As I make my way on the back roads to the various farms I like to visit, I often see the same folks every week out doing what they do. The walkers, the dogs, the horse riders, the bicyclists. And then there is the Mayor of Lincoln.
For awhile now, even pre-pandemic, I would see some folks gathered in the yard of a home in Lincoln. It was usually just 3 people. In the warmer months, they would sit in chairs in the yard, ostensibly discussing the news of the world. I wondered who they were and what their story was. And then the pandemic hit and the weekly Sunday morning gathering changed to accommodate the need for social distancing. I would drive down the road and see a gentleman and a lady, standing along the roadside while another lady stood in the yard…all of them wearing masks, holding coffee and keeping distance. This went on most every Sunday morning…usually between 9-930. As the months went on and I passed them each week, they would wave or nod and acknowledge me as I drove by. I would nod or wave in return.
A few weeks ago, there they were once again, solving the ills of the world. I decided to stop and say hello. As I pulled up, I put my window down and said “Every week I drive by, I always wonder what the topic of discussion is today…” They chuckled and were very outgoing. The gentleman told me they had seen me pass by many times and asked if I lived nearby. I said I did not but that I enjoyed the scenery along this country road and took it home every week after my farm shopping trips. They invited me to join them! The gentleman went on to tell me that the lovely lady up in the yard was “The Mayor of Lincoln”…and she chuckled.
We chatted for a few more moments and then I wished them well. They told me they were really glad I stopped to say hello. I drove away with a smile on my face and feeling glad I stopped to say hello. So today there they were again BUT in a different location. Rather than being on the road by the side yard, they were a little further up toward the front of the house. The mojo was all wrong! So of course I stopped….
I told them this was all wrong, they were in the wrong spots and that the world was on it’s edge because of it! There was lots of laughter and plenty of excuses as to why the location had changed today. They asked how things were on the farm and I said all was well. And then a discussion was sparked on why the area was called “Nine Acre Corner”….and that Mrs.Wheeler had owned all that land and that if I was interested, I could Google “Nine Acre Corner” and learn the history of the name. Then I was informed that last week was the annual bird count and that the Mayor had led this annual tradition. It was fun. I introduced myself and learned that the other’s were Bill and his wife Pat and the Mayor is Gwen. Lovely people. They said they looked forward to seeing me next Sunday. They are very welcoming and do not fit the stereotype of stodgy Lincoln-ites. I’m glad that I decided to stop a few weeks ago. If I had driven on by, I never would have learned their names, been invited to join them or have known when the annual Lincoln bird count was.