The Dogs Days of Summer is a phrase ya gotta know about just lookin at the poor condition and the sad face of Bowser. It's a time when you're lucky to get a jelly mold to set. even in your coldest Ice-Box. Ask me, I know, I just wanted to make a cool tomatoe aspic last Sunday for a small gathering and it wouldn't happen. We settled for a glass of ice tea and the shade under my Willow Tree. These were definitely times when you didn't move faster than you had ta. Nobody moved. In fact the streets were near vacant. Runnin and movin fast were just not part of anyone's vocabulary.
Jack Tierney knew it too well since so many fires had broke out with this heat. He and two of his men had spent overnight at The General from heat exhaustion, trying to save the old Jorgenson Barn. I heard it was a real sight! I wasn't there but I could swear I saw the flames a mile off and you could certainly smell the fire in the night air. Bobby Turner'd taken pictures for The Gazette. He'd done a good spread. There were before and after shots of the Barn and pictures of the Jorgenson family out in front of their house. The barn'd been near a hundred years old. Thanks to quick thinkin none of the farm animals had been killed. There was soon ta be a Barn Raisin I figured.
Sure Enough at the next Tuesday Town Meetin everybody figured it'd only be proper to help Jim Jorgenson build a Barn. As usual people were settin up as ta who would be doing what. George Lumas took control of the organizin. The Lumas's had been one of the first families to settle in this area and George was no stranger to Barn raisin's, since his own family'd had need of help on more than one occasion. I guess that's one reason George made a good mayor. He was from the soil and understood the needs of his electors. I guess George's wife Madge was the reason George'd left farmin in the first place. She was really in ta puttin on the ritz as they say. Her and her piercin low cut dresses and high fashioned hats. You'd think George was President of The United States the way she'd go on sometimes.
Anyways, before long everything was organized and all the calls'd been made and a date set. Paul Upsom, of Upsom Lumber down on Harding Street had donated all the lumber at cost and free delivery included. The local High School football team all agreed to help with the heavy chores. The Ladies Luncheon Commmittee at the Church volunteered to keep everyone's stomach filled and keep their whistles wet. It looked like everything was taken care of.
Well, never in my life have I seen a gang of people so determined to get busy. The town was buzzin. The Jorgenson's life was bein turned upside down with the fury! Their house was practically bein taken over with people in and out and tellin Penelope about when she could do what. The poor woman couldn't do a family wash without consultin someone. It took them two weeks ta build the thing and on a number of occasions I'd had Penelope over for a nice glass of Ice Tea and some sandwiches. She was sure glad to get away from the commotion. Her three kids had been shipped to her cousin Grace's place in the next township.
Penelope was a nice girl but her kids were wilder than the Tigers in Deepest Darkest Africa. The men found out during the first couple of days of the Barn buildin and before anymore damage could take place they'd got Jim to arrange for the shippin. On the very first day during the unloadin of some lumber, Cameron Jorgenson, who was just a wisp of a kid got hisself busy with the keys in the ignition of Paul Upsom's pickup truck and didn't he start playing with the gear shift til he got the truck rollin into a ditch and darn near killed half the High School Football Team in the process. Just a little inconvenience was the way of thinkin at the time. Nobody really got hurt. Nothin to worry about. Then along came Meg Jorgenson, who's face could never be seen for dirt, and doesn't she let her dog Ralph outta his kennel. Now Ralph was almost ornier than a Cat cornered by ten dogs in his best days. Meg had all her marbles and a mischievous streak that started at the top of her bright red mop of hair and went right down to her dancin feet. Her dartin brown eyes told you right then and there that somethin was gonna happen when you least expected it. Ralph and Meg were a real dangerous team. She'd sauntered over to Ralph's kennel just as the Ladies Committee'd finished settin up their lunch table and before anyone could blink Ralph came chargin through and took the whole darn business down the road with him draggin the table cloth behind him. The way I heard it, Meg almost overtook Ralph, she was runnin so fast! Just a little inconvenience. Nobody got hurt. Nothin to worry about. Good thing the Jorgenson's third child, Jamie, was still just a toddler. Well, ya can't be too careful was the way people were startin ta think. That's when George Lumas suggested to Jim Jorgenson that there oughta be somewhere that the kids could go for a bit, just for their own protection, if he knew what he meant.
Once the danger seemed to be outta the way everybody calmed down and went about their business buildin the finest Barn that I was about ta see. The whole town was invited over to have a weeney roast and a toast to the Barn! She was fine alright and in fact Mildred Puce donated a fine red paint to finish her off.
Funny how the heat never seemed to bother people during the building of the Barn. Seemed all they were wantin ta do was get her up. They pulled together and did themselves proud. Nobody got hurt. Just a little inconvenience. Nothin ta worry about.
Harmonyville - Home
The Folks of Harmonyville
Madge Farquarson - The first story
The Talent Competition
The Busy Bee (another story)
May Jones (another story)
Hank Brown (another story)
The Bake Off! (another story)
Guiness - A Billy Story