Well Done!

November 18, 2009


Last weekend’s Main To Main program was yet another indication of what we can do in this town if we set our minds to it.
   Likewise, Hanson Memorial High School’s Tail-Gator jambalaya and gumbo cookoff was a pleasant reminder of days long ago when the Alligator Festival was a must-see event in Franklin on the school’s campus.
   I’m also told the Red Ribbon Arts and Crafts Bazaar in Paterson was a great success.
   Though the timing of the three events was unfortunate, I can personally attest that both the city’s Main Street program and HMS put on first-class activities. And the public responded in a way I have been saying I knew they could for a long time now.
   After last month’s Harvest Moon Festival success and the promise of an equally great showing for the Bear Festival in the spring, it should be clear to everyone that Franklin is on the move again.
   My hat is off to you all!
   Well, the first true cold spell of the season, I guess you could call it. It was 45 or so when I woke up Tuesday morning, and by the time the wind picked up later in the day felt colder.
   The good thing about it all is that the shorter days and cooler weather has reduced my lawn to almost infinitesimal growth. At least, it’s growing slowly enough that I can ignore it completely with a good conscience, and only when it starts to look a little like a punk rocker’s head might I deem to give it a trim. But probably not.
   The yard is covered with leaves. My poor fig tree has had quite the autumn. When the weather cooled, it dropped its leaves. Then it warmed up a bit, and it sprouted a beautiful coat of new ones. Now they’re falling off again. If it put that much effort into making figs and fighting off squirrels, it would deserve a medal.
   I washed the truck this weekend, first time since before grinding started. I still had some Kisatchie dirt on there from two trips ago. The hardest part was vacuuming. Every time I vacuumed up the last speck of debris, another one would fly in. It was like a Three Stooges gag. I finally timed it well enough to vacuum and slam the door shut, catching nothing more than my shirttail.
   Bogie is shedding too, though I can’t understand why. They say some Labs shed more than others, and even though I know he is far smarter than my fig tree, he is shedding as the weather cools. Yes, I know about winter coats versus summer coats and the transitional phase, but I have had serious heart-to-heart talks with him about the wisdom of shedding when it’s colder. He acknowledges my concern with a wet kiss on the face.
   Bogie’ll be two after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. That’s as close as the owners of his mom could place it, and that’s close enough for me. He’s grown into quite the little man. About 65 pounds, a medium-sized Lab of above average intelligence. He has rather bizarre allergies, and some not so odd, with reactions to things ranging from chicken gizzards to oak tree limbs. Other than that and an occasional ear infection, he’s the picture of health and quite a handsome lad at that.
   He’s very polite, well-behaved and affectionate, though his adoration for visitors has only marginally subsided. I have hopes that, after his second birthday, he will have matured enough to greet visitors with something less than the onslaught of a buffalo herd. He has calmed somewhat, to be fair.
   His training as a bird dog was delayed for various reasons, such as his little allergy problems, ear infection and master’s bad case of the lead-butt. I have no doubt he would make a superior bird dog, if I ever got the gumption to finish him up. His favorite game is fetch, which is an awful good sign.
   But his greatest talent is to snooze at our feet and…uhm…emit certain vapors. This takes the charm right off any handsome, affectionate and intelligent Labrador retriever lickety-split. He does this around Suzie more than he does me, I assume it’s because he likes her more and wants to be near her more than by me. I don’t blame him, I like her more, too, but tend to show my affection in less odorous ways.
   This usually results in one of us exclaiming unintelligible things loudly. Mere sounds, really, utterances with no true dictionary entry except in maybe the Cajun dictionary, such as POOH-YI! or KEE-YAW!
   Bogie just kinda sleeps through the whole eruption of despair. Sometimes he’ll open one eye and look vacantly out across the living room to see what’s on television. Now and then he’ll open both and glance around curiously, and on very, very rare occasions he’ll pick up his head and look curiously at whoever’s yelping, covering their face with their hands and pushing him away across the oak floor with their feet, as if asking, “What?”
   And here’s the funny part: He usually thinks all the noise and foot-pushing is due to our adoration of him, and rolls over on his back for a belly-rub.
   But he’s our puppy and we love him, though sometimes we love him through the door between the house and the workshop, where he can sleep peaceably and vaporize undisturbed.