The Puddledock Press Staff in the early 1990s.

The all volunteer staff of the Puddledock Press outside their storefront office in the Hayward Block on Mechanic Street in the early 1990s.

The first issue of The Puddledock Press.

The very first Puddledock Press, Volume 1, Number 1, was published in December of 1979.

Farmington Town Christmas Party

The Town of Farmington used to have a Town Christmas Party. Here is a 1963 ad from the Farmington News.

Fire trucks outside the Station on Mechanic Street

Mechanic Street Fire Station in its hay day. On the left is the 1942 Seagrave Truck which was given to the town by H.O. Rondeau.

An old group photo hanging in the Puddledock Office.

Back: Ned Parker, Delores Bridge, Mary Cloutman, Henry Johnson; Front: Iola Sabine, Lilliam Emerson

Robert's Drug Store Christmas advertisement in 1906.

Robert's Drug Store was a popular spot in downtown Farmington and sold lots of Farmington post cards.

Old Farmington Town Hall

An old photo of the Farmington Town Hall, which is currently the Recreation Center, as it appeared in an issue of the Farmington News.

Fire Destroys the Trafton Block

The Trafton Block after a fire destroyed it on January 15, 1943. The fire damages totaled $50,000.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The December Puddledock Press is Out: Watch for it at your Favorite Distribution Site

The December issue has been posted on the Farmington Historical Society's Scribd site, and is now available for viewing online. You can view and download and print the issue in color from the Scribd site, if you wish. 
Printed hard copies of the December issue are partly distributed and will be available at all our fine distribution sites in Farmington by next weekend.  To find out where to pick up your printed hard copy, check the Find a Puddledock tab on this site, and select Current Edition for the list of our fine Farmington businesses that carry the Puddledock Press!  Don't forget to thank these establishments for carrying the Puddledock, visit them often, and remind them how you appreciate their supporting our paper, and that you'd love to see them advertise in the paper!  

Please consider placing an ad in the paper for your business or non-profit organization.  You can help to support our Community newspaper and our services like the Around the Town Calendar, and online access.  Consider running an ad or just sending in a contribution.  

Hope you enjoy the December issue! Start submitting your news and articles for January issue now. 

Season's Greetings for a Safe, Happy, and Cheerful Holiday Season!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Farmington Churches Plan Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service

 Sunday, November 22 at 4:00 PM

Three Farmington churches are planning a Community Thanksgiving Service for Sunday, November 22 at 4:00 PM.  The celebration will be at the First Congregational Church, UCC located at 400 Main Street in downtown Farmington.  The public is invited to bring canned food which will be given to the Interfaith Food Pantry. A free will offering for the Food Pantry will also be received.

Participating in the service of worship will be Sister Lucie Ducas, Saint Peter Catholic Church; Rev. Bill Downing, Advent Christian Church Community Lighthouse; Rev. Kent Schneider, First Congregational Church, and Don Marble, Co-chairperson of the Interfaith Food Pantry.   Twenty-four years ago, in 1991, Father Adrien, Pastor Fogell and Reverend Johnson  established the Interfaith Food Pantry to serve the towns of Farmington and Middleton.  Last year over 2,000 people received food.  The Interfaith Food Pantry is housed at First Congregational Church, UCC and is open the last Saturday of each month from 9:30-10:30 AM.  A community breakfast is served starting at 8:00 AMin the church's vestry so that people do not have to wait outside during the cold weather.
The idea for a community-wide service of thanksgiving was discussed at a recent "Lunch with Pastor Kent" which is open to the public and takes place at First Congregational Church from noon to 1:00 PM on Wednesdays.  Several people asked Rev. Schneider if he would organize an ecumenical worship service.

He contacted Sr. Lucie, Pastor Downing and Don Marble who were enthusiastically supportive of the idea and the word went out through the local churches.  "Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year for our community to gather and give thanks for the abundant blessings we have received," comments Pastor Kent.  "It is appropriate to celebrate the work of the Interfaith Food Pantry and the many volunteers who give of their time to help others.  "
Prior to the Community Thanksgiving Service, there will be a 3:00 PM rehearsal for singers who will form a community choir under the direction of  Louise Shields, organist and choir director at First Congregational Church UCC.   Rev. Schneider, a professional trumpet player from New Orleans, is gathering brass players to accompany the hymns that will be sung.  For more information contact Pastor Kent at

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Golden Age of Bean Suppers

by John Nolan

FARMINGTON – Society has become more fragmented with the Age
of the Internet. Happily, crowds still fill the bleachers in support of high school ball games, or line Main Street in August to watch the bed race, and well over 100 voters can be relied upon to come to annual town meeting! However, much of people’s spare time these days is taken up with feisty Facebook postings and testy Twittering on topics that may have little to do with daily life in Farmington.

It can be argued that this web phenomenon is beneficially increasing the awareness among the general population that there is life beyond the town boundary, but a good chunk of people know this already…Farmington faces can frequently be spotted in Walmart, for example.
Thirty years ago, and longer, though, great throngs of Farmington people sought out each other’s company at massive social occasions known as Bean Suppers held in the hall above the firehouse. It was happy, social introversion on a close-knit community-wide scale.

I was so taken by these soirees, that in a Farmington Corner of 1985, I wrote a couple of verses, describing such an evening, under the heading, Bean Supper News.

Down from the ridges,
O’er culverts and bridges,
Poured six hundred ravenous Farmington folk,
Last Saturday eve,
And you'd better believe
They had empty and cavernous stomachs to stoke.

The Firemen's new station
Was their destination,
For a monstrous eat-in of ham, beans and pie,
Such an orgy of munching,
And guzzling and crunching,
With ne'er a free seat in the building, forbye.

There were red beans and brown,
By the ton load choked down,
And mountains of coleslaw, with ham on the side,
Wild hordes then did grapple,
Pies pecan and apple,
'til 7 p.m. saw an ebb in the tide.

The popularity of these bean suppers continued, unabated, for several years until, in 1992, there was a major hiccup, as recorded in the song below, which is sung to a lively jig called Ramgunshoch’s Rant. Verse 2 reminds us that 1992 was a Presidential Election year.

The Emperor’s Bean Supper

1. In the fall of each year, Farmingtonians cheer,
For the firemen’s bean supper, the biggest around,
But in ’92, it was quite a to-do,
For the pesky darned things didn’t cook in the ground,
There was no way of knowing, ere folks started showing,
Beans bake or they don’t and there’s no in-betweens,
So when there’s no plateful, it’s hard to be grateful,
The bean supper blues are invoked by no beans.

2. A political crowd was complaining out loud,
‘twas the first time in months they had seen eye to eye,
Two Natural Law men were flapping their jaws when
Fulani’s Alliance chimed in with "Aye! Aye!"
The Democrats shouted, Republicans pouted,
The only folks happy were tree-hugging Greens,
They praised the solution to airy pollution,
A firemen’s bean supper without any beans.

3. World traveler Meyer was a bean ticket buyer,
When they told him the news he let out with some flak,
And pined for Arabia, where there was maybe a
Chance of fried camel or tasty date snack.
"I’ve been to Sri Lanka and seen Casablanca,
But this is much worse than those Third Worldly scenes,
My plate’s bare today in the U.S. of A.,
At the firemen’s bean supper without any beans."

4. That hardworking codger, Garbology Roger,
Had worked up an appetite fit for a lion,
By snatching up wrappers from Royce’s to Bubber’s,
And so for a pile of hot beans he was dyin’.
Tho’ the sad situation wreaked some with starvation,
By hallucinating (a wonderful means),
Roj clearly saw foods, like the Emperor’s duds
At the firemen’s bean supper without any beans.

5. The ladies of FED-UP tried hunting some bread up,
And sent for two cod sticks, a desperate plan,
But five loaves and fishes don’t fill scores of dishes,
For miracles only work now in Japan.
So sadly the throng waited hungry and long,
‘Til Deputy Joel Plante suggested a winner,
"Begone with this sorrow! All come back tomorrow,
Instead of bean supper, we’ll call it bean dinner."

Almost 25 years later, it is still possible to experience the joys of community eating at somewhat smaller events staged by Post 60, the PTA or various club and church organizations, and we encourage townspeople to patronize them, not just to help a good cause and for the reasonably priced food, but as an occasion to sit and chat with fellow citizens…who knows, the new acquaintance you’ll meet and whose company you’ll enjoy, may be that same anonymous cretin you insulted on Facebook, last week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November Savor the Flavor Recipes

Savor the Flavor is excited to bring you into the Fall Season. The cool crisp nights are upon us and the fall leaves are starting to fall.  Let us ponder on what would be good to warm us up on a cool fall evening.

Our guest contributor this issue is Sheryl Olstad.

Crock Pot Taco Chili

  1 onion chopped
  1 16-oz can black beans, drained
  1 16-oz can kidney beans, drained
  1 8-oz tomato sauce
  1 10-oz frozen corn
  2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  1 packet taco seasoning
  1 tablespoon cumin
  1 tablespoon chili powder
  3-4 boneless chicken breasts, raw
Place all ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on low 10 hrs. or on high for 6 hours.  When chicken is cooked, shred with forks.   Sheryl Olstad

Pumpkin Soup

   ½ cup finely chopped onion
  2 tablespoons butter
  1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  2 cans (14 ½ oz each) chicken broth
  1 can (15 oz) solid-packed pumpkin
  1 tsp. brown sugar
  ¼ tsp salt
  1/8 tsp pepper
  1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  1 cup heavy whipping cream
In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender.  Remove from heat, stir in flour until smooth.  Gradually stir in the broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.   Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.   Add cream and cook for 2 more additional minutes until heated through.  Yields 6 servings.

Hearty Vegan Vegetable Soup

This easy soup is everything you want your vegetable soup to be.
   8 cups vegetable broth
  1/2 cup uncooked barley
  1 large can diced fired-roasted tomatoes
  1 large onion
  3 stalks celery
  4 large carrots (or 6 medium), unpeeled and sliced
  3 large red potatoes, unpeeled and chunked
  1 cup frozen corn, organic
  1 teaspoon each basil, rosemary, celery seeds
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Place veggie broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add barley and let cook while prepping the rest of the veggies. Add the tomatoes, onion, celery, red potatoes and corn. Continue to boil for 40 minutes.  When veggies and barley are tender, stir in basil, rosemary, celery seeds. Remove from heat. While cooling, add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
You can substitute quinoa or cooked brown rice for the barley.  Serves 6.

Kid's Kitchen  with Adult Supervision

Kids Kitchen is looking for young cooks to submit their recipes for publication in the Puddledock Press. If you have a recipe that is your favorite and you want to share it with our readers, please submit it  Be a guest contributor and see your name in the Puddledock Press.

Green Eggs and Ham Rollups

  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4 large egg whites, beaten until frothy
  2 tablespoons basil pesto
  1 cup baby spinach leaves
  3 slices deli-style honey ham
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, then add the egg whites.  Swirl the pan to spread the egg whites into a round that covers the bottom.  Cook until the whites are set, then slide onto a cutting board. When the egg white has cooled slightly, spread with the pesto.
Arrange the spinach leaves, then ham slices on top in a single layer, then roll into a cylinder. Cut into eight 1-inch spirals and serve.  Tip: The rolls also taste good cold and can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness
by Dr. Thomas Naro

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and I thought it was appropriate to highlight this topic as it affects millions of people in the United States, including many in our own community. Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition where our body has trouble regulating the sugar in our blood. Once food is broken down through digestion, carbohydrates are converted into glucose. This molecular form of sugar is used as fuel to the many cells of our body, especially our brain. Scientific research has helped us learn what healthy and unhealthy levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) are and how to measure it. Also, we now understand why some people have difficulty controlling their blood sugar and others don’t.

Under normal conditions the pancreas will excrete insulin into the blood stream when the body detects an elevation of blood sugar levels. In diabetic cases, the body will encounter high levels of sugar in the blood, known as hyperglycemia, because there is a problem with insulin.

There are a few types of diabetes we can refer to: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough or any insulin. This may be due to an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the pancreas and damages its insulin production source. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes insulin but the body doesn’t use it effectively. Finally, gestational diabetes occurs when a woman is pregnant and some of the other hormones in circulation make the body’s cells resistant to insulin. The pancreas will produce more insulin in response, but if it still isn’t enough, then the condition comes about. It is usually reversed after the pregnancy. 

Unfortunately, type 1 and type 2 diabetes doesn’t just go away. Type 1 diabetes requires blood sugar management with supplemental insulin. Nowadays, people can carry an auto-delivery system the size of cell phone that connects to the belly by a thin tube. In other cases, people may give themselves regular insulin injections to prevent blood sugar from getting too high. For those who have Type 2 diabetes, management may still include use of insulin but usually other medications can be taken orally to lower glucose levels in the blood, boost insulin production or promote the body’s response to insulin function.

Everyone who has diabetes needs to manage their blood sugar levels by testing their blood on a regular basis. If diabetes goes uncontrolled, the results to the body can be devastating. When blood sugar levels are above the normal range over a long period of time, tiny blood vessels become damaged. This can lead to kidney disease, loss of vision, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, poor healing, muscle weakness, balance problems and stroke. In some cases, blood sugar levels can become so high it results in what is known as diabetic coma which can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Living with diabetes is about being attentive to your blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes usually is diagnosed in childhood and management becomes a lifelong activity. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of diabetic cases in the country, is diagnosed mostly in adults, but more children are being diagnosed with type 2 in recent years. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes rates are increasing. The good news (finally), both types of diabetes can be better managed with proper nutrition, healthy eating habits, and regular activity. In some people, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and also may be preventable.

You might be wondering “how do I know if I have diabetes?” The main symptoms of too much sugar in the blood are increased thirst, increased urination, and increased hunger. Sometimes a person will feel tired, weak, or have blurred vision. Diabetes is one or many medical conditions that cause hyperglycemia. A physician would need to perform blood tests to identify the cause so the appropriate treatment can be ordered.

When you see your doctor, a 12 hour fasting blood glucose reading is commonly tested. Another blood test called, A1C, can be ordered to measure the average concentration of glucose in the blood over the last 2-3 months. The higher the number, the more sugar coated oxygen carrying proteins will be found in your blood. So you can’t “cram” a quick healthy diet for a day or two and think you’ll be fooling your doctor. These tests are indicators of a healthy lifestyle and you’ll want to pass every time.

Diabetes research happens all over the world. A couple headlines I found were fascinating and worth sharing. According to an article on, the NHS Blood and Transplant is testing special stem cell injections on individuals who are at high risk for kidney disease caused by diabetes. The cells are expected to reduce kidney inflammation and tissue damage which hopefully reduces the need for patient dialysis treatment or kidney transplants. This is important because 3 out of 4 diabetics develop kidney disease.

Lastly, a study published in the 2015 Journal of American Medical Association Surgery describes how weight loss surgery in people who are obese and have Type 2 Diabetes resulted in a greater chance of remission from diabetes. Test subjects who had gastric bypass surgery were 43 times more likely to reverse diabetes compared to those who didn’t have surgery (that’s not a typo, 43!). Other bariatric procedures were also highly successful. This study doesn’t mean everyone who has diabetes needs to have surgery. There are plenty of risks involved with having surgery but this may be an option for some who struggle to manage their weight and diabetes with non-invasive options.

 Dr. Thomas Naro, MSPT, DPT is a doctor of physical therapy and partner/manager of Coppola Physical Therapy Farmington located at 395 NH Route 11.