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« More on the outhouse... | Main | Keeping warm »

March 01, 2010


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Katherine Prudhomme O'Brien

This has nothing to do with being out of power but somehow this story made me think of you and I wanted to share it. I don't know if it's good writing or bad writing but I'm pretty sure it's really weird writing about a weird thing that happened round these parts years ago that lots of us forgot but will also remember.
It started as a Facebook response to a friend who I later learned was writing about the upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie..whoopsie!

"fantasy action/violence, scary images and situations and smoking catepillars..' This movie you speak of can be only be about one thing-it's a docu-horror-drama-mentary about the terrible gypsy moth invasion that hit New England in the dark summer of 1982. I'll never forget it.Or was it the summer of 81? Whatever, all I know is that we barely survived.
I recall riding my brown ten speed bike, a dorky over sized men's model, down the mean dirt streets o' my hometown, desperately weaving around the buttered aluminum necklaced trees. It was a feeble and clumsy attempt to avoid the constant pop, pop sound accompanied by a gentle but determined spray. Determined, that is, to make me ill. The sound was not a sound of sticks nor of stones. It came from them.
They said their sickening goodbyes to me by the thousands that summer.
Otherwise lackadasical neighborhood men set alight and asmoke every triangular tented gypsy moth nursery they could reach. Now, at night when it's real quiet, my mind is still haunted by that sound. And the mass munching.. it will never go away..
They say, they say a lot of things but...I'm not special. I'm certainly not a "hero". It was a my job,no-it was my duty and just another day in the life of a deep woods paper girl. The plagues of catarpillars raining down upon us like a vigorous seasoning of God's hatred, all part of the job. We all knew that going in. Ok, maybe that part's not true, but so what?! Did that mean The Lawrence Eagle Tribune didn't have to get through? No, it did not. I had 60 customers depending on me and I couldn't let them down. Why? because if I did about 40 of them would call my house and tell my mother on me, that's why! Now that would be a fate worse than.you know, a really, really vigorous sprinkling of God's hatred raining down upon me!!

Rebecca Rule

Katherine Prudhomme O'Brien!

This brought back some sticky memories for me. Every 7 years, they say, the gypsy moths return. Just when you forget how yucky they are -- and how much damage they do -- here they come again.

I admire your pluck!


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About this blog

  • cover

    Rebecca Rule, author of Live Free and Eat Pie: A Storyteller’s Guide to New Hampshire, spends a lot of time on the road, traveling to her performances throughout the Granite State and beyond. She loves her home state, meeting lots of great people and visiting both new and familiar places. She shares stories that she finds with her this blog. So please "join" her on the road and check back often.

About Becky

  • Becky has lived all her life (so far) in New Hampshire. She has written several other popular books set in her home state, including "The Best Revenge," a collection of short stories that was named one of the five Essential New Hampshire Books by New Hampshire Magazine, and "Could Have Been Worse: True Stories, Embellishments and Outright Lies." However, she is probably best known for her live storytelling events, many sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

    Comments? Questions? Send e-mail to Becky Rule.