Wednesday June 19, 2013

Editor's note: Mr. Patrick, who has lived for more than 100 years, has written a series of letters about his memories through the years. We will run them periodically.

I remember when ...

In the early 1950s when John Grindlay had his grocery store in East Jamaica, sometimes he would buy beef from a man named Ralph Carvage who lived in South Windham and raised a few head of cattle. The meat came in what was called "two sides of beef" -- meaning the carcass was cut lengthwise. We would hang the meat in a cool room and Mr. Grindlay taught me how to cut steaks, rib roasts and stew beef from it. Little was wasted from the animal.

One time, a house wife who lived nearby came into the store and slammed a roast down on the counter. She loudly exclaimed that it was too tough to eat. Mr. Grindlay bought no more meat from Mr. Carvage. We heard later that the "beef" probably came from a horse that had died on Carvage's farm.

We had a number of family tourists stop at our store in the summer and a few we recognized each year. Once in a while, they would ask for a drink of water because of the hot weather and we always obliged. One summer day a lady tourist whom we knew came into the store and asked for a glass of that Vermont water that was so good.

However, Mr. Grindlay and I had noticed a different taste to the water so he told me, after the lady left, to check the well. I did as I was told and discovered a dead toad and a frog in the water.


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I cleaned the well, but we never told the visiting woman what made the water taste so good.

Warren S. Patrick is 102 years old. He writes from Townshend.