Going to “the camp” on the New Meadows River was always great fun for me as a kid, whether with my grandparents on most summer weekends as we made it through Cooks Corner without Pepere even slowing down his two-tone Studebaker, back when there was but a single stop sign at that intersection. Or with my parents and siblings when we visited that special place for cookouts, swimming and playing “cowboys and Indians.”

Plenty of good memories and stories to recall of those days long past. One of the most memorable of these was the time our family went for a late-day picnic.

As we passed through old Mr. Holder’s farm to access the camp, we noticed him working his horse-drawn hay rig awfully hard to get a big load of hay bales into his barn ahead of a threatening thunderstorm. After we unpacked our stuff, my Pa, myself and my next oldest brother walked back to the farm, and for the next hour, we all worked nonstop to help him get that load into the loft, accept his thanks and return to the camp before the rain.

Later, as we set out our food and beverages for a well-deserved feast, Ma discovered that we were pretty low on milk, so I was sent back to Mr. H’s farmhouse to buy a quart of his fresh milk. I doubt that it occurred to any of us that this kindly longtime neighbor might offer us his milk without charge in gratitude for our good deed earlier in the day. And so I brought two quarters as I trudged up the dirt track alongside the barbed wire fencing where he pastured his Holsteins. And, sure enough, he charged the usual price per quart, no more, no less.

Apparently, good business, like fences, make good neighbors!


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