A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 074

Oh, Christmas tree

Things have been moving so rapidly on the Christmas tree front that the following update may well be irrelevant in a few hours...but for the record, here goes.

Firstly, there was the tree donated by Cameron's to the Farmington Business Association, which got stuck halfway up a pole and launched a thousand poems. Poems like this one from Mabel Amsden, an older citizen who fell in a "non-shoveled drive" last week.

A Nolan's request, I wish it were me

Sitting on top of a 20 ft tree

I'd throw down shovels for I'd be free

Of falling in drifts up to my knee!

Mabel, when not throwing shovels, is a regular contributor to the Puddledock Press.

The tree also induced the birth of this 30-line monster from an anonymous source:

At Central and Main on Puddledock Square

There's a pole and a tree and a light

And at Yuletide you may see them there

The silvery pole gleaming slender and bare

And the twinkling tree 20 feet in the air

In the keen and frosty night.

Why, you may ask, should anyone care

Where a fir tree's stump should rest

And why should it rest on a pole in the air

And cause myriad townsfolk to murmur and stare

At the truss that unites this remarkable pair

Is this a Selectman's jest?

It seems that some youth of the town delight

In wrecking what others create

And the tree on the ground was the victim of spite

That its poor colored bulbs should be smashed was not right

So an answer was found to relieve the tree's plight

And grant it a nobler fate

Last year the tree glittered aloft on its shaft

Safe from both beast and man

But perhaps Biff did not want to seem daft

Or perhaps one of two of our visitors laughed

But the tree's been hauled down from its perch in the draft

And triumphantly placed on firm land

It remains to be seen if our local J.D.s

Will indulge in their urge to destroy

Or if by some miracle, chance or our pleas

Their breasts are infused with a fondness for trees

As they saunter past Brownie, who stands at his ease

Preserving our Christmas joy.


Yes, the tree did come down off its pole, following an F.B.A. huddle, sensitive to public amusement and poetry competitions. The group took up a kind offer by Walt and Bunny Clifford of Orange Street of a tree growing on their lawn, and arranged for the road crew to cut it down and re-erect it on the Square. Two anxious days past, with the road crew tied up with a snow storm and an orgy of sanding, but when they were clear, they set to work on the new tree, with a right good will.

I passed by as they were pneumatically drilling out a hole to accommodate the stump, and smiled at their friendly cry of "There's Wonderboy! How come he ain't doin’ this?"

When they had finished, Sandy Canney of the F.B.A. congratulated them on an excellent job, but before she could ask if the crew would attach the lights, the crew upspake and said, "We ain't doing the lights."

Sandy of the F.B.A. called Judy of the F.B.A., Judy called her sister in the Town Hall, and she called the Water Department. The Water Department lent a bucket loader and Joel Plante of the Fire Department attached the lights. Then a man, who was working in the bank, hooked them up to a steel light and on they went. A magnificent multi-department effort and a great show for two nights.

Then a vandal ripped 'em all to bits.

Back went the F.B.A. into a huddle, and came out fighting. Sandy's husband, Carroll, and Donny Howard relit the tree, and it twinkles as I type, Donny and Barry Elliot hung decorations from every pole in town, and Union Telephone strung the overhead lights. God rest ye, merry ladies and gentlemen!

Police Budget

Biff (inquisitively) - How come you go up $300 on uniforms?

Chief (defensively) - Well, there's hat covers...

Biff (explosively) - Why do you need hat covers when you don't have hats?

Chief (helpfully) - Some of it’s keys.

Biff (incredulously) - Keys! What keys?

John Scruton (between bites of banana) - The dump!

Etc. etc.

Antipodean Fortune News

Last week, the typesetters put "or antipodean fortune", which was better than the previous "for antipodean fortune." Still not correct though. It should be "of antipodean fortune". That's O for Ophthalmic and F for Failure. Keep plugging away, ladies, you'll get it eventually.

Poor Show

Criticism has been leveled at this column for concentrating on undesirable types! Hmm. I never report from Judge Nute's court unless Smokey Lapanne is appearing. Police logs are never quoted. Rumor, scandal and controversy is avoided, so what is left? Ah yes! On occasion persons are mentioned who have quit school prematurely. Folks who rent apartments in a poor part of town, own only a few sticks of furniture and sleep on the floor. People who occasionally have a beer in Kristies, and whose parents have never owned a car. These seedy characters do lower the tone of a column ... trouble is, that I personally have to plead guilty on all of the above counts.

School News

The new principal of Main Street School, Dr. Hoffman, is appealing to someone in the community to donate a couch of folding bed. Dr. Hoffman only recently moved to Rochester from Massachusetts, but denies that the furniture is for personal consumption. (Lucky you, doc!). She intends to improve the sick room facilities in the school. George Kourkounas, a teacher at Farmington in former days, has returned to Main Street to replace Elaine McLean, going out on maternity leave until June. George, too, has rented an apartment in a poor part of town. Hey! Maybe the area's going up. Must tell the hollerers!

Community Center

The Community Center will be closed on the Dec. 25, but will be open from 9 a.m. on all other days throughout the Christmas vacation. Badminton will be played on Tuesdays, 23 & 30, during this period.

Stage News

Christmas Tree of the Week was, without doubt, Clarence Garnett. Clarence had a starring role as a short conifer in the recent Davidson Rubber Spectacular on the Town Hall stage. Over 1,000 people enjoyed the two shows. The breakdown of the first payment on the curtains is as follows:

Farm. Lions Club ………………….. $ 50

Farm. Historical Society…………… $ 100

Farm. Business Association…………$ 100

Farm. Women's Club………………..$ 100

Jim & Beulah Thayer………………..$ 100

Main Street Student Council ………$ 100

Davidson Rubber Social Committee...$ 100

Davidson Rubber Instrument Panel…$ 300

Community Center………………… $ 580

Total $1,530

The second and final installment of $1,150 does not fall due until March ‘87.

Jacket Update

The fund is full and runneth over! In fact, more than $80 has been passed along to Trudy for her Christmas baskets. Of this, $20 came from Bob's Garage, $2 from Meaderboro Baskets, $2 from a Foster's reader, and a massive $31 from the Stone Church rock concert appeal. Incidentally, town administrator Bill Fraser, in his other role of rhythm guitar player in A Brief Romance, performed magnificently...styled a mean coat, spun a mean sob story.

Air hockey news

A game for all ages, right enough! Spotted recently in the Community Center, blazing away at the puck was Millie Cook (73) of Main Street.

Dec. 23, 1986

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