Out with the old; in with the new

by Howard Applegate
    One more year is gone, and it’s that time of the year we editors are obliged to review, recap, and forecast. The latter would probably best be done by Madame Zorro, but since we are a serious paper, you are stuck with me. So here we go.

The Old Year
lucky rooster.• A Good Year for Festivals. Both Daniel Boone Days and the Fall Fowl Fest were very successful this year, give or take a few dropped popsicles and bruised egos. Hundreds attended both events, which were the biggest ever for Wilbur County. In the Fall Fowl Fest, Bertie Miller, from Riley, and our own Thelma Louise McCoy were top prize winners in the Best Dressed Fowl Fashion category. Richie Bowers won the Best Dressed Fowl Culinary category, with his Wild Duck Soup.

• The Toll of War. 2005 was both a sad and hopeful year for Germaine. On the more somber side, we had tragedy and disappointment, including the first death of a local boy in the Iraq War. Arlo Childers died in November, when a roadside bomb exploded near his caravan as it approached Baghdad. Another young Germainer, Eric Caruthers, disappeared without a trace while his unit waited in Kuwait for orders to deploy to southern Iraq. He is believed to have been abducted by Islamic militants.

• Crop Failure. This was a bad year for honeydew farmers. Early frost bit into the melon crop, leaving the season too short, even for the new Germaine hybrids. The hybrids, developed seven years ago by McCoy Agricultural Enterprises, require a much shorter growing period, and less water than conventional melons, making them ideal for cold, semi-arid climates like Germaine. Local farmers are talking about sowing their greenhouse beds earlier this year, so the young starts will be more mature for the June planting.

• The Incident. Then, there is the mysterious. In July, a private detective came through town and spent the night at the Restin’ Easy. He claimed to be in the employ of a certain foreign government. According to the Patels, who own the motel, the man was asking around about people who might have knowledge of The Incident. Lucy Charlebois-LaPlante, the town librarian, talked to the detective, who then left Germaine for parts unknown. Ms. Charlebois-LaPlante refused to be interviewed by The Germaine Truth.

• Restin’ Easy. Speaking of the Restin’ Easy, Sanjit “Roy” Patel became the new owner in February, and reopened the establishment on July 4th, in time for Daniel Boone Days. Roy, with his wife and three children, remodeled, and converted three of the units into a new residence for themselves.

The New Year
• Election Year. 2006 is an election year in Germaine and Wilbur County. The mayorship and all four city council seats are up for grabs this year. In past years, it has been difficult to find candidates to fill the unpaid seats, but this year may be different. As of January 1, five candidates had already filed for the Council seats. No one has yet filed for Mayor, but filing is open until March 13th. A Wilbur County Commission seat is also open this year, as is the County Auditor position. Both are expected to be contested.
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