A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 125

Henry Wilson rides again?

A man bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vice President Henry Wilson has been discovered alive and well and living in Farmington, New Hampshire.

By the eeriest of coincidences, this is the very birthplace of the politician who served under Ulysses S. Grant from 1873 to 1875. Research by the famous bibliophile, Robert Colpitt, recently shed light on the period before Wilson's death, a time when, it has now been established, he was visiting spiritualist mediums in Boston. Given the vice president's ability to commune with life after death, and taking into consideration the striking similarity in build and facial features between himself and this newly discovered citizen, one can only assume that Mr. Wilson has come back among us.

But how did this discovery come about, and who on earth is the person that history's spotlight has now fallen upon? Last week, you may recall, Farmington Corner announced that its contribution to Bicentennial of the Constitution Week would be a Henry Wilson look-alike competition. Within hours of the Rochester Courier hitting the mailboxes with these tidings, Mr. Ramgunshoch was declared the winner of the $3 contest with his unbeatable entry of a man this column will prove beyond reasonable doubt to be the vice president's reincarnation.

Just as Henry Wilson spent the earlier years of his life, the Farmington period, masquerading under another name (Jeremiah Colbath), so also does Henry Wilson II live and work quietly under an alias, in itself, an indication of his true identity. He is known to his friends and customers as the owner of Farmington Appliance Center - Mr. Royce Hodgdon.

But the parallels between these two sons of toil do not stop here! While Henry/Jeremiah labored from sunrise until sundown as a farm servant, Henry/Royce puts in a 14-hour day fixing up stoves and freezers.

Although it is not known for certain whether the former shares the latter's predilection for an occasional can of Bud, both men have been moved by perceived injustice and have delivered stirring speeches that have prompted others to take action.

Prior to his inauguration as vice president, Henry I was obliged to borrow $100 from Washington Charles Sumner. Before his photograph was taken, recently, Henry II had to obtain the loan of a tie from Washington George Meyer!

Naturally there are Doubting Thomases, people unwilling to accept that greatness is walking among us once again, the same people who are asking tricky questions aimed at discrediting this most plausible of theories regarding the parallelism of these lives.

Does anyone know if it took nine cops to stuff Henry Wilson into a cruiser, in his youth? Does it matter? I donít think it necessary to authenticate the duplication of every minor incident, in order to convince the reader of a fascinating link between two honest sons of Farmington.

The facts of the situation should be absorbed calmly, and I would request that if Henry Wilson II wishes, for personal reasons, to be addressed as Royce Hodgdon, we should respectfully comply. All hail to thee, sir.

Bicentennial of Constitution news

Following a meeting of the committee charged with organizing Farmington's week of celebration, from June 19 - 25, several small changes are announced. The Goodwin Library will hold an exhibition on Wednesday, not Monday as previously planned. Also, the theme will be dolls, not gerbils. Ambulance Open House, it is hoped, will be Monday, not Tuesday, with free blood pressure for all. Church services will remain on Sunday, but the Historical Society will replace the Woman's Club as flag bearers on Tuesday with a display of antique quilts. It is not clear to me which day has been allocated to the Woman's Club, but it is not Thursday, as this is Legion Day.

"Oh, is it?" said Legionnaire Velma Eaton, with profound astonishment, because nobody had told her.

Mr. Royce Hodgdon will be on display all week at Farmington Appliance Center, and on Friday there will be a band concert in Fernald Park with the "Airwaves" from Pease Air Force Base. Maybe the Woman's Club is Tuesday. On Saturday, at 1 p.m. there will be a parade of unprecedented proportions, including a float bearing Henry Wilson represented by local historian and member of the Cemetery Commission, Mr. Roger Nutter. On hearing the tidings regarding Mr. Hodgdon, Mr. Nutter said that Royce "was plumb outta luck" as he (Mr. Nutter) would be accompanied by his associate Mr. Charlie Foster, representing Ulysses S. Grant. Mr. Foster has a beard. I do not think that Mr. Royce Hodgdon will be offended, as he is at present working from sunrise to sundown repairing stoves and freezers, Saturdays included.

The culmination of the seven-day jamboree will be on Saturday evening with a Costume Ball in the Burtman-Rondeau Auditorium ($10 per skull) to the music of Ted Herbert and his orchestra. The Grand March will be at 9 p.m.

Situations vacant

Wanted for Saturday, 25th June: Strong energetic motivated individual able to interface with parade animals and a manure pail. Remuneration by negotiation. Call Lois DiPrizio.

Wanted immediately: Fearless or foolhardy person at least 60 inches in height. Must be able to balance atop a 75-foot aerial ladder and put rope back on pulley of 80 foot flag pole. Flag currently jammed at half-staff. Many elderly people nervous. Candidate with painting experience preferred. Call Roger Belanger.

School news and dates

A head for heights leads one to a head for lice. School nurses warn citizens that the season of pediculosis is now upon us, and to be a-listening for the pitter-patter of tiny unloved feet.

Aug. 14 is the birthday of Mr. Royce Hodgdon, just to give his many friends plenty of notice, now that the truth is out.

Special thanks

Sincere thanks to Joe Henry and Debbi Vangelder for their professional expertise in the Henry Wilson revelation.

June 14, 1988

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