A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 180

Walking on air


Let me tell you the story 'bout a man named Ed,

A poor factory hand, barely kept his family fed,

And then one day he was taking off his shoes,

Went he hit upon a plan for to cure his money blues.


Insoles, that is! Selling those air-cushioned suckers at $5.99 a pair!


Well the next thing you know old Ed's a millionaire,

The kin folk said, "Ya gotta move away from there",

They said, "Up on Main Hill is the place you oughta be",

So he packed up and moved next to Jim and Beulah T.


Thayer, that is. Swimming pools! Woman's Clubs!


Ed Florence and I have in common a cash flow problem and the unconnected habit of choking down a couple of Friday night beers at the Rusty Rudder while Shep Spinney, country guitar picking genius, rips through everything from Chet Atkins to Hank Segovia.

Well, last week I caught up with Ed in the Rudder and was at once struck by a certain glint in his eye, a glint with every reason to be there as it turns out, for Ed has had a American Dream. After 20 years of toil, Ed has glimpsed Light at the end of the Tunnel.

It happened unexpectedly. After standing all day at his Jarvis Tool work station, Ed was resting up one evening and thumbing through a publication when he caught sight of a small ad for air-cushioned insoles. Not available in stores. Thinking he'd give his aching feet a pleasant surprise, Ed mailed off $5.99 and back by UPS came the merchandise. Merchandise with such magical properties as to be called by its new owner, "The greatest invention of this century." Beating out even the Patriot missile and the Bradley fighting vehicle. No disrespect intended.

So, with the insoles in place, life became a cakewalk and Ed's feet were the envy of the workplace.

"Then I took a chance, called the company up, asked if I could be an insole representative and ordered 36 pairs. Took them into work and sold the lot. In one day!" said Ed, placing his bottle of Miller down on the table for added emphasis. "I don't say these insoles can cure arthritis. I am not claiming they can fix medical problems. But they can bring amazing relief," said Ed, eyes aglow.

"Kinda like Preparation H for the feet?" I asked.

"Don't be saying that. These insoles are serious. To touch one," said Ed with great deliberation, "is to want one."

Glancing at his face I realized he was on a man on a mission, not to just make a couple of extra dollars for the family, but to unite as many of the toiling masses as he could with the marvels of modern pedal research. I envisaged him visiting factory floors across the nation and swollen-footed workers abandoning their presses and lathes to crowd into line for Ed's Outstanding Insoles.

"Don't wear a fancy business suit," I advised Ed, "Keep on that ball cap and tank top. It's your token of sincerity. Use a brief case only if you must."

We killed another couple of beers, listened to Shep picking a country storm on his guitar, talked some more about insoles and concluded it might be possible, with luck, to struggle out of the rut that is the lot of millions of working Americans. It was a hopeful evening.

Pothole of the Year

The winner of the Rochester Courier Pothole of the Year Contest is Stephanie Piro of Alton with her entry, Holey Moley, from Halls Hill Road. (See sketch). She was presented with the magnificent three-foot high trophy by Editor Susan Williamson. Among other entries were The Entire Length of Bunker Street submitted by Bruce Pense, the eight-inch mortar range surrounding Burnham's Video in Rochester, and a major 40-line poem by David P. Raab about a Davidson uncharted pothole which eats white men's wagons as some sort of ghostly Indian revenge...

"All attempts to find this place

Leave searchers in a muddle,

For the Secret Curse of Davidson

Hides beneath a puddle."

Woman's Club News

Farmington Woman's Club held a delightful and well-patronized March 15 meeting with the focus on June Tilton's scrumptious home cooking. Dorinda, down below in the Library, suggested the footsteps of the departing ladies at 4 p.m. seemed to sound just the merest trifle heavier. The next scheduled event, in addition to the weekly card parties, will be on June 19 when the subject of hair dressing will approached. Will Rufus peek in the window?

Umteenth Annual Art Show

Dorinda reminds the readership that the Annual Art Show will be held in the Goodwin Library through the week of April 1, with a special artists and art critics wine and cheese bash on March 30.

Bun Fight At O.K. Corral?

The current issue of the Puddledock Press pays stirring tribute to the local servicemen and women who took part in "Dessert Storm."

Somehow I don't think the Puddledock meant to insinuate the choice of weapons were custard pies at 20 paces, but with guys like Micky DePalma, Keith Gagne, and Dave Funk involved, you can never be too sure.

March 25, 1991

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