A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 143

Death threat wanted

It's just plain unfair. Here am I typing my fingers to the bone, trying to advance the name of an obscure but worthy vice president of the United States, running up debt as a consequence, and squabbling with the I.R.S. to get a compensatory tax break, and all for what? To watch the people of Strafford County fall over each other in their eagerness to grab a copy of "Satanic Verses," and ascertain why the Ayatollah feels outraged this time at $19.95 a copy.

Well if outrage is good for the cash register, let me tell you about outrage. Boy, am I ticked! Mr. Salman Rushdie can zoom from outer darkness to international fame overnight, while poor old Henry Wilson is all but ignored by the town, nay, the state, which gave him birth. No statue, no sign, no official status of any kind, unless you give credence to the rumor that Route 11 might actually be called Henry Wilson Highway - though try do find a sign that confirms this between New Durham and Rochester.

Wilson was not the usual shoddy pay-raise-seeking-as-soon-as-heís-elected representative. He was a fiery orator who rallied public opinion to the plight of African Americans slogging it out in the cotton fields, and it was he, more than any other single person, who was responsible for the war of liberation. Just ask Lincoln.

A couple of other things separate him from the common herd of politicians who so pointedly ignore him and what he represented.

Henry fought for what he believed in, not from behind a safe Washington D.C. desk, but in the thick of things Ė the Confederate Army nearly captured him at the first battle of Bull Run.

Despite being part of Grantís corrupt administration, there is no evidence to show that Henry was on the take. He was poor enough to have to borrow $200 in order to attend his own inauguration ceremony, and he remained the friend of the working man up until his untimely death in 1875.

To be found guilty of the crime of sincerity is an awful thing in politics. Before the other players can feel secure once more, banishment and memory erasure must be complete, and the offenderís preachings rejected. I surmise that is why, in New Hampshire, Martin Luther King Day has not been officially recognized. A vote for King would be a vote for Wilson.

Just how completely Vice President Henry Wilsonís star has been eclipsed can be judged by the sales graph on commemorative lapel badges that were commissioned by WOOOF, the society which hoped to nudge him into Salman Rushdie-like prominence, but without the death threats. This chart certainly shows how hard it is to pin anything on the citizens of his home state.

Henry Wilson Badge sales - 1988/69   (Farmington's shame)

To glimpse of a WOOOF button, click here 

It can be seen that from the first unveiling of the button, in August 1988, monthly sales were expected to increase steadily to around 400 in December, what with stocking-stuffers and impulse purchases. Then after a slight fall back in January, the figures were predicted to surge once more, based on a "birthday special" promotion in February. By the end of the current month, WOOOF staffers were confident of shifting a total of 2,100 of these unique Henry Wilson badges. However, the actual sales are somewhat lower, to say the least (through gritted and outraged teeth), and a change of plan is needed.

Therefore, taking a leaf from "Satanic Verses," in order to boost the sagging morale of the WOOOF button sales force, I am reluctantly appealing for a death-threat. This should be mailed or called in, foreign accent a plus, to a large news service like Reuters, AP, UPI, or MCS (Mros's Coffee Shop).

Nothing too specific. Just the usual tub-thumping, with a chance to apologize, etc., etc. Leave out the bit about the $5.2 million reward, just in case some sucker out there tries to cash in.

Cats and Dogs news

On March 11, if you are a cat or a dog, please come to Farmington Community Center between the hours of 12-2 p.m., where a rabies clinic is being held. Dog licenses are also available at this time.

Thespian news

Farmington Town Players announces an organizational meeting at the Community Center on March 1 at 7 p.m. The agenda includes a warm welcome for any new members coming out of the woodwork, and the selection and setting in motion of a new spring production. Anyone interested in acting, publicity, crew, etc. is encouraged to come along.

Historical Society news

It has been suggested by President Nolan of WOOOF that the Farmington and New Durham Historical Society sub-committee concerned with the marking of historic places ought to ask the state to stick up more signs on Route 11. This should not be interpreted as a substitute for the 80-foot high flashing neon sign, which WOOOF would like to see near Lemís Seafood Restaurant, consisting of an illuminated likeness of the Great Man, with a pulsating arrow pointing to Farmington.

Meanwhile, on Friday, March 3, members will be treated to a lecture about gristmills in New England, at the Goodwin Library.

Listen up and see here!

The pre-school vision-hearing screening program, which offers a free service for children ages 4-6 years, will be at St. Peter's Church, 90 Central St., between the hours of 9-11 a.m. on March 3, 1989.

February 27, 1989

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