Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 0527.mpg


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Episode Description:

The humble Farmer show for May 27, 2012

56 minutes.

Well received in Northern New England for 34 years, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show that has delighted young and old alike every week since April 6, 1978 for radio --- and now for television.

Music by: Clark Terry, Ukulele Ike, Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Carol Sloane, The Boswell Sisters, Matthew Fogg, Clarence Williams and Denny Browe.

This show contains 3.34 minutes of Denny Breau playing the Bad Habits song at a music/humor show with humble at Dover-Foxcroft.

humble is joined again on camera by his young friend, Sylvia, whose smile might well enable her to soon seize control of the entire show.

The video over the music is mostly footage from humble trying to catch a swarm of bees. All of this happens in St. George, Maine. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with former paratrooper Bernard Snowdeal telling about jumping out of airplanes in 1952 and his experiences in Japan. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.
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1. Even though I’m usually cold, winter and summer, one day in May the sweat was running right off me. And my thinking ran something like this. It is 75 degrees out, Robert. You just lugged 20 pounds of rhubarb up from the garden. And look what you’re wearing --- an undershirt and a heavy wool shirt --- and a sport jacket on top of that. The dungarees shouldn’t make any difference, but perhaps it is time to take off that heavy insulated long underwear.
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2. I just discovered a box on my gmail that I've never seen before. It says "Spam." While trying to delete the spam, I read this item in one of the boxes: "Significant improvement in both length and girth". You can understand that this really grabbed my attention and that I quickly opened it to see what I could learn as some of my rhubarb plants are getting kind of spindly.
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3. My friend Captain Wally, who lives not far from me, was on a boat down on the Florida keys and heard The humble Farmer coming out of Public Radio in Miami. It must feel good to be cruising in unfamiliar waters and hear a familiar, friendly voice from home. He said they picked up the station because they had a very high mast. Two years ago I wanted to film Captain Wally bringing a boat out of the Caloosahatchee but the German owner had a disagreement about finances with the boat yard owner so I lost out on that opportunity. Here in Maine boat owners never have disagreements with boat yard owners. When boats are launched in Maine, boat yard owners and all the locals who worked on the boat get big tips from smiling, happy boat owners.
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4. Anyone who lives in Maine knows that there are two basic schools of thought when it comes to putting on your sweater. You can either hang onto your shirt cuffs or you can let the sweater drag them way up over your elbows. Every morning when I put on my sweater I am faced with this ubiquitous metaphysical problem. Should I cast my lot with the cuff holders or should I join those who don’t mind their shirt cuffs pulled up above the elbow. The reason I have never taken a stand might suggest to an unbiased observer that one way is no better than the other. The difference between the two philosophies is so meaningless and insignificant, I'm surprised the two camps have never gone to war.
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5. One morning I was in a building and the sound system was playing a song, “I’m going to yump dumpy dumpy deedle all night long.” I’d probably just been talking with my wife Marsha, because my hearing aids were turned off, so the only words I heard were, “I’m going to yump dumpy dumpy deedle all night long.” When you consider these lyrics, you might well ask why so many songs are written for young people and so few songs for us old folks. Because even though I couldn’t understand all of the words to this song, I do know that the only thing a 76-year-old man wants to yump dumpy dumpy deedle do all night long --- is sleep.
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6. Tom sent me an email that says, “I was at a wedding this past fall talking to cousin Steve who had recently started a farm specializing in Lavender flowers. He said that one of the difficulties was getting enough hired help during the harvest season. Given that the farm is located in California at the base of the Sierra Mountains, I said he should consider starting a spiritual retreat. He could develop mindfulness exercises that would involve harvesting the lavender flowers. He wasn't sure that this would work, but I reminded him that in India they say ‘There is a seeker born every minute.’”
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7. Letter from listener.
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8. For years I’ve been inviting you and my radio friends to stop by for supper anytime. Recently two friends I’d never met before not only came for supper, but stayed all night. Having you over for dinner would really be easier because Marsha isn’t home at noon and at noon you and I could simply put leftovers in the micro. Supper is more complicated because when my wife knows that guests are coming, she feels obligated to make it complicated. If I were alone, making supper for you would be easy because I’d simply say, “Let’s look and see what there is.” You might wonder how I can invite you and Jan and everyman to my house for supper. I can do it because only once in every two or three years does anyone have time enough to take me up on it. He was a professor at Colby, he came at dinner time, and I remember very well that we had apple dumplings. Yes, I have sent out thousands of emails that end with, “You are invited to stop by for supper anytime.” But now I’m going to change that so you’ll come at noon so my invitation is going to say, “You are invited to stop by for dinner anytime.” I must admit that from time to time you and other friends send me an email that invites me to your home for supper. The difference between my invitation and yours, is that I always tell you where I live.
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9. From around 1982 until 1994 I sent out tens of thousands of invitations to my Annual Free Lobster Picnic. The invitation was a hook that I tacked on to some direct mail advertising I did for my speaking business. Sometimes in one day I would mail out one batch of 5,000 circulars to meeting planners all over the United States. Anyone who showed up at my home on the third Sunday in August with one of those yellow circulars got a free lobster dinner and six hours of entertainment provided by top entertainers from all over New England. Because it pays to advertise, I got a good return on it. I also went on talk shows all over the country inviting the general public to my Annual Free Lobster Picnic. All people had to do was reply with a self addressed stamped envelope and I’d send them a numbered ticket by return mail. One time Dave Maynard at WBZ forwarded me 300 letters he’d got asking for tickets when I talked about it on his show in Boston. Imagine that one person talking on WBZ could get 300 people to drive to Maine for a weekend. Think what that must have done for the local economy. You would have thought that the Maine Chamber of Commerce would have jumped right in to take over that picnic when my wife made me shut it down. What a big return on a small investment. There was six hours of non-stop entertainment at that picnic underneath a huge tent. Some of the people I consider to be my best friends I first met at that Free Annual Lobster Picnic over 20 years ago. And even now from time to time I’ll meet someone in some exotic corner of the world like Lewiston, and they’ll say, “humble, my wife and I went to one of your lobster picnics.” But the point of my mentioning all this is the people who didn’t come because they didn’t believe there was such a thing as a free Maine lobster at a picnic in someone’s backyard. They’ll say, “I got your invitations but I never came because I thought it was a joke --- a hoax.” What kind of society do we live in when people can’t believe something that is too good to be true? Were you a believer? Did you ever come to one of The humble Farmer’s Free Lobster Picnics? Can you still remember that August day from 20 years ago? I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com and I’d like to hear from you.
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10. Here’s another junk email that got my attention. If you are a social commentator, you should be grateful for junk email because you will never run out of topics. This one says: “Your wife need your attention? Solve all your problems with IT.” I don’t know why IT needs to advertise. You and I have friends who no sooner left for work, when IT came in the back door.
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11. One morning I looked at the television and saw three million people jostling each other, elbow to elbow in that space between the Washington Monument and the Capitol Steps. I couldn’t help but think what a great day it was in Washington for pickpockets.

Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2012 0527.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:55:56

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,679,684 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 22:41


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