You have often seen or heard something that reminded you of something else. Because it is too cold to go outside in February, I don’t have much to do but sit around inside and see something on Facebook that reminds me of something else.

Ten or so years ago, for a reason that now escapes me, some former students of Adrea Thorbjornson were at a meeting at the St. George grange hall. She was my teacher around 1942 in the school that is beside the grange and then later when I was in the sixth grade in Tenants Harbor. She was a wonderful teacher, and more than a few of us remember her as the best teacher we ever had. Mrs. Thorbjornson had students a generation on either side of me, so I didn’t know most of the younger ones.

You know that the people concerned are always interested in trying to recognize their old schoolmates in old class pictures. And how local historians always wish someone had bothered to write names under ancient group photos. So when the photo showed up on Facebook, I reposted it and labeled my contemporaries and elders.

A young friend identified Lynne Stone as one of the youngsters in the picture. Although I am related to Lynne, I didn’t recognize her. I knew her mother, Jewell, better, and it reminded me of True Hall’s story of dancing with Jewell at the Harpoon in Port Clyde. Jewell was a petite, exotic beauty who passed away at 92, still exuding charm without ever looking like she had aged. While they were dancing, Jewell screamed as if she were in pain. When they came back to their table, someone asked True what he had done to make Jewell scream. True said, “I told her I knew how old she was.”

My using real names when writing about my friends and relatives reminds me of the preface in John Gould’s “Glass Eyes By the Bottle.” Although John often wrote of things he had seen his neighbors do, he seldom used their real names. He said, “All fictional characters in this book are real people, living or dead.”

Although a few people value their anonymity, I believe that most do not. Years ago I was very pleased to see my name in one of John’s columns, and most of my friends, living or dead, don’t mind when I mention them.


And then there was the Facebook picture of a horseshoe crab. The caption read: “The horseshoe crab – 445 years of non-evolution.” The last two words reminded me of a story my brother told about his infant daughter, who had a fine musical ear.

One day she watched Willie Nelson on TV for a few minutes. She finally looked up at her father and said, “He doesn’t seem to get any better, does he?”

Stumbling across a reference to the Chicago 7 reminded me of Paul Krassner. I had the impression that he was one of them. But when I looked him up on Wikipedia, I read that he wasn’t. He made off-color comic books and got good reviews for his satire from Vonnegut and Groucho. Groucho said, “I predict that in time Paul Krassner will wind up as the only live Lenny Bruce.” So Krassner was respected by many people you have heard of.

What surprised me was that Krassner played violin in Carnegie Hall when he was 6. Also that “Krassner chose to be firmly secular, considering religion ‘organized superstition.’ ”

Way back when, I was at a humor conference in Anaheim where I was to perform at the same time as Paul Krassner, who was in another room.

Afterwards, the person who had flown me across the country to do a show apologized for the fact that only 10 people had listened to my routine while 100 had gone in to see Krassner.

I explained the situation to her and pointed out that we were in California, where no one knew me and everyone knew the great comedian, Paul Krassner.

I told her that had the conference been held in Portland, Maine, where many people knew me, things would have been altogether different: One hundred and ten people would have gone in to hear Krassner, and no one would have come into my room to hear me.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:

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