A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 155

August thoughts in bleakest January

No doubt half crazed by the arrival of the fifth Ice Age, an anonymous reader penned a letter to Farmington Corner recently, chock full of suggestions for the next annual Hay Day, normally scheduled for a warm and sunny day in August, but which, in 1990, is liable to be cancelled due to frost heaves on Main Street.

This reader's ravings were born of the recent Royce Hodgdon Freezer Contest which sought practical ideas for using these revered appliances in situations non-domestic. The winning suggestion, submitted by Mr. Michael G. Whaley, was to hold a yearly race down the Cocheco River from Farmington to Rochester in Royce Hodgdon freezers. This exciting event would be fittingly entitled The Henry Wilson Regatta, in memory of a greatly esteemed and utterly forgotten former vice-president of the United States.

"Highly inappropriate," squawks Anonymous, "Conspiracy suspected," and infers that just because the winning Whaley is the Whaley seated six feet from my work desk, that skullduggery (specifically the carving up of the $3 prize) stalks the Courier. This readers's alternative proposition is to employ the freezers in a Hay Day event.

"Every August - the same old beds, the same old teams, in the same old bed race," opines Anonymous, and puts forward the idea of a freezer race instead. The scheme is not without some practical merits as are unfolded in the letter. For example, the Master of Ceremonies (Royce, naturally) would perform his duties from a freezer lashed to the front bumper of a fire engine water tanker - the one that stands up on its back wheels for a party trick. There's a permanent cure for that habit, right there.

But back to the race, as envisaged by Anonymous. Among those at the starting line in appliances fitted with wheels would be Prince Ipal, in a freezer decked out as a lone frozen smelt; six persons (all named Bud) linked by plastic collars and representing Peg's Keg; the Town Auditors in a freezer packed with 300,000 dollar-green ice cubes; and several other entries too libelous to mention.

Losing vehicles in the August Freezer Race, says Anonymous, could be crushed by Royce Hodgdon's compactor if it is ready by then. Small hope of that. Which reminds me . . . what about my freezer door rails, Royce!!!

Tools for conviviality

Shortly before vacation, the students of Charlie Silvenius's classroom, in Main Street School, built a moveable work bench, and now they are seeking tools to put in it - scientific exotica like saws, hammers, tape measures, and planes, which raises a question: With no tools, how did they construct the workbench? Perhaps it is a hollowed-out tree stump, or a Royce Hodgdon freezer with minimal conversions. No matter. Spare a tool for Main Street School!

On the rocks

Minerologist Randy Bois says that his appeal to reform the Junior High Geology Club has fallen on stoney ground for the moment. The once thriving group of rock collectors held their last successful field trip back in 1988, when they picked up samples at Kentucky Fried Chicken. A fundraising drive early in 1990 is needed, if forthcoming geology expeditions to promising sites like Pizza Hut and Burger King are ever to become a reality.

Woman's Club news

Despite the new Ice Age, some 60 women staggered over the frozen landscape in Lincolns and Cadillacs to reach Cardinal's Seafarer Restaurant, the scene of their Christmas banquet on Dec. 9. Pianos were tinkled, songs sung, hymns hummed, and tables decorated by Stuart Pease.

The Christmas Food Fair on Dec. 16 was judged to be a success with the raffle being won by Roger Avery. He collected an afghan made and donated by Jean Pease, not a Royce Hodgdon freezer as earlier reported. Sylvia Barrett won the Village Bouquet floral arrangement. Unsold baked beans were donated to Trudy Pence's Senior Citizen program at the Town Hall. David Frank of Classic Collectibles is thanked for the use of the location.

The next club meeting will be on Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m. in the Goodwin Library, when Jeanne Bartlett will present her program entitled "Bunnies and Things."

Jan. 1, 1990

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