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Essex 9/4

This past week's long run of warm and dry weather is perfect for getting in the second cutting of hay. It's delightful to have the sweet aromas of drying clover and grass wafting through the open windows of our house. Farmers all over are mowing and tedding, raking and baling, and our hay man is busy as well. He generally prefers to use older, smaller and simpler equipment, which he operates at a nice easy pace. His windrows are neat and straight, and no hay is baled until it's thoroughly dried. However, for this cutting, our hay man brought in a local dairy farmer with a fast, wide mower to mow our big field. The reason? It's almost time to start chopping corn silage, and the dairyman relies on our hay man to do the chopping for him. The warm summer is bringing all sorts of crops, including corn, to maturity much faster than usual. Last year the dairy farmer didn't get in the first cutting of hay until August, thanks to the steady deluges that plagued everyone.

As deputy town supervisor, I've been reading old Essex town board minutes to verify the establishment of various town bank accounts. My research took me to minutes from the early 1970s, where mixed in with the usual proceedings was a suggestion the town formulate regulations to govern rock concerts and festivals. It seems to have been only a temporary concern, perhaps arising from the events at Woodstock and Altamont, and no further action was taken.

The minutes also contained a motion to allow only the custodian of the town dump to pick the dump. I grew up in rural Maine, and my grandmother and I were avid dump pickers. At our dump, you always set anything "good" to one side, to give others a chance at your castoffs. We never found anything more useful than a three-legged chair, but the thrill was really in the search.

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