Friday, May 13, 2005

The Bigger Goober Contest

All of my friends will tell you that I am a huge goober. What makes me a goober? I am interested in everything! Well - almost. I love knowledge. I love trivia. I love history and science and the Discovery Channel and its affiliates.

I was reading the Alden Advertiser the other day. It's our local weekly paper and since I am now a 'townie', I should read it to keep abreast of local happenings. I have to admit that I cringe reading this rag of a paper. I recall that the paper was much better when I was younger. Either that or I was just stupid. I doubt it, since I have always been rather smart - and quite humble.

To get off subject for a moment and really beat on the Advertiser, my friend and I used to love Fridays at our former place of employment because the Advertiser would come. We would spend part of the morning (10 minutes is all it really takes) to scour the paper for the worst article. By worst, it had to meet these criteria:
    Poorly written
    Some statement had to be just off
    Grammatical errors
    Dumb pictures
    Stupid story

We were never disappointed. In fact, we often found more than one piece fitting the criteria. I remember one instance, in fact, in which a writer (and I am so reluctant to call this person a writer) was describing a lecture given by someone with a kidney disease - the name of which escapes me. It was described as "a disease of the kidneys which makes them shrivel up and die." We cut that out and hung it in the bathroom. We still laugh about it. In fact, I just chuckled again. My friend said, "I'm not a journalist or a writer, but I know that shouldn't be how it's described." I said that indeed she was correct.

Enough about that. It's my hometown paper and I should be proud to have one. It's been published since early 19 something. 1914 maybe? I'll tell you next week when I get my other issue. Recently they won state awards for a local paper. What on earth is published in other local papers? It frightens me.

Anyway - they had an article about upcoming events and meetings at the Alden Historical Society. Since I live in a house built before Alden was even a Village or Town, I thought, I should go and see if they have any information about my house. I mentioned it to J and I think he thought I was crazy. So I dismissed it.

Then he called me last night and told me he was running late. I said "late for what?" Then he said "I thought you wanted to go to the historical society?" I couldn't believe it! First of all, let me state this. I have the best boyfriend ever. Not only does he buy me thoughtful gifts (see the Dining Room Table post), but he really thinks and remembers. I didn't know men could do that (sorry J, but I really didn't). I am impressed and he gets extra points for that. Those points are redeemable for......

Back to the Society. He shows up and we walk over - it is across the street, for Pete's sake. The meeting has already started. It is "bring a thing a ma jig" night. If you have an unidentified thing a ma jig, bring it along and we are going to guess what it's for or what it was used for. I don't have random shit sitting in my house that doesn't have a use. I purged that stuff before I moved in. Thankfully. So we go, sit down, suffer through the reading of the minutes.

Then we hear a lecture from one of the members. A sweet old woman. She is describing to us how artifacts are catalogued. When someone donates an artifact, we complete an artifact form. We keep one copy and give one copy to the doner. Then we complete a donor form so that if someone comes in and says, "I know my mother donated something," we can look on her card. Then we complete another form for something else that doesn't make sense. Three forms to donate one artifact. The only thought that kept going through my mind was how horribly inefficient this was, and please let me at it, I want to put it in a computer database! PLEASE!

I thought she was going to say that this has been working since they implemented it in 1975, but instead she says, it's been working since we implemented it in 2000. She then said, this is what they do at the Buffalo Historical Society.

A word to the wise. Anyone from the area will confirm this. You should never model anything you do based on what Buffalo does. Or Erie County for that matter. Just keep that in the back of your mind. Buffalo does it - no, don't do it.

Back to the story. We are then left to wander around the Society trying to identify thing a ma jigs. I have no idea what any of this stuff is supposed to be for. I can kind of guess a couple things but that's it. J, on the other hand, is walking around saying, this was used to roast a chicken, this was used to cut leather, this was used to press cookies, this was used to slap scrotums, and on and on.

He started talking to Database Woman and told her we were interested in finding out about my house. She said she had a wonderful picture of my house with Mate Saunders on the front porch. It sounded like "Mate", I have no idea if that was what she said or not. She drags out this photo album and points out the picture. My house has not changed one bit. Not one bit. It is the same. She then said she doesn't know much about the house except that it is old. It is the second house in Alden. The SECOND! The first is in bad shape and it's on Exchange Street. J and I were both rather impressed that I live in the second house in the village. How cool is that?

While I was looking at old pictures, J was busy identifying artifacts that even the Historical Society didn't know anything about. He alerted Database Woman about a particular artifact that had a question mark. He said "I know what this is, this is a key for a blow torch." Then he described to her how it would have worked. I think she was impressed. I was impressed. My boyfriend is a bigger goober than me - if it's possible. He won the Who's the Bigger Goober Contest - hands down!

We were walking back to my house and my house took on a new light. I knew it was old (1836), but I didn't realize it was second. And it's in amazing shape. J said, well, you have to take care of it. Something in the way he said it. I won't say anymore here because he reads this, but that's ok. My house has history. Unfortunately, no one knows what the history is. But it has some. That's pretty cool.

Wild Mountain Organics' history is still new and fresh. But since we still keep production at home, it will take on the history of the second house in Alden. Enjoy being a part of WMO's history!

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