Who’s Elmer Cowley?

Notes from Nan: What we all look like over here!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

So I’ve been reading Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio; the book of short stories that was published in 1919 about a small, fictional town in Ohio. The people there are kind of sad and desperate to get out of their small town, not at all like what we find here in Ashfield, where people are happy and kind of desperate to keep outsiders from discovering it and moving here.  But the name of the general store in Winesburg is Cowley and Son, and the Son’s first name is Elmer! So you can see why I was excited. Here’s how it describes Elmer Cowley’s store: 

The store itself was indescribable. Will Henderson once said of it that it sold everything and nothing. In the window facing Maumee Street stood a chunk of coal as large as an apple barrel, to indicate that orders for coal were taken, and beside the black mass of the coal stood three combs of honey grown brown and dirty in their wooden frames.

The honey had stood in the store window for six months. It was for sale as were also the coat hangers, patent suspender buttons, cans of roof paint, bottles of rheumatism cure, and a substitute for coffee that companioned the honey in its patient willingness to serve the public.

Cowley, the man who stood in the store listening to the eager patter of words that fell from the lips of the traveling man, was tall and lean and looked unwashed. On his scrawny neck was a large wen partially covered by a grey beard. He wore a long Prince Albert coat. The coat had been purchased to serve as a wedding garment. Before he became a merchant Cowley was a farmer and after his marriage he wore the Prince Albert coat to church on Sundays and on Saturday afternoons when he came into town to trade. When he sold the farm to become a merchant he wore the coats constantly. It had become brown with age and was covered with grease spots, but in it Cowley always felt dressed up and ready for the day in town.

–Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

So, when you think of me, Big Elmer (not to be confused with Elmer Lesure who looked nothing like that!) that’s how I want you to see me.

Hey, and the best part? I got the book from the bookstore section of the dump!

Friday Night Menu (02/22/08)

Here is our dinner this Friday night:

  • Filet of sole
  • With crabmeat stuffing
  • Lemon beurre blanc
  • Fieldgreens salad

And for vegetarians:

  • Vegetarian Greek Lasagna
  • Fieldgreens salad


I have been researching nutritional information this morning and found the website of the Harvard School of Public Health. The following is a quote from there section on fruits and vegetables with respect to cardiovascular disease:

There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The largest and longest study to date, done as part of the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, included almost 110,000 men and women whose health and dietary habits were followed for 14 years. The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.

Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) make important contributions.”

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob

Man, I dropped out of the race too soon! I completely forgot about the Hawaii Caucus, darn it. If I’d been smarter, I would have been campaigning there for the last, oh, eight weeks. Instead, I chose to stay here in good old Icefield and order groceries. I do it for you, friends, because I love you and want you to eat.

By the way, have you heard about these mysterious “Super Delegates”? The ones that can, like, Totally Decide Everything No Matter What You Think? Where the heck did they come from? Super America?

I could have gone to Hawaii and picked up not just a Super Delegate, but a Super Big Kahuna Delegate!

Rob’s Super Big Kahuna Delegate Could’ve beat all of Nan’s regular Delegates

And my speech would have gone something like this:

“Surfs up”

Just words?

“Where’s my ukulele?”

Just words?

“Poundy Poundy Poi!”

Just words?

“Book him Danno!”

Just words?

Or something to that effect.

Grocery talk

Yesterday I saw some revolting undercover video. I’m not going to get into details, but let’s just say it doesn’t necessarily cast a positive light on certain aspects of the beef industry.

Instead, I’m just going to close my eyes and think of our bovine friends happily grazing away on the lush hillsides of Steady Lane Farm. Oh, look! One of them just ate a daisy! That is SO cute!

Okay, they end up as meat, too. But at least they do it right. And what meat it is! Grown locally, sold right here at Elmer’s Store. Check out our selection in the freezer aisle. Steady Lane Beef. It’s the beef you won’t have a beef with!

The grocery order has arrived and I will start thinking about pricing them and putting them on the shelves real soon, I promise. This means that some of you special folks can come and pick up your special orders and I will give you a special price and we’ll all feel special.

Also, be sure to check out our new “discount table” where we take stuff that might be heart shaped and SLASH the price so you can be smart and give it to someone almost a year from now. Just don’t hide the chocolates under your car seat because we will have summer eventually and the recipient of your cheap, one year old, melted chocolates will not appreciate your lame “you melt my heart” metaphors. Not like I’ve ever done that sort of thing.

Well, there is so much more I want to talk about but Nan just called and demanded I send her whatever I’ve written immediately. So until next week,


See you around and everywhere!

Big E

(see above description of myself)

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