Mountain Rumors

I have been thinking a lot about the 24/7 news cycle and the need for the media to fill in time with what sometimes amounts to rumors rather than news. Then I also realized that there have been a few rumors in the community lately that might or might not have direct bearing on my quiet life. I’m pretty sure that some people up here thrive on not just hearing rumors but then spreading them with great joy. When I define rumors I am also including old wives’ tales and folklore. So here comes the latest from Lords Valley.

First and foremost is the gunman in the woods. He’s still there and even the national news reports that he is eating a lot of ramen noodles and tuna. Reminds me of college. Anyway…if they know this much why can’t they catch him and, more importantly, is he really a threat to the general public. NO, says the current rumor. Try and keep up with this one: Frein shot the deputy to avenge his brother whose wife was having an affair with the wounded trooper. He was wounded in places that would preclude any more affairs. AND, his partner was shot and killed so that the wounded trooper would have to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. In the meantime, two troopers fell out of a deer blind and were hurt, troopers keep spotting him (supposedly), yet they cannot catch this guy. Leaves are covering everything and even I could hide in the woods given a brown hoodie!

Rumor #2: Laurel Ridge Restaurant is going to re-open. There are few places nearby to get a decent meal (other than at home!). Laurel Ridge was open when we bought this house and one Thanksgiving weekend, after watching the Florida-FSU game, we went there for a family dinner. It had a huge roaring fireplace, firepits outside for the smokers, and decent food — horrible service because the owner’s son, the chef, spent most of his time chatting with customers. It was very crowded and we were happy to have it so conveniently located. laurelridge By 2009 it had closed and ever since there have been rumors, news reports, reliable information that it would reopen in 2013. It didn’t. I’m pretty sure that it is some kind of money laundering thing since there are cars there and last year someone was working on it. Rumor has it that it will be a diner, a sports bar (I would like that), a banquet facility (why?), or some combination of all of the above. So far, however, nothing.

bearRumor #3: Bears. Oh my. According to my neighbor who I met on my morning walk, bears (several) are breaking into crawl spaces of houses — occupied or not. He has this on good authority because he was getting ready to report a crawl space door open across the street. I believe him of course, but the idea that the bears are hibernating already is difficult to imagine since it’s supposed to be in the upper 60s this week (although it has been in the 30s at night). So, I’m wondering what I’d do if I really saw a bear on one of our walks. I’ve seen them of course from the comfort of my porch, but not when Sydney and I are vulnerable.

Rumor #4 (the last one I promise!): A new grocery store is going up on Route 739 only a few miles from here. My hairdresser says it might be a Wegman’s; others in the mail room said it was definitely going to be a Shop Rite (and they deliver!); a local realtor told me it was going to be a Price Chopper. I laughed when I was at the mail room and said, “wouldn’t it be great if we got a Whole Foods?” (This is a pipe dream of course.) Before I even got a chance to chuckle, someone said, “We’re getting a Whole Foods?!” I’m sure this is now a “reliable source” rumor that is spreading as quickly as the leaves (and acorns) are falling.

I passed by the empty lot where everyone says we are getting a new store, but no signs, no construction, nothing going on so I suspect that, like Laurel Ridge, it’s all just something to talk about. Now that winter is coming (oh, one more rumor — it’s going to be a mild winter or it’s going to be a terrible winter because of acorns and furry caterpillars) I suspect there will be no construction of anything! I’m headed south in a week or so to Tallahassee where I’m pretty sure there are no people spreading rumors. Right?