To The Daily Sun,
Meredith's culinary home for good food and conversation was bathed in early morning light as we marched in for our morning grub. All that was missing was Handel’s "Messiah" playing in the background. The java was hot and the eggs and bacon arrived quickly. The plumber ordered a big omelet with provolone cheese. We wanted to plan our next ski outing.
The Marine leaned back and said, "This is Paradise Dynasty on the lakes. This is this best thing next to delectable oriental delicacies."
“So tell us, are the selectmen going to build a new library, raise it 3 feet from its original height, for $5 million?” asked the attorney? The carpenter, with a mouth full of French toast, managed to reply, “But the library stays in its present location, that’s a plus.”
The electrician, ordered up a refill on the coffee, took a deep pull and said, “What a deal, I have an idea, the town manager wants this road 'fix it' facility so badly, he can erect it under the library and then the librarian really gets some height. The selectmen are willing to spend $200k on buying out adjacent property. Put our town garage right on Main Street, the library on the top deck like the captain’s CP on an aircraft carrier with a magnificent view of the lake. Build an office on the super top deck for the town manager, Mr. Cardy and Mr. Faller. They’re budgeting $11 million for this extravaganza."
The gardener chimed in: “It will sit as perfection of form, seen as a perfectly cut precious stone. In the meantime, we lose our markers of identify. What do we have that defines us all? We want to protect significant buildings. I believe in preservation of architectural heritage.”
The Marine cut in, “The town manager started his career inauspiciously, and like Garibaldi, loved liberty and peace so well that he is willing to fight for this town garage.”
The plumber, eyes sleepily, watchful — furtive-stealthy, a former VN Ranger, was impassive. “I think they should build their repair garage facility on the top of the town dump, which guarantees site preservation and allows the methane gas that seeps up to be captured and heat the facility. It would be awesome. No one has to agonize over finding a site. Fairness and decency prevail. There is no interference and a soothing of their consciences about high heating bills. The top of the old trash dump is the best site par excellence.”
The Marine raised his cup, “Toast! Meredith has been blessed with a mission of spending big bucks. We will establish the noblest iconic temple ever dedicated to the excellent mechanics, and truck operators of Meredith, it will be a magnificent domain of space and time, reshaping the landscape of the town. It will stand to the economic success of this town and to our manifest destiny. Kings, sheiks, emirs, sultans, ayatollahs, hierarchs and oligarchs will come to see it."
“I was falling love with the existing town garage and repair facilities,” laughed the plumber. “We do need a new monument in town. I heard the manager wants an architecturally significant building with a unique shape, maybe an isosceles right triangle. Maybe like the Mandarin Oriental Manila. An exotic emblem. An abstraction in his memory.”
The carpenter: “Yeah, the town garage will be a marker and define us. At least there will be no demolition work required, that’s positive. The garage will symbolize us all. The town is in a construction frenzy. Forget the architecture rhetoric I heard about the library. At least they are preserving the original material and form of the building. There is a commercial value to the structure. Can our town’s economy handle this debt?”
“The manager has ambitions which are grandiose, even delusionary. Soon he will be requesting a canal between all the lakes. This garage will be a landmark colossus. Next he will be asking that we annex Canada, well maybe just Quebec.”
I said, “He believes we are an economic colossus and that the ghosts of Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J. Pierpoint Morgan live in town, that we will achieve world leadership in construction of a versatile facility that will cause profound changes and transformation of our town.”
The plumber, raised his coffee cup, “It is better that we move on the annexation of Canada. Theodore Roosevelt fulminated for annexation, it may be more practical.”
“What about the canal?” the Marine shot back. “President Roosevelt got us the Panama Canal.”
The attorney raised his coffee cup. “Let us toast: no single great material work is of such consequence to the noble citizens of Meredith.”
Richard Gunnar Juve
- Written by Edward Engler
- Category: Letters
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