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New manager at the transfer station | Essex Column

This week’s column had to be turned in early, so Ginny and I made our usual Sunday morning town reconnaissance on Thursday afternoon. There’s not much to say except all is very quiet and the hamlet is almost free of cars. At the dog-friendly town hall Ginny was offered a biscuit, which she accepted with a solemn handshake. Over at Juniper Hill Farm, the fall-sown greens are under cover in their unheated greenhouses, waiting out the long dark days until February when the sun gets high enough in the sky to start things growing again. The film society is taking their holiday vacation, with no movies scheduled until Jan. 18.

There’s a new manager at the transfer station. He is Gary King of Willsboro.

Although this story has been told before, it’s about Santa and I need to fill up my column, so here goes. One Christmas we went to the Caribbean island of Barbados, and stayed just up the beach from a large and posh resort called Sandy Lane where elderly movie stars could be spotted enjoying the sun and sand. Okay, I may have seen Wilfred Brimley. Every Christmas morning, the resort invites Santa to make an appearance on the beach. People from all over the island attend, a steel drum orchestra plays and waiters in tuxedos serve champagne to one and all. The year we were there, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a speedboat, towing two young lady assistants (in red bikinis) on water skis. Santa raced back and forth and then came ashore, offered high fives and joined the crowd dancing on the sand. Our kids were mystified to see Santa doing a vigorous boogie with his assistants, since they knew him as a strictly sedentary old man.

I put out my margarine feeder for the birds this week. It’s made from a scrap of wood with half inch holes drilled in it, with the holes filled with margarine and then hung from a tree. It draws mostly chickadees and woodpeckers, and my ornithologist friend assures me even cheap margarine provides lots of calories, just like suet and just as messy to deal with.

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