A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 199

Good homes for tomes wanted


If you want to amaze and impress the neighbors, this, Bub, could be for you. Manny Krasner, full-time lawyer, part-time moderator and occasionally shepherd's helper, is seeking a good home for a beautifully bound, quite complete, and only slightly outdated 100-volume collection of New Hampshire law books, as he has now embraced computerization and kissed old-fashioned modes of reference good-bye. Besides, these suckers sure take up a lot of space.

Manny lugged a sample volume into Dorinda at the Goodwin Library this week, but she blanched deathly pale when she learned there were another 99 just like it, and politely refused to give them a home. She later confided that the leaden legalese was over people's heads and reminded her of the mumbo-jumbo contained in another donated work - that of Douglas Hofstadter's "Metamagical Themas" so thoughtfully given to the Goodwin Library by Mr. Ramgunshoch back in 1985 and never taken out by anybody since. Not even once. Hmmm.

Anyway, let's get back to uniting Manny with a bibliomaniac who meets with his approval. Firstly, out in his neck of the woods, the Planning Board end of Meaderboro Road, there is Ann Barden, the sole surviving member of the Slightly Obscure Books Interlocution Group (SO BIG), since Ramgunshoch got booted out and Ann Chapline fled south to Maryland. Mind you, most of Ann Barden's shelf space is consumed by dolls.

Then, at the other end of Meaderboro Road, lives the chairperson of AO BIG, (or Any Old Book Incendiary Group), who would make sure these revered tomes went out in a true blaze of glory. Or back at the Planning Board end, John Scruton is always looking for shredded paper as it apparently makes marvelous bedding for the old cow herd.

Perhaps, too, these 100 law books could lead a full and useful life in a local rest home or hospital. There is a real movement, these days, to try and wean insomniacs away from sleeping draughts, so what could be a more environmentally safe, all-natural substitute than a New Hampshire law book. Simply strap down the patient, read two or three random pages of this convovulated oppression, and healthy snores are guaranteed.

Or maybe they could be donated to the town of Middleton a.k.a. the Lawyers' Goldmine, to help people discover how they personally have been wronged, maligned, prejudiced, aggrieved, oppressed, damaged, victimized, injured, defamed, libeled, slandered, aspersed or generally given a hard time by an elected official, town employee, neighbor or even a close family member. book applicants may send their compelling reasons for owning such an enviable array of volumes to Farmington Corner, and they will be passed along to Manny. Postcards should be clearly marked "Homes for Tomes", c/o Rochester Courier, PO Box 1600, Rochester, 03867.

Library news II

Dorinda is pleased to announce that the recent Art Show attracted an all-time record high number of visitors, thanks, in part, one must assume, to the scintillating write-up in Farmington Corner. By popular vote, wood carver Carl Terrell won Best of Show for his "Horse and Wagon", Betty Demers gained second place for her painting entitled "Catnap", and Nancy Jensen's painting "Filling the Oil Lamps" received the third highest total of votes.

Farmington Corner, however, received no votes from the library trustees, which seems a little puzzling, in light of that all-time record-high number of oglers. But maybe they were concerned that the rather forthright condemnation of that old buffer, Ramgunshoch, might deter him from submitting work in the future. Don't worry, he'll be back.

On opening day, one of the more senior exhibitors, counted cross-stitcher Donna Bean, handed me an envelope. It contained the tattered remains of her late husband Joe's kite, so often mentioned in this column. Their daughter had snagged the red Boston Symphony kite high in a tree overhanging their farmhouse about seven years back and several attempts to blast it down with a shotgun (or an least kill the infernally jangling bell attached to it) failed. But on the very day Joe passed away, last year, the faded kite quietly drifted to the ground.

Thanks Donna. It is a relic that will remind me of a very fine old gentleman.

I was telling garbologist Roger Belanger the strange coincidence with the kite, incidentally, and he recalled another recent peculiarity on the day John Oakley died. A few hours later the clock, which had been performing admirably for months under Oakley's loving care, stopped for no apparent reason.

Paint that pole

Allan Drew fired off a letter to the selectmen this week telling them in no uncertain terms to stop dragging their feet, sitting on their hands, sticking their heads in the sand and get that town flag pole painted pronto. This is his umpteenth letter on the subject over the past four or five years, but his pleas have so far gone unanswered, leaving one to assume that the selectmen don't care about the flag pole. Or the American Flag!

Drew points out that substantial donations for the painting project have been made in recent months by Farmington Historical Society and Farmington Woman's Club. He also points out that Farmington Corner has panned the Woman's Club, and maybe it shouldn't. (All hail to thee, O, Woman's Club) He further divulges that the flaking structure (pole, not Woman’s Club) has a median diameter of nine inches, soars to a height of 75 feet, has a surface area of 240 square feet, and has been celebrating life as a flag pole since 1908.

May 9, 1992

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