A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 177

The same old surprise as usual

Last week, an older reader (though not from Wrinkle Circle) was kind enough to pass on a yellowing copy of Farmington News from way back in 1975, the year before the paper suddenly got sick and died. It was still giving healthy coverage near the end, though, and this particular January issue contained many snippets that bathe current town events in a fresh light. A few snatches from its columns are included below:

Pothole will be fixed

So far, this winter, several head of cattle, two bicycles and a Foster's paper boy have disappeared in the vicinity of River Road and searchers strongly suspect they have tumbled into a bottomless year-round fissure known as Baldwin's Crevasse. The Highway Department has promised to carry out a major repair here sometime before the end of the century.

Water tastes "funny"

A reader has written to complain about the quality of water in the town from well No. 2, but we have chosen not to publish this gripe as it has comes from the pen of Mr. John "Biff" Silvia who grumbles about everything. Let us take this opportunity to assure the public that the drinking supply is perfectly safe and we suggest the purple and orange liquids coming out of your tap are just harmless discolorations from dead leaves.

Clean up promised

Well known local businessman and hell-raiser Mr. Royce Hodgdon has given cast iron assurances to our town fathers that the controversial display of second hand stoves and freezers outside his shop on South Main Street will be the subject of an avant garde beautification project. Hodgdon has enlisted the services of Campbell's Soup Can painter Andy Warhol to come up with a brand new look for his stock of appliances. Warhol, during a visit to Farmington last week, predicted that these magnificent relics will win more than a mere 15 minutes of fame. That is doubtful.

Henry who?

A poll taken outside the post office last week found that 99.6 percent of Farmingtonians had never heard of U.S. Vice-president Henry Wilson who was born under an alias near the Country Club on Route 153 back on Feb. 16, 1812. This is a sorry state of affairs and reflects badly on our educational system that seems more preoccupied with basketball than can possibly be good for it.

As a matter of editorial policy, we are calling for the establishment of a Henry Wilson Memorial Winter Carnival which could be held annually near his birthplace to commemorate the great man's arrival among us as Jeremiah Colbath.

New lamps for old

Mrs. George Meyer, who is responsible for another major beauty spot on Main Street, though only two days per week, is seeking to purchase used furniture and she declares she will pay the very highest prices. No rickety chairs? Never mind. Another (or perhaps the same) entrepreneur is seeking to buy up your old burlap bags, the ones with industrial symbols on the outside which are gathering dust in your cellar. Spent lightbulbs, bent nails, used milk cartons? Don't throw them out. They could be worth $$$$$!

Grange news

Henry Wilson Grange, home to the single person in our survey who had heard of Henry Wilson, has been very active since the New Year. Allen Drew and Leona Rollins have been presented with pins and certificates to mark 34 years of continuous membership. Young Betty Webster is going to learn to play the Grange piano.

False alarm

Rescue personnel rushed to a 100-foot high radio transmitting mast on North Main Street last week after a man was seen swinging recklessly from the topmost cross-strut. It transpired, however, that the gentleman was the owner of the structure and was merely celebrating his 65th birthday in a rather novel fashion.

Woman's Club news

There is a rumor persisting around town that police were recently called in to investigate after a roulette wheel, two dozen empty gin bottles and a male body clad in full evening dress were discovered crammed into a trash can at the rear of Farmington Woman's Club. Chief Worster is remaining tight-lipped, and the ladies themselves have adopted airs of surprised innocence. It is possible that the full story may never come to light, but we are sure there must be a plausible explanation for such odd findings and urge the issuing of a public statement before the name of Farmington becomes tarnished.

And 16 years later . . .

Yes, folks, all that was back in the days when news really was news, and the Vietnam War didn't even make it onto page eight. So, what is happening currently?

Well, the Henry Wilson Grange has been very active ever since New Year. Allen Drew and Leona Rollins were presented with 50-year pins and certificates for being continuous members all this time, and Betty Webster is becoming pretty good on the piano. Joan Jackson was awarded a plaque for being stranger every year. (That should read Granger of the Year. Sorry, Joan. Editor)

The subject of the next meeting on Feb. 13 will be local history, and members will be asked hard Henry Wilson questions.

Example question: What use is Henry Wilson's gallstone now being put to?

Answer: A door-stop in the Goodwin Library basement!

February 11, 1991

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