A continuing tale of life in the boonies
Wooed voters not wowed
Farmington has been honored by the attentions of at least two candidates in the upcoming primary elections. Albert Gore sprinted through Davidson Instrument Panel complex a couple of weeks ago and Dick Gephardt dispatched his wife to meet local Democrats and tour Alton Shoe factory. The other five major Democratic hopefuls (or four if you wish to be completely Hartless), and all of the Republican guys have yet to discover our flyspeck on the map of New Hampshire stranded in the wilderness between Seacoast boom and tourist bustle.
All that is except Lyndon Larouche, who has set up a semi-permanent base camp outside of the post office on Central Street. LaRouche describes himself as a Democrat, while his policies suggest that he belongs to the right of the Republican Party. To add to the confusion, many of the town's residents that I spoke to last week took him to be a Marxist.
A well known garbologist gave a typical response when asked for his opinion: "Larouche? He's an idiot. Ain't he a communist or somethin'?"
Yet, undaunted, Lyndon and his imported support man at the literature table, do doorstep solicitations, and call voters by telephone.
"Harder to get rid of than the Jehovah Witnesses," said a lady from the school kitchen, referring to the Christian sect's sticky-burrish reputation. (Perhaps this is a slightly unfortunate association as Farmington is the home of several particularly congenial evangelists.)
I was buttonholed after buying a roll of stamps, recently, by a Larouchite on the sidewalk, as I eyed a poster urging the imminent construction of a Star Wars shield to thwart a nuclear blitz by the Soviets, and subliminally requesting the political bumpkins of Farmington to reconsider their commie verdict.
"Instead of spending up to $1 trillion on Star Wars, I think it would be better to allocate part of that money for education and a comprehensive health coverage for the elderly," I suggested, "like most of America's major allies have already." An argument ensued, and I regretted opening my mouth. It crossed my mind that the only political bumpkin in town was me - everybody else had the sense to ignore them.
I glanced at the other cardboard sign tacked to the table as I left...it was demanding action on the AIDS epidemic.
"Ugh!" blurted a passing lady, catching sight of one word, "AIDS!" I ain't voting for those guys."
Back in 1926, the Ku Klux Klan, marched through the streets of Farmington in white robes, having successfully gained the support of a poor uninformed minority, presumably fearful that a black influx from the south or a Catholic one from Quebec might threaten their shoe factory jobs.
In 1988, there seems to be little sign of Lyndon Larouche and his followers making inroads on this section of the electorate. The uninformed are just too uninformed. And everyone else in town knows better. Take me. If I had a vote in would go to Paul Simon...a man who writes tunes like that must (cont. on P. 94)
Editor's Note: It has just been discovered that the frequently used aside (cont. on P.94) is a Bidenism, stolen from the British satirical magazine "Private Eye." It is doubtful, after this shocking revelation, if Farmington Corner will be able to continue.
Yes folks, the column that broke the story of Lefty Lee's Jacket, and gave you Hatwatch Hotline, has scooped another major story from under the noses of the world's press and Foster's Daily Democrat. Presidential aspirant, Richard Gephardt, will appear in the flesh on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in Dumontskees Restaurant, beneath the famous Kennedy Painting. This, in my judgment, is a political masterstroke, and Paul Simon will have to write a very good song indeed, if he is not to lose ground. Maybe I'll ask old Ramgunshoch to help him out. Only Lyndon Larouche's appearance at The Party Place could distract me from going along to listen to Dick, though, especially as Bill Tsiros, the local Democratic party chairman is providing the refreshments on that evening. My favorites are those sweet little Greek pastries, Bill.
Congratulations of Athletes of the Month, Mike Mucher and Julie Gagne, who now share December's spotlight with Gardener of the Month, Mr. Clark Hackett, chosen for his sterling work with the town Christmas tree.
J.V. Girls coach, Kelly Pomeroy, whose political knowledge extends to Lyndon Who?, announces that all high school basketball teams, are as yet undefeated!
Last week, it was revealed that high school Principal Ken Beaupre had taken up ice-fishing with a vengeance, having laid out $3.50 for bait, with the early return of his investment of one small pickerel. This week, following a tip-off by Willis Berry, it is learned that fisherman Ken had been shyly hiding the fact that he had coughed up $235 for an ice auger. At that price, what else can the gadget do, you may ask yourself -
Ken Beaupre's wondrous auger
Can cut through the thickest of ice
Lure the fish to the hook
While he's reading a book
And reel up the catch in a trice.
Ken Beaupre's wondrous auger
Can keep his feet warm all the day
Cook dinner for nine
While checking his line
And serve him a Bud on a tray.
Meanwhile, Jim Bibbo's wondrous high school, is beginning to shape up on the drawing board. The building will be initially designed to have classroom space for 450 students, but as the facility will have a lifespan of some 50 years, the gym, cafeteria, library and furnace, will all be capable of handling a school population of 650...quite a feasible figure after the year 2000 A.D. This is not too far off, if you consider the kids in readiness now, will graduate then. As stated in a previous column, the voters will give this project the green light, or turn it down, at Town Meeting in March of this year.
The school highlight, in February, promises to be the concert performance by T.J. Wheeler & the Smokers, to celebrate Black History Month.
Top marks to the Goodwin Library last week for engaging Starbird Puppet Theatre, a Wolfeboro based duo, to come and perform The Legend of the Frog Magician, for some 70 children and parents, in the Woman's Club meeting room. The action was set in the mountains of Tibet, and every effort was made to faithfully reproduce the costumes, music and chatter of the Himalayan people.
As someone familiar with Tibetans, having once gotten into a fierce haggle over the price of a bamboo flute in a refugee camp inside Nepal, let me say that Starbird were pretty close to the mark.
Next Week: Details of the Henry Wilson Winter Carnival on Feb. 14. Plus … "Was Henry Hated in Puddledock?" Another Farmington Corner exclusive!
Jan. 19, 1988
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