A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 198

Jesse Helms, where are you?

Right here in Farmington we need our very own official censor, complete with iron fist and shark's teeth, for how else are we to combat the outrage that has been committed in the name of Art in the Henry Wilson Room of the Goodwin Library?

And when people flock there next week to take in the ninth annual exhibit, they will soon see what I am yelling about.

A few years ago, well-loved local artist Jeanie Blinkinsop-Blinkinsop executed a dazzling work (praised in this very column) called "Moon of the Popping Trees." A breathtaking swirl of color it was, I vividly recall, with an extra-bright yellow splodge down in its lower right hand corner. But now, in 1992, up comes "Tree of the Popping Moons," the work of one Rantin Ramgunshoch, equally dazzling and swirly admittedly, but with that give-away yellow splat now in the upper right hand corner! This outrageous old buffer, I have deduced, has somehow laid his paws on Blinkinsop's original work, turned it through 90 degree angle, pasted on a tree trunk and caused some multi-colored planetary debris to explode out of its branches. Jesse Helms, do we have a job for you!

And there are other bizarre, if less outrageous, works at this exhibit, claiming to be Art. Mr. Roger Belanger has entered a collage dubbed "A History of Fires on Main Street," although he regrettably omitted Forghetti Spaghetti, the famous supper pan blaze in the Show Biz block. A second collage, of garbology gleanings, is equally noteworthy.

Then there is the picture of a woman being decapitated by a seven-pronged white hay fork, courtesy of Fran and Milli Gay, inexplicably entitled "Leda and the Swan." Stands out at 60 feet, that one. Elizabeth Nute/Bridges has submited a painting of Nute/Chapel, Jean Wright has executed a beautiful lakescape with flying dolphins, and Dottie Lemay has painted a haunting picture called "Death Waits." It has been hung thoughtfully, by Dorinda, directly below Ramgunshoch's piece of sacrilege.

The ever-interesting Susan Mayo continues to remain true to her artistic roots with "Dance of Princess Di," a delicate satire in creme and mauve, and another old name from the past, Donna Bean, has submitted a counted cross-stitch of the farm on Meetinghouse Hill Road. Her husband, a great favorite of Farmington Corner, sadly died last year, and staring hard at Donna's work, I thought I glimpsed a tiny red stitch in a tree over-hanging the farmhouse marking where his kite once got hooked.

Grandma Larry Parent has entered a deliberately fussy work, Mary Jensen deserves a special mention for her "Filling the Oil Lamps" and having enough paint left over to do "Country Living." Lorraine Vanesse of Milton, a newcomer to the show, has excelled with "Apple-Please," regular Joe Henry has neatly captured Jeannie's Volkswagen buses, Ed Demers has carved more delightful ducks, and Carl Tirrell has joined the act with a rocking workhorse which, astonishingly, he carried in single-handedly. All this...and much more. Opens on Monday for one week!

Witenagemot news

Among the first items discussed by selectmen last Monday was something about taxis, but as this column's old friend, Archie Corson, did not seem to be implicated, the topic did not rise to the level of news.

Next up was the fascinating, although complex, issue of umpteen trailers plus a garage on White Birch Lane. Was a tax rebate in order? That was the question. Under the eagle eye of audience Joe Pitre and the blistering glare of the one-man press, selectmen toiled towards the heart of a problem which seemed to have more layers than a $5 onion. That garage kept popping up. The one that blew down in 1987, but clung to life via a property tax bill at least until 1989 or maybe 1990. It was finally decided to pack the assessor off to White Birch Lane and then, lo and behold, everything would get straightened out by next week. Hmmm! People shuffled, rather than skipped, away.

Then it was time to find out if the seasonal posting of Farmington's hot-top roads with a tonnage limit was a good idea. How does Butch Barron get his equipment out of Ridge Road? How may John Cardinal move his stuff into Watson Corner Road? Should there be exceptions for owners living on those streets?

"Can of worms," cried Selectman Biff, revealing, helpfully or otherwise, that in the North Country loggers move their loads by night. What did that mean? Should backhoes sneak around in the wee hours? Was this the official nod and a wink? The witenagemot is a hard animal to fathom. Anyway, Clarky, fresh from a victorious conversion of Thibideau's Glacier into a Dutch polder, will now have to re-post, de-post or compost roads at his own discretion.

Next came the delicate issue of the Moholland Plaque. Sailor Robert Moholland of North Main Street (near the Show Biz block) was the last town resident to return home after Desert Storm and was the only participant not to be given a welcoming parade - an oversight fortunately kept from the ears of Barbara Bush when she visited to Farmington. To rectify things, a plaque has been commissioned - of real wood -, emphasized Selectman Barbara. It incorporates a picture, seals and symbols and measures 12" x 17. (Having heard the trailer debate, the press corps took this last snippet with a grain of salt.)

"There are words that I can't remember," continued Barbara, "and eight plates affixed to the sides, representing The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, the D.A.V., the V.F.W. (prompt from the press on that one), the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Desert Storm families, and the Parks and Recreation Department."

Since Moholland is back at base in Norfolk, Va., the witenagemot will try to have it delivered by an important person drawn from the field of politics.

Mr. Joe Pitre then raised the subject of why he, a Vietnam veteran, had his name inexplicably omitted from the prominent plaque outside the American Legion, opposite Town Hall and adjacent to the Show Biz block. He was referred to the American Legion on this one, and may have to engage in battle with his sometimes rival in the annual selectman's race, Allen Drew.

Welcome home news II

Expected back in town this weekend from warmer climes are Eddy and Betty Mros, and this impeding arrival mighty account for recent nocturnal flittings on South Main Street and the sudden appearance of a dozen golf balls on their front lawn. Knowing Mr. Mros to be an avid collector of second-hand golf balls, I can only suggest such objects are some sort of substitute for a welcome home parade.

April 5, 1992

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