THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT
The towns along the line prospered during that period. North Whitefield was no exception. It sported four grocery and grain stores, two blacksmith shops, and the Chadwick House, a summer hotel. This hotel was located next door to Shorey’s
Blacksmith Shop and thereby hangs this tale.
I was about ten years old and had gone with my father to the “Corner,” as we called it, to have the horse shod. In one end of the shop, they had an “ox sling” so they could shoe horses and oxen simultaneously. An ox will not hold up its hoof so the shoe can be nailed on, like a horse will. Therefore, an ox must be hoisted up off his feet by means of a wide leather belt. After the ox is off the ground, its feet are fastened firmly to a post. Deprived of leverage, the ox can no longer kick and can be safely shod.
This was a fine, warm July day, and a male guest at the Chadwick House had walked next door to see what went on in a country blacksmith shop. He was wearing white shoes, white pants, white jacket, white shirt, and a white panama hat.
A blacksmith shop is not a very clean place, at best. I noticed that our white clad visitor was careful not to brush against the wall or sit on the visitors’ nail keg. He stood, however, directly behind the ox. Even at my tender age, I knew what was coming as did all the adults present. No one said a word. When they began to hoist the ox by means of the belt under its belly, the pressure from it caused a stream of “grass-green fecal matter” to spurt straight out, as if from a hose, hitting the white clad gentleman squarely on his belt buckle. As we had anticipated, he was spattered from his white shoes to his white hat. Amid snickers from all present, he beat a hasty retreat to his hotel. I wonder if he ever took another “country vacation.” I think he left on the next train.