Page 4 - MAY2022
P. 4

By William nieman
  This is the concluding chap- ter of our true story. In Parts I and II, we learned that Russell Mattice had received a Grafton County Superior Court Decree ordering the surrender of his store and boat livery to the Town of Bristol. However, as we ended Part II, Russell promised Olan and Millie Rand, who depended on income from the store and livery which they leased from Russell, that he would meet with Selectman Gaylord Cummings in an effort to forestall the loss of those facilities.
In early July 1955, Russell and Gaylord met on the porch of a small green shingled cottage overlooking the lake on what one day would be the midpoint of a recreational park named in honor of Selectman Cummings.
Gaylord and Russell ex- changed pleasantries and shared anecdotes about their respective families. Then Gaylord got to the point, asking Russell what alternative there could be to the immediate surrender of Mat- tice's property as ordered by the Court Decree. In response, Russell pointed out that the De- cree did allow for the continued occupation by Russell Mattice for six more years if the Town
Of Bristol would permit the ex- tension of occupancy. Gaylord responded that the Town was hoping that there be no more delays. It wanted to begin work on landscaping and construction of a parking lot for the planned beachfront park. Disappointed with Gaylord's inflexibility, Rus- sell asked Gaylord if the Town might consider an extension of fewer than six years, perhaps three or four. Gaylord indicated that he couldn't respond to any such compromise until he con- ferred with the other Selectmen. Russell became more assertive and reminded Gaylord that he could, within 30 days of the De- cree, appeal the decision to the State's Supreme Court. The two men thought it best to suspend the meeting so that Gaylord might confer with his colleagues, Donald Lamson and John Scho- field, about Russell's suggested compromise as well as Russell's assertion that he might appeal the court decree. They agreed to meet again in a few days.
Prior to the second meeting, Russell shared his impressions of the first session with Olan and Millie. He tried not to raise false hopes but did indicate that it was a positive sign that Gay- lord was willing to meet again.
L to R, Selectmen Donald Lamson, Gaylord Cummings, and Judge W. John Schofield.
Gypsy and The Man of Honor Part Three
As the three talked, Russell asked how many more years of savings might be needed for the Rands to raise enough money to put a down payment on another New- found property. The couple re- sponded that they needed several more years to reach that goal.
Gaylord and Russell met again in the little cottage. It was a day during which a brilliant sun and
swift-moving clouds shared their respective time and place in the blue sky. The Bristol Selectman set a somber tone by informing Russell that because the Decree stated that Russell could not lease the store or livery, he thought it would be pointless to allow those facilities to remain standing. Un- less, of course, Russell planned to return to full-time management
of the store and livery, which, Gaylord added, "....would be burdensome for a man of Rus- sell's age". At first, Russell was disheartened by Gaylord's use of a legal caveat to argue against an extension of time for the busi- ness use of the store and livery. Upon reflection, Russell realized that there was an opening for compromise in Gaylord's words.
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