Life in the Shadows

Minister Westminster will read the Declaration of Independence to the public on the steps of the Church of the Lost Sheep, Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., followed by a ceremony at the burying ground near the graves of our five Revolutionary War veterans: Christian Coon, John Hurd, Carrie Sanderling, Isaac Sanderling, and Neville Sanderling.

Since Tuesday is Independence Day it may be interesting to note that Gideon Bowman, with the exception of his wife, Aedre, the most prominent individual in Sycamore Shadows history, was a friend and correspondent of Thomas Jefferson. Both Bowman and Jefferson were born in Albemarle County, Virginia, and the interior of Bowman’s house, Kentunhe Hill, shows Jeffersonian influence.

Why do people fish? Why do we feel so much pleasure and satisfaction after fooling a creature whose brain is the size of a shrunken butterbean? If we fished for Koreans or Finns, a catch would be something to brag about—they’re as smart as we are, and might try to hook us at the same time—but fish? I love the sport, but I’ve never understood the attraction.

Wilson Hahn thinks that’s the dumbest thing I’ve written yet. You just wait, Wilson.

Charlene Rapp asks whether Sycamore Shadows is located in a valley, a vale, or a dell. I like valley, but vale and dell may sound better in a song. Are you writing a song, Charlene?

Oris Hocket says that plain paper substitutes are always available at the Girded Loin for patrons who feel uncomfortable wiping their mouths on scripture. He will continue to offer the scripture napkins, however. “It’s the only Bible some people get,” he tells me.

Have you noticed an unfamiliar ponytail in town this week? It belongs to the ridiculously lovely Miss Phoebe Jo Fairbottom of Cutting’s Corner, Vermont, who will conduct much-needed restoration of the pioneer corner of the Sycamore Shadows Burying Ground. An experienced cemetery restoration specialist and expert stone carver, Miss Fairbottom has directed restoration projects throughout the New England and mid-Atlantic states. She hopes to complete the project by this time next year. Yes, bachelors, she is single.

Ethel Mayberry wishes to thank the person who took her clothes off the line and left them on her porch, but she prefers her underwear folded, not rolled.

  George Keene says a pretty girl is never quite as pretty once you’ve kissed her on the lips. Wise words coming from a fourteen-year-old. Who got the kiss, George?

Wilson Hahn adds, “George, if you think a kiss on the lips ruins their looks, try marrying one.”

Frances Hahn says Wilson will need a place to stay for several days.

Mayor Chibble requests that citizens not discharge firearms after 9 p.m. on weekdays during the summer months. It frightens tourists.

Tom Defoe begs forgiveness from everyone who was offended by his recent attempt at topiary. He had no idea how the shape appeared to motorists. “That still doesn’t mean the preacher has a right to trim my shrubs without permission,” he adds.

Curly Dowd has photos of the topiary if anyone missed it.

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