09 Dec the Grippe and the Town Clerk
I hope I am finally recovering from a forty-eight-hour flu which has gripped every aching corner of my body. All I could manage to do was to rest and sleep…and those delirious dreams.
Art of Action: I had scheduled a portrait session with Laura Sumner for 4:00PM, which I mustered up the strength to execute. I am glad I went, even though my drawing was very poor and discouraging. I actually felt extremely embarrassed to reveal my sketching efforts to Laura, considering that she was so kind as to sit patiently for me for two and a half hours. We were alarmed to learn midway through the session that one of the town excavators had overheated, caught fire, and burned…Fortunately, the driver smelled something, looked over his shoulder to see the flames, and jumped off, and was therefore not hurt.
Laura showed me antique weights and measures made especially for the town, consisting of four copper pitchers ranging in size from small to large, as well as a bucket studded with a band of beautifully-fashioned large nailheads. Extremely tiny were a series of diminutive seals running along the mouth rim of each vessel, included a three-masted ship. Laure piqued my imagination when she said that it was rumored that they had been a gift from the King of England…Imagine a gift from such pre-eminence to such an obscure wilderness town. Also, ledgers from Halifax dating back to the early eighteenth century, recording deeds, livestock earmarked with different symbols identifying the owner; for example, a half-penny on the left ear.
Laura carefully kept these massive volumes of records in her house until 1992 when the elementary school expanded and provided a new space for the Town Clerk. Prior to this time, Laura’s home served as the town’s office, for twenty-five years. Initially, she loved having the opportunity to meet so many different kinds of people, especially hunters, for whom she would make pies and coffee. However, she does not miss people calling on her at 5:30AM, or 10:30 at night. Now, you must make an appointment to do business with the Town Clerk.