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Guiness - A Billy Story

Ever since Bobby Turner'd taken over from his Dad I don't think there'd been a lick of news worth printing. Not since '46 when silly Sally Cochrane'd set her couch on fire and darn near lost her house if it hadn't been for Jack Tierney. Gunderson had caused a little excitement but that incident is merely whispered about in parlors. No, I guess poor Bobby spent most of his time printin about who's been invited to who's place for dinner, babies bein born, people gettin hitched and yes, people dyin. He did a real big spread on Jean Kemp's wedding. It turned out to be real special. The flowers were exceptional that summer and Jean did look the Story-Book Bride. Everything was perfect. It turned out just the way they'd planned it. Miracles do happen.

You know, Bobby really had a way about him just like his Dad did when it came to writin things down the way they were. He used every descriptive word known to mankind and made the most boring occasion sound like ya jest had ta be there. One day I set down to read my daily copy of The Gazzette and wasn't expectin ta find anything exciting when the headline just jumped out at me as it never could. It said, BILLY TO SET GUINESS RECORD!. Now what was I ta think of that! I knew Billy pretty good and he always told me everything on our Wednesday night walk home. He was holdin out on me! What could he possibly be thinkin!

Billy wasn't the kind to go after lots of attention either and goin after a record certainly brought you that! I knew Jean's weddin hadn't left him happy either but things like Puppy Love get over quick most times. He was deliverin a lot of free samples to Jean's house and I noticed he always took the long way home past her place on Wednesday nights but...What had he got in his head? The article said that Billy Brown of Third Street was about ta break the Guiness Book of Records for sittin on top of a Flag Pole. This particular Flag Pole was located in front of the Post Office across from the City Hall building. Volunteers would be needed to keep him company and help was needed in aid of feeding him. Anyone interested in helping Billy reach the record was to call Bobby Turner at the Gazzette. I guessed our Billy was about to attract some attention in a big way! I guessed our town was about to attract some attention.

Well, didn't things start ta buzz real quick! At the town meeting the next night all heck broke loose. There were some who thought he was crazy. There were some who thought his parents June and Norm, were off their rocker just lettin him try. Then there were some who thought that this was our time to cash in. Wouldn't there just be thousands of people wantin to come and see the sight. They'd come from miles around. The National News would probably be comin. This was the real Big Time! What were we gonna do?

Well, for an average tyke Billy'd just turned the town on its heals. People figured we'd need a committee for this and a committee for that. The local Business Men's Association were seeing millions of dollars comin in over a week or however long Billy'd be able ta stay up there. What if he stayed up there an entire year! was their thinkin. We'd be rich!

The name Billy Brown was on everyone's lips. The Busy Bee promised him his job back at the end of his adventure and a raise! They told him he had ta wear a Busy Bee Special sweat shirt saying, "Billy works at the BUSY BEE!". Yup, everybody was gonna cash in. The Busy Bee even had plans to get a special dog sweater for Bowser sayin, he was Billy's Busy Bee Bowser. I supposed they were even gonna get the town to let them fly a Busy Bee Flag atop the pole.

Well, Wednesday night after the Tuesday's Town Meetin I half expected to be walkin home alone from my marketing, but as usual Billy picked up my groceries and we began our slightly detoured walk as we each snapped off a piece of Butterscotch Candy. Billy was pretty quiet that night. I don't wonder why. I wasn't about to start askin him questions. I was sure he'd had a lot of people askin him what he thought he was doin. I guessed he had his reasons and if he wanted ta tell me he could. We chatted about the weather, the stars, about Bowser's Vet visit, school and everything else but what he was about ta do. Billy was thirteen now. Tough times I thought. Maybe his thoughts were best left to himself. Maybe just a peaceful Wednesday nights walk home and talk about nothin in particular was just what was right. He knew he could tell me what was on his mind. I knew he would when he could. But it sure was killin me not ta ask.

Well, the fateful day arrived and the town was buzzin to beat the band. In fact there was a Band for the occasion. People were arriving with lawn chairs and picnic lunches. Dick Barrymore was havin the worst time with the traffic. Dick had never seen that many cars in one place before and you could see it was affecting his blood pressure. Jack Tierney and his Brigade were bringin the fire truck through to help raise Billy to the top of the Flag Pole. Alice Kemp, Jean, May Cannington and Suzie were settin up a coffee and soft drinks stand. I'm tellin ya everyone was gettin into the picture. The Busy Bee Market had a special booth set up to make meals for Billy and to sell sweat shirts in memory of the occasion. The Mayor, George Lumas, who was also an expert Horticulturalist, was decked out in his suitable best and at his side was his wife Madge, dressed in a disgusting floral print dress pitched low enough to warrant arrest.

Well, the time finally came and Jack Tierney wired Billy into some kind of gadget and raised him to the top. The cheers rang out and Bowser started hollerin like heck! I wondered if he'd ever stop!

Billy'd never seemed really happy about the whole thing. You'd think he'd have really played it up, but he didn't. I watched as the days went by. People got bored and less and less people took interest. Finally one night, real late they say, Jack Tierney was called ta come and bring Billy down. He never did break the record. People never did talk much about it. The Busy Bee took him back but didn't give him the raise. Bobby Turner played it down in the paper. The first Wednesday night after, we walked straight home and didn't detour past Jean's place. Billy was thirteen now, goin on fourty. We all do things we have to do. One thing is that Billy'll never be accused of not tryin and just that makes him Hero enough for me.

Links to more Stories

Madge Farquarson

Dick Barrymore

Hank Brown

The Busy Bee

May Jones

Dog Days

The Bake Off

The Talent Competition

A List of The Folks In Harmonyville

Back To Harmonyville - Home

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