A continuing tale of life in the boonies


Homeless and harassed

As long as people can remember, great clouds of pigeons have soared and wheeled majestically over downtown, and as the last rays of the setting sun turn their feathers to a burnished gold, they swoop, as a well-drilled unit, into the old fire department hose drying tower on Mechanic Street to slumber the night away. Or at least they did!

For this fall someone hauled down that tottering wooden edifice, and suddenly several dozen feathered friends, many getting on in years, found themselves on the street. Desperate for a place to roost, the birds began to hang out, of an evening, under the eaves of the Central Block apartment building, but this has proved an unsatisfactory arrangement for all concerned.

The icy cold brick ledge on which they are forced to perch is far too narrow for comfort, and late night conversations (in Pidgin English, naturally) must be conducted in a "pass it along" fashion. This seems to irritate the neighbors, also getting on in years, and last week a 15-foot long life-like snake was suspended from the roof with the obvious aim of making life even tougher for the hapless Columbiformes.

Now pigeons arenít completely dumb Ė theyíll eventually realize the snake isnít the big deal they think it is right now, especially when they spot the pink price sticker on its tail. Then the birds, now bunched up one end of the ledge, will get blasť, start building nests on the bogus boa, and everybody will get twice as fired up.

Before this happens, Farmington Corner is putting out an appeal for alternative pigeon accommodation. Couldnít radio ham Jim Thayer rig a tarpaulin over the top of his 80-foot mast and let the feathered fauna settle on the lower antennae? Might not Bubber Haycock donate the use of his Hog Hauler for winter quarters? Or how about Lorraine Meyer leaving a window open on the top floor of Ye Olde Brush Factory? She would have a nice crop of organically sound guano to sell by spring. Perhaps the Congregational Church, in the spirit of "All Things Bright and Beautiful" could even peel back a bit of John Oakleyís chicken wire on the clock tower and admit Godís winged creatures.

All genuine offers and suggestions welcome. No gunplay.

Flying Objects II

Using the flawless guideline of biggest being best, the winner of the "Spot that Spaceship" competition is Joanne Patrizzi of Crystalís Lounge in Farmington. Joanne and her husband, about a year ago, saw a flying saucer which was "unbelievably huge, like two blocks" hovering above their house near Sunrise Lake in Middleton. It was sporting fancy red lights and kicking up quite a din. She didnít risk telling anybody of the sighting for fear of being ridiculed, but now her timely step into the public eye has made her $3 richer. Laugh at that, if you like.

Coming in a close second is Dorinda Howard, former lounge waitress and now Farmingtonís top librarian. "I am not a crazy person. I know what I saw," says Dorinda, referring to a saucer-shaped item in the sky above her Meaderboro Road home earlier this year. Her craft had a pretty green light which was whizzing around its circumference. Then it up, up, and awayed with a mighty Hi! Ho! Wooooosh!

Marie Foss, manager of Rumors Cafť (a Wolfeboro watering hole), also admits, under pressure, to seeing a flying saucer on Governorís Road about two years ago. Marie, a former Farmingtonian now resident in New Durham, describes the object as "very bright, big and round, and moving very fast." She and her companion nearly fainted. "No way it was a plane," Marie insists. Of course it wasnít.

Royce Hodgdon of second hand stoves and freezers fame politely declined to enter the competition on the grounds that the first prize fell short of a Bud 12-pack by $3.95. Hmmm! Drink seems to have a lot to do with flying saucers. But Larry Kelly the Hatless, although not personally spotting any alien craft, has a sister "who sees them all the time." Plus ghosts. Kelly was also the man contacted by a hyped-up George Brooks, a while back, after the latter saw flashing lights crash and disappear into Blueberry Mountain one moonless night. The next day, not a trace was found!

Further along Meaderboro Road (top viewing spot in the contest, incidentally) Freddi Olson saw a mysterious light in the sky over the reservoir one misty evening. Her first thought, she recalls, was that the family of her husband, Kurt, was coming to get him.

In a late news flash, Jim Thayer has point-blank denied any contact with space aliens via his mast and the most powerful transmitting equipment in northern Strafford County. No surprise there. I donít really expect Jim to spill his inter-stellar beans to any lesser an outfit than the Smithsonian.

Rest in Peace News

This column mourns the passing of 11-year-old Seamus Kelly just after Christmas. The Farmington dog, co-star of the poem "Eating Ambrose," took suddenly, inexplicably and fatally ill during a morning preamble and could not be resuscitated. Maybe he was zapped while harassing a flying saucer. Or a stray pigeon. Incidentally, does anyone know the fate of Farmingtonís other favorite canine character, Smokey Lapanne the Talking Wonderdog?

January 7, 1993


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