Thursday, September 17, 2009

From The Archives

The Way of the World, Continued...
Lief to Leave

          West Elmsborough-The state of New Hampshire expects 65,000 foliage viewers to visit the commonwealth this fall. Flocking to the White mountains, swarming the scenic byways, these fanatic leaf-lovers are arriving by bus, plane, automobile, motorcycle and even canoe. The entire economy of the small township of West Elmsborough relies on the autumn leaves, whose subtle tones they describe as “the color of money.” For several years the town has been trying to further exploit this phenomenon. Doughty town councilwoman Tribulation Winthrop has even suggested in a recent town meeting the spraying of all trees with a special, diluted variation of Agent Orange to bring on the fall colors a little sooner and thereby corner the fall foliage market for at least part of the season. This could prove useful if the nonexistent fall of 1958 repeats itself, a thing not even the staunchest old West Elmboroughians can remember without an ill-concealed tremor of fear.

           However, not every town citizen shares the same feelings on the yearly death of the photosynthetic process. Arnold P. Klarmann, the scowling, blue jean wearing president of the of the New Hampshire Leaf Free Lawn League, and proud owner of a turbo charged, 450 horse power, back-mounted leaf blower, sees leaves not as a money making enterprise, or even a relatively pleasant sight, but a rotting pollution seasonally covering the earth, and more importantly his lawn. Klarmann has been petitioning the town council for the last eight years to blow the still living leaves off the trees in late August. He wants to blow the leaves into the neighboring town of North Elmsborough, which he hates almost as much as leaves because of the ignominious defeat he suffered at the hands of their champion in the New Hampshire Garden-Tractor Races, held earlier this summer. This early defoliation should be no problem as the range of his and others in his league’s leaf-blowers is over three quarters of a mile.
          Whether downwind of a hurricane-force leaf-blower, or stuck in a scenic byway traffic jam, this writer feels that all should share in New Hampshire’s passion for the color and effect of dying leaves.