A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 017

School news - plethora of poetry: Or should it be a deluge of doggerel? Only future generations can judge. Anyway, verse of one sort or another will be flowing from the pens of seventh and eighth graders in Chapter 1 at Main Street School. Mrs. Pettis and Mrs. Condon will then lead their young rhymesters to Hill Home where the elderly will be recited to.

This type of exercise can have exciting results, and by way of encouragement this column undertakes to publish the pick of the crop. In the meantime, to give you a flavor of what to expect, here is that evergreen couplet:

Spring is here, the grass is riz

I wonder where de birdies is.

This celebration of the arts will be carried further when fourth thru sixth graders read their poetry at children smaller than themselves. If I may give my two cents worth of advice as a longtime champion of minor poets, I would say Pace is Everything. Forget rhyme, ignore grammar - get the action in there. Example (concerning harassed old fisherman with torn net):

He's lost all his fishes

Oh boy, he looks vicious

He's chawin' tobaccee

There's juice on his chin

There's spawn in his whiskers

His hands are all blisters

He's been on the beach

Since the caplin come in.

Perhaps I should offer a prize to the best effort in this style, describing Percy patching up the Ford '76. $3 to the winner. Footnote: According to Whitfield's University Rhyming Dictionary, no word in existence rhymes with Bibbo. But why let that deter one?


(Lines penned in the style of E.J. Thrib on the departure of a well-loved figure from the Elementary School.)

Farewell to thee, Nancy Bibbo

Thou rhymeless ray of sunshine

In a dark school corridor.

No more wilt thine beam

Cheer the paths of weary hacks

Trudging from Woodward to Beaupre.

By R. Ramgunshoch (Seeking an alternative art form to the crossword puzzle.)

Basketball: Which refuses to say goodbye, never mind rhyme with Bibbo. Steve Mosher and Tim Mucher have been selected for the New Hampshire first state team. Class M. Carl Whitten has been selected for the second team. Mike Funk has been given an Honorable Mention. We are not finished.

Tim Mucher has been selected to play in the Fifth Annual Alhambra Classic, which is a benefit game organized by the Easter Seals to support the mentally retarded. The team is composed of the 12 best senior boys in New Hampshire. They will play the 12 best from Vermont on June 29 at New Hampshire College in Manchester.

There is more. Tim Mucher, over Easter weekend, will play in the Canadian equivalent of the Alhambra. He will travel to Montreal with other "19 and under" year olds to compete in the Timmy, and become the first boy from Farmington to gain such recognition.

Two steps forward

John Freeman, Community Development Director for Farmington, discloses that work is about to begin on rejuvenating the fronts of the properties on Main Street. Color schemes for many of the buildings have been worked out (no stripes next to plaids) and when this phase of improvement is complete, the center of town will become an extremely attractive location. Perhaps an ordinance will be passed prohibiting people from hanging out, unless they are wearing designer jeans.

In addition to this progressive (and as yet theoretical) stride, an infiltration study of water and sewer lines is soon to commence, and may be tied in with an upgrading of the downtown sidewalks.

One Step Sideways

If all this progress is making you feel uneasy, here is comforting news. There is still, in some quarters, a healthy respect for tradition and custom. Last week the spring sun tempted many of the inhabitants of a Main Street apartment block onto their porch. Being Saturday, a party speedily got under way, and in the course of three hours enough culture unfolded to bring tears of nostalgia to a glass eye. A gentleman knocked a lady unconscious, before he in turn fell comatose into nearby bushes. The police attended to adjudicate in a heated debate concerning ownership of a telephone, and, in the grand finale, three fire trucks showed up to dowse a fire that had broken out somewhere in the building. Historic Society, where is thine video camera?

Marshall Plan

Farmington's Dog Officer is certainly a resourceful man, constantly pioneering techniques to outwit the four-legged enemy. His latest brainwave came to him as he was inflating helium balloons shaped like Easter bunnies. Why not, he thought, tether balloons, in the guise of dogs, to well-known watering sights like the Dock Square fire hydrant? If duck hunters have success with decoys, then surely Dog Officers … So, if you go down on the Square today, be sure of a big surprise...especially if your name is Smokey Lapanne.


(Lines penned on the appointment of Nancy Bibbo to the post of roving Town Hall Secretary).

Felicitations art thine due

Thou sunbeam Bibbo.

Selectmen's meeting of March 27, 1985

Another of those five-hour marathons during which I gradually fell asleep from the pencil on up. Pistol permits, personnel policies and sheaves of other fascinating documents with "serious impacts and implications" floated past half-closed eyes, like so much ticker-tape.

John Sindorf of the Pentecostal Church, in his worthy drive to make Farmington the Nashville of the North, sought permission to use the Town Hall for a free concert, starring a Beverly Rush. This was granted. Also given the green light was his plan to present on the Town Hall stage, a concert by a nationally known Christian singer, recording star and writer of over 200 songs, whose name escapes me at present. This mystery entertainer is engaged in a tour of the U.S.A. and so on May 18, while passing from Vermont to Maine, will give his only New Hampshire performance right here in Farmington. Tickets - $5.

New committee members: Block Grant Committee...Biff Silvia (who once said that "all Boards are wasting their time"). Planning Board...Ann Chapline; Parks & Recreation Committee or Commission...Barbara Spear; Henry Sullivan, Jim Black, Jean Radcliffe, Joan Funk. Alternates: Dave Griffen, Zeke Garheeb, Larry Parent.

Garbage: An absentee landlord and an ever-present mountain of garbage have caused neighbor Millie Bouley, mother of Basketball Bouley, grief.

"Let's talk about public dumps," was her effective opener, and talk she did. As a consequence, the full range of civic artillery will be brought to bear on this site. Police will photograph, health officers will inspect, garbologists will clean up and town officials will send the bill. Abutters will breathe a fresher air.

The evening wore on, and the audience wore down. Milkmen, noted early risers, began to yawn. Scribes drooped. Mailmen hung in there, hour after hour. Sometime after 11 p.m., consigned by Executive Session to the hallway once again. Biff remarked dryly, "They're gonna have to start meeting twice a week. Just so long as they don't make it Saturdays."

Secret Document

Or maybe it isn't. Anyway, a sheet is circulating among high school teachers informing them that they are members of the second most stressful profession. It goes on to give advice on relaxation. Close your eyes (it says), become aware of breathing through your nose, say 'One' as you breathe out. Continue quietly for 20 minutes, with your feet up. In...out…in…out. Stress will melt away. Open your eyes slowly, and see Mr. Beaupre hovering above. As he gently enunciates the word "Fired..."

April 2, 1985

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