Aftermath (Part One)
Hello Dear Readers. This is the 100th column of “I Remember.” Most people appreciate feedback. It can motivate as well as instruct. I am no different. I would therefore welcome your vote up or down as to whether I should continue my column. Please yea or nay by emailing me at email@example.com or calling the News at 802-485-6397. I will abide by your collective decision. Thank you
We last left Mike and the Ravens’ amazing rhythm section otherwise known as Young, Blodgett and Lyford or on occasion Moe, Curly and Larry skedaddling from the Stowe Community Church around 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning Labor Day weekend, 1962. They had just pulled-off the prank of the century or so they thought and had escaped Scot-free. (Or as some might say, “Welsh liberated.”) An entire album of the greatest hits of 1958 had just been stridently broadcasted to local residents over the church’s robust belfry speaker system. My. My. Fast forwards several hours later. The story continues.
Steve Blodgett’s mother, Alice, as she often did on Sundays, made a quick trip for supplies the next morning to a little grocery located directly across Main Street from the Stowe Community Church. She, like Son John, had slept through the early-morning pandemonium. At the checkout counter, the shop’s cashier began a dialog while at the same time eyeballing her with a steely gaze that Alice interpreted later to mean “It was your son, wasn’t it?”
“Hi, Alice. Boy, that was something last night, huh? They don’t know who did it, but I hear the church was trashed.”
“Really,” replied Alice, who was unsure what the cashier was speaking about. “The church, you say? The one across the street?”
“Yes, and as I said, they don’t know who did it.”
As Alice left the store and drove home, she ran the conversation over and over in her mind. There was something odd in the way the clerk kept staring at her as she emphasized the phrase “They don’t know who did it.” And then it hit her right before she turned into her driveway. Oh dear, she thought. It had to be Steve, Peter, and Brian. They often joked about it.
It was Sunday, September 2, 1962, around nine in the morning. The three stooges sat around the Youngs’ kitchen table drinking coffee and regaling each other about the events of the previous evening. There were no parents in the vicinity.
“The greatest prank in the history of Vermont would not have occurred but for my savvy technological skill,” said Brian. “You can, from now on, call me Mr. Einstein, thank you very much.”
“Whoa, Nellie. You’re forgetting that I put my life on the line to secure the light source that allowed you to fiddle and faddle with the controls. You got lucky,” I said.
“I think you both are forgetting who came up with idea in the first place,” said Steve. “If it wasn’t for me, the Stoweman, there would not have been any prank, much less a historic one.”
“I think we can all take a bow. I wonder what’s happening in Stowe right now. Mass chaos? Indignation? Anger? Maybe some are simply just laughing at a stunt well done,” I said.
The phone rang.
“Hey, Steve, it’s for you,” I said. “It’s your mother.”
Oh, my god! Why would Alice Blodgett be calling her son, Steve? Has the case been cracked? By the “Barney Fife” deputy-sheriff who vowed on the steps of the church just a few hours earlier that he would bring to justice the blasphemous sons-of-bitches who invaded his town with the devil’s music? The Shadow knows and you will know as well if you examine next week’s Northfield News, Central Vermont’s oldest continuing weekly. Same time. Same url. Or pick up a copy at your friendly local store. Of course, a subscription would even do you better. Just like the Carling’s Black Label beer commercial of old, It’s a premium rag at the popular price.
Peter Young’s new book, “Tales from the Dog (And More)” is available locally at the Northfield Pharmacy, Shear Edge hair salon and the Northfield Historical Society as well on amazon.com and Kindle. It’s a collection of short stories about Northfield and its college on the hill with a ton of vintage photos of times and people past. Take a gander and try it!
Most of Peter’s musings in “I Remember” are from his book “Flatlander and the Rise and Fall of Mike and the Ravens” which recently received the 2016 silver/second place prize from the Feathered Quill Book Awards Program in the best humor category and is also available locally as described above and Bear Pond Books in Montpelier. It can also be purchased on the Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kindle web sites.