A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 160

Special pothole edition

The recipient of the first annual pothole trophy is the State of New Hampshire, guardian of a killer known as "Jaws" located on a section of Route 153 called Peavey Hill in Farmington. The winner of the $3 nomination prize is Mary Root, the lady-who-works-in-Mros's, and the best known of Jaws' hapless victims is Mr. Roger Belanger, garbolgist.

On the evening of Friday, March 9, Roger ventured out in his brand new car. It was to be a big trip for him - right down to busy Route 11 - for he is known more as a hop, skip and jump man with his usual motoring perimeter being fire station, chapel and pump.

Anyway on fateful Friday, as he headed up Peavey Hill, old "Jaws" there reached up and ate a tire off the new vehicle. Down to Ernie's Tires and Gas, and 78 bucks later Roger is back up to four wheels again and trying to claim his money back from the state via the selectmen. There will be a short pause while you roll about laughing. Get money from the ... ha! ha! ho! hee! hee! state?

An edict came back to Roger from Concord via the selectmen that all potholes on Route 153 had been filled in on Friday afternoon. "Jaws" did not exist. Mr. Belanger had experienced a mirage. Yes, it's a Kafkaesque world, folks. When all you have is a photograph of a trophy, a new tire, and a cancelled check for $78 against the Word of the State, who is liable to believe your story?

One of the favorites to win the $3 pothole prize had been Mr. Ramgunshoch who had spotlighted a kettle of wondrous dimensions and longevity on River Road, which he playfully named after the town's conscientious and amiable road agent, Clark Hackett. Mr. R., however, mysteriously withdrew his entry before Judgment Day.

River Road was remarkable for the fact that it was also the location of an entry from Brad Bowden which he called "Atlantic Abyss." I had seen Brad fussing about this icy trench for a good half hour a couple of weeks ago, and had just assumed he was trying to recover a lost quarter, but it transpired the thorough contestant was obtaining the exact dimensions and depth of what must qualify as a geological wonder. He gives its measurements as 37-3/4" wide by 17 feet 3-5/8" long, and feels depthwise, it may connect with the Mad River.

A fourth Farmington entry was submitted by Paul Turner, and although not a pothole, qualifies by being in the same spirit of things. Mr. Turner chose a spectacular frost heave "two feet high" on Old Bay Road near the Mill Pond, which he dubbed "Henry Wilson Hump."

Rochester was not immune. "Double Trouble," situated on Meaderboro Road, was suggested as a winner by Patricia Kelly, who lives on the Farmington section of the same goat track. Checking out this entry I was reminded of the old blues line "...if she don't get ya, then her sister will."

Randy Orvis was all shook up about his pothole entry - he selected a half-mile stretch of Whitehouse Road, near the Somersworth/Rochester line, which he calls "Humpty Bumpty," as it contains more craters than a Beruit suburb.

The most diplomatic submission came from Selectman Jim Whittemore of Brookfield, who chose no hometown pothole, nor even home state. Jim plumped for a beauty over on Route 109 in Sanford, Maine, all the more lethal because it lurks beneath a sheet of water when conditions are in its favor. It is aptly called "Hidden Death."

Candidates' night

Farmington P.T.A. is initiating a School Board Candidates' Night to be held on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Memorial Drive Elementary School library. Each of the seven candidates will be allowed four minutes to state their positions and then there will be a question segment from the public.

P.T.A. president Nick Jolles has suggested four areas of concern which he hopes candidates may address, these being:

How to attract teachers to Farmington. (Move Farmington to Westchester County)

Ideas to reduce overcrowding in the school system. (Supply students with guns)

Two other concerns which slip the mind, at the moment.

February 26, 1990

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