A continuing tale of life in the boonies
The key to living in Farmington
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Fitzgerald's translation)
This week, Farmington Corner announces its hundredth column, and recaps on the editions of yestermonth.
One Hundred Columns Ago: Winter - 1984. A well-known person, Mr. Archie Corson, has volunteered his services as Santa Claus to any group or organization that has such a need. Road Agent Percy Day was given the green light at a Selectmen's Meeting to purchase a "small little roller thing" for the landfill loader. At the same meeting, Selectmen discussed dump hours, dogs and Dog Officers, and the cleaning of the Town Hall Gym. In connection with the gym, a local man, Mr. John Fitch, declared his intention to distribute 2,000 sticks of gum to children who play basketball at this location.
Seventy Five Columns Ago: Winter - 1985. Mr. Archie Corson, for whom Hatwatch Hotline was launched, treasures a photograph of Police Officer Steve White wearing a camouflaged jungle bonnet. Dog Officer No. 3, Emanuel Krasner, penetrating deep inside rebel-held territory on the Meaderboro Road, singlehandedly captured two of the 20 Wild Dogs that hold sway there. He handed over the prisoners to Dog Officer No. 2, Mr. John Fitch.Selectmen, at their weekly meeting, discussed dump hours and rescinded the new times that had been carved in granite, some seven days previously.
Vic Lapierre handed out to the board copies of a letter which expressed his views on the new septic lagoon hours. A speech, he explained, would have caused him to get too riled up, and everyone nodded and thought the letter a Good Idea, with the exception of newspaper columnists.
After a massive power struggle in Executive Session, the selectmen announced personnel changes in the Dog department. It had been expected that, due to Krasner's success, there would be a mass swearing in of temporary officials to rid the town of its canine plague. Instead, Marshall Colwell retained his No. 1 slot, Heidi Colwell, nee Pence, was appointed Dog Officer No. 2, and Trudy Pence of the Welfare Dept. became No. 3. John Fitch graciously declined the mainly ceremonial post of Dog Officer No. 4. He commented that the Welfare Dept. should not run short of meat.
Fifty Columns Ago: Summer - 1986. Following a gift of 20 pairs of crutches by George Meyer, the search is on for 20 parrots and 20 plumber's plungers, as the Long John Silver Agon is launched.
Talent continues to pour into Farmington, with the latest arrival being a Mr. Lefty Lee, who has taken up resident in the Show Biz block. Described by his host, David Mahoney, as being "crazier than a bed bug," Lefty's is a name to look out for in weeks to come.
Vic Lapierre, who is rumoured to have an illegal septic lagoon key, has won the Family Day horseshoe tournament in Fernald Park, along with brother Bob. Health Officer John Fitch, with the help of Alice Nichols and a legal dump padlock key, dispatched nine bags of garbage from River Road.ÿ Main Street School Principal Jim Bibbo, while digging for diamonds in New York State, was slugged on the jaw with a 15 pound sledgehammer.
Twenty Five Columns Ago: Winter - 1986. Gerry Legere became the first police officer from the ranks to sport a hat, recently, albeit of a non-regulation ball-cap design. Archie Corson was not available for comment, being pre-occupied with getting his red truck (which is not a taxi) back on the road.
The famous Kennedy Painting in Kristies Restaurant was luckily unscathed when fire struck the wooden building. In a stampede for the door, when the outbreak was announced, the art treasure was oddly forgotten about, although everyone remembered the cash register.
Farmington Planning Board has called a public hearing to discuss the banning of peacocks in the downtown area. The powerful Peacock Breeders Association is expected to muster strong opposition to this proposal.
The fund, set up to unite Lefty Lee with his Alterations by Doris Jacket, is nearing its target of $200.
In the Men's Basketball League, during the game between Farmington Raiders and the Community Center, there was an unprecedented outbreak of smiting.
Key players - where are they now?
Mr. Archie Corson is still available to play Santa Claus, and to make his free offer even more tempting, Archie has sworn not to spit tobacco juice during the engagement. That could be the key.
Mr. John Fitch is Dog Officer Nos. 1, 2, and 3, and has a dump padlock key.
Mr. Vic Lapierre does not have a septic lagoon key. Maybe.
Mr. George Meyer, utterer of a hilarious remark, is due to be released from the dog house, if a key can be found.
Diamond prospecter Jim Bibbo has found the key to wealth. He has struck gold by being appointed superintendent of schools.
David Mahoney has the key to inner serenity, as gardener's assistant at the Show Biz block.
Gerry Legere has discovered the key to making a Better Pizza, and has retired from the Police Department, to set up shop.
Marshall Colwell has become a police officer, with a whole bunch of keys.
Lefty Lee has retired from Show Biz, and no longer plays in key.
The Kennedy Painting lives on in a golden aura of oblivion. The gallery has changed its name to Dumontskees. Despite the painting's fabled value, it is under neither lock nor key.
Behind the scenes
Over 1,000 people flocked to Farmington Town Hall last week to see the Davidson Instrument Panel Christmas show, put on entirely by the workers, and were unanimous in their praise for the Nativity scene. Luckily, they did not glimpse the actors in the Community Center a few minutes prior to their going on stage. The Christmas tree was shooting a game of pool, a couple of angels were playing air hockey, and when Mary said to Joseph, "Could you hold Jesus a minute?" he replied, "I can't. I just put a quarter in Pacman!"
At this time of year, with Main Street festooned with fir branches, and holly boughs, and mistletoe sprigs, it is worth recalling that these are all relics of a pagan society - of Druid culture. Tree worship, which is what it is, predates Christianity by several thousand years. Christianity, as I understand it, is about feeding the hungry and clothing the needy, etc. Just think, that if everyone who hung up a Druid wreath, also gave a pair of old mittens or second-hand boots to the school nurses, Christmas might actually begin to be significant. So far Davidson Social Committee is the only respondent to repeated appeals for help.
Maybe the nurses should write to Bob Geldorf. Or Gorbachev.
Or perhaps poor children should be made to stay home from school on cold days.
Dec. 22, 1987
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