fly out. Unfortunately, Judge Nute chose to disbelieve this very credible explanation of events.

Approval of the Zapper is far from unanimous, and those in the opposition camp are not just past victims, but also those folks who have a healthy distrust for ultra-modern advances on a broader front - the sort of people who felt uneasy about the sudden appearance of tablecloths in Christie's restaurant. But, as Mr. Archie Corson reluctantly admits, the Zapper is marginally preferable to tear gas.

Zoning Board of Adjustment

"I am certainly not against having a racetrack. It will increase the tax-base and improve the town. But I get a sinking feeling about how well prepared a guy is when the plan is drawn up on a restaurant napkin."

So spake Jim Pettis, clerk of the ZBA. He was referring to Rick and Diane Horne's application to construct a racetrack for vehicles propelled by the combustion engine, on land adjoining Ten Rod Road and Pound Road. The sketch of the proposed development was on an undeniably skimpy piece of paper.

The Hornes, who have been involved in asphalt, dirt and ice racing for 17 years, promised to return with more detailed plans of the site, plans which would include fences, water and sewer lines, and a clarification of how safety regulations would be met, with specific regard to fire, police and ambulance. Two abutters to this enterprise were also present at the meeting, and as both owned scrap yards, it was not a surprise to learn that they were in favor of the project.

Mr. Harold Butt and Mr. Richard Horne, the father of the applicant, expressed firm support for the venture. Other abutters, who failed to receive official notification of the hearing, are reportedly less enthusiastic. No doubt, they will be heard, when Rick and Diane re-appear for Take Two.

History In The Filming

It has been a most pleasurable task of late, to accompany the pupils of Strafford Learning Center (T.I.P.III), based at Farmington High School, for the purpose of video-filming their interviews with several of the older folks in town. On tape, talking about Farmington of yore, are Twink Osgood, Marjory and Alan Drew, Merton Peavey and the sprightly octogenarian Joseph Demeritt Bean (Dog Fight Bean for early readers).

Led by the delightful Fay Montelione, the kids were able to learn a 1,001 facts and facets of Farmington; great blizzards and brush fires; toil in the factories, early farm implements and practices; the history of local transportation. Copies of the films will be donated to Farmington Historical Society, and may be regarded as a valuable addition to their archives. Vice-president Wilson, squash over a bit. In famous footsteps

Mr. Ramgunshoch, like the nationally known V.P., is off to Natick, though unlike Wilson, he will return after several hours. The occasion for his visit is the annual New England Folk Festival, held at Natick High School on April 20/21. Ramgunshoch has been asked to sing, incredibly enough, at a workshop on lullabies, and intends to contribute the only known childbeating cradle song known to man, entitled "Ye'll get a belt frae yer da." With luck, he may be arrested.

School news

Chateau or gateau? - Stephen Lord's students are creating four French chateaux as part of their entry in the Educational Fair. Chateau Langeais looks particularly enticing and has been constructed from the following recipe: 32 oz. of sugar, 1 pt. of milk, 1 lb. of butter, 68 crackers, ice cream cones. Chef Lord will lead the Travel Club on a gastronomic pilgrimage to New York City, leaving April 18. Twenty-one students will pay token visits to the usual museums and galleries in between bouts of gormandizing. Let no one criticize. Each traveler has scraped up $200 for the privilege. "The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure," Montaigne, (1588)

Down To The Sea In Ships

On May 21, Mr. Colburn will venture aboard the U.N.H. floating lab on a marine biology trip with 30 selected students. They will gather plankton, observe passing whales and conduct an open trawl," in which they could find anything." Octopi, plastic bottles, sting-rays, old tires, etc.

In a final salute to the sea, the party will launch flotation bottles, containing each student's name, address, school, lucky number and favorite T.V. programs. These will join the estimated three zillion flotation bottles presently bobbing on the briny. Great.

Lock up your valuables

Mr. Woodward has announced a fund-raising week from April 17 - 23. Elementary pupils are selling jewelry (probably their momsí) with the aim of raising $2,000 for the purchase of two Apple IIE computers.

April 16, 1985

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