Thursday, May 8, 2008

Small town gossip

Our house is located right on one of the two main streets in town. About 1/4 mile south of our house is the intersection of the two streets and about 1/4 mile north of our house is the high school.

There is a lot of foot traffic by our house--recreational walkers, school age kids on skateboards and teenagers experimenting with their individuality.

Often there is drama accompanying the teenagers, not so much with the recreational walkers and the kids on skateboards. This evening as we were watching the Red Sox, I heard loud sobs and saw two girls embracing and crying on the sidewalk in front of our house. I went out to see if this was something that could be helped with a drink of water or a band aid and was met with one of them saying, "Boy problems." Oh, well, can't help you there.

One night last winter, we were awoken by flashing blue lights coming through the curtains in our room. Ever curious (and nosy) I got out of bed to see that the police had pulled over a truck in front of our house. I kept watching as the police discovered that the driver of the truck had a warrant out for his arrest. At this point I woke C up, this was too good to let him sleep through.

C isn't the experienced snoop that I am, so he wasn't really comfortable peering through the curtain at 2 a.m., but the level of excitement increased to where he couldn't very well go back to bed. There was a passenger in the truck but apparently he didn't have a license so with the driver going off to jail, there was some discussion about what to do with the passenger and the truck.

Soon, another car came along and parked across the street--we gathered that the newcomer was the father of the passenger. We noticed (as did the police) that the newcomer got out of his car somewhat belligerently and definitely holding a beer bottle. The police discovered that the newcomer also had a warrant for his arrest--so out came the handcuffs yet again and he went into the back of the police car, too. So, now we are up to two cars whose drivers are headed to jail and one passenger whose level of anxiety was increasing in volume.

At this point, the policeman called for backup from a neighboring town. Dixfield only has one policeman on duty at night and the situation, while being handled well by the lone officer, was starting to blossom. The policeman warned the passenger several times to get himself under control--at this point I should add that the passenger was, shall we say... very hefty.

The young man did not get himself under control and, in fact, grew more combative and started to threaten the policeman. Fortunately, the other policeman got there about that time, because we were starting to wonder if we should reveal ourselves and come to the policeman's aid. They ended up arresting the young man, too, although Policeman #1 was out of handcuffs and had to borrow some from Policeman #2. The young man's girth was such that he couldn't be handcuffed in the traditional manner and the suspension on the police car was seriously compromised.

Eventually the policeman headed off on the 45 minute drive to the jail, by morning the cars were moved by other family members who presumably did not have pending arrest warrants and we woke up wondering if had all been a very strange dream.


beckie said...

Small town life has no equal! We live on Main street and have had some interesting shows in our years here. And while I sometimes am annoyed that everyone in town knows everyone's business, it was a great place to raise our girls. I never worried about them because I knew everyone in town would keep an eye on them.

The Texican said...

I don't think "Cops" has done a segment on the one Cop in Dixfield. Great story, I would have remembered it. Even small towns can get a little dicey at times. I see the word awoken used a lot today - was it always acceptable English? What ever happened to awakened? Just curious - perhaps some modern grammarian can help out. :)

Beth said...

Beckie, that's for sure-no secrets but lots of eyes on the kids.

Texican, it would be hard to find sponsors for a Cops show set in Dixfield. Not sure about awoken, it sounded right but I ain't no english expert.

Jayne said...

LOL... how surreal! Every town has those sorts of stories I suppose, and living on the main drag, I guess you all get to see and hear plenty.

beth said...

Great story, girl! Love the pictures, too. My dream is to live just like that - in a small town, on Main Street, walking distance from the library.

Maybe I ought to head your direction and add 'nightly law enforcement entertainment' to my list of dreams...

Marianne said...

Ha! Better than TV, eh? I know small town and it can be quite entertaining. Just look at our necks from stretching them so far so often! I love the clothesline shot. My dream roadtrip is to travel the country for a month or two, photographing clotheslines. xo Marianne

TheElementary said...

A great story. There's nothing like small-town life. There's always something going on.
You reminded me of the film, 'The Burbs' where someone says there's 'always something happening.'
There always is. I loved this story.

Beth said...

Jayne,we see plenty but it's all small town silly stuff--nothing really newsworthy but still entertaining.

Beth, it is nice to be able to walk to most everything we really need. Walmart is farther away, but maybe we don't really need Walmart?

Marianne, now that's a book idea I like--actually I put the picture up there because I thought "airing the dirty laundry" was another way to express gossip, but it must have been too subtle, no one seems to have caught it.

The Elementary, I haven't seen that movie, but I'll put it on the list. Thanks for feedback.

Rondi said...

My! That was some story! I enjoyed it!

katie said...

My husband doesn't quite possess my level of curiousity either. I'm right there in the window when the situation warrants it.

Growing up in Bath, Maine, we had a fire alarm horn that would blast at certain intervals to indicate where a fire was. Although I never wished the devastation of a fire on anyone, I kinda liked the horn and would listen for the short and long blasts. We had alarm code keys upstairs and downstairs that would tell the street in Bath where the fire was reported from. Now my heart rate picks up a bit, but I am left to contemplate, 'should I get in my car and follow that fire engine?' (I don't.)

Beth said...

Thanks, Rondi.

Thanks for the comment Katie, I know what you mean about the fire engines--I'd never follow them but once I let Archie follow on his bicycle when he was in 6th grade and then he came home and reported.

Marianne said...

Oh, I got the message! In fact, that is why I love clotheslines. Our things so personal, so ours, waving in the breeze like Tibetan peace flags. Spreading our story on the wind.

Beth said...

Marianne, great imagery! I love that, yes sign me up to help you with your clothesline book.