Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dateline Woodstock:
People joke about small towns and how at around five pm they roll up the sidewalks. Here in Woodstock this week, there is so little happening (read no tourists, no nothing) that the state has contracted with FW Whitcomb & Co. (a local highway construction contractor) to roll up not only our sidewalks but also our streets. Mind you that most of the streets in the town of Woodstock are actually dirt roads, which works out extremely well. If you live in a place where winter temperatures dip down to 20 below zero or more like they do here, and there isn't that much traffic, you are actually better off with a dirt road than you are with a paved road. The boys from the Woodstock Highway Department make a couple of passes each year with the Town Grader and our many miles of dirt roads are kept in A1 condition. But the main roads, like the one running through the middle of Woodstock, are paved ! and they take quite a beating from the trucks, and busses, and all the tourist traffic that flows through our town. So the push is on for Whitcomb to grind up the existing asphalt and replace it with new, smooth pavement. All this commotion has driven the Wild Animals out of the hills and down into the center of town. John Chisholm, the State Wildlife expert tells us that moose and black bears are actually attracted to the smell of diesel exhaust, which may explain why 2 moose were spotted on the front steps of the Woodstock Library this week, and a family of black bears has been hanging around the ATM machine at the Woodstock Bank. Woodchucks are quite accustomed to sharing their backyards with moose, bear, and other furry things, but when the tourists come back next month we are hoping that FW Whitcomb will be done and the mooses and bears will have followed them on to their next job.

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