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Essex 2/20

The loggers in my neighbor's woodlot have had a run of good weather lately, and they've been taking advantage of it. Even before first light I can hear large engines rumbling to life, sending up clouds of exhaust before settling down to a steady hum. The tire chains on their skidder make a pleasant tinkling sound and soon the saws begin to whine. Many loads of pine and hardwood go past my house on an old dump truck. A few evenings this week the men have worked til past dark, their headlights shining through the trees like a science fiction movie.

Donna Bailey called in from Tampa, Florida to say she and Wayne had a visit from Barbara and Howie Page of the Bird's Nest. Donna enjoys meeting up with Essex residents in her home away from home. Abby Comeau, formerly of Main Street, Essex and now of Austin, Texas, has been spending time with her friend Caroline Ivy, also of Austin.

I went into town on Saturday to scare up a story or two and had to wait while a long freight train went by. I noticed that the lower half of nearly every box car was covered with graffiti, much of it wildly elaborate in design and coloring. It makes the train look pretty scruffy, but there's definitely some talent on display. I do miss the old days when America had dozens of railroads with their own distinctive liveries. There was no news to be had in town, and according to Amy, no news from the transfer station. My dog Ginny's friends, Bailey and Maizee Boisen, were away for the week so it was very quiet indeed.

I promised a little geography lesson last week on the whereabouts of Reber. Very simply, look at a large scale topo map and you'll see a long east-west spoon shaped valley lying mostly in the western end of Willsboro. That's Reber, with no defined borders but lots of open farm land surrounded by hills. Various authorities claim that my part of the valley is actually Brookfield, or West Essex, but I like palindromes, so I'm going with Reber.

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