A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 162

Hangings on Saturdays

The town is buzzing with controversy over the selectmen's recent decision to impose up to $1,000 fines on those people evil enough to skate, scoot or cycle along Farmington sidewalks.

The new ordinance, RSA 31:39, was introduced in response to pressure from local business people. They felt, with great justification, that potential customers from surrounding towns like Wolfeboro and Rye were deterred from patronizing Main Street. The risk of sustaining horrifying injuries as a result of colliding with a winged wheeler was just too high for some shoppers. Many such crippling accidents have apparently happened in the past, although actual instances remain elusive to recall.

Well, for my part, I think imposing $1,000 fines on this criminal fraternity is too little, too late. My heart goes out to those folks trying to conduct business in the teeth of such awful odds. Entrepreneurs huddle outside the laundromat, for example, trying to purvey rare and exotic herbs when BOOOF! a reckless tricyclist or rollerskater knocks the profits clean into the gutter. Even the threat of a law suit (Pedlar vs Peddler) seems to have little effect.

And these $1,000 fines aren't going to deter anyone under the age of 10 years old, either. Not with the money young kids have nowadays. They'll pay them off and be streaking along sidewalks on foot-propelled scooters the very next week. Much harsher punishments will be required if our streets are to be freed of this hideous menace. I would be prepared to consider the surgical amputation of the offenders' limbs below the knee, but somehow I think this would only be a stopgap measure.

Selectmen must get serious on this issue and introduce hangings on Saturday mornings as the only way to get skateboarders and cyclists permanently off Farmington sidewalks. Then, finally, the community will flourish, exotic herb dealers prosper, birds sing and flowers bloom throughout the year. (But that's another topic.)

Flowers on sidewalks

And here that very topic is!

My hat is off to quilt-maker extraordinaire Patricia Benoit, and to Paul Lanza the gardener, for beating the State Department of Transportation (a crusty crew) into submission and winning permission to plant marigolds out on the traffic island by Route 11. Nothing could be more helpful for the image of a town so beset by foot-propelled bandittos.

Benoit has subsequently been canvassing Farmington Woman's Club for financial aid for the project, but Beulah's ladies have so far held a tight grip on their purse strings. Well, if they don't chip in for the Route 11 flowers, perhaps they, themselves, could take up the alternative suggestion in Foster's Daily Democrat and introduce a little more floral beauty into downtown to aid those hard-pressed business people. Why couldn't F.W.C. consider planting petunias on the Square or geraniums up by the old pump on Main Hill?

Why couldn't an organization like Parks and Rec. build and stock flower planters outside, say, the Post Office or the Town Hall or Dumontskis or Sandy's Coiffures or half a dozen other sites? I know those recreation types are busy with winter carnivals and Hay Days and things but...What's that? They've built them already? Well, I haven't noticed them. Uh? There's been flowers all over town for the last five years? And, the Woman's Club is even planning to plant trees on sidewalks to frustrate those cyclists?

Ooops! Is there room in the dog house. Mrs. B?

Manure on crosswalks

Last Monday morning Main Street was thick with businessmen's cries for $1,000 fines and Hangings on Saturdays. Beth Littlefield's horse had just struck again, this time slap in the middle of the crosswalk between Farmington National and Savings Bank and Sweet-n-uff Restaurant (once-upon-a-time the Dock Square Restaurant, home of the Peter Tosh Memorial Reggae Breakfast.)

Well I was going to side with the outraged arm of commerce, but now that I realize flower planters abound on Main Street, it's perfectly obvious that Beth, an esteemed member of Farmington Woman's Club, is attempting to add to the color, if not the tone, of Main Street with an on-site delivery of fresh fertilizer. Encore! Encore!

Even more F.W.C. news

The last meeting of the season will be the Annual Mystery Ride Luncheon on June 15. (Was it last year that the lead car got separated from the pack and nobody else knew where lunch was?) Cars will leave from Star Market (a euphemism for the Liquor Store) on Route 11 at precisely 11 a.m. Members are required to have paid either Sandra Pierce, Sandra Canney or Lois DiPrizio by June 8.

It was decided by a recent vote to lend the club rooms on June 8 to the children in librarian Dorinda Howard's special program. Wolfeboro Puppeteers are the coming attraction, I think, despite the threat of death by rollerskate.

Incidentally, the newly elected office holders of F.W.C. are President Pierce, 1st Vice President Canney, 2nd Vice President author of "Suprise Cooking," June Tilton, Corresponding Secretary Bernice Woodside, Recording Secretary Florence Dexter, Treasurer DiPrizio, Publicist and Poet-in-Residence Blanche Magee, Auditor Jean Pease, and Director Beatrice Fish.

It was decided that the club host the July 30 meeting of the Portsmouth District of Presidents. The location of the meeting will not be announced until later, in an attempt to outwit Beth Littlefield's horse.

Henry Wilson Grange news

This year' winner of the prestigious Grange Citizen of the Year paperweight is local alchemist and Trust Funds trustee Don Marble of Osgood Pharmacy. He joins other exalted names from the past like Judge Eugene Nute, longtime selectman Willis Berry and Mr. Rantin Ramgunshoch, who was decorated for his services to local peacock breeders. Don, at the ceremony on May 21, also received a commemorative plaque and his wife, Shirley, was presented with a corsage.

A great deal of singing followed and numbers included "April Showers" and "Just around the Corner." Betty Webster played the piece that won her a state title, "The Dreamer's Waltz," and somewhere amid the music the youngest mother, Lorraine Doe, and the oldest mother, Eleanor Lando, also received corsages.

Back on May 2, a three-point program was held at Banner Grange with the Henry Wilson and Wolfeboro folks in attendance. On that night, songs included "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," and "I'll be with You in Apple Blossom Time."

So if for singing you do pine.

H. Wilson Grange could suit you fine.

Get Hilda Tucker on the line.

At 335-3639.

June 4, 1990

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