Columns

Adventures in Paradise: My Ten Years in Fayette 2014.10.29

By RICH FOLEY

 Yeah, I know what you folks in Fayette just asked yourself: “Ten years? It seems like we’ve put up with that loon a lot longer than that.” Trust me, I know how long it’s been since I moved to Fayette. After all, I take notes.

This week marks ten years since I decided to pack up everything I owned  (except for the mountains of “treasures” I left for the trash pickers) and move 32 miles to a town in another state where I only knew one person.

Even giving directions to the new apartment was an adventure. At first, I was able to use the AMC Pacer at the north edge of town as a reference point. After it found a new home, it was tough for awhile. More recently, the twin Geo Metro convertibles a few blocks to the south are a great reminder to visitors that they are almost to their destination.

Initially, I managed to fly under the radar in Fayette. That ended when I started going to the library. The nice employees there got used to putting up with me three nights a week when I stopped in to use the Internet. Remember when the library was open three nights a week?

A special treat was visiting the library when Jerry Miller was working. Receiving one of his handwritten notes was always something to look forward to. With a memorial bench now installed in front of the library, hopefully no one will ever forget him.

Like most small towns, sometimes your business seems to become everyone’s business. A few years ago, I stopped in at the post office and postmaster Davis asked me about my new car, a car which was news to me, although Rick seemed to know something I didn’t.

It turned out that I had been spotted sitting in the finance office of a nearby Ford dealership and imaginations ran wild from there. I pointed out to Rick that the dealership finance person was also the advertising contact and I was the one doing the selling.

I told Rick if he heard the story again to say that I admitted to buying a brand new Mustang, but it was on back order since I was too picky to take any of the cars in stock. Those special orders sometimes take a couple of months to make it through the system. I wonder how long it took until the rumor starter decided he or she might have been wrong?

I suppose I should apologize for some of my ideas for the area that didn’t quite become reality. For instance, bringing Sterlena, the former spokescow for the Sterling Milk company, to Fayette to reside in the yard next to my apartment. I guess she found a grazing spot more to her liking.

Or, capitalizing on finding out I could trace my family tree back to Pocahontas by getting rights to operate a riverboat gambling casino on Harrison Lake. That’s not such a dumb idea, is it? All I’d need would be a financial backer. I’ll have to talk to Don Stiriz again.

My favorite idea is still persuading residents of what was historically called the Toledo Strip to secede from Ohio and form the 51st state, with Fayette as its capital city. I came up with that idea in 2006.

We’d have a huge explosion in construction as we’d need government buildings, a governor’s residence and much more. The biggest project would be construction of an international airport.

With statehood comes electoral votes, so we’d need an airport to make it easier for presidential candidates to visit. If we get cracking on the idea, we should be ready by the 2024 election. By then, I’m guessing the major contenders will be Chelsea Clinton and George P. Bush. Sound good?

My best Fayette memory happened on Christmas Day several years ago. I decided to take a trip through Harrison Lake State Park. The park was quiet. At least it was until the noise of the vehicle spooked a herd of deer that ran for the fence along County Road 26.

One by one, they jumped the park fence, ran across the road and into the adjoining field. There were more than 30 of them. That made it a memorable  Christmas.

I’m sure there’s a few—perhaps a lot more than a few—people out there thinking, “We’ve already put up with him for ten years, why can’t he move somewhere else?” I could if I wanted to, but guess what? I’m not going anywhere. First of all, I hate packing. And second, I’m having too much fun right here.