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Celebrating the green

This Friday, March 17, we celebrate a date that gets my vote for the most fun: St. Patrick’s Day! The day St. Patrick chased all of the snakes out of Ireland and sent them to America to become politicians! (Oops!! Probably not politically correct to say that, as it infers disrespect to a particular category of people….Oh well.)

It would be my guess that few residents today realize that our community was founded by an Irishman and his three sons: the Rev. William Murphy, sons Joseph, William and David and a friend, Silas George. They staked their claims in 1798 to form the early settlement that grew to become the present Farmington. Therefore, we should be proud to celebrate this Irish holiday in grand style by lifting a toast or two to our founder, Rev. Murphy and his progeny who had the foresight to develop the strong, basic foundation of our town.

Enough history, but here’s a toast I learned on my visit to Ireland a number of years ago: “Here’s to you! May your friends never fall out and your roof never fall in!”

This really strikes my funny bone and my sense of rightness.

I made a tour of this beautiful and small country that makes up for its lack of miles with the abundance of warm smiles and welcomes of its residents. And yes, it did have at least 40 shades of green along with, what seemed to be, thousands of sheep…many of whom seemed to prefer gathering on the roadways to socialize.

Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately depending on your celebration tolerance, we were not there for St. Pat’s Day. But, my cousin with whom I was traveling and who loves a party, did bring the matter up to our tour guide by asking (loudly), “Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here in Ireland like we do in America?”

During the shocked silence that followed, I quietly crawled under my seat and remained there until our next stop when I switched seat mates.

Hopefully, you have visited or will at sometime visit this charming country and lift a glass to our founder! Happy St. Patrick’s Day and another small toast: “May the way to your door be all downhill.” (I think that originated in a pub…or from my cousin.)

Working visitors….A group of college students from Wisconsin are in Farmington this week to work on a Habitat for Humanity House located on Pine Street. The students, who are here through March 17, are being housed at Memorial United Methodist Church. The students have chosen to spend their spring break here working 8 to 10 hours each day, rather than at their homes or on a beach relaxing. Do make it a point to stop by their work site or the church in the evenings to welcome to our town and thank them for their dedication.

Sad news of a former resident….Many may remember the couple, “Zeke” and Betty Salmon and their son Jody who lived here from 1964 to 1972. The sad news was received that Jeri “Zeke” Kenneth Salmon, age 86, passed away on March 8 in Charleston, South Carolina where he and Betty made their home. Graveside services were held March 13 in Harrison, Arkansas. The Salmons moved to Farmington from Harrison when he helped to start Non-Foods, Inc., a division of Wetterau, Inc. in Desloge. He served there as Assistant General Manager until 1972 when he was transferred to Charleston to start another Non-Foods, Inc. The company was later purchased by SuperValu, Inc. where Zeke continued to serve as Division President and General Manager until his retirement in 1992. Zeke’s son, Jody, who predeceased him, was a student at Farmington schools through his junior year and was a member of the varsity football team the class of 1973. Along with other relatives, Zeke is survived by his wife Betty and a daughter, Lisa Bigby.

Farmington’s favorite young son, Braxton Gross, has been selected to be one of the Ambassadors for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Braxton, who has his own Be Brave for Braxton support team, will take part in the opening ceremonies of the annual Walk and Run for Make-a-Wish Foundation on Saturday, April 15 in St. Louis. Braxton had his special wish to go to Las Vegas to see the Monster Jam Road Championships with his parents granted by the foundation last fall. He made a commercial for the organization that will soon be aired on several cable stations. Braxton is now in remission from cancer and doing fine in first grade with his enthusiasm for life undaunted.

Coming Up:

Every Friday during Lent the St. Joseph Catholic Church hosts a delicious Fish Fry! Serving is from 4 to 6 p.m. and the reasonable price includes excellent fried fish, several sides, drink and dessert. It’s food and fraternizing and a bonus is the opportunity to visit with a lot of other friends who are also there enjoying their piled-high plates of food!

Friday, March 24…The annual UMW Salad Luncheon will be held in the Fellowship Hall of Memorial Methodist Church at 425 North St. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A huge variety of delicious, home-made salads will be available, including chicken and ham salads…always big favorites. Tickets are $9 and information about availability can be had by calling the church office at 756-4565.

Saturday, April 1…The Xtreme Hike for Cystic Fibrosis takes place at Hawn State Park. The event is for experienced hikers 18 and over only and begins Monday evening at the Crown Pointe Lodge where hikers stay overnight and then gather in the lobby early the following morning. The hikers then go to Hawn State Park to begin the 15.7 mile hike. There are rest and aid stations along the entire course, which is well marked. Following the hike a meal and victory celebration will be held back at Crown Pointe Lodge. For more information contact Cindy Sebastian or Mark Toti.

Just a personal note: If you receive a Facebook friend request from me ignore and delete it! A doppelganger (a person who looks and sounds like you but isn’t) has stolen my FB identity and is sending out requests for friends under my name…complete with picture. This is now a very common and unfortunate practice, so be sure that the person you agree to have as your friends is really who you think it is and not a clone. My wish for these unsavory people who practice this is that they may be visited by a swarm of maddened bees and a horde of hungry chiggers simultaneously. Nothing personal you know.

If you haven’t done so…get those taxes done and mailed in ASAP before your clone does. Welcome to the “new hi-tech world.”

Janet Douglas

Janet Douglas

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