Charlene Manor home to captivating tales — including a moose memory

  • A mother moose and one of her offspring visited a Leyden farm in search of fresh-cut grass, and left with a memento. Courtesy photo/Creative Commons


Published: 1/4/2019 1:50:52 PM

Editor’s Note: After publishing this Said & Done column in the Greenfield Recorder for decades, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Paul Seamans at age 95. As a permanent resident of Charlene Manor and a former resident of Gill, Paul contributed monthly stories about Franklin County and beyond, to the delight of his loyal readers. As a storyteller, he helped people relive their fond memories of days gone by.

This is his final column, in which, appropriately, he wrote about the wonderful tales he found while living at Charlene Manor. Those of us at the Greenfield Recorder, who worked with Paul over the years, know his readers will miss the service he provided all of Franklin County.

One of the distinct advantages of being sequestered with a bunch of old-timers is that you never run out of stories to tell.

As a resident of Charlene Manor, I commonly rub elbows with former ship captains and fighter pilots who fought and survived bitter warfare, but also with new mothers urging forward little ones that are just learning to get their legs under control.

I am privileged to have a private room, on one corner of a hallway next to the nurses’ station, and in easy reach of a couple dozen other residents. Nobody ever has to be lonely and, for that matter, nobody ever has to leave himself exposed to the ordinary every-day. We tap on a door when we want attention, and the response is always welcome and warm. You never feel left out or abandoned.

I opened my door recently to welcome one James Sund, a middle-aged man who was there to urge his boy to recover from some malady that seems more nuisance than life-threatening.

Sund worked on his father’s farm in Leyden, growing into the big and strong man he is today. At some time in that bucolic setting, a mother moose and her one offspring, came to share fresh-cut grass ready for bailing. Some of the grass made its way into a pail, and so the partly grown moose took the pail’s rim in its mouth and carried its prize off into the woods.

That, it would seem, ought to be the end of the story. It wasn’t.

Shortly after, the pail reappeared not far from where it had been hoisted. The calf apparently brought it back.

Leyden has more than its share of boondocks. I myself have combed its woods, and can testify based on droppings and over-sized hoof prints that some creature a lot bigger than a deer has made Leyden its home.

Sund tells a good story. Farmers see an awful lot of things that would be the first-class substance of a story.


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