Guest post by WUWT moderator Mike Lorrey
Up here in northern New England, we like our tall tales. Stories of the humor, wisdom, and idiosyncratic thought of the yankee farmer stretch across the ages. This one you may have heard before, but it fits in with the current predeliction of our government climatologists habits of relabeling and redefining things in order to fabricate a public perception that things are getting warmer than they actually are….
Tink Fitzhew was a tough old codger. As knotty and wiry as those gnarled stumpy trees you see dotting the peaks of the White Mountains, much like his father, grandfather, and other ancestors going back to colonial days, when the family farm had been granted by the Governor of Massachusetts (yes, Maine was originally part of Massachusetts until the Great Compromise of 1820 in which Missouri was admitted to the Union as a slave state, with Maine being created as a free state to balance things out again in the US Senate) to his highlander forebears. Tink knew how to wring a living out of the thin stony soils of his farm. The rock walls around the edges of each of his fields was testament to the back breaking crowbar work that generations of Fitzhews had wrought to remove most of the rocks from their land. Every spring, however, a new crop heaved up through the frost laden soils. It was said that granite was really the only crop that grew well on that farm, other than maple trees and grazing grass.
In the winter, one fought to survive. The jet stream blew frigid arctic winds and snow down onto his farm with abandon. The barn needed to be boarded inside and out, and the farmhouse had a “bundle room” without windows, next to the central chimney, in which the family and farm hands eeked through the coldest part of winter. People got cozy like that. It was said that more marriages began or ended in the bundle room than anyplace else.
By the time Tink was near on retirement age, his kids were grown and moved away, the wife was dead, but he still managed to eek out a living with a small herd of Holsteins, though he’d always considered them to be closer members of his family anyways. Each had a name, and once you got to know them, their own personalities, though they, like Tink, weren’t very long on conversation unless you whet their whistle first with a good amount of mapleshine or applewine.
It was about that time that the US Geophysical Survey was surveying that area of the country, and while that area of New England had been surveyed as far back as the early 18th century, it wasn’t always by the most sober of individuals, nor did they have the benefit of satellites or aircraft back in the day.
Tink knew his farm was near the state border. How close it was, though, he didn’t know exactly. The whole town had long been in dispute as to which state it was supposed to be in in the first place, and his farm was on the edge of town. Many towns along the New Hampshire border had been chartered by the colonial Governors of both NH and Massachusetts, just as many in Vermont were chartered by NH and New York in conflict. Just which state one lived in was an issue of debate for many. There are even records in Britain of Revolutionary War POW lists that listed American prisoners as originating from Kittery, New Hampshire, Berwick, NH, etc. (some are online today) However Tink had always followed convention and voted in Maine since that was what the grant deed said.
So it was with some sense of excitement that Tink held when he saw the USGS surveyors coming up his drive one day, stopping at his porch.
“Mister Fitzhew?” one surveyor queried.
“Ayup, thets me,” Tink replied.
“Well sir, we’ve completed the survey in this area, and we have some rather startling news for you.”
“Oh, really?” Tink asked.
“Yes, it appears that your farm isn’t actually *in Maine*. You sir, are a resident of New Hampshire. Isn’t that great?”
“Well I’ll be, isn’t that sumthin?” Tink said in hopeful resignation, “I nevah could stand them Maine wintahs.”