A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 044

Summer Reading

Summer is the time to curl up in the shade with a good book, and so, with Memorial Day over, it seems appropriate this week, to review the current crop of non-fiction soon to hit the bookshops, from the pens of local authors. Despite a town brimming with talent, space has dictated that I limit this feature to a dozen titles chosen at random.

1. Adventures While Jogging by Paul Turner. A gripping tail, guaranteed to keep you looking over your shoulder. Running may never be the same.

2. The Compleat Book of Sand Shoveling by Zeke Ghareeb & John Nolan. Indispensable reading for any fool that irritates the road crew. Black flies, mosquitoes, blisters, dehydration and fainting attacks - they're all there in harrowing detail.

3. A History of Kite Shooting in New England by Joseph Bean. A blast-by-blast account by a fly 'em, hank 'em, plug 'em, grandmaster.

4. Water Your Lawn for $1 a Day by Bill Cooper. With rising water rates, make every cent count. Tips on how to capture your neighbor's rain, recycling that forgotten cup of coffee, etc.

5. The Philosophy of Tire Chalking by Brownie. Did you know that Boadicea's chariot received the first recorded parking ticket from a Centurion in Roman Britain? Sgt. Brown's painstakingly researched work is studded with factual gems, as he leads us down the ages from Plato's "Parking in the Republic" to Freud's "Interpretation of a Chalkmark."

6. Fences in War and Peace by Alan Spear. Spear has produced the definitive work on this subject. Successive chapters deal with the Great Wall of China, the defenses of Hadrian, Antonine and Galileo, the English hedges of Capability Brown, and Charles Rennie MacIntosh's bold Art Nouveau experimentation with chestnut palings. A must for all fence buffs.

7. Spend! Spend! Spend! by Biff Silvia. Our newest Selectman delivers an intellectual torpedo to Gramm-Rudman's penny-pinching doctrine. Recommended reading for all department heads.

8. Flower Arranging in Eight Seconds by Wild Bill Vachon. Bill takes a stuff-em-in-the-vase approach - an invaluable timesaver for the harassed bridge-player of today.

9. What the Kennedy Painting Means to Me by Professor Ed Demers. A heartwarming account of one art historianís joyful discovery in a small New Hampshire restaurant.

10. The Concise Book of Dump Hours (298 pages) by John Scruton. Driven mad keeping abreast of the times? This is the book for you - a catalogue of changes with good reasons why, plus educated predictions of alterations to come. Contains a lyrical forward by Vic Lapierre on Septic Lagoons.

11. All Critters Great and Small by Marshall Colwell. All your favorites are here - Smokey Lapanne, the Balch family goat, Seumus Kelly, Zorro and Muffins, Buddy the Pigeon, the 20 Wild Dogs of Meaderboro Road, Charbonneau's Pig, the Hole-in-the-Barn Gang, and many more.

12. Finer Points of Ice-house Racing by Willis Berry. A run-down on the hottest craze to sweep the U.S.A. since the hula hoop. Launching, steering and braking all covered by the land speed record holder.

Awful Pun: Main Street is once again a seething torrent of controversy, Jean Pease told last week's Board of Selectmen, with Brownie managing to ticket several members of the Women's Club whilst they were up above the Library playing their regular game of cards. Surely an example of Bridge Over Troubled Waters!

Congratulations: Not to Brownie, but to Farmington Outdoor Club. All 11 participants in the Chocorua outing reached the summit and were afforded a splendid view of 50 million trees. Mr. Ramgunshoch, having quarreled with the main body of walkers on the subject of snakes, (he being a smack-'em-on-the-head-with-a-spade man) accompanied the slower members of the party, Mr. & Mrs. Kelly the Hatless. To cheer him up again, the Kellys sang a plaintive duet, which I pass on to you. What a column this is! Eating Ambrose

There are grieving hearts a-plenty on the Meaderboro Road,

The brass plate upon a garage gives a clue:

"He was born in '68, and gobbled up in '74,

Ambrose Kelly, sorely missed, a darned fine stew."

Ambrose used to bound along beside the Kelly family dog,

Entertaining Mom and Pop by chasing cars,

A welcome act of cabaret to lighten up the load,

Of their living on a spot as bleak as Mars.

When the doggie passed away, Ambrose faced the task alone,

Of harassing cars that drove along the road,

He expanded his activities and charged down little boys

That innocently passed the K.'s abode.

There are grieving hearts a-plenty on the Meaderboro Road

On a stove there is a pot of mutton stew,

He was born in '68 and gobbled up in '74

Ambrose Kelly, sorely missed: "Good sheep, adieu!"

In Praise Of Older Women: It's not all wine, roses and parking tickets at Farmington Women's Club. Let us not forget shrubbery. The ladies must take credit for the magnificent landscaping work around the Goodwin Library, so recently completed by a regiment of Cameronians. And it was the proceeds from the persecuted bridge games that financed this greenthumbery.

Parks And Recreation News: Joyce Nutter, survivor of the battle with Big Cake, has just been appointed an alternate by the Board of Selectmen on the P. & R. Commission...this in recognition of the wonderful job done by her father, Roger, in tidying up Henry Wilson's marker.

Barbara Spear, P. & R. Commission chairperson, jumped in her truck last week and reversed out of her garage. Unfortunately, she had neglected to raise the door first. This rather reminds one of the day Brownie jumped out of the police cruiser in front of the fire station and dodged in the side door. He was dismayed to see the cruiser, which he had left in "drive," smash through the double panel doors, to join him.

"I couldn't believe it!" said Brownie, "And neither could Chief Worster, until he got a $300 bill."

Fiddlehead Ferns: On behalf of the school nurse, Mrs. Urquhart, I would like to thank the reader who called in with the whereabouts of fiddlehead ferns..."launching a canoe at the dump, you paddle two miles down river and portage past that disgraceful culvert stuck in by Tilcon. A little further on, secure the canoe at a steep bank and cast a grappling hook up onto an overhanging tree. Climb up the rope, avoiding a hornetsí nest, and at the top of the cliff, in among the poisoned ivy are the most succulent patch of ferns you ever saw."

Next Week: The Day that Brownie Ran.

May 27, 1986

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