Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Guilford Smith Likes to Suck Eggs

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In 1921, Phineas Ellis was elected First Selectman of Castle Hill with his future father-in-law, Charles (C. G. R.) Chandler elected Second Selectman and Guilford Smith elected Third Selectman.

Starting on the first Mondays in April, the Selectmen, who were also assessors, visited each taxpayer to take inventory and to collect school taxes. It was a three-day process and the gentlemen would be invited to dinner at someone’s home, sometimes paying fifty cents each and eating their fill.

As Phin describes one particular occasion:

“One day, in each of the three years, Mrs. Granville (Eleanor) Cook was called and told she could expect us for dinner. In 1921 we were about one half hour early arriving at the Cook’s home on the Haystack Road. Eleanor suggested that we go to the barn and take inventory while the dinner finished cooking. She said, ‘Granville is out there doing the chores. By the time you finish, dinner will be cooked and ready to serve piping hot.’

Charles, Guilford, and I went to the barn and found Granville feeding the stock their noon meal. It was noticed that the hens had nests in several places. That day I learned that Guilford liked to suck eggs. He would pick up an egg, step around a corner out of sight and suck it. He continued doing this all the while we were taking inventory. Granville never noticed what was taking place. Just how many eggs Guilford put under his belt that day will never be known.

As we filed in from the barn, Mrs. Cook said, ‘Now boys, take off your duds and dinner will be on in about two shakes.’ She handed Granville a kettle and commanded, ‘Run back to the barn and gather some eggs.’ He obeyed her command and went to the barn on a run. He did not return as quickly as Eleanor had hoped so she went to the door and hollered, ‘Come on, hurry! Dinner will be cold if you don’t get a wiggle on.’ Granville came hurrying back saying, ‘Eleanor, I couldn’t find a damned egg. Can’t figure out what has happened. The hens have been laying good. I just don’t understand what has happened today.’

Mrs. Cook said, ‘Well, come boys sit right down at the table. We will eat the ham anyway, eggs or no eggs.’ Guilford kept his face straight but it must have been quite an effort. He never looked up and before we had finished eating, he began to urge Charles and I to hurry. He said, ‘You know boys, we still have many places to call today.’

Mrs. Cook had prepared a wonderful meal but she kept apologizing for ‘shortchanging’ us on the eggs.”

To read more fun stories of life in Aroostook County during the 20th century, CLICK HERE.

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