Tonight I’ll be at Ring It In Raymond — First Night Celebration — telling stories of New Hampshire town meetings through the ages. That’s at the library. Then I’ll scoot over to the Methodist Church to hear Fred Marple aka Ken Sheldon talk about the fictional town of Frost Heaves, New Hampshire. That’s what I call ringing in 2016.
Over the last couple months people have told me some new-to-me stories of town meeting and small town politics. I may float them tonight. We’ll see how friendly the crowd is.
*The road agent elaborates on his request for a new town truck. “Yuh,” he says, “it’s been a good old truck, 285 thousand miles on it. And the last twelve was towed.” Vote to approve.
*Newcomer to town is accosted by a dear little old lady who knows a stranger when she sees one. “Are you a democrat or a republican,” the dear little old lady demands. “Democrat,” says the newcomer.” Little old lady: “Thank god, there’s another one.” And they’ve been friends every since.
*That same dear little outspoken and somewhat outrageous old lady, a long-time resident of Francestown, had this to say about the infamous debate on gay marriage: “I don’t care what they do, as long as they don’t scare the horses.” End of debate.
*The new police cruiser (this was some years ago) was going to cost the town something around $5000. One of the citizens stood to protest what he thought was an outrageous expenditure. He went on for some time, turning a little purple in the face. “You don’t like the new cruiser,” called a voice from the back of the gallery.” “No, I don’t!” “Then don’t vote for it.” End of tirade.
*In Campton, the meeting house floor sloped, back to front, so it was said of the moderator: “Everybody looked down on him.”
*Discussion of the replacement for a bridge washed away in the flood: “Can’t we build it for a lot less money?” “Yup, but it won’t reach the other side.”
*On the proposed new zoning ordinance, the old timer said: “If we’d passed this 25 years ago, most of you wouldn’t be here.”
Happy 2016. May it be the best ever. And if not that, may it not be the worst.