A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 057

Taken for a ride?

Strange happenings up on the Square the other morning! There was Brownie, on the stroke of 8 o'clock plodding towards Archie Corson's truck to smack a yellow chalk mark on his tire. Nothing unusual with that - it simply means that Archie can only sit in his cab, dozing and reading his newspaper until 9:55 a.m. Then he must take off for a while to avoid a parking ticket. But on the morn in question, Brownie halted in his tracks, eyes popping. He looked again, and then headed back to the police cruiser for the Polaroid camera. "How come you're photographing my truck?" queried Archie Corson, testily, lurching out of his pick-up after spotting Brownie in the rear view mirror, chugging out pictures.

"I got you this time, Archie!" cried a triumphant Sgt. Brown pointing to a yellow diamond sign dangling from the back window of the famous red truck. "Archie's Taxi" it proclaimed in bold official letters.

"An unlicensed cab! Concord will hear of this! Evidence!" said Brownie, brandishing the incriminating photographs.

"I don't know nothing about that. You musta stuck that on there," protested poor Archie, grabbing the sign and ripping it up.

"No way!" stated the sergeant, carefully placing the pictures in a pocket of his uniform. Archie returned to his truck and took off from Main Street for the entire day, no doubt concerned that someone had framed him. Well, help is at hand, old buddy, I have put my investigatory nose to the grindstone, and have conclusive proof that the sign snuck onto the truck, surreptitiously, by rascally old Mr. Ramgunshoch. You are an innocent man, Mr. Corson. Viva Hatwatch Hotline!

Botanical News: One of the agreeable aspects of this weekly grind is audience participation. Questions asked of one-armed nut carvers, guess-the-parody competitions and requests for skunk poetry have stirred significant sections of north Strafford County. The seeking of a companion to drink champagne on a cliff ledge, alone, has been greeted with a stony silence.

This week a letter drifted out from under my Editor's clutter and into my paws from a reader in Oregon. The same oddball who wrote in with an idea for carving abandoned tree stumps. Mr. Scotty Redfield, who has also written "Trout Fishing in America" a mere 10 years after Richard Brautigan, has responded to an appeal for information regarding the Asiatic Dayflower. He has written at some length. Great length, in fact, and may be assigned to C for Cranks in my filing system. If I wade through his various hypotheses regarding iodine deficiency, radio-activity in the soil and acid rain, I reach his most likely conclusion, which I bring to your attention. Scotty postulates that this flower may be an entirely new sub-species

Planning Board news: A Planning Board meeting was held on Tuesday, 26th August. It was boring.

Buddy, Oscar and Lazerus: There are those who skim through this column. Half read it. Jump over bits. One such citizen is Mr. Ralph Williams of Ridge Road junk yard, who was amazed and astounded to see the recent approach of Oscar Michaud with a truck load of scrap. "I thought you were dead! I read it in the Courier!" blurted out Mr. Williams.

"That was the wife's pigeon," smiled a larger than life Oscar.

Farewell, Phyllis: Phyllis Kologowski has decided to retire after working for 21 years in the Goodwin Library, stating that she would at last like a little time to travel and relax. As well as overseeing the recent expansion, Phyllis has always found time to host miniature exhibitions of the unusual in her display case, and was the person responsible for founding the Annual Art Exhibition, an event that one hopes will be carried on by her successor.

As this interview was being conducted, JoAnn Doke of the Puddledock Press entered and presented her with a corsage, and told Phyllis that she had been voted Woman of the Year by the readership. Richly deserved!

Music News: One of the most pleasant places to attend on a Saturday evening, in Farmington, particularly for the musically inclined, is the Hidden Coffee House in the basement of the Pentecostal Church on Elm St. The Rev. Sindorf and his son Jonathon, who performs on the little stage, with his own band, run it. The audience, which seems to be drawn from several different denominations, is seated around the tables in small groups, and these are avid joiner-inners with any chorus that happens along. A friendly atmosphere pervades. Unfortunately, the night I chose to check it out coincided with the guest appearance of Mr. Hamish "Rantin" Ramgunshoch, who struggled to stay within the religious theme, with very limited success. Jonathon, Becky Rowe, Vicky Nelson and Tim Goodwin opened up with a lively set, and were followed by Gary and Chris Chesley. Fine gospel numbers included a tremendous version of "On the wings of an Eagle." Then Ramgunshoch go on stage and sang about a drunk punching a Salvation Army lassie, and being kicked on the head for his pains. If this choice of material were not bad enough, Ramgunshoch followed up with song describing a fight between a householder and a ghost from Dundee. He continued with a descriptive bloodbath involving an Indian war party and Texas Rangers, and it was quite a relief with Mr. R. was overcome with the brightness of the spot lights and staggered from the stage.

Peace and tranquility returned with Terri Raab, who plugged in an 80-piece orchestra soundtrack and "Mortgaged Her House to Jesus." The evening finished on a gloriously upbeat note with the singing of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (nothing to do with the race-track) and "Where could I go but to the Lord."

I observed Ramgunshoch, near the end of the night, pushing madly for the door, saying he could still make last call at Kristie's for a double scotch. Pray for that sinner, brothers. And call in at the Hidden Coffee House. Saturday evenings. 7 p.m.

Sept. 2, 1986

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