Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 1104.mpg

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Episode Description:

The humble Farmer show for November 4, 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, Django Reinhardt, Ruby Braff, Dave Frishberg, Jimmy Noone, Ukulele Ike, and Denny Breau.

This show contains a few minutes of Denny Breau playing at a music/humor show with humble at Dover-Foxcroft, Buzz Pinkham telling about his Pumpkinfest and 2.53 minutes of Dr. Dick’s dancing puppets.

humble is joined again on camera by his young friend, Sylvia, whose smile is now generating much of humble’s fan mail.

The video over the music is of Buzz Pinkham’s Pumpkinfest, an annual event in Damariscotta, Maine, where 1,000 pound pumpkins are hollowed out and paddled about like boats and cars are crushed by pumpkins dropped from 200 feet.

All of this is tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a thousand pound pumpkin dropping on a car. Most of the songs and commentary are separated by an outtake consisting of pumpkins being paddled and a smile from humble’s relative and neighbor, Paula Lunt, a world-class canoe paddling champion. Paula has been a lobster catcher for many years and humble is remiss in never having filmed her at work on her boat. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.
The humorous commentary that humble delivers between the songs is approximated below:
November 4, 2012
1. When I was out to the Wisconsin Apple Grower’s meeting I heard some things that you wouldn’t hear in Maine. Two old men talking. Real old men. Older than me. One said, “How come our minds don’t get older like our bodies? How come 19 year old girls still look good to 80 year old men? Tell me why 80 year old women don’t look good?” The other one said, “They do at mealtime.”
2. One day my brother said, “Did I ever tell you that story about Mimi Mitchell’s brother?”


“I must have told you that.”

“I can’t remember. Tell me again.”

“I was helping out in the charity booth at the Lobster Festival, flipping hamburgers, but nobody could flip them right except Mimi’s brother so I got shunted off to do something else. He asked me what I did and I told him I’d taught 8th grade history and English in Thomaston for 25 years. He said, ‘Is that right? I taught in New York State for 25 years and got an award for being the top teacher in New York.’ And I said that was very nice. Quite remarkable.

“A year later we’re back in the same booth at the Lobster Festival and he is flipping burgers when we’re joined by another fellow who came in to help out. Mimi’s brother asked him what he did and he said he’d been a marine for 25 years. And Mimi’s brother said, ‘Is that right? I was a drill sergeant for 25 years at Parris Island.’ And the fellow said that was very nice. Quite remarkable.

“The year after that our little sister came home after working for a day in that booth at the Lobster Festival and asked me if I’d ever met Mimi Mitchell’s brother. She said, ‘He’s really a remarkable man. Did you know he worked with Mother Teresa curing lepers and was recognized by the Pope?’

“I said I didn’t know it but I wasn’t surprised to hear it.”

Here’s a headline in a newspaper blog that says: “Website still ranks Maine among worst for making a living” The coast of Maine where I live resembles the west coast of Sweden. Trees and abandoned granite quarries. About the same climate. People vote in both places. Yet, in one of those places people have voted for a political and social system that has not only eliminated poverty but has given them one of the highest standards of living in the world. No rusted cars. No salt on the road to rust out cars. Excellent healthcare for everyone. Excellent retirement for everyone. No veterans sleeping on the streets. Excellent education for everyone. Excellent roads. Excellent jobs for everyone. No poor people. No fallen down barns or unpainted houses. In both countries there are wealthy people who do everything they can to make all the money come their way. The only difference between the two areas is that in the one infested by fallen down barns and low wages, a media owned by the richest people in the country has convinced uneducated working people and small business owners to vote against their own economic interests. Would making it economically possible for each child to complete graduate school without a crushing debt change the outcome of future elections? --- Would a young educated population vote for a government that serves them and not some billionaire in Vegas?
3. One morning we turned on the news to discover that the ocean had wiped out a few low lying neighborhoods along the Atlantic coast. Even though we read that the sea level is predicted to rise even more over the next 100 years, we were told that boardwalks and houses will quickly be rebuilt in the same place. Should houses that are being built on land that will soon once again be inundated and washed away by sea water be required to pay a higher premium for their insurance than those of us who live on high ground? Or should our premiums be raised to help pay for homes built on sand by the shore? In some parts of the world people are already perching their houses on top of 10-foot steel poles. If people build houses on land that is about to be washed over by sea water, should they get aid from the government as well as our best wishes for their health and happiness? Or should they be encouraged to move to higher ground right now? Luckily we don’t have to vote on it. The rising sea water is eventually going to make that decision for them.
4. Here’s a letter from radio friend Kip in Houlton: Thanks for your words, all true by gory. I’m a surveyor. I called one of my suppliers recently. The delighted girl that answered asked me where I was calling from. Maine I said. She said wonderful! now what state was Maine in? No wonder we have low self esteem. I talked to a guy in Texas today. Of course he asked about the Frankenstorm. I had to explain nothing ever lives up to the hype around here. I like Texas food and Texas music. Their politicians are another story. Remember when you were a kid and all the lists of states that accompanied various order blanks or directories never seemed to have Maine on them? How did it make you feel. Now everyone wants to be a native. Sorry pal. Your reference to temporary repairs is so true. I went shopping for a blue tarp to put on my green house frame for the winter. A lady working at Mardens recommended the green tarps. She said the green tarps last longer. They got one to cover the hole in the side of their trailer where they were gonna put a sliding glass door and it lasted five years!
Best of health to you old friend. Your friend Kip in Houlton
5. How high would the price of gas have to be before you’d stop driving your car and walk, take a bus or ride a bike? I don’t know. But I do know that you and I are hooked. We have the automobile habit. Of course, someday we will all have electric cars that run on batteries that are charged by the sun. The batteries will be improved so you’ll get more than 100 miles between charges. You have probably read that Saudi Arabia plans to abandon fuel oil and be completely shifted over to solar power within the lifetime of the present ruler. He is 67. The Saudi’s plan to use solar energy themselves and sell every bit of oil they have left at the highest price they can get to the last sucker still addicted to gasoline engines and oil fired boilers. Guess who that will be? When the world finally runs out of oil it will be even more painful than the transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile. All of the people who produce and service oil fueled engines will be in the same position as the folks who once made buggy whips and wooden wagon wheels.
6. A woman I met down in Portland airport told me that her father traveled a lot. The night before he’d go anywhere he’d put out a pile of the clothes he figured he’d need to take with him. In another pile he put all the money he figured he’d need to take. The next morning he’d take half the clothes in the pile and twice the amount of money in the other pile, and it always came out just right.
7. While I was in the Atlanta airport, I chanced to see on the front page of a NY Times, that swabbing out someone’s mouth to get a DNA sample has been ruled unusual search and seizure. Ordinarily I’d say that they could swab out my mouth any time they want, because I don’t mind if they poke around in my mouth. But I’m going to oppose this mouth searching business, because --- if they find they can legally poke around in your mouth, and they don’t find anything, it don’t take much imagination to figure out where they’ll be looking next.
8. And then there is what we call white collar crime. The fines for white collar crimes are higher than for armed robbery, because the people committing these crimes have the money to pay higher fines. The closest I ever came to committing a white collar crime was changing the numbers on a check. Well, they'd made a mistake with a check --- they'd put two different numbers on it, so I went into my friend Lawyer Crandall's office, and showed him what I was going to do. I just changed it so that both numbers were the same --- like they were supposed to be. You couldn't even see that I'd changed it. I didn't realize I'd done anything wrong until I mentioned it to my wife later that evening. Her eyes bugged right out and she said, "Did Lawyer Crandall tell you what can happen to people who go around changing the numbers on checks?" I said, "Yes, he offered me a full partnership in his law firm."
9. Twice within the past week I've read front page newspaper stories about all the poor little dead animals you've seen beside the road. Why, these articles ask, are there so many this year. And then they give what they think is a reasonable explanation. Why do you think there are so many freshly killed animals out beside the road? The answer is obvious to anyone who thinks about it. Maine people have simply forgotten what it's like to live through hard times.
I can’t remember this morning if I got these last two comments into the show or not.

Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 07:11

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