A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 184

Harley worth all the trouble

"This is the story of ordinary decent people fighting against the fleshpots of a shadowy sub-culture..."

"What utter bunk! This is merely an account of simple legal requirements and itsy bitsy procedures being correctly followed."

"Oh no, it ain't, buddy! This is the inspiring account of how a Vietnam vet, struggling through a maze of bewildering bureaucracy and having his First Amendment rights crushed underfoot, is being rescued by an army of Harley-Davidson bikers, all wearing skimpy briefs and halter tops."

"That's infernal claptrap! This is the . . ."

(Look! Either get on with this column or type up the school lunch menus. - Ed.)

Okay, already, keep your shirt on.

(Hear, hear. No halter tops in Farmington - The Decent Folks.)

Once upon a time there was a nice little industry in a nice little industrial zone, but one day it up and moved away leaving a nice big empty building out there on Route 11.

Realizing that nice little industries were becoming as rare as small whorled pegonias on a baseball diamond, a change in the law was passed in March allowing commercial and retail ventures to tiptoe into the nice industrial zone provided they have a Z.B.A. variance, planning board approval and all that other vitally essential blah.

And now comes Biker Bill from Oregon, unaware that mice, administrators and moralists are about to make his one and only laid scheme gang gey agley.

Bill rents one of those spaces in the nice big empty building and sticks up a 4' by 8' sign advertising the presence of a motorcycle repair and parts supply business. Harleys a specialty.

Bill's sign incorporates the photo of a lady, presumably taken on a hot day, wearing a halter top and short pants (Uhuh! Skimpy briefs - The Decent Folks) sitting astride a Harley Davidson bike. Hmm.

At the June 11 planning board site review/public hearing on the building reconversion, Biker Bill's sign is the focus of public input.

"Distasteful," says eagle-eyed motorist Diane Ficco, who is more offended by the nine-inch figure of the smiling Ms. Halter Top, one assumes, than by the blighted acres of abandoned gravel pit nearby.

Also the maximum size permitted to a sign is 4' by 6-3/4'. And does that size apply for the whole building or for each of the four units? That's a hard one. Hmm. Need a continuance there to work all that out. More info please. Plus building permit for said sign is another must. Building permits are obtainable from the building inspector's office.

See the building inspector's secretary, Diane Ficco. Hmm.

Since June 11, Biker Bill has made great strides towards compliance by inking in the legs of Smiley Haltertop, leaving her with a mere three square inches of pink midriff exposed, but despite this massive concession to the forces of decency there are still people cruising Route 11 and seeing red with the aid of binoculars.

"They are just trying to get rid of a Harley shop," proclaims Biker Bill's stock controller and Farmington Corner's Gardener-of-the-Month, Mr. Bubber Haycock. Harley mechanic, Mr. Eddie Michaud, whose family was once featured in this very column for giving succour to Buddy the Homeless Pigeon (see Born in the USA), nods in agreement. Bubber fighting to defend freedom, justice and the sacred name of Harley Davidson, is now appealing for support to another Farmington Corner stalwart, Mr. Wild Bill Vachon, the man who heads up the Rochester Fifth Chapter and who has biker contacts throughout northern New England thanks to an annual pig roast and tattoo fest.

The latest news is that at 8 p.m. on June 25, when the shadow of the Planning Board again falls over Biker Bill's budding business, an estimated 200 bikers, many wearing halter tops, will cruise up and down Farmington Main Street, in token, if not silent, support of bikes in general and skimpily clad ladies on Harleys in particular. Interested bikers do not call 332-1182 for full details.

Bad Luck

This column's commiserations go out to Mr. Clark Hackett, the unlucky recipient of a recent fender bender while on a mercy mission "looking for potholes" in the Spring Street area. He was forced to return to base before he could survey a huge crevasse on River Road. Clark, a Harley Davidson man until the day he dies, could possibly join the bike protest cavalcade, but is unlikely to wear a skimpy halter top.

Guess Who

Give a shout when you know who I am describing. He has a gentle and refined manner. He is the epitome of a well-bred man of character with fine feelings. Got it? No? Well, he has demonstrated great competence and leadership, earning the respect of all those he has worked alongside. Diligent and tenacious, he is a 1971 graduate of UNH. Who is he? No? Well, he has just been saluted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for outstanding service and dedication. Come on. His initials are P.C. Still not got it? Goodness me. He enjoys a good game of! Don't all yell at once like that. Yes, yes, you're all correct. It's Lt. Peter Cosgrove of Farmington Police Department. Congratulations, Pete. (You betcha!)

More Cold Looks

Sometimes great ice sheets advance slowly from the polar regions, turning fertile lands into thousands of square miles of frozen waste - and then, when things get too hot for 'em, those glaciers retreat to their northern strongholds.

Sometimes great accumulations of Royce's used stoves and freezers advance slowly towards Route 153, turning the southern flanks of Farmington into a delightful, dazzling sea of white enamel. Sometimes Royce gets a nasty letter from the town hall, and the appliances speedily retreat to their stronghold around the crusher.

My instincts tell me this phase of the cycle is drawing nigh.

June 24, 1991

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