A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 030

Flag flap squared away: Every morning the U.S. flag is hoisted briskly up the town’s flagstaff on the Square by World War II Allen E. Drew, and on certain days, immediately dropped one-third down the pole again, where it is flown to signify the loss of some local or national figure. At sunset, Mr. Drew ceremoniously lowers the flag, taking care, in accordance with the Code of Etiquette, that no part of it touches the ground. He repeats these solemn daily procedures at the pole outside American Legion Post No. 60, a little distance away, on North Main Street.

Meanwhile, Mr. Roger Belanger conducts these identical rituals at the Town Hall flagstaff, and also (as many a private citizen is moved to do) attends to his own flag outside his home further up North Main Street. Recently, this flotilla of fluttering flags was joined by yet another - one that, having been flown over the Capitol, is now the proud property of Main Street School.

I brought up this latest addition to Mr. Drew, who, as it happened, had already spotted it on a day of mourning, and didn't like the cut of its jib.

"That flag was one-half way down the mast, not one-third. That was a court-marshal offense in my day." he informed me.

Fearing for the life of school secretary Jean Radcliffe, I did not turn her in, but on meeting Allen, later that week, again mentioned the flag in passing. "Ah, he said, apologetically, "I did some research on that (how to court-marshal a school secretary?) and discovered the rules were changed in 1971."

So, now even the Town flag will flap a little lower on designated days.

Selectmen's Meeting Of 2/12/86

Sparsely attended, brief and non-controversial, it was. Larry Kelly (the Hatless) of Meaderboro Road requested that a load or two of gravel be sent up to fill a few deep trenches that a spring had washed out on the road near his house, at the base of Oxbow Hill. Other sections were then discussed including but not limited to the Swamp, the Bottomless Pit, Doughty's Corner and Page's Corner. Money, it was revealed, has been earmarked for the improvement of Meaderboro Road, with culverts to be fixed and rocks to be blasted, come spring.

Date And Place: Jane Cooper-Fall of the Planning Board, in keeping with the mood of the times, has bestowed a particularly avant-garde calendar upon the wall of the courtroom where committees meet. However, the emerald green swirls and flecks of yellow, blue and red, proved a little too confusing for Z.B.A. member James Cameron last week. Assuming that it had been tacked up by one of a sea of petitioners seeking a variance, in the furtherance of their case, he glowered in the direction of the calendar and pronounced "A very poor map, that!" On being told its true identity, his opinion of the wall covering did not appear to improve.

3rd Annual Art Exhibition: Held at the Goodwin Library, from Feb. 10-15, this yearly showcase for the work of local artists and craftsmen is now firmly established as a jewel in Farmington's, and perhaps Jane Cooper-Fall's, calendar. Despite Phyllis rejecting my advice of 12 months ago to open this exhibition with a wine and cheese party for art reviewers, it would be churlish not to give her one more chance and a rave notice. Wonderful! Super! Athens of New Hampshire! (What do you mean, Thermopylae?) Delightful! There, I better not over-do it or someone will think I am splashing in the gutter of satire.

Over 20 people submitted work this year, with most putting in two or three pieces, thereby almost doubling the size of the exhibition from last year. Local artist Anna Richards and eight of her students again proved to be the nucleus of the show, but the watercolors of Jeannie Blinkensop-Call were a welcome addition, particularly "Wetlands" or was it Meaderboro Road? Betty Demers' "Rustic Bridge" succeeded by avoiding sentimentality as did a canvas entitled "West Africal Art," none the worse for spending 24 hours inadvertently upside down. Fred Collay's fall scene and Polly Blair's "Quiet Cove" were also evocative, the latter already an award winner at Rochester.

As I type, careful plans are being laid to ensure the safety of the Kennedy painting slated to arrive under police escort for a few hours on Friday. Will it be captured by a gang of international art thieves and sold to a family from Hyannis. Or will Brownie's bulk scared ‘em off. The other highlight, for me, at least, was the inclusion of an Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer beautifully made by Ed Demers of Spring Street from tulip wood. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the tone of the instrument is remarkable as Ed was delighted to demonstrate with the rendition of a traditional song. I look forward to next year, especially the Beaujolais and brie.

Apology: In a recent review of a ceramic exhibition at Farmington High School a piece submitted by Scott Healy was erroneously referred to as a Lump. It is not, in fact, a Lump, but a hollow truncated cone, the upper plane of which is convex and pitted. Mr. Healy calls his work Thimble. I am not sure why.

Warming News: The school nurses would like to give a big hand to all those kind readers who sent in mittens for the frozen little fingers of Memorial Drive School. As I gathered this snippet, nurses were giving out a pair to a young unfortunate whose own mittens had just been eaten by a dog - a case of woofer wolfing wool! Wow!

Weird Sports News: Girl's Left Arm Wrestling - Winner: Linda "Killer" Patch; Girl's Right Arm Wrestling - Winner Karen "Mad Dog" Lemieux; Boy's Left Arm Wrestling - Winner Bruce "Rocky" Marquis; Boy's Right Arm Wrestling - Winner Brian "Rambo" Hussey.

School Librarian Ruth Gagnon is entering into the spirit of macho competitions by organizing a contest for the best design of a bookmark. These will be reviewed in the near future. Libraries are certainly becoming the hub of the social wheel. A few days ago, Ruth dressed as the Cat in the Hat to mark Read a Book Week. Large numbers of Memorial Drive pupils dressed as storybook characters listened to her recite passages from Robinson Crusoe, who, as Mr. Ramgunshoch will tell you, was really Alexander Selkirk from Scotland, a ship-wrecked sailor. A case of Scotch on the rocks? What?

Even More About Libraries: The Readers Digest will present two copies of America's National Parks to the school library in the name of James Spear and Kelly LePointe. James and Kelly were both winners in the artwork section of a Reflections Contest organized by the National P.T.A.

Feb. 18, 1986

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