THE FRIENDS OF LIZZIE BORDEN SOCIETY ANNOUNCE THEIR 107TH ANNUAL MEETING
PLACE: Bristol County Jailgrounds
11:30 AM — Sitting Room to Barn Rush
11:45AM — Chair Fainting Contest
12:30 PM — LUNCH (Plastic Utensils Only)
3 or 4 Cookies
6 Day-old Mutton Broth
3 or 4 Pears
Milk (WHICH BOTTLE HAS THE PRUSSIC ACID IN IT??!!)
2PM — Find the Note from the Sick Friend?
3PM — Dress Hunt (ASHES IN THE STOVE DO NOT COUNT!)
4PM — Axe Handle Dusting
5PM — Mrs. Churchill Calling Contest
6PM — Winner of the Nance O’Neil Lookalike Contest Announced
6:15 — OPEN BAR BEGINS
6:30 — Music, Dancing, Parlor Games ongoing until Emma leaves
8PM — Fireworks Display
9PM — Emma Rout
9:30 — This Year’s Lizzie Announced, Champagne Served
10PM-Midnight — Shunning and Ostracization of Lizzie
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! (BRING YOUR ATTORNEY!)
New this Fall-TNT presents the madcap happenings at 92 Second Street in this original sitcom, “I Love Lizzie.” Each season will offer six episodes leading up to a different scenario and hilarious finale on August 4th.
The season opener (“Bats In The Belfry”) airs September 7. It features Lizzie’s Chinese Sunday School annual picnic going chop-chop when Lizzie discovers her students buying the “entrees” at the Animal Rescue League!
A stellar cast makes this one of the new seasons best.
“I Love Lizzie” Cast:
Lizzie: Lucille Ball
Andrew Borden: Buddy Ebsen
Abby Borden: Totie Fields
Bridget: Donna Douglas
Emma: Lily Tomlin
Knowlton: Jackie Gleason
Jennings: Foster Brookes
Uncle John Morse: Art Carney
Judge: Wally Cox
Nance O’Neill: Barbara Eden
Excerpt Episode 1:
Andrew: Lizzie, you seen your stepmammy this mornin?
Lizzie: Ahhh, no. I mean yes! No, she had a note from a sick friend!
Andrew (admonishingly): Lizzie
Andrew: Lizzie, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!
The morning before the murders. A small pharmacy downstreet.
Several customers are milling about, the bell above the door jangles and Lizzie enters the shop. Despite the heat, her face is obscured by a black veil.
Young female customer: Why Miss Lizzie Borden! What brings you here today, got fleas again?
Lizzie: Shut up.
From the rear of the shop a young pharmacist (Mr. Bence) appears behind the counter holding a small jar.
Mr. Bence: Alright, who wanted the hemorrhoid ointment?
The customers,including Lizzie, laugh out loud as an uncomfortable looking gentleman makes his way to the counter and sheepishly accepts the jar from Bence.
Bence: Bottoms up!
The customers roar with laughter as the gentleman quickly exits the shop. Lizzie approaches the counter.
Bence: What can I get for you today Miss Borden?
Lizzie, her eyes shifting back and forth hesitates, then takes a note from her oversized bag.
Lizzie (reading from the note): I’d like the latest Harpers Bazaar, some corn pads, a bottle of Castor Oil, some wart remover, 2 cents worth of peppermint candies, 10 cents worth of prussic acid, 2 cents worth of horhound candies, same of butterscotch, and that adorable tortoise shell comb there.
Bence: Whoa, whoa! Lets back up a minute. Did you say prussic acid?
Lizzie (lowering her voice): Yes, 10 cents worth.
Bence: Do you have a prescription for it?
Lizzie: Who in the hell would give me a prescription for that?
Bence: Well, I can’t just dole it out to you, its dangerous.
Lizzie: You have before.
Bence: Have not.
Lizzie: Have too.
Bence: Have not.
Lizzie: Have too.
Bence: Have not.
Lizzie: Oh for Christ’s sake, just get me the other things on the list?
Bence takes the list from her and begins to fill her order. As his back is turned, Lizzie neatly palms a jar of “Mrs. McGillicuddy’s Wrinkle Wremover (It Really Works!!)” from the counter into her bag. Bence returns with her things and hands them over.
Bence: On your father’s account?
Lizzie (eying him coldly):Yes please.
Bence: Thank you Miss Borden, by the way what did you want the prussic acid for?
Lizzie: Why to poison my fat stepmother with of course.
Bence bursts out laughing as Lizzie turns to leave, but at the door she turns back to him.
Lizzie: Do you sell “Rough On Rats”?
Bence (his smile fading): No Miss Borden, I’m sorry.
Lizzie (turning away): Shit!
Bence turns back to his stock, but an earsplitting crash makes him jump. The door to the shop is slamming shut, and an entire display of “Dr.Johns’ Cough Syrup” has been knocked to the floor.
Interior Bristol County Courthouse.
Bailiff: The court calls Thomas Barlow!
A boy of about ten (played by Alfalfa) strides importantly toward the bench and is sworn in. Sitting in the witness chair, his feet do not reach the ground. He crosses his ankles, revealing two different colored socks. A big cowlick rises from the back of his head.
Judge: Your witness Mr Jennings.
Jennings hastily closes a copy of National Geographic, but not before Lizzie catches sight of the photographs of half nude native women he has been ogling.
Lizzie: Tsk! You swine!
Jennings: Where were you on the morning of August 4, young man?
Barlow: Me n Brownie were out front of the Borden’s house.
Knowlton (dozing): Yes, brownies. Thick, chewy, chocolaty brownies!
Barlow: Yeah Brownie, there.
He points to an even younger boy seated near the front (played by Spanky) who wears a propeller hat and is holding in his lap a small Jack Russell terrier. A black circle has been painted around one of the dogs eyes for some reason, which makes him seem to be wearing a monocle. A cute dark haired girl of about ten sits next to him, smiling at Barlow.
Barlow: Me n Brownie snuck past the man at the gate and went to the barn.
Jennings: Was it hot in the barn then?
Barlow: No, it was nice and cool up there.
Jennings: Was it dusty?
Barlow: A little, not too much. (hiccup)
As he hiccups again, a large soap bubble floats from his mouth. The entire courtroom gapes.
Barlow: Hiccup! (Another huge bubble emerges from his mouth)
Judge: Are you allright, son?
Barlow: Hiccup! Yes sir. My girlfriend Darla baked us a cake this morning, and I think there was soap flakes in the frosting. (hiccup)
Darla (sitting next to Brownie): There was not soap flakes! Thomas Barlow I’ll never speak to you as long as I live! (She grandly vacates the courtroom)
Barlow: But Darla! I’m under oath! Darla!!
The Jack Russell has become excited over the shouted exchange and wriggles free from Brownie’s grasp.
Judge: Proceed Mr Jennings.
Jennings (approaching Barlow as the dog flies at his ankles): Oh you little bastard! Get!
He kicks at the dog, who easily evades his shoes and continues to snap at his ankles. Lizzie, shocked as Jennings continues to try and kick the dog, raises her umbrella and strikes Jennings about the head and shoulders.
Lizzie: How dare you (whack!) Try to harm a poor (Whack!) defenseless (Whack!) animal (Whack) !!
Jennings, attacked on all sides now, flees the courtroom.
Jennings (fleeing): No further questions!!!
Lizzie takes her seat at the judges warning, and the dog leaps into her lap. She strokes it, and murmurs fondly to it.
Lizzie: There, there, poor thing. How would you like to come and visit Maplecroft?
The dog licks her hand in reply, obviously charmed at the idea.
INTERIOR Fall River Police Station Matron’s Room
Lizzie lies on the cot, the room is literally filled with flowers and chocolates. Attending her today are Emma, and two female admirers, Mrs. Brigham and Alice Russell. In the adjoining bathroom Matron Hannah Reagan is washing up.
Lizzie (curling up around a box of Godiva chocolates): Mmmm, these soft centered ones are DIVINE!
Alice Russell (sitting near her on the cot): Who sent you those Lizzie? Godiva, not bad.
Lizzie(taking the note from the box and reading it): “Best wishes, Nance O’Neil. Who the hell is Nance O’Neil?
Mrs. Brigham: Nance O’Neil? The actress? Let me see that! (She takes the card from Lizzie and reads it.) I’ll be damned.
Lizzie: Who the hell is Nance O’Neil?
Mrs. Brigham: Only the most promising new actress on Broadway! I can’t believe you’ve never heard of her.
Lizzie: Yeah well, I haven’t had much time on my social calendar to get out to a Broadway show lately. You know? My dance card’s FULL right now. What does she look like, Nance O’Neil? Give me that note back.
Mrs Brigham: Oh she’s lovely Lizzie! Tall and blonde, the most beautiful eyes!
Lizzie sucks on a chocolate, her eyes narrowing as Mrs Brigham describes Nance.
Emma (covertly taking a chocolate from the Godiva box): Actress! An ungodly profession!
Mrs Brigham: Oh and the voice on her! Like an angel she is. (sigh)
Lizzie: I must look her up one day. Yes, thank her when I get out of this.
Mrs Reagan (from the bathroom): What makes you think you’re ever gonna get out of this, Lady Muck?
Lizzie: Put a sock in it Mammy. When I want something, I MAKE it happen!
Reagan: I know something even Lady Muck can’t make a go of.
Lizzie: Yeah, what?
Mrs. Reagan (coming out of the bathroom with her bucket): I’ll bet you can’t crack an egg open with one hand.
Lizzie: Pssssshhht. Give me a break!
Mrs Reagan (puts down the bucket and heads off to the kitchen):We’ll see.
She returns with a carton of eggs and places them on a small table near Lizzie’s cot. The others gather round and Lizzie sits up.
Mrs Reagan: I’ll bet you that box of Godiva chocolates that you can’t hold this egg in one hand and crack it open without spilling a drop.
Lizzie slants her eyes at Reagan and takes an egg from the carton.
Lizzie: You mean . . .
Mrs Reagan: Open it so that you could cook with it, with one hand, not cracking it against anything or spilling a drop.
Lizzie holds the egg gingerly and tries to gently crack it and turn it up before it spills. She fails, the egg drips to the floor. The others laugh and Alice Russell brings Lizzie a damp cloth for her hands
Lizzie: Well, that’s the first time I ever lost a bet. Lets see you do it.
Mrs Reagan takes another egg and holds it gently. Then with one sharp hardened fingernail she deftly pokes a hole in the top. It is clear that the egg can be poured from the hole neatly. The guests applaud her efforts.
Alice Russell: That was very clever Hannah! Lizzie! Give her the chocolates!
Lizzie reluctantly hands over the Godiva box, making sure that she has taken Nance’s note and the envelope out first.
Lizzie: Yes, very clever Hannah. Mind if I try it again?
Mrs Reagan (cramming three chocolates into her mouth): No, go ahead!
Lizzie smiles and takes up the entire carton of remaining eggs and dashes it against the wall.
Lizzie: How was that?
Bailiff: The court calls Adelaide Churchill
Mrs .Churchill is sworn in and takes the stand.
Knowlton(wiping spaghetti sauce from his forehead): Where were you on the morning of August 4?
Churchill: I went food shopping
Churchill: To the butcher shop
Knowlton: I believe they had steak tips on sale that day?
Churchill: That’s right, I bought three pounds.
Knowlton: The marinated ones?
Knowlton: Teriyaki or Italian?
Churchill: Teri- (She is interrupted by Jennings who rises, and yells.)
Jennings: If it please the court, some of us would like to get ON with our lives!
Judge: Mr Knowlton you will confine your questions to the-
Knowlton: Yes yes. Now Mrs. Churchill. On the morning of August 4, did you at any time have any kind of intercourse with the defendant?
Churchill: I beg your pardon?
Lizzie(whispering to Jennings): How the hell did he find that out? We were drunk…
Knowlton: Did the defendant speak to you?
Churchill: Yes, she asked me to come over.
Knowlton: What exactly did she say?
Churchill: She said, “Mrs. Churchill do come over. Someone has offed Father”
Churchill: Yes, you know, eighty-sixed.
Knowlton raises his eyebrows, still unsure.
Churchill: She told me that someone had come into the house and cooled her father…You know ICED him! I don’t know how I can make it plainer-somebody whacked him!!
Knowlton: You mean killed Mr Borden?
Churchill: YES! Jesus, am I speaking English?
Lizzie(whispering to Jennings): We were drunk.How the hell did he find out about us!?
Jennings: Shut up and swoon, I remembered the smelling salts.
Knowlton (to Lizzie): Now exactly when was the last time your Uncle John visited 92 Second Street?
Lizzie: It was that winter the river froze over.
Jennings(waking up and getting to his feet): Yes! When the river froze my client was ice-fishing Sirs! She brought home ninety pounds and almost drowned cooking it.
(Laughter from jury box and spectators)
Knowlton: Will you SHUT UP!!!
Jennings rushes to her, crashing into the corner of the defense table sending books and files flying. More laughter from the jurors. Jennings hands Lizzie a handkerchief and she blows her nose uproariously. Knowlton paces wiping his brow. Lizzie continues to blow her nose until he cracks.
Knowlton: Will You CUT THAT OUT!!!
Interior Bristol County Courthouse.
It is hot mid-summer and the courtroom is filled to capacity. Prosecutor Knowlton is preparing his papers when the bailiff rises.
Bailiff: The court calls Livingston Weekes.
There is a collective gasp as a six foot tall Rastafarian with long flowing dreads and wearing a green and yellow striped suit approaches the stand. He is barefoot.
Bailiff: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Weekes: Jah no dead.
Weekes: Jah man, Jah no dead. Me swear.
He takes the stand and waits. Nothing happens. From the defense table arise audible snores from Attorney Jennings.
Judge: Your witness Mr. Jennings.
Jennings is leaning back in his chair against the railing, and his mouth drops open making his snores
ear-splitting. Lizzie sitting next to him, shakes her head back and forth and rolls her eyes heavenward. The reporters note this sympathetically.
Judge: Council Jennings?
Jennings: Now Miss Langtry, you know I’m a married man
Judge: COUNCIL JENNINGS!!
Jennings snaps awake, his chair falling forward with a crack. He rises and approaches the witness. There is one small step leading up to the stand which Jennings neglects and he trips forward grandly. The entire courtroom, except for Lizzie, breaks up.
Lizzie (sneering): tsk.
Judge: Everybody shut up!
Jennings (To the witness): Good day Mr. Weekes, what is your profession?
Weekes: Ice cream.
Jennings: You sell ice cream sir?
Weekes: Well me no eat it for a living. Yah, me sell ice cream.
Jennings: How do you sell it?
Weekes: From da back me truck
Jennings: You carry it on your truck through the streets?
Weekes: Yah man
Jennings: On the morning of August 4, were you selling?
Weekes: Me selling ICE CREAM only man. Yah, it were hot that day. Hot like home! I were selling ma ice cream.
Jennings: At around eleven that morning, where were you soliciting?
Weekes: Me no soliciting shit man! Me selling ice cream! How many times me say it?
Jennings: I’m sorry Mr. Weekes. Let me re-phrase that.
Jennings: At eleven o’clock on the morning of August 4, where were you selling your ice cream?
Weekes: Me doing First and Second Street man
Weekes: Oh yeah man, it hot like home. Hot like home! I ring de bell day come. Me make a nice curry ice cream too.
Jennings: Are you familiar with number 92 Second Street?
Weekes: Yah man. De fat lady, she me best customer.
Jennings: You mean Mrs. Borden?
Weekes (smiling fondly): Yah Mrs Borden man. She buy me whole cart one time! She de best customer.
Jennings: So on the morning of August 4 you expected to see her?
Weekes: Yah me waited out front de house a few minutes.
Jennings: Did you see anybody in the yard?
Weekes(smiling toward the defense table): Me see de daughtah.
Lizzie smiles back at him.
Jennings: Do you mean you saw the defendant there?
Weekes: Me see Miss Lizzie in de yard.
Jennings: As near as you can tell, what time was that?
Weekes: I an I just hear de churchbell chime eleven when she come out
Jennings: Coming from where?
Weekes: Me tink she come from de barn.
Jennings: What did she do in the yard then?
Weekes: She eatin a peer man.
Jennings: A peer?
Weekes: Yah man, a peer from de peer tree.
Jennings: Did she seem upset? In a hurry? In any distress at all?
Weekes: No man, she lookin nice.
Lizzie blushes and smiles at him.
Jennings: Did she speak to you?
Weekes: No man, Miss Lizzie no buy nah ice cream ever. Dat how she keep so nice.
Lizzie winks at him.
Jennings: No further questions.
He is very pleased, and returns to the defense table again forgetting the step. This time he trips down it. Again the courtroom cracks up, except for Lizzie.
Lizzie (hissing): Idiot!
Judge: Everybody shut up! Thank you Mr Weekes.
Judge: Mr Knowlton, your witness.
Knowlton is caught with an Italian sausage and pepper sandwich in his teeth and quickly deposits the thing into a drawer.
Knowlton: Nnfff kwrrrsss (swallows) your honor.
Knowlton: No questions your honor.
Bailiff: The Court calls Mrs. Hanna Reagan.
There is no answer.
Bailiff (Louder): The Court calls MRS. HANNAH REAGAN!
There is shuffling from the rear of the courtroom and a middle-aged woman in a blue matron’s uniform approaches the bench. She is holding an ear trumpet to the side of her head.
Mrs Reagan: Someone wants a banana sandwich?
Bailiff: Hannah Reagan!
Mrs. Reagan: Yes! Why don’t you speak up for God’s sake? What the hell kind of town crier are you?? Talking about bananas in a court of law!
Lizzie snaps her fan open and is trying not to laugh behind it. Jennings covers his eyes, and lets out a loud snort of laughter each time he peeks up at the witness. With some difficulty, during which the bailiff is hit on the cheek with the ear trumpet, Mrs Reagan is sworn in.
Knowlton (sliding his desk drawer shut on a slice of pepperoni pizza, and writing on his notepad): Must remember to try banana sandwiches-mmm.
He approaches the stand.
Knowlton: Good morning Mrs. Reagan, would you please state your profession?
Reagan: My what?
Knowlton: Your PROFESSION! What do you DO for a living?
Reagan: You don’t have to yell sir. I’m a matron for the Fall River Police Department.
Knowlton; I’m sorry Mrs. Reagan.
Lizzie and Jennings, and most of the spectators and jury, are cracking up.
Judge: Everybody shut up!
Reagan: I beg your pardon sir?
Knowlton: Now Mrs Reagan, was the defendant in your care at the Fall River Jail last year?
Reagan: Who? Miss Lizzie Borden was, yes. A great pain in my ass she was too!My cooking wasn’t good enough for Lady Muck!
Lizzie and Jennings are in hysterics now, she holding the fan before her face, Jennings guffawing behind a large open law book.
Judge: Council Jennings, I am warning you and your client!
Jennings: I beg your pardon your honor.
Knowlton: Mrs. Reagan, did Emma Borden visit the jail while the defendant was in custody?
Reagan (adjusting the ear trumpet): Come again?
From now on Knowlton addresses the witness in a loud voice. He repeats the question.
Reagan: Emma Borden, yes a lovely woman. Hard to believe she and Lady Muck were related! My cooking wasn’t good enough! Oh no! Three meals a day from the hotel it was for Lady Muck! And flowers too!! Flowers sent to someone in a bloody jail! Why not just give her a damned medal? Or The Nobel Prize!!?
A loud snort, quickly muffled, comes from the defense table. The judge eyes Jennings warningly. Knowlton decides to simply overlook the witness’ outburst in hopes of discouraging any further ones.
Knowlton: Do you recall any conversations overheard between the sisters?
Reagan: Oh yes! Quite chummy they were most of the time. Except that one time when they had cross words. No one ever dare say no to Lady Muck. Three meals a day from the hotel it was for her! And excursions all around the grounds every morning!!! My cooking wasn’t good enough!
Lizzie’s eyes are clenched shut and she is biting her lip trying not to laugh.
Knowlton (interrupting): Now Mrs. Reagan, what happened that one time they had cross words?
Reagan: Well Miss Emma came in that morning, and I was in the next cell. Could hear them as well as I hear you, sir. Miss Emma hadn’t been there for five minutes when I heard Lizzie Borden say to her, “We are screwed Emma, you have really screwed me this time.”
Knowlton: No further questions Your Honor.
Judge: Mr Jennings, your witness.
Jennings (shouting): Mrs Reagan, when the sisters had that conversation, were they shouting?
Reagan: Of course not, they were speaking normally like we are now.
Jennings (still shouting): And how far away were you from them?
Reagan: About from here to that railing.
Jennings steps back to the railing and speaks in a normal tone of voice.
Jennings: Ma’am, who is the president of the United States?
Mrs. Reagan adjusts her ear trumpet and seems to be considering her answer. Jennings repeats the question in the normal speaking decibel.
Jennings: Who is the president of the United States?
Reagan: Mrs. Hannah Reagan, sir.
Jennings: Thank you. No further questions.
He returns to the defense table as Mrs Reagan is dismissed. For once Lizzie seems pleased with him.
Jennings (to Lizzie): Nothing wrong with that then, Lady Muck?
They both suppress snorts of laughter.
Mrs Reagan (passing them): Hmmph, see if you’re still laughing when you’re dangling from the end of a rope Miss Lizzie Borden.
Jennings: Shut up, you arthritic van Gogh! By the way when were you elected, Mr. President?
Judge: Shut up everybody!!
Interior Bristol County Courthouse. The last day of the trial.
District Attorney Knowlton is conducting his statement to the jury.
Knowlton: So. We have a rich woman here. A very rich woman. An extremely rich woman. A woman so rich she can probably buy and sell every one of you four or five times over!
Knowlton: She’s rich, she’s waiting for her inheritance with baited breath. Her miserly father and fat-ass stepmother will not die. How much longer before she can buy that new house on the hill, or the trip to Paris?
Lizzie (rolling her eyes): TSK! Jesus!
Knowlton: They have the audacity to go on living, depriving her of her money! So when it becomes clear that they are not going to die in this year or the next, what does she do?
Knowlton slams his hand onto the prosecution table, startling the jurors who flinch at the resounding report.
Knowlton: WHACK! She whacks them! Both!
He slams his open hand again and again onto the table.
Knowlton: WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
Judge: Mr. Knowlton!
Knowlton (collecting himself): Yes your honor. Gentlemen, this defendant is SO guilty I can’t even tell you. Look at her.
All eyes go to Lizzie who sneers at Knowlton.
Knowlton: Have you ever seen anybody so rich? Why is she so rich?
He slams his hand onto the table again, the jury flinches again.
Knowlton: WHACK! That’s why. Thank you gentlemen.
He sits, wiping the perspiration from his brow. It is now time for the judges’ instructions to the jury. The entire courtroom leans forward intently.
Judge: Gentlemen of the jury. Lizzie didn’t do it! Now go deliberate.
The jury rises and the bailiff proceeds with them to the deliberation room carrying evidence including the skulls of the victims and the handel-less hatchet. At the door the foreman stops the bailiff.
Foreman: Oh, I don’t think we want any of that stuff in here son, do we?
The other jurors peer at the box and it’s gory contents, shuddering.
Foreman: I don’t think so, that stuff gives me the willies.
Bailiff: You don’t want to examine the evidence?
Foreman: Jeesh, no.
Bailiff: Well, is there anything I can get you?
Foreman: Yes, we’d like two Scrabble games please, and a deck of cards.
Interior Bristol County Courtroom. The room is filled to capacity, it is stifling, but not a sound can be heard as everyone awaits the appearance of the three justices. Finally the doorway to the chambers is opened, and all three justices attempt to pass through it at once. They become jammed in the doorway. There is a loud crack! As Dewey, in the center, simultaneously punches the two others in the nose.
Judge Dewey: Spread out!!
They manage to disentangle themselves, and take their seats at the bench
Judge Dewey: Gentlemen Of the jury, have you reached a verdict?
Judge Louie: A verdict?
Judge Huey: A verdict?
Foreman: A what?
Judge Dewey: A VERDICT!! Is she guilty or not guilty?
Judge Louie: A VERDICT!! Is she guilty or not?
Judge Huey: A VERDICT!! Guilty or not?
Foreman: Is who guilty or not guilty?
Judge Dewey (exasperated): LIZZIE ANDREW BORDEN!!
Huey: LIZZIE ANDREW BORDEN!!
Louie: LIZZIE BORDEN!!
Lizzie starts and Jennings snaps awake.
Foreman: OH! You mean the lady in the front everyone’s always staring at? Drawing pictures of? With the nice clothes, and the little handbag? (Whispering back to the other jurors): She’s the one on trial? Shit, I thought it was that old douchebag behind her.
Juror (stage whispering back): That’s Reverand Jubb’s wife, you asshole!
Foreman: (Addressing the judges): Not guilty, your Honors!
A roar goes up from the courtroom, Jennings leaps into the air, and Lizzie leans forward covering her face with her hands. Her shoulders heave with sobs.
Jennings: Hot shit! Hot shit! Where’s a drink! Lizzie! Lets have a drink!
Knowlton, who has been cutting coupons out of a newspaper, quickly pockets them and departs the courtroom, leaving the paper on his desk. Lizzie continues to sob, and the court reporters swarm her.
Reporter: Miss Borden! Miss Borden, a word please!
Lizzie finally looks up, and spots Knowlton’s discarded newspaper. She has stopped crying instantly and her face is suddenly quite alert, her eyes clear and focussed. She smiles and takes up the newspaper.
Lizzie: Thank you very much. Now where’s the real estate section in this rag?
Interior Boston’s Colonial Theater. Full auditorium.
Just as the houselights dim, a very well dressed woman is shown to a seat near the front. She is alone. As she excuses herself past the seated patrons, one of them, a young man, speaks to his companion.
Young man: Have you seen this Nance O’Neil before?
Friend: Yes. She’s a tad saccharine and she sings off-key, but great tits!
He lets out a howl of pain as the well dressed woman being seated has stepped directly onto his instep. She continues past him, smiling politely and excusing herself until she takes her seat. It is Lizzie of course. Oblivious to the man’s cries and curses she unfolds her program and examines it with a mild expression.
The orchestra has begun the overture. The houselights are extinguished and the heavy red curtain rises on a single dramatically lit figure. Nance is stunning in a daring low cut blue sequined gown.
Lizzie is mesmerized, and watches as Nance re-enacts some of her Shakespearian triumphs (the soliloquy from Macbeth, during which she burps audibly and excuses herself before continuing, and Ophelia’s mad scene, done flawlessly) She then recites several recipes from McCalls, a limerick about a couple named Kelly, and finishes with a song she has composed herself. She looks pointedly to Lizzie as she sings.
If you ever whack your mum, I’m your chum
If you ever cool your Dad, I’ll be glad.
If you ever go to jail, I’ll bring bail
Its Friendship! Friendship!
Got the perfect blendship
When other friendships go to pot
Ours will still be. . hot
The crowd applauds heartily, quieting only when the lights narrow to a pulsing red and the closing number begins.
The minute you walked in the room,
I could see you were a man of distinction, a real big spender
She belts out the rest of the song with practiced Broadway zeal, wowing the audience into a frenzy. At each repetition of the chorus, she stops and turns directly to Lizzie. At the finale, she removes one long black glove (the crowd screams) and tosses it into Lizzie’s lap singing,
Nance: Hey big spender!
A Little time with me?
The crowd roars as the curtain rings down. Lizzie feels faint, and produces an ornate fan which she flutters in front of her red, blushing face. An usher comes to her side and hands her a note.
Usher: From Miss O’Neil, Miss Borden
Lizzie: Thank you.
Lizzie reads the note, continuing to fan herself, then turns to the usher who is still standing near her.
Lizzie: Miss O’Neil has asked to see me in her d-d-d-dressing room. Can you show me where it is?
Usher(leering): Absolutely Miss Borden! Right this way, Miss O’Neil is very popular with the female patrons.Very popular!
Lizzie has recovered her poise and stands, handing the usher a five dollar bill.
Lizzie: Here, now shut your cake-hole.
Exterior Claridge’s Hotel in Providence.
It is snowing, near Christmas time and the front of the hotel is gaily decorated with balsam and colored lights. A uniformed doorman is kept busy as hotel guests and visitors to the restaurant are coming and going with packages. A handsome carriage pulls up out front and two women emerge. One is tall and blond, strikingly beautiful; her tawny tresses hanging daringly loose about her shoulders. The other wears a fashionable fur hat and coat and is shorter and a little stouter. The doorman opens up for them with a flourish. They are escorted to exclusive seats in the small but very chic hotel restaurant.
Nance: Oh this is lovely Lizzie!
A waiter brings ice water and a basket of warm bread which Nance falls upon.
Nance: This bread is heavenly! Heavenly!
Waiter: Something to drink, Ladies?
Lizzie: I’ll have a small glass of Beaujolais
Nance: Double scotch rocks
Waiter: Very good.
Lizzie looks about at the delicate decorations and out the window at the snow as Nance continues to gorge on the bread.
Nance: Waiter! More bread here please.
Lizzie: My God Nan, slow down!
Nance: You know what I’ve had for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week? Popcorn. I’m still pulling it out of my teeth.
Lizzie(shocked): Why didn’t you tell me!? No wonder you look so pale!
Nance: Oh well, it does wonders for my Ophelia I really was half out of it onstage. The critics thought I was drunk.
Lizzie: Nan you mustn’t starve
Nance: Not much choice with the reviews I got last week. Did you see the Times? Jesus! We couldn’t give tickets away.
Lizzie: Never mind that and order yourself a big steak.
Nance smiles at her gratefully through another mouthful of bread. A small bar is situated just beyond the restaurant. It is crowded with men smoking and drinking, and a stout bearded fellow sits alone. He is frequently compelled to peer into the restaurant at the two women dining near the window.
Bartender: Mr. Knowlton?
Knowlton: Please, double Jack rocks.
He continues drinking and covertly espying Nance and Lizzie until they finish their lavish meal and make ready to leave. Outside the restaurant Nance is signaling the driver from the curb. Lizzie waits near the door.
Knowlton blusters out, shoving past the doorman and slipping on the snowy sidewalk. Lizzie sniffs, clicking her tongue at the drunk who has fallen down behind her. She turns away in disgust.
Knowlton: Miss Borden! Just a minute please!
She turns and faces her former antagonist and gasps. For a moment she wonders if she is under arrest once more.
Knowlton: Miss Borden, may I have a word please?
Lizzie is still too surprised to answer and Knowlton lurches forward.
Knowlton (slurring): Miss Borden I just wanted to say no hard feelings. I mean I hope not; may I call you Lizzie?
Lizzie recoils but he continues, oblivious.
Knowlton: I mean that’s all in the past, you know? And if the judge happens to be your attorney’s baby, psshhhht. What can we do? Who is your friend there?
Lizzie: Knowlton! You’re shitfaced!
Knowlton: NAAHH! Its Christmas! Who is your friend, may we be introduced?
He blearily eyes Nance who is still at the curb awaiting their driver
Knowlton: Maybe we could all have a drink together?
Nance approaches now and eyes Knowlton dubiously. She is nearly as tall as he, carries a heavy umbrella, and has had several drinks herself.
Nance: Who’s this? He giving you a hard time?
Knowlton starts to introduce himself, but Lizzie whisks Nance away toward their carriage at the curb.
Knowlton: We could all go for a drink! Miss Borden! Please, a word!
Lizzie shoves Nance up into the carriage
Nance: Wooo! What gives? Who was that guy?
Lizzie(to the driver): Move it! (to Nance): Him? Nobody-some jerk who was at the trial and never got over it.
Nance: Looks pretty faced to me, I was getting ready to introduce him to my umbrella. Oh look, Tilden Thurber is open late for the holidays! Lets stop in!
Nance: I thought you liked that place.
Lizzie: Well I hate it now.
Nance: Suit yourself.
I Love Lizzie © 2001 Kathleen Carbone
You Know You’re Really a Bordenite When . . .
by Sherry Chapman
(Editor’s note from the Lizzie Borden Quarterly: On page 9 of the January, 1999Lizzie Borden Quarterly, we published a column entitled “Lizzie Borden Jokes,” written by Mrs. Chapman along with her daughter, Maria Chapman. They were wry, witty question-and-answer jokes, that really, only Lizzie Borden intimates could fully appreciate. Here she is again, this time flying solo, with a selection of one-sentence statements that, to use Mrs. Chapman’s term, only a ‘Bordenite’ would fully understand. Also, I must hasten to add, they are not merely surface statements, rather, all require a modicum of thought … You may also be interested to know that there has already been a request for permission to print them elsewhere, even before their first publication here …)
YOU KNOW YOU’RE REALLY A BORDENITE WHEN . . .
You do not eat mutton in any shape, form or manner.
You sing You Can’t Chop Your Poppa up in Massachusetts as you go about your daily chores.
You like to have your picture taken, but can’t seem to find many of yourself.
You say “axe” for “ask”.
You try to help out the tour guide of the B & B, whether she wants you to or not.
It’s been 109 years and the murderer still hasn’t been found, but you keep buying books and research materials thinking you will be the one to find the solution.
You can eat four pears in 20 minutes.
You can go in a hot, filthy barn loft and leave no footprints.
You know that “Me and Brownie” isn’t a book about a boy and his dog.
You go to get a dress altered, but take in the wrong one.
You have stood on the front stairway in the B & B to see if you could have seen Abby’s body from the stairs.
You shelled out the publisher’s price for the Knowlton Papers, and consider yourself lucky.
You watch The Legend of Lizzie Borden just to track the errors.
You’ve tried to do the “egg thing” that Hannah Reagan bet Lizzie she couldn’t do.
You’ve put a coat on backwards and tried to swing an axe at the same time, telling yourself you’re doing an important scientific historical test, especially if someone comes in at the time.
You’ve gone to the Fall River Historical Society just because of the Lizzie exhibit.
You recognized Michael Martins from his TV appearances.
You refuse to sharpen and use the pencil you bought at the souvenir shop with Lizzie’s facsimile signature.
When visiting the Borden graves, you know who all the headstones stand for.
You start referring to food poisoning as “summer complaint.”
You’re still looking for the Fruit & Flower Mission in your town so you can volunteer.
You find yourself starting an old broken-lock collection.
You don’t talk to your uncle if he comes over to visit.
You buy every book on Lizzie Borden you can find, whether you think you’ll like it or not, disregarding inflated prices.
You never lend your Lizzie books.
You feel a twinge of excitement every August 4, especially as 11:00 rolls around.
Most of your wardrobe is blue.
You are putting pressure on Parker Brothers to do a Lizzie Borden version of “Clue.”
You think your father will be 70 next month, even if he’s deceased.
You put rosewater on your mince pies.
You put a request in to all the local video stores to find you a Nance O’Neil film.
Whenever you talk about your trip to Europe, you refer to it as The Grand Tour.
The B & B is the only one you’d stay at and not sleep all night.
You’ve made your significant other get in the closet at the B & B to see if a person can hide in there.
You don’t get a divorce because you’re afraid your spouse will get custody of your Borden books.
You are tired of the Lizzie Borden Took an Axe poem.
Once you get to the city of Fall River, you can find the historical museum without asking directions.
You’re on a first name basis with at least five Borden historians.
You wish you were on a first name basis with at least five Borden historians.
You’ve understood everything on this list.
“You Know You Are Really a Bordenite When . . .” was originally published on page 8 of the October, 2001 issue of The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, © 2001. Article reproduced courtesy of the “Lizzie Borden Quarterly,” Maynard F. Bertolet, editor.
Lizzie Jokes by Sherry and Marla Chapman
If Lizzie did admit to guilt, what would her excuse be?
It was an axeident.
What was Lizzie’s winning poker hand?
Describe that last haircut Lizzie gave to Andrew.
It was a real hack job.
Who would Lizzie’s favorite comedian be today?
How did Lizzie correspond with her cousin in Marion?
What did Lizzie give to her Chinese Sunday school students to eat with at the church picnic?
Why did they throw Andrew’s newspaper away when they found his body?
It was all red (read).
What was Andrew’s favorite candy?
What did Lizzie’s Magic 8 Ball say when she questioned it about killing her parents?
Axe again later.
Why was Lizzie let go from the Fall River baseball team?
She stole third base.
Why did Andrew’s money hate him?
He pinched his pennies.
What was Lizzie’s favorite soft drink?
What comment did Lizzie’s teacher write on her report card?
She was pretty sharp.
Who would Lizzie’s favorite 1950s singer be?
Why was Lizzie thought to be very strong?
She was a shop lifter.
What did Lizzie do when she got lost on the streets?
Axed for directions.
What would Lizzie’s favorite football team be today?
The Pittsburgh Stealers.
Why couldn’t Lizzie get a job that started before noon?
She didn’t do mournings.
“Lizzie Borden Jokes” was originally published on page 9 of the January, 1999 issue of The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, © 1999. Article reproduced courtesy of the Lizzie Borden Quarterly, Maynard F. Bertolet, editor.
Dear Abby by Sherry Chapman
© 2002 Harry Widdows
Dear Abby -
Are you the same Abby Borden who is on the board of the YMCA? -
Dear Curious -
I do not know. I think that is a question best directed to the Fall River Historical Society. But be patient. Currently there is a waiting period of about 30 years for letters to be answered.
Dear Abby -
My daughter is planning her wedding, and I would like your advice on the wedding feast. We can’t decide whether to have ham, chicken or beef as the main course. What did you have after your wedding? -
Mrs. Alvin Durfee
Dear Mrs. Durfee -
Dear Abby -
Some townsfolk, zey are saying I do not cut zee hair good. Thees eez a lie. I was trained in only zee best Paris salons. I look to you to save my reputation. Sincerely – Pierrre LaDuc
Dear Pierre -
I must say that the last time my husband was in your shop, you gave him a real hack job. (I really must say it. My husband said if I tell people you are good, you may raise your prices.)
Dear Abby -
Your step-daughter, Lizzie, was in pre-planning your funeral, and we left out one item. Your favorite hymn is _____? -
The Reverend E. A. Buck
Dear Rev. Buck -
Why, Mr. Borden, of course! And how thoughtful of my step-daughter to do this.
Confidential to Mr. Jules Rychebusch -
I have heard that you refer to me as a “lump of oatmeal” in an interview in “Hash and Re-hash”. I wish to let you and others know that there is much more to my being than my weight and an emphasis on food. (By the way, if you have the recipe for that ‘hash’ I would love it. Also the ‘re-hash’, as we do use leftovers often.)
July-August, 2003, Dear Abby
What overnight guests are you expecting on Monday, August 8?
- H. Knowlton, Marion
Dear Mr. Knowlton,
It is no business of yours, sir. But so my readers do not think that I have anything to hide or that I tell falsehoods, I will share the answer with them. I am not expecting anyone. I keep the excuse handy for whenever Mr. Morse may make one of his unexpected visits, so that he does not over-stay his welcome as he has in the past.
I had the pleasure of sharing a seat with your step-daughter, Miss Emma, on a train last year to Fairhaven. She is so quiet and proper. What a source of pride she must bring to your family. Why, she must not have an enemy in the entire world. – Train Traveler
Dear T T,
Thank you for your kind letter. Regretfully there are always some who are simply disagreeable. The Spiering family makes fun of her facial hair, and the Engstroms think she drinks!
If you knew you had but a few minutes to live, what would you do with your time? – Student of Human Behavior
Hmm … Well, I would take off the rat in my hair I suppose. It is not comfortable. Oh, and I would make sure the house was tidy, complete down to the pillow shams. After all, the Borden name does happen to be a cut above the rest.
My husband and I have pet names for each other – innocent, affectionate names – that we sometimes use in public. Is this acceptable? – Name Caller
Perfectly acceptable. My husband and I have pet names for each other as well. On occasion I will call him “cupcake”. He refers to me as “poundcake”.
I love to go to Sunday school at the Central Congregational mission but I do not have a way to get there every week. I cannot afford the horse car. What do you suggest? – Lo Mein, Fall River
Dear Lo Mein,
Why don’t you wok?
This month’s edition of Dear Abby is sponsored by Dr. Benjamin J. Handy of Fall River.
Looking for a cottage to rent in Marion? On the water. Good fishing. Sleeps 6. Reasonably priced. A perfect summer vacation getaway for a group. Find your sinkers and drop me a line – Dr. B J Handy (Owner reserves the right to drop in unannounced.)
Confidential to Mr. McWhirr: Simply send the bill to the “young lady’s” father and he will reimburse you. In the future, kindly send your correspondence to my home.
June, 2003, Dear Abby
My husband has an ailment that is driving me crazy as a loon. He only has the ability to speak two words. If he tries to communicate something to someone, he will point and say the two words, over and over in frustration. If you ask him something, his answer is always those same two words. I have taken him to every doctor in the area and none have been able to help. I am writing in hopes that you can. Oh, in case it helps any, the two words are “not guilty”. – Mrs. Charles Richards
Dear Mrs. Richards,
Try a psychiatrist in the Boston area. Do write and let us know the verdict.
My name is George Revere and I live in Somerset. I am new to the area. Just wanted to introduce myself to all the fine folk that read your column. Sincerely – Henry Trickey – uh, I mean GEORGE REVERE.
Dear Mr. Revere,
Please know that the good ladies of the Fruit and Flower Mission tried to bring you a welcome basket but they could not locate you. Welcome anyway.
I am planning to wear a long sleeved, dark Bengaline silk dress to a special occasion in August. My sister thinks this is a ridiculous choice for what will probably be a very warm day. Wouldn’t my choice of dress be appropriate if someone wished to blend in with the crowd without drawing notice, as do I? Not to mention that any stains, food stains, would not be seen. – Sister of a deadbeat, Fall River
Normally I would suggest something lighter, a Bedford cord, perhaps, depending on the formality of the event. However you will be the one to wear it and the choice is yours. If I knew what the event was, I would be able to advise you better. Hmm… there is an oyster party given by the YMCA on August 1, but I see nothing on my calendar after the 3rd.
I am newly married and do all right in the kitchen. But next month my in-laws are coming from Baltimore and I am to prepare a turkey dinner. I have never done a turkey in my life. I do have a cook, but my husband wants me to do this myself. I feel so – Helpless on the Hill
I had to research this, as I too have a cook. According to Mrs. Stephen J. Field from ‘Statesman’s Dishes and How to Cook Them’: “The turkey should be cooped up and fed some time before Christmas. Three days before it is slaughtered, it should have an English walnut forced down its throat three times a day, and a glass of sherry once a day. The meat will be deliciously tender, and have a fine nutty flavor.” Looks like you’ll have to ask your in-laws to postpone their trip until December.
Hot off the press for all you June brides, “Dear Abby’s Guide to Weddings”. This informative and helpful booklet will have your wedding woes fastly turned into the happiness of expectation you should have before your marriage (that is ‘before’, not ‘after’). Bridal attendants: how many should I have and what exactly do they attend? Home wedding or church wedding – how to decide if your parents haven’t already decided for you. Your Wedding Tour – New York City? The Green Mountains? Niagara Falls? Cincinnati? All this and more if you send in one dime to me, in care of this publication. (And remember, girls: chaperones, chaperones, chaperones until you have that “Mrs.” in front of your name.)
This edition of “Dear Abby”
Has been sponsored by
80 Second Street
” The best thing on your lips is a meal from Tripp’s”
(Summer complainers discount with doctor’s note)
May, 2003, Dear Abby
Dear Abby - Can you recommend an establishment that gets blood stains out of carpeting? I do not need them at the moment. So it would be best if the business has been around a while and is not in danger of shutting down before summertime. I have not axed anyone yet. I thought I would try you first. – Lizbeth of Fall River
Dear Lizbeth - (What a charming name!) I do indeed know of a most reputable place of business that does a fine job on the steam cleaning of carpet. It is the Maple Street Laundry, located on the corner of Maple and Linden Streets. Be sure to contact them promptly. Blood stains in the summer heat can really be murder.
Dear Abby - I have trouble with marriage. I young married man. I do good in this country. I do good to wife. I bring home ice cream. All right, sometimes I do see woman who wears blue dress. But nothing happens – I swear to you – I just look. Nuthink else. My wife she hear me tell neighbor I seeing woman in blue dress. She jump all over me. She say she will leave me. Is there nothing that I can do to have her to believe I do nuthink but see? I am sorry. I no read fast. Please to type slow. – Hyman Lubinsky, Fall River
Dear Hyman - The Bible says that if you look at someone who is not your spouse you should pluck your eye out or you will not make it to heaven. However, I have heard that there is a contradictory statement elsewhere to this in the Good Book. I have not been to church in a while because – of important things that have prevented my going. You may ask your priest about this. In the meantime, keep your eyes and mind on your wife.
Dear Abby - I’ve a problem with a young man. I’m a married woman and at times I go for a wee walk in the mornins. Sometimes I do not feel well. Must be the city air and my longin’ for County Cork. When I go for my walks I always see this young man. He drives an ice cream cart and he watches me where I go. I have tried to be nice to him and strike up a conversation, but he’s not one for talkin. He says Fridays are Thursdays, and he has asked me on more than one occasion which yard is whose. ‘Twas like tryin to talk sense to a banshee. So I gave up on the talkin, thinkin he’d leave me be. But he keeps followin me and I don’t for the life of me know why. I am somethin of a big lass, and can take care of myself if I need to. He’s about to get a knee to his Lucky Charms. – E. E., Mulberry Street.
Dear E. E. - If he is a delivery man, you are obviously walking his route. Go another way, dear.
Is it getting tougher to make that trip down Memory Lane? Can’t remember where you left your partial plate overnight? Don’t know if you’ve been upstairs or downstairs some mornings? Then this book is for you. I am pleased to offer for the first time anywhere a copy of the “J. V. Morse Memory Course”. This 20-page booklet will have you remembering not only what you had for breakfast, but considering things that weren’t even on the table. You’ll soon be able to sing along with the crowd in Ruggles Park to all the verses to “Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay”, not just joining in the choruses. You’ll be able to remember exactly what coins are in your pocketbook when you go shopping (and the dates on each one too). Forget that morning dental appointment? No unannounced visitor will throw you off schedule any longer when you read this amazing book. Numbers his specialty, Mr. Morse has a special way of remembering things and he will share it with you for the low, low cost of just $1 cash money. Please send your money in an envelope to him in care of the South Dartmouth post office. Oh, he has just informed me he will soon be doing most of his posting at the Fall River post office, so you had better send it there. Sorry, he forgot.
This edition of Dear Abby has been sponsored by the Eagle Stove Foundry Company of Fall River – your place to go for “Natick” ranges, coal and wood stoves.
April, 2003, Dear Abby
Dear Abby -
The fellows and I hear tell that Sergeant’s Dry Goods is going out of business next year. Should we put any stock in that? – Wondering
Dear Wondering -
No – never put stock in a company that is going under. I understand the Troy mills is a pretty sure investment.
Dear Abby -
Why did your husband suddenly call off the investigation of your daylight robbery last summer? Did he know who did it? – Mr. H. Knowlton, New Bedford
Dear Mr. Knowlton -
This story is not true. It simply is not true! And if you persist in spreading tales of our family like this, I shall be forced to speak to Mr. Jennings about it. And besides, my husband has forbidden us to talk about the incident.
Dear Abby -
I went to a fortune teller recently and she gave me some terrible news that frightens me. Are fortune tellers for real, Abby? Or are they fakes? – Scared in Swansea
Dear S.I.S. -
Yes, yes. The old fortune teller game. I am familiar with it. A male relative saw one for amusement not long ago and told him my husband and I would die soon. And here we are! Other “predictions” I’ve heard have been that some day we will fly like birds in the sky … Men will walk on the moon. Stuff and nonsense.
Dear Abby -
I have recently married a widower with two daughters. Though both are under 14 years of age, they will not call me “Mother”. It’s always “Mrs. ________.” My husband is out of the house on business so often, he has little clout in trying to correct them. How can I get the girls to give me the respect I am due by calling me “Mother”? I Need – Help in Flint Village
Dear HIFV -
Just be grateful that’s all they call you.
Dear Abby -
Every time I call for Dr. Seabury Bowen, it takes him over half a day to get to me. I am seriously thinking of switching to another doctor. Please advise. – Patient in Fall River
Dear PIFR -
It’s a good thing you are patient. But if you truly wish to change doctors, I can suggest Dr. Handy. He comes over even if you don’t want him to.
This installment of “Dear Abby” was sponsored by Tilden – Thurber, Providence, RI. “Shoplifters will be prosecuted – and made to confess to any other crime of our choosing.”
March, 2003, Dear Abby
Dear Abby -
My husband is not the best looking man in the city. In fact, he is downright homely. I thought perhaps his looks would improve with age, but such was not the case. I have lost interest in him because of his appearance, though I am still greatly attracted to his personality. I have been thinking about the new plastic surgery doctors are starting to do nowadays to improve one’s looks. Would I be playing God, Abby, to try to talk my husband into one of these operations so I can be happier? -Wishful Wife
Dear Wishful -
By all means, see about the surgery if it means that much to you. I’ve been talking about the same thing to my husband. He could use some alterations around the nose and eye area. He refuses to spend the money. One of these days, I tease him, I will get a doctor to do it when he’s asleep! Good luck to you, my dear.
Dear Abby -
My children are served regular portions at meal time, but they usually end up eating only half. The rest gets thrown away under the barn. Should I force them to sit until they are finished? They are not hungry between meals and appear to be in good health. – Mom in Marion
Dear Mom -
Serve them the other half at the next meal. They will never notice the difference. My household knows the value of good food, and it is a trait to instill in young ones. I clean my plate at every meal. Strangely, my step-daughters still say my food goes to waist …
Dear Abby -
Are you in the habit of wearing a dust cap or head covering when you go about your morning chores? I am hiring a new servant girl and wish to know what needs she will have. – Mr. HK, temporarily of the Mellen House.
Dear H K -
I do not use one in the summertime. It is too hot to bother with. When one perspires it causes it to slip and is annoying. A personal choice. You should supply the new girl with two to start off with. (Do not mind my saying so, but generally the wife takes care of this task.)
Dear Abby -
Our family would like to acquire a house pet. Do you have any suggestions as to what kind would be best? We live in a house in town.
- The J’s of Fall River
Dear J’s -
I heartily recommend a cat. They are good companions, catch your mice, and warm your hands in the winter. I have a beautiful cat named Deliah that I acquired as a kitten. When I had bronchitis a few years ago, she sat on my bed the entire time watching over me. Cats eat very little, and are quite clean animals. If taken care of properly, they can live 20 years. I have had my Deliah for almost five now. I have not seen her in a few days, though. But my step-daughter tells me she can be found in the basement.
Confidential to Seething in Somerset: Tell your husband that he must not be so lazy. Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice. Have your wife do it and she will gain upper arm strength.
When the Leftovers are Left Over: My new booklet available this month is full of recipes using leftover leftovers. A crust atop, a few potatoes thrown in, perhaps formed into croquettes and I am telling you they will never know! One dime and your name and address brings you this helpful kitchen “must”.
February, 2003, Dear Abby
I wish to complain about our city’s policemen going off to a clambake every August, leaving our city virtually unprotected. Why, I hate to think if something should happen in our fair city with all of them gone off like that. Please, Abby, appeal to the city to stop this madness. – Fed Up With Clams
Dear Fed Up,
Our glorious Boys in Blue work hard year-round protecting the citizens of Fall River. They deserve this annual affair. Look around at our virtually crime-free streets. We can thank them for our security by giving them this one day together in celebration of a job well done. I chuckle to think that on the only day our force is out of town a horrendous crime will take place. You should stop your own madness, my dear. You are really out to sea.
Can you tell me how Buzzard’s Bay got its name? I have a small wager resting on your answer. – Everett Brown
There are two stories connected with the naming of Buzzard’s Bay. One is that a French sea captain in 1619 saw the ospreys (large, beautiful birds), called them “buzzardets” and it was Anglicized to “buzzards”. The second is that British immigrants used the Old World word “buzzard”, which to them meant ‘large hawks’ when they saw the ospreys. There is also my personal theory, which is that it is named for my husband. Every time we are out I usually hear someone refer to him as an ‘old buzzard’, and I believe because of that, coupled with his personal wealth the bay very well could be named for him.
I am generally not one to complain, but I am nearly at my wit’s end and I am hoping you can help. I have a brother-in-law who pops over without letting me know ahead of time, expecting to be fed – even when it’s between meal time – and needing to be put up for the night. To top it off, he doesn’t bathe, doesn’t even bring his toothbrush with him. What can I do to stop him? Any ideas at all would be helpful. Thank you, Abby. – Tired of Uncle Phineas
Strangely enough, I have the same problem. I have an idea for you. The next time your brother-in-law comes, feed him, yes. But don’t give him anything special. Just warm over whatever you had a day or two, or three, earlier. In the morning send him out on some errand – the post office maybe. And when he comes back, pretend you are dead. He’ll never come back again!Confidential to Millie: I think you are putting on airs to look down upon your friend just because she works in the mills. I have to say – sew what?
And speaking of sewing, my newest booklet is now out. Called “Needlework – the Ins and Outs” can be yours by sending one dime to me, Dear Abby, in care of this publication.
January, 2003, Dear Abby
I am generally reluctant to tell tales out of school, but a situation has arisen which I feel compelled to write you for your advice. Recently I was spending the night with a close friend and I saw her commit an act which a great deal of persons in our fair city may find of interest. Should I share my observation with others, or should I say nothing and just hope the subject never comes up? I am just burning to speak, but just say the word, Abby, and my –
Lips Are Sealed
Dear Lips Are Sealed,
I think your answer lies in your own letter, dear. You say the person is a ‘close friend’. You must ask yourself would a close friend of yours do something which sounds so sordid? Review the incident in your mind. Maybe there is a chance you are mistaken. Once you bring the incident to light, you could lose your beloved friend. Is it worth so much? As you may know, many a turncoat friend have a tendency to end up shunned, friendless and spending their last days in this town in the Home for the Aged. I advise you to sew your lips shut.
If I have occasion to send a telegram to my sister, who will be away in another town, that contains very bad news – a murder, perhaps two – what is the most proper way to word it? One of the persons in the household is old and feeble. – LAB in Fall River
If you must telegram your sister, do so but do not tell her the facts as the elderly woman may become disturbed.
Our father is an embarrassment. He refuses to add any modern conveniences to our home, though he can highly afford them. He makes a spectacle of himself in his old fashioned clothing and his picking up trash in the street to re-use (broken locks and the like). When people see him they laugh and call him skinflint. How can we change him so that we do not continue to be laughing stocks?
- Sisters on Second Street
I am afraid that there is no changing a man, once reached a certain age, which is probably 5 or 10 years old. You could spread the word that he is actually ‘recycling’, which could gain him some respect for being ahead of his time.
I am extremely fortunate in that my husband is very generous. In fact, he recently bought me a house to prevent my half-sister from being evicted. Oh, his daughters do not know this yet and it is so hard to erase all of these carbons I use. This may not suit them well to learn it first here. Well, I doubt that they read my column anyway and if they do, I’m sure they’ll be just as happy for me as I am.
Hot Off the Press! “365 Ways to Cook Lamb”, by yours truly. And there are – I’ve done it! To be put on a subscriber’s list please send one dime to me in care of this newspaper and include your name and address.
Confidential to HK of New Bedford: I am sorry, Mr. Knowlton, but the paper ran out of room for any more letters this time. I will try to fit one of yours in the next edition, but remember you did have one in the last one. You have sent me several letters and I can only do what I can do. You ask a lot of questions!
December, 2002, Dear Abby
How far should I go on my first date? – Miss A. Buck, Fall River
Dear Miss Buck,
Oh, no more than a mile or two – chaperoned, of course.
Does pea soup and johnny cake really make a fellow’s belly ache?
- Mrs. P. B., Fall River
Dear Mrs. P.B.,
I do not know. But mutton soup and johnny cake will do it.
Do you keep a rag bag? If you should, say, ruin a dress, would your household tear it up for rags, or would you destroy it? My wife would like to know for housekeeping purposes. – H. Knowlton, New Bedford
Dear Mr. Knowlton,
Yes, we keep a rag bag. My husband would never allow such waste. All households that I am aware of keep such bags. Forgive me for saying so, but it sounds like a question your wife should know the answer to, as any modern housewife would.
New from Dear Abby: Ever have one of those terrible hair mornings, where your hair will not go where you want it to? I will tell you, dear readers, there are days when I just feel like bashing the back of my head in I get so frustrated. Well, those days will be over when you read my new pamphlet, “Happy Days are Hair Again”. To receive your copy, please send one dime to Dear Abby in care of this publication.
Confidential to “Fed up with Fleas”: Dear Fleas, Please be more specific what you mean by the word ‘fleas’. If you mean the curse, you’ve got your flowers, your monthly visitor, or your leaky basement just come out and say so. Enough of these euphemisms, I say. After all, dear, these are the ‘90s.
Fall River Weather Report
I thought it would be interesting this summer to keep a little log of Fall River’s temperatures and humidities. The two times I visited there in different years, it was really hot there. It seemed to be a town where the sun just beats down on it. There are other towns by the water I’ve visited where every time I go there, it’s like that.
The weather on the morning of the murders has always been of interest, because the temperature wasn’t all that high yet everyone insists it was a horribly hot day. Back then, temperatures were recorded but the humidity was not. Writers used to keep passing it on that it was well over a hundred degrees that day, but no one bothered to check. Until a few years ago in the LBQ the official weather report for that day was published, and it surprised all of us. What’d it get up to – 83 at most? So everyone said well, it had to have been the humidity – it must have been high.
I wonder if that is one of those little towns that’s almost always just HOT. So for those that are interested, here’s a start on the summer weather reports for Fall River.
June 30, 2002
Tonight’s weather report comes from Dr. Seabury Bowen. Dr. Bowen?
“Thank you, Mrs. Chapman. Today in Fall River I was busy having my boy drive me around making house calls. I cannot recall if the sky was blue. A sort of a drab color, I should say. When I reached home, I saw Mrs. Churchill outside and said, ‘Addie, come see,’ so she could help describe its color. But she turned pale and would not look. Summer complaint, perhaps. I should offer to give her sulphate of morphine in double doses, but I’m afraid that may alter her perception of the sky’s color. I finally had to talk through the telephone to New Bedford, where they informed me that at 9:53 this evening it was 66 degrees. Oh, and cloudy. The sky is cloudy. I suppose that’s why I could not see much color to it. That is all I know.”
Thank you, sir.
So for tonight in Fall River:
June 30, 2002
Temperature: 66 degrees
July 1st weather, according to Bridget:
Q: How hot was it today, Maggie? You don’t mind me calling you Maggie, do you, it’s just that you’re Irish and shouldn’t mind if we give you a made-up name, O.K., Maggie?
A: What was the question?
Q: How hot was it today, Maggie?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Well, can you guess? Don’t tell me what anyone told you, just tell me what you would say as to how hot it was today?
A: Well, I can’t say.
Q: Do you have any idea as to how hot it was today, or not, Maggie?
A: I didn’t hear anything about it.
Q: Well, Maggie, I don’t want to know what was said to you, I want to know how hot it was?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Did you perspire?
A: Yes sir
Q: So you were hot?
A: I guess I was.
Q: How else do you know it was hot?
-”OBJECTION! LEADING THE WITNESS as to: ‘THAT IT WAS HOT’, WHEN WITNESS NEVER SAID IT WAS HOT!”
-”OVER RULED! You may answer the question, Maggie.”
A: Well, I changed my dress.
Q: You changed your dress ?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Why did you change your dress?
A: Because it was damp.
Q: Why was it damp?
A: It was damp from throwing water up on the window.
Q: It wasn’t damp from the heat?
A: No sir.
Q: But it was hot enough to make you perspire and your dress got damp, and you changed it?
A: Yes sir
Q: So it was hot?
A: I could not tell you.
As to July 1st weather, we will NEVER know, if we rely on Maggie.
It’s just that Bridget gets nervous in the courtroom. I happened to catch up with her this evening as she was waiting for a carriage downstairs. She’s more relaxed now, aren’t you Miss Sullivan?
“Yes, at least I seem to be. It’s the weather you’d be wantin’ is it? This mornin I was layin on top of my bed and had not taken off any of my clothing. I had not fallen asleep all night, thinkin of court today. I saw the sun rise at 5:13 am. I looked at the clock in my room is how I fixed the time. After I went down to see about gettin’ the Hunts’ breakfast, I went out in their back yard to vomit, then I put on a more stylish – and cleaner – dress for the courthouse. I was testifyin all day and didn’t get to see much of what it was like outdoors, but we could all tell it was another hot and stifling day. I tried to take a carriage back at 6 this evenin, but I was detained by Mr. Knowlton who kept showing me this piece of paper… So here now the sun went down about 8:26 and I’m still waitin for a ride back. I heard a gentleman in the hallway further back say it’s 75 degrees right now, but it feels like 77. I wish I didn’t have to come back tomorrow. It’s to be 90 or 95 and sticky again. Oh, Pshaw! There’s the carriage goin past again.”
Thank you, Miss Sullivan. And good luck with the next carriage.
So for today, July 1 at 9:30 pm at Fall River we have
Temperature 75 degrees, but feels like 77
Record High for this date available was 100 degrees in 1993.
Record Low for July 1 available was 40 degrees in 1973.
And tomorrow does look to be a very hot and humid one.
July 2, 2002
Whew! Another hot one in Fall River tonight, just like Bridget predicted. I have Mr. John Morse with me in front of the post office (don’t worry – I bought him a fake nose and glasses so there wouldn’t be any trouble). Mr. Morse, we’re ready for your report on the city’s weather now.
“At exactly 7:53 tonight – I fixed the time by looking at my pocket watch – it was exactly 85 degrees out. I have proof of this by my telephone call placed to New Bedford, which is where we get our weather readings, placed at 7:52. I’m sure they have a log of my telephone call if you asked them. Unfortunately I did not see the uniform number on the weatherman’s cap because this was done through the telephone after all. I hear people on the street saying it feels like 92 degrees. The wind is coming from (wets finger and holds it up) the southwest! And even though it is at 8 miles per hour, I still contend that it could have blown open the locked cellar door at my brother-in-law’s place last August. Sunrise came this morning at 5:15 am, which was no bother to me since I am always up early – usually the first one up. And while you were getting your things set up, I took note that the sunset came at 8:23 this evening. It’s sure to be a hot night. No rain in sight either. I was rather hoping for some rain to clean my suit. I’ve been wearing it for quite some time, but one more week should not matter. I see people looking at me on the street frequently, so I assume I must still look quite the dapper fellow.”
Thank you, Mr. Morse. No, you’d better keep that nose & glasses on. You still need to walk home.
So for tonight in Fall River we have:
Temperature 85 degrees at 7:53 pm – feels like 92.
Humidity is at 72%. Wind from the southwest at 8 mph.
Sunrise was at 5:15 am; Sunset at 8:23 pm.
Record high for this day available was 94 degrees in 1955.
Record low for this day available was 42 degrees in 1978.
A very humid night is in store for Fall River tonight. Here are the projected readings thru the night:
11 pm: 75 degrees; 86% humidity.
1 am: 90% humidity
4 am: 92% humidity
8 am: 82% humidity I hope Uncle John doesn’t sleep in that suit as well.
July 3, 2002
Wow, it’s a scorcher here in Fall River this morning. I don’t know how everyone can stand to wear all those clothes! I’m getting some looks from the tank top I have on, but I don’t care. Besides, the town’s tongues have more important things to wag about. Today’s weather is brought to you by Mr. Eli Bence. Are you ready, sir?
“Yes. I was in the back tending to some things. A sign, really, is what I made. “No Prescription – No Prussic”. That should take care of any further unpleasantness in the future. First they want me to testify, then they don’t. There goes my book deal with George Buffinton. Well, it is hot here out on the sidewalk – 89 degrees to be exact, and it feels like 96. The skies are fair, and there’s a slight wind, very slight, I would judge about 5 miles per hour. The ladies’ skirts are hardly blowing – not that I pay attention to womens’ attire. I would just notice it if they were. The sun rose today at 5:15 am. I heard Alice Buck talking outdoors at that hour. I’m positive it was her. In Marion? Can’t be. Harte and Kilroy were breakfasting with me and they heard her too. Good day to stay indoors. The heat index is likely to reach 105 this afternoon. Let’s hope we get that predicted thunderstorm tomorrow.”
Thank you, Mr. Bence.
So today in Fall River at 10:53 am we have:
89 degrees; feels like 96.
The wind is variable at 5 mph. A heat index of 105 is possible. High today near 95.
Tonight partly cloudy. Low about 72 degrees.
Sunrise was at 5:15 am. Sun sets at 8:22 tonight.
Isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow.
Watering need is very high today.
Records for July 3 available: High 95 degrees in 1949.
Record low available for today: 43 degrees in 1957.
July 4, 2002
It’s tough to find someone to help us with the weather report today, it being a holiday and all. Is it —- yes, it is Lizzie Borden herself coming up the sidewalk. I—I thought you were, um —
“In jail? Oh, horse feathers. I’m allowed a walk daily. They didn’t say it had to be on the jail grounds. I assume you need the weather done. I can do it just as well now as any other time. Though some in this town refer to me as the ‘sphinx of coldness’, I am sweltering this evening. Right now it’s 96 degrees. Since our average is 81, it’s a bit high for a high. In these skirts it feels like 101. The wind coming from the west/southwest at 13 miles per hour does help some. Still, my trusty little Japanese fan comes in handy. The sun rose thru my cell window at 5:16 this morning. I look forward to it, as I am not even allowed a lamp from which to read by. When the sun goes down at night, which will be at 8:22 tonight, I must make my own amusement. Last night I thought of a poem and told it to some little girls who were looking up at my window. Already this morning I heard children skipping rope to it. It’s a catchy little thing. Who knows? Maybe some day I’ll be trying my hand at a play. I really must go. I hope you’ll tell no one you’ve seen me. Please don’t give me away.”
Thank you, Miss Borden. And to think I almost didn’t axe her to do this.
So at 6:30 this evening in Fall River it’s
96 degrees – feels like 101
Humidity is at 37%
Record high for July 4th available was 96 degrees in 1955
Record low was 42 degrees in 1892 – I mean 1982
Tomorrow should be cooler with a high of 84, winds n/w at 10-15- mph.
Scattered thunderstorms during the evening tonight; 40% chance of rain.
July 5, 2002
We are indeed honored today to have as our guest weather reporter ex-Governor George Robinson. Mr. Robinson served as Governor from 1883-1886. He appointed Justice Dewey to the Superior Court in ’86, but everyone is quite sure it will not influence Justice Dewey in the least with the work he has to do.* Counselor?
(Clears throat and speaks loudly) “Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you as a simple man. Not a weatherman. Weathermen are human, made out of men, and nothing else. I hold no interest in predictions. It is not my business to unravel the mystery of the gulf stream or the trade winds. I am not here to find out WHO makes the weather. I am simply and solely here to say “What is the weather today?” That is all. Not WHO does it. Not HOW is it done. But what it is NOW. That is all that can be proven. So for today I submit to you that we are under fair skies with a temperature of 83 degrees as of 11:53 this morning. The wind is coming from the northwest at 15-22 miles per hour. I could say that I slept through the sunrise this morning and was told it occurred at 5:16 am, but that would be hearsay. The sun set at 8:22 pm last night, and unless something goes askew in our enormous and wondrous galaxy system it will set again tonight at the same time. If I give you predictions of the weather to come that may not happen, that no one can offer any real proof of, that would have just as much a chance as being wrong as right, you would believe me to be a fiend! I ask you: Do I look it?”
Thank you, Sir. (No, I did not agree to pay you $25,000 for this. That must be another client.)
So today in Fall River we have plenty of sunshine with a temperature of 83 degrees; humidity is at 42%. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low of 62. The record high available for July 5 is 96 degrees in 1955; the record low 42 degrees in 1982.
* The law firm still exists today.
July 7, 2002
Emma was approached about the weather in Fall River yesterday, July 6th. We had to send her a letter but it was returned. We sent her a telegram and she came in person to answer! It turns out all she knew, she had been told. She heard from Morse, their dear uncle, I mean HER dear uncle that it had been hot, but she didn’t know for how long.
Emma said a friend came to tell her the weather was better out of town. She had also heard rumors that it was humid, so she discussed it with her sister. They decided if it was to continue hot, they would stay in bed later into the morning, just as it happened. They would lock all the doors and hire a detective to find the weather and a lawyer to interpret it for them. And if got really really hot they would move.
July 7, 2002
Today’s weather report is sponsored by Baker’s non-poisonous bread. Thru Tuesday on sale at five cents a loaf. They say, “Don’t come here for rolls. We don’t have any left.”
Our guest weather person this evening is Thomas Barlow. Mr. Barlow?
“Uh, yeah. Oh, me? Uh, okay. Uh, it’s kinda cloudy out heah. Murky like. Oh, yeah. In weathah terms it’d be called hazy. There’s hahdly any wind blowin’. It’s like at 3 miles per owah, comin’ outta the south/southwest. Me and Brownie were climbin’ up in a bahn this aftahnoon. I dunno. We just like to do it. We climb up and climb back down. Just somethin’ to do, ya know? But today some policeman put us out of the yahd. It was coolah up in that bahn, tho, than outside today. I gotta get a move-on heah. Sun sets at 8:21 and I gotta get to the pool hall by then. Uh, thanks for havin’ me. Brownie? No, he ain’t got nuttin’ to say.”
Thank you, Mr. Barlow, and, uh, “Brownie”.
So tonight in Fall River we have a temperature of 72 degrees as of 6:53. Humidity is at 71%, and will be climbing up to 82% by 3 am. Tonight we look for mostly clear skies and a low of about 64 degrees. The record high for July 7 available was 97 degrees in 1981; the record low 45 degrees in 1972. The sun rises tomorrow at 5:18 am.
July 11, 2002
Today’s weather report is sponsored by Sergeant’s Dry Goods. There’s to be a sale this week of cheap dress goods, eight cents a yard. We are fortunate indeed today to have as our guest reporter that affluent, self-made businessman, Andrew Jackson Borden of Second Street. Mr. Borden, are we ready?
“Been ready, and I think you know it. Waste time, waste money. A man cannot sit ’round and do muttin’. Now let’s get on with it, shall we? Today in Fall River at 7:53 tonight it was 69 degrees. Hm, that’s my age, you know. Some people think I’m already 70. Not yet – I’m fit as a fiddle. I think any autopsy would prove that. I’ll not have Dr. Bowen coming over Dr. Handy style expecting payment for calls I don’t make. Garfield tea is all I need – no need for any of those fancy, costly medicines. And fresh air, plenty of it. Today was a good day to get some. Not so sticky out today, and there’s a wind coming from the northwest at about 7 miles per hour. A good night for sitting in the parlor in the dahk. There is to be a full moon tonight – look, it’s out already. I don’t especially like these nights with a full moon. A glaze seems to come over my daughter Lizzie’s eyes. I wanted to summer in Swansea, but there is something in the wind, besides the smoke from the mills. The sun set an hour ago. I’d best be getting on upstreet.”
Thank you, Mr. Borden. I know how valuable your time is.
So for tonight in Fall River we have a temperature of a pleasant 69 degrees at 7:53 pm, humidity at 45%. Tonight we’ll have clear skies with a low of 54. The record high available for July 11 was 100 degrees in 1993; record low 46 degrees in 1986. The sun will rise tomorrow morning at 5:21 am, when the humidity will be at 81%. But that will drop to about 46% by noon. We’re looking toward a very pleasant Friday here tomorrow.
July 31, 2002
It’s a hot one here in Fall River tonight. We have with us this evening as our guest weatherman photographer James A. Walsh of this city. Mr. Walsh?
Hm. What kind of camera is that they’re using? I’ve never seen one of those before.
- (whispering off camera) It’s a camcorder. We’ll let you see it later. -
All right. Well, yes, it is hot in town tonight. Um … uh … you’ll have to excuse me. I’m used to being on the other side of the camera. It’s exactly 87 degrees as we stand here now, but it feels like 91. The sky is partly cloudy. What? Oh, I can move my lips?? Really??? And my whole head? Surely you jest. What about this? (waves hands) The devil you say! (takes pleasure in moving about as he continues) The wind this evening is of little help, coming from the southeast at 8 miles per hour. So I’ll have to stir up some of my own! (whirls arms like windmill) This I have got to see … Normally this time of year we average a high of 82 degrees and a low of 60. No rain in sight until maybe Friday, and that is a big maybe. The sun rose this morning at 5:38 am – I remembah that because I had to take all my photo equipment inside. Business hasn’t been so good lately and I’ve been using my back porch for a dahkroom. I’ve been taking street scene shots just to keep busy. The sun will be setting tonight at 8:04, in just about an hour. With mostly clear skies I should be able to turn out a bit of photographs. Perhaps I will turn them into postcards. If I don’t get something coming in soon, I’ll be evicted. Can I see it now? Can I? Can I?
Thank you, Mr. Walsh. Just a minute, sir. As soon as we’re done. Mr. Walsh, you have your hand on the lens. If you could just step back one moment, sir. And if I were you, I wouldn’t worry. I have a feeling you’ll be getting some business in just a few days.
Right now we’re at 53% humidity. Water those gardens! They are in need. Records available for this day were a high of 95 in 1988 and a low of 47 in 1956. No, no, Mr. Walsh. Don’t touch that button-
August 3, 2002
Tonight’s weather report is sponsored by the WCTU – who want to get their message out to all of Fall River to drink only medicinally and for communion. They recommend clear spring water, sanitized city water, coffee, tea or that popular drink Coca Cola. Thanks, gals.
And tonight we have as our guest weatherperson Miss Alice Russell. Miss Russell?
Hm? Oh, yes. The weather. Well, right now it is 80 degrees out and feels more like 83. And … um … oh, I’m sorry that I am distracted. I have had a visit from my friend, whose name I will not mention. All right, it was the Borden girl, Lizzie. But I will not divulge her conversation. Oh, all right, she was talking to me of people coming after her father and household, enemies of her father who is a highly respected and well-to-do-businessman. She thought they might be poisoned and fears the house will be burned over their heads. But that is all I must say. Oh, all right, she told me about a robbery in the house earlier when people were home and in broad daylight. How they took her stepmother’s things but no one else’s. Really, I must not say more. I am a trusted friend and intend to maintain that trust. Oh all right, she said she has seen someone lurking about the place on two occasions at night. Personally, I think she is full of cookies. She has quite an imagination, that girl. Why she chose to burden me with these outrageous stories I haven’t any idea, but she has a friend in me – a friend who retains confidences. Why just last week when I saw her upstairs in their guest room, she came in and said -”
Miss Russell, I’m afraid your weather time has run out. I had no idea you were so upset this evening. If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have bothered you. Thank you for your time.
“Yes. Yes. I – I must hurry downstreet to pick up some sewing thread before the stores close. And speaking of the notions store, you should hear what I heard about the owner’s wife. I’m not one to carry tales, far be it for me to do so, but you know they caught her with her hand in -”
Yes, you’d better run along, Miss Russell. It’s nearing 9:30. All right, dear. Yes, I’ll be fine. Well, Miss Russell was a bit rattled tonight. Oh, well. A hundred years from now no one will remember this weather report or Miss Russell.
SO tonight as Miss Russell told us it is 80 degrees, humidity is at 67%, and the wind is coming from the s/se at a mere 3 mph. Sunrise today was at 5:38 am and the sun set tonight here at 8:04 pm. Records available for this date were 95 degrees in 1988 and 47 degrees in 1956. Tomorrow calls for it to be hot and muggy. I’d get my business done in the morning and be back home by noon. Tomorrow’s weather report will be given at Rocky Point, where the policemen are holding their annual clambake. Now that should be pretty exciting!