Mr. Downeast’s Annuity

Mr. Downeast, a character sent straight from Central Casting, clothed in a flannel shirt and denim pants purchased in another century arrives at the front door with a can-do attitude and a list of jobs to match. The octogenarian with a New England work ethic has spent his entire life on RR 002. Born and raised on RR 002, Mr. Downeast’s perch is dead center on the lakeside road that joins up with the primary thoroughfare headed to New Hampshire. He is all-seeing and all-knowing with an uncanny ability to prevent trouble. Who needs ADT with Mr. Downeast as a neighbor? Moreover, there is zero reason required to look beyond Mr. Downeast to find solutions for any required task. His skills include: road resurfacing, he has the heavy equipment in his yard; septic system overhaul, he knows what is best and how to work with the town’s code officer; beer brewing, he’s never lost an eye; tree removal, he has Herculean strength; camp winterization, he has all of the know-how; road plowing, he has the plow…

Mr. Downeast’s annual question is “You’ll want the road plowed, won’t you?”. The predictable response from penny-pinching DRoy is always, “No.”. Why plow when one is not in residence or planning to use the property from October until June? Mr. Downeast’s response is, “If the road ain’t cleared the firetrucks cannot get down”. While this is, in fact, correct and a fire is unlikely, the real message is if you want eyes on your property to keep mischievous delinquents from having a good time with the liquor cabinet or better yet the mattress you better pay me my annuity.

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