Doc Ghesslet would like the public to remain aware of mental illness, keeping in mind that a significant percentage of the population suffers from one or another form of this invisible disease. He also says that what may be considered eccentricities in some of our citizens may have biological roots. Nippy Keen, Town Health Dept., wishes to disagree and regards local eccentricities, which he readily acknowledges, to be the result of what he so unpleasantly refers to as “social incest”: the result of an isolated population living in close proximity for several generations, therefore dissolving the common filters that prevent unusual behavior, though he concedes the remarkable ability of our citizens to embrace said eccentricities and unusual behavior while staying within traditional social and moral parameters.
Sotty Hoff’s Pub is pleased to announce that the newest batch of Verter Beer has been bottled and is ready for consumption. According to Happy Fohl, Proprietor, Miss Padden has outdone herself this year and is to be commended.
Miss Ada Sanderling wishes the public to know that she has an illness which has kept her abed these past two weeks but that she is still able to pray for the less fortunate. She hopes to recover within the next few days.
The manager of the Uringineers Baseball Club, has announced an important meeting this Thursday evening in the Coulter Building Ballroom regarding the construction of a baseball field in Sycamore Shadows next spring. The Evening Shade urges everyone to attend this important meeting.
Sammy “Blue” Bellhorn wishes to announce that he will have a great stock of healthy crayfish, minnows, and nightcrawlers for local anglers next year, and that prices will remain the same as long as citizens remain so generous in their support. Night fisherman are reminded to please be quiet when buying bait after 11 pm and to mark their purchase on the clipboard hanging inside the door. Ada Sanderling says perhaps the men of the town could find something more constructive to do than plan next year’s fishing expeditions in late December.
Elmer Flair, Flair Cleaners, says that ever since the Church of the Lost Lamb changed communion cups he’s seen a marked increase in neckties with grape juice stains and suggests men throw their tie over their shoulder when taking communion.
While remodeling, Cass Padden opened a wall which he is certain has not been disturbed since the house was built in 1940, and discovered a pair of ladies panties and a hockey stick. He says it makes a person wonder.
Charlie Sternwiess, Sycamore Savings Bank, says that rumors of an underground railroad era tunnel running from beneath the bank to Sanderling Park are untrue. He says that local sentiment was so strongly in favor of abolition that an underground tunnel would have hardly been necessary. He further cautions the public not to take Mr. Dowd and his divining rod seriously.
Ernie Stump, Stump’s Barber Shop, says he bought a new guitar for the shop which anyone is welcome to play while they wait.
Craig Wetzel, Imaginactory, says he saw a Louisiana Waterthrush near Sanderling’s Run, behind his building in Augsut and forgot to mention it.
Edwina Dulcet, Dulcet’s Music Store, is willing to trade music lessons with someone willing to mow her yard.
Sammy “Blue” Belhorn reports that several citizens drive much too fast over the bridge. He wishes to remind the public that it is a covered bridge, not a rifle barrel.
Doc Ghesslet says this will be a bad year for tics.
Mayor Chibble has announced that May 1, 2013 will be street-cleaning day. Due to confusion in past years as to which side of the street to vacate, the following schedule has been put in place: at 9 am every car owner with a vehicle parked on a city street is requested to stand with their car to their right, facing the front of the car. If you are looking north, please move your car. If you are looking in any other direction, you may return to your business. Volunteers with compasses will be available throughout the town to assist those unable to ascertain the proper direction. At 12 pm, do the same; only this time if you are looking east, move your car. At 2 pm, stand beside your vehicle once again, moving it if you find yourself facing a southerly direction. At 4 pm stand beside your car one last time. If you are looking west, move your vehicle. If you are not, your day is done. Mayor Chibble also wishes to remind the citizens that we still need several alternate street sweepers. Interested citizens may pick up a complimentary broom at Burson’s Hardware.
Nippy Keen, City Council, wishes it to be known that he believes the new street-cleaning schedule to be the most idiotic thing he’s ever heard.
Edna Minzel says someone who eats a lot of TV dinners keeps putting trash in her cans, therefore she hardly has room for her personal garbage. She wishes everyone would kindly use their own trash receptacles and reminds them that TV dinners aren’t healthy.
Andy Bollman, Postmaster, warns that wanted posters are government property and defacing them by drawing cross-eyes, beards and eyeglasses is technically a crime. Although he wouldn’t prosecute for what is obviously a joke, he wishes the perpetrator would stop.
Wid Coulter said he’s seen three falling stars this week and wonders if anyone else has noticed the same.
Cleb Bowman has decided not to plant a garden next year and wishes the public to know they are welcome to use his tomato stakes.
Wilson Hahn lost a hubcap on Kishwaukee St.
Dulcet’s Music Store is offering a seminar on building a gourd banjo. Contact the store for details.
Gertilla Mayberry says that a prankster turned down the flag on her mailbox, therefore Andy Bollman put the day’s mail on top of the letter she wrote for her sister. She wishes to thank the prankster for costing her a long distance call after she was forced to phone the recipe.
Ned Hammer wishes to inform whoever lost their frisbee on his roof that the recent rain washed it off and they may get it out of his garage.
Rube Elder says the popcorn machine at the Utopia Theater has broken down and the part will not arrive until Friday, therefore patrons are allowed to bring their own popcorn this week only.
Each August, I begin to hear periodic thomps and bomps from roofs, dumpsters, and the car of anyone silly enough to park beneath one of the several black walnut trees located between the Imaginactory and Sotty’s. Nippy Keen gathers them for the meat, Ssnuff Tucker grinds them up for the husks to boil and coat his leg-hold traps, and I gather some to make walnut ink. For making ink, think rotten. Though green husks will eventually cook down, it’s much quicker when black, gooey hulls are used. They’re messier but if messy is a concern, my recommendation is to avoid black walnuts in general. While not necessary, you should also remove the husks from the shell and break the husks into smaller pieces. The more surface area of the husks you expose, the quicker the process will be and you can be certain of getting as much color as possible. Once again, it’s not necessary but it does make the process faster. If you add iron to the pot, the reaction between the tannin in the husks and the iron will help to darken the ink. Any iron will do, but I prefer tossing in several railroad spikes. (more…)
Curly Dowd hit a walnut with a baseball bat last week and while he ended up paying for damages in addition to the fine, everyone agreed it was an impressive shot. He’s the best hitter Sycamore Shadows has had for years, though he lacks base-running intelligence and usually manages to get caught between first and second, typically during the late innings in a game of consequence. Abigail and Happy happened to be nearby when Curly hit the walnut and Happy estimated it was on a trajectory to reach five or six hundred feet if it hadn’t been stopped by the third-floor window of Freese’s (more…)
Ford or Chevy. Conservative or Liberal. Dog or cat. Things have a way of polarizing into two choices, the most important being Wilma Flintstone or Betty Rubble. For me, the red hair makes it easy but I’ve known seemingly sensible, otherwise normal men who’d jump into bed with Betty and leave Wilma on the stone couch. I don’t understand it. Unless they figure they’d rather face the (more…)
Elizabeth Clump will have a garage sale this coming weekend, April 6-8, to dispose of her late husband’s effects. Tools, firearms, fishing equipment, and an extensive collection of polished rocks will be available. The Sisters of Ruth Cross Stitch Club, of which Mrs. Clump is a member, will provide refreshments.
The Sons of the Battle of Little Beaver will meet at Sotty Hoff’s Pub on March 30, 6pm, to discuss the upcoming Carrie Sanderling Festival. All citizens are welcome to attend this important meeting.
Miss Ada Sanderling will hold a prayer meeting at the Sanderling Mansion next Sunday evening. She says that the recent prank in which the Minuteman Statue was clothed in women’s lingerie is indicative of the general moral decay of this town, which according to her, should be called Nineveh. Anyone attending is requested to bring candles.
Curly Dowd would like to charter a bus again this year for a Pirates game and wants to know who is interested.
Wilma Flair reported that she had her laundry hanging outside on the line and someone turned all the clothes inside out while she was napping.
The Sycamore Shadows Uringineers begin spring training next week. Anyone wishing to try out for the team should bring their bat and glove.
Mayor Chibble wishes to compare the condition of our roads with those of nearby East Liverpool, Ohio, which, according to Mayor Chibble, “would tax the powers of a Mars rover.” According to the mayor, “The roads in East Liverpool are a disgrace. I’d be ashamed to be mayor of that town. Many of the roads are impassable for anything but a tank.”
Rube Elder, Utopia Theater, says that unless patrons refrain from throwing peanut shells on the floor of the theater he will quit selling them, adding that in addition to the mess, the crunching disturbs other patrons when trying to watch the movie.
Curly Dowd states that he has discontinued production of Dowd’s Drop Cough Drops and wishes to thank the public for nothing.
Since several new residents have pet crows, crow hunting within the town limits is now prohibited.
Miss Tepniss of Boston has been visiting her aunt, Mrs. Minzel of this town. Though her lack of a left arm is undoubtedly a curiosity, the public has been requested to refrain from staring. Parents are encouraged to take extra care with their children. Miss Tepniss is an accomplished singer and will lead the congregation in Leaning on the Everlasting Arms at next Sunday’s morning services.
There is a room available at the Chibble apartments which Mayor Chibble says is perfect for singles, divorcees, or old folks.
Wilson Hahn, of Hahn’s Tobacco, is pleased to announce his annual Smokes for Folks Day to be held in conjunction with the National Free From Tobacco Day, April 13. Each customer will receive a free corncob pipe filled with the tobacco of their choice.
Oliver Freese, of Freese’s Grocery, requests that the public not write on the bulletin board with markers. He says that cards and thumbtacks are provided as a service.
Rube Elder would like someone to help change marquee bulbs at the theater. His recent injury has made it painful for him to ascend a ladder and he’ll give two tickets and free Twizzlers® to anyone willing to help.
Residents are requested not to use Christmas lights out of season.
Several citizens have complained that Fingus’ Drug Store has refused to sell them contraceptives simply because they are unwed. Mayor Chibble wishes to remind everyone that a limited selection of contraceptives are available at Hotchkin’s Filling Station for emergencies and that it is Mr. Fingus’ right to refuse sale to anyone in violation of his beliefs. The mayor wishes it to be noted that he makes no judgment on the issue.
Abigail Padden will soon be brewing a new batch of Verter Beer for the upcoming summer drinking season and hopes that everyone will continue to respect her privacy while at the brewery.
Craig Wetzel, of the Imaginactory, wishes to announce several upcoming art classes in the coming months. In addition to his wildly successful Fundamentals of Painting class, he will also offer Cracking Egg Tempera, and The Fundamentals of Drawing. You may visit his website for more information.
Ssnuff Tucker, recently returned to our town, has begun collaborating on a novel with Craig Wetzel, which they intend to publish later this year. Mr. Tucker says it is a “coming of age” story, loosely based on an incident while in high school and promises to be full of fun, adventure, and many laughs. Knowing Ssnuff, Mr. Wetzel will almost certainly complete the bulk of the writing.
Cleb Bowman says he is finished remodeling his house and his dumpster is only half full. Therefore, anyone with extra trash is welcome to use it.
Miss Ada Sanderling complains that the neon sign at the Imaginactory shines through her window at night and keeps her awake. Craig Wetzel, owner of the Imaginactory and great-nephew of Miss Sanderling, says that her bedroom is at the back of the house and the sign is hardly visible from the front. Officer Penrose considers the matter a family affair and refuses to take action.
Mayor Chibble says that the recent local campaign “Keep it in the Shade,” has been a great success. Most retailers have reported significant increases in sales and wish to continue the promotion throughout the year, though some business owners have expressed their reservations, saying that over-saturation could have the opposite effect.
Miss Hartwish wishes the public to know that she and her camera will once again be available on selected weekends this summer. Please stop by her booth in the city park to have your tintype taken. Period costumes will be provided. Let’s all have our picture taken this year to encourage this young entrepreneur. I’m certain we’ll be seeing great things from her in the future.
With the fishing season fast approaching, we’d like to remind our sporting citizens that though Sycamore Shadows does not recognize current game laws and will do everything possible to shield residents from prosecution, individuals are still subject to state laws if caught. Therefore, we encourage all fishermen to be watchful. Citizens are admonished to be good stewards, never wasting game and keeping only what they need for the table.
It began on a Sunday morning while we were singing “I Was a Lowly Sheep”, which is sort of our unofficial theme song at church since it was written by local composer William Sanderling. No one would admit that our church has a theme song, the same as a high school or a sitcom, but I’ve been attending for nearly fifty years and don’t remember a service in which it wasn’t the opening hymn. We had reached the chorus and the volume was beginning to swell as it always does when we get to the part which goes “lowly flock in wooley fold.” Folks who are prone to get excited about spiritual matters tend to burst into the chorus with abandon, as if the composer had notated “detonate explosives here.” Visitors who don’t know what to expect and sleepers who should have enough respect to stay awake until the sermon begins always jump, grip their hymnals tighter, and sing with additional fervor themselves, producing a secondary burst like an echo, adding to the commotion, and the p’s at the end of “sheep” pop off so loudly that it sounds as if someone is breaking bubblewrap in the auditorium. Pap always said that while the Lord may appreciate the zeal, it’s rather annoying here on earth. The only other time folks swell up that way in church is when there are words in a song which they aren’t permitted to speak elsewhere, such as “Hell”, “damned”, or especially the hymn with the second verse that ends with ”don’t kick against the pricks, brother,” a particular favorite of Curly Dowd when he leads the singing. I don’t remember the title of that song, but it’s #346 in the book. We had just passed the major burst and were nearly through the secondary swell when everyone noticed a baaaaaaaaa sound, like there was a sheep in the baptistry. (more…)
Charlie Sternwiess, President and Chief Teller of the Sycamore Savings Bank, would like to remind the public that the boardroom is available for meetings, free of charge to local residents. He states that he has offered this free service for several years and no one has taken advantage of the offer.
Oris Hocket would like to organize a town bird count in time for the 2012 spring warbler migration and requests that any interested parties please contact him. He stresses that while experienced birders are always needed, novices are welcome, and wishes to make certain the public understands that the count will not be a safari, therefore firearms will be prohibited. Mr. Hocket reminds all residents that killing any migratory songbird carries a stiff penalty.
The Crawdad Club will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7pm. The theme of the meeting will be “Buccaneers” and all men attending the meeting are required to dress appropriately and conduct themselves in a pirate-like fashion. Rum and ale will be provided and buxom wenches will be available for conversation and sea shanties from 8-10.
Several citizens have complained that the growing numbers of Canada Geese at Sycamore Park are becoming a nuisance. According to numerous reports, the geese are aggressive and have soiled the grounds to the extent that strolling through the park is similar to “negotiating a minefield.” Mr. Keen has offered the services of his dog, Ponder, with whom everyone is familiar, stating that he could easily be trained to harass the geese so that they leave. After the incident last year in which a goose attacked a young girl walking her dog, public sentiment against the despicable waterfowl has risen and several geese have been reported missing, though Happy Fohl, owner of local eatery Sotty Hoff’s, states that it is merely coincidental that he has recently offered roast goose on the menu. When asked to reveal his source for the geese, Happy declined to comment.
Mr. Garton Purby reports he has found a pet groundhog and will hold it in his garage for another three days, after which he will let it loose if no one comes forward to claim it. The rodent appears to be a young male, has a patch of nearly white fur on its chest, walks with a slight roll and is wearing an Ohio State sweater. It has done some damage gnawing, therefore Mr. Purby respectfully requests that the owner buy him new hedge clippers. He says people shouldn’t catch groundhogs if they are not going to take care of them.
The Sister of Ruth Cross Stitch Club will meet next Tuesday at the Fields of Boaz Hall (Adelphie Dowd’s basement) at 7 pm. Members are requested not to bring meatballs as there were an estimated 72 meatballs per person at the last meeting.
The Oak tree in Sycamore Park has been examined by a tree specialist from Youngstown who stated that despite its appearance, the tree is structurally sound and there is no immediate danger to the children playing beneath it.
Otto Hopp, Director of the Angel’s Rest Funeral Home, is pleased to announce their annual winter sale. All scheduled funerals will come with free announcement printing , one medium bouquet , and a gift certificate good for two free desserts at the Girded Loin Restaurant . The special will run through the current sickly season, expiring on the first day of spring. Due to the number of patrons who scheduled funerals up to fifty years in the future during last year’s sale, Mr. Hopp has stipulated that the services must take place before the first day of spring or that payment must (more…)
Owner Lloyd L. Chalmers would like to announce that new fly rods are available for the 2012 season and may be tested across the street in the pond at Sycamore Park, though the public is cautioned to refrain from casting near the ducks after the unfortunate incident last year. The public is also reminded that the limited edition bamboo fly rod lost in the aforementioned pond last year by Mr. Curly Dowd remains the property of Hibb’s Department Store and anyone recovering said fly rod is requested to return it immediately, where they will be given a selection of flies or a toaster as a reward.
Hibb’s Department Store, Lloyd Lloyd Chalmers, Owner, Sycamore & Park St., Sycamore Shadows, OH
There is no better introduction to a town than through a covered bridge. The car rises, you enter the shade, the bridge rattles and shakes as only a wooden bridge can do, and then you pop into the sunlight and the town is suddenly in view, Sammy Blue’s Bait Shack immediately to the left. with Doc Ghesslet’s office straight ahead, partially visible through the Sycamore trees. Built in 1883 (more…)
I am pleased to announce that I have a new shop at IMAGISTORE.COM. There are already prints and postcards available and I will be adding new items each week. Quite a few people have already bought Imaginactory t-shirts and I hope to add them as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Aerial View of the Imaginactory
I sketched this last week and then colored it in Photoshop. Eventually, I hope to have close-up views of each area of town that I can incorporate into an interactive map. I was forced to scrunch things closer than what they are in actuality but otherwise, it’s accurate. The brewery is located just outside of the map, in the trees to the southeast. Abigail said if I didn’t bother to put it in the map, at least have the decency to mention it. Here you go, Abigail.
If you’re interested in maps, visit IMAGIMAPCO.COM
This e-book is free to all the wonderful Imaginactory subscribers. Let me know which reader you have and I’ll e-mail it to you.