Brettuns Village
Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather. 
All from Maine.

December 16, 2009

Plenty of snow on
the ground hereabouts, and that’ a good thing.

Those old Currier &
Ives prints that show happy New Englanders in a

horse-drawn sleigh cheerfully
zipping across the snow on their way to

Grandma’ house can give
you the impression that we stay pretty much

buried in snow for most
of the year.  Gives you the idea that every

Christmas is snowy, just
like on all those made-for-TV holiday movies,

guaranteed.  Reality,
as it turns out, is a bit different from that.

Year in, year out, we hope
for a white Christmas, and some years it

works out, some years not. 
I’m not sure why it’ so important, but it

probably goes back to when
we were kids, and Christmas may have meant

a Flexible Flyer (sled),
and all we could think about was getting that

thing outside to the edge
of the hayfield, where the land drops off

rapidly down toward the
stream, the same field where you hunted deer

in November and geese in
October and partridge here and there through

the Fall, where you launch
your body down that slope in what’

apparently an intense effort
to plant your front teeth in the bark of

that big white pine tree
that the guy from Augusta says must have

sprouted right around 1840. 
With your nose pushed in and your ability

to eat corn on the cob severely
impeded, you’d hike back up that

Massive Slope of Death,
turn around at the top, and take in the

scenery.  The view
from the top of that hill, where you could see out

across the valley to the
other side where there were more hayfields

and where you had watched
a whopper of a black bear stroll last

August, with everything
all white with new snow, was one of those

views that would make a
young person think to themselves that ‘I’m

going to college in Florida
so help me.’  Then you’d eyeball the slope

again, launch yourself down
once more, dental work be darned.  That’

why a white Christmas is
so important.

Here comes Christmas, and,
as usual, I’m way behind on the stuff I

should have finished up
by now.  Stuff like shopping for presents so’

we can ship them to family
and friends in far away places.  I’ve got

Christmas lights up on part
of the house, so it’ lit up over here,

not lit up over there, which
gives the impression that the homestead

is now some sort of farmhouse
duplex inhabited by persons of diverging

beliefs.  The political
implications, particularly in a small town,

are enormous.  I’ve
got work to do.  Couple that with the fact that

our days are running a bit
short right now (shortest day of the year

coming up in only 5 days),
and it’ clear that sometime this week I’ll

be clinging to life on a
snow-covered roof, extension cord in my

teeth, numb hands trying
to untangle strings of lights, toes pushed to

the front of my Bean boots
so that I don’t lose my purchase and slide

bumpkin over teakettle down
to the yard, which looks to be about 450

ft below, and all of this
in the pitch black of 4:30 in the afternoon.


So, what do you want for
Christmas this year?  (if you’ve been with us

for a while you know what’
coming ‘ the ALSIDWFC).  I’m sure you’ve

had time to think it over
and have made out your list carefully,

giving plenty of thought
to each item, doing your research to make

sure that whatever it is
will be compatible with your iPod and your

memory cards and your headset
and your car stereo and your GPS unit

and your entertainment system
and your cell phone and your PDA and

also, importantly, avoiding
conflicting signals from your neighbors’

similar systems next door,
upstairs, downstairs, sideways across the

hall, etc.  Here at
Brettuns Village Worldwide Headquarters and Math

Tutoring Spa things have
been very busy, thanks to you customers, so I

haven’t made my list yet. 
I can tell you, without doubt, that there

are some things that won’t
be on it.

Brettuns Village presents:

The Annual List of Stuff
I Don’t Want for Christmas

1.  Tops on this year’
list will be an easy one, for me anyway.  Blue

Ray.  If I understand
this correctly a Blue Ray system allows you to

feel free to pay something
like $75 to buy a disc that has a high

resolution version of an
old movie on it, so you can count the hairs

that stick out of the Scarecrow’
nostrils in ‘Wizard of Oz.’  Great.

They say the quality of
these Blue Ray things is incredible.  I say

it’ still incredible to
me that I can see anything at all on our old

TV.  Blue Ray? I don’t
need it.

2.  High Definition 
– Let me just ask you this:  What good does it do

me to get a high def TV
if I have to look at it through the same old

eyeballs?  It all looks
the same to me ‘ by the time I leave BV and

drive home, scratch Jenny
for a while (she’ That Dog in case you’re

new to this and think maybe
I’ve got a daughter who can’t scratch

herself), eat something,
discuss homework with the Galliwags (our two

daughters, both in high
school), visit with my wife of 21 years, and

finally sit down, my eyes
are so tired I wouldn’t know high definition

from high priced, but I
get the idea that they go hand in hand.  Who

needs it?  Not me.

3.  A new car: Not many
people get a new car for Christmas.  A few.

You know who they are in
your town; can’t miss the big red ribbon on

the roof.  Ford’ getting
close, but until some company can produce a

vehicle that stands a chance
of making it to 100K miles in this

country I’m sticking with
the old pick up truck.  If you were planning

to surprise me with a new
vehicle this year I’m sorry to burst your

bubble.  While I’m
at it, I still want that radio antenna moved so

that I can scrape ice off
the windshield without getting


4.  This one’ for dog
owners only:  Buried Wire Electric fences.  Are

you telling me that you
weren’t able to train your dog so now you’ve

got to give the little pooch
a few volts to keep him/her in the yard?

That smell of burning hair
should be a reminder that you didn’t do

your job with your dog when
it was 10 to 20 weeks old. Now I have to

admit that you may need
one of these systems if your dog just simply

can’t be trained, but that’
your own fault because you didn’t choose

a lab. Jenny made me put
that one on the list this year.

5.  Crocs:  You’ve
got to be kidding me.  These are the best things I

can say about Crocs: 
They look like they’d make your feet sweat a

lot, which can help you
lose (water) weight.  So, they’re slimming.

Great. Available in colors
that will match your golf pants, and only

your golf pants.  Breezy,
so everyone can enjoy the smell of your

feet.  Thanks for sharing. 
You can keep ’em, I don’t want ’em.  Plus,

what do you do with them
during the 9 months of the year that there’

snow on the ground?

6.  Modern suitcases: 
Been in an airport lately?  That’ some fun to

be standing at the baggage
claim area, watching bag after bag glide

by.  They’re all black
nylon, with wheels and a cool handle that

extends so you can roll
your suitcase along behind you because

something terrible would
surely happen if you ever carried your bag in

your hand.  No, you
roll that darned thing, packed full of stuff you

can’t fit in anyway because
this is the trip where you’re going to

change your eating habits
once and for all and it’ll be nothing but

high-fiber foods and salad
in that buffet line so help you, and you

packed ten pairs of running
shorts because, this is it, man, this is

it.  Still though,
you roll that suitcase along behind you because

there’ no sense starting
an exercise program at the airport, for the

love of Mike.  I travel
with a vintage leather suitcase that was made

in the 1940s and there’
not a wheel anywhere on that thing, inside or

out.  It’ got a non-ergonomic
handle and a cool leather strap inside

that can hold your pants
straight while they’re in there, but not a

single zipper nor a telescoping
anything at all so what I do is lug

it.  Also, it’ brown.
BROWN. Not black.  On that baggage carousel

I’ve got the only brown
suitcase there is, so it’ easy to spot and I

didn’t have to tie a piece
of ribbon to the handle or put purple duct

tape on one end of it. That’
my suitcase, right there, looking as

travel-weary and worn as
it did in 1960.  That thing is leather, baby,

from a cow.  Perfect.

7.  A Jet Ski

8.  A Snuggie (all rights
reserved, I’m sure): Here in Maine if it’

cold enough to zip yourself
into a body bag then you’ve got to stay

limber and nimble, in case
of an unexpected chimney fire.  When you

hear that roar that sounds
like a freight train is driving RIGHT DOWN

PARLOR you know the old creosote has

ignited and then you’ve
got to make a break for the dooryard, and if

you’re zipped into one of
these Snuggie things they’ll find your body

right there two days later
when the State Fire Marshall cuts through

the melted-and-re-hardened
polyester to figure out what’ inside.  If

someone gives you one of
these, once the giver has left the house on

Christmas day, get out your
big shears and cut some leg holes in that

death trap.

9.  A 5,156 Mega Pixel
Digital Camera: All I can figure is that here

in the good old USA we live
by some simple rules, one of which is,

more or less, ‘If Some is
Good, More is Better.’  They just keep going

up, these cameras. 
Next it’ll be Tera-Pixels and Googa-pixels or

whatever it is that comes
after Tera-this or that.  My digital camera

manages, if I have it on
high resolution, to acquire images that clock

in at 640 by 480 pixels. 
This comes out to roughly 0.3 Megapixels.

OK, so it also takes a 3.5-inch
floppy disc in the back but that’ not

what we’re talking about
here. The pictures look fine to me.  In

fact, I usually use it on
a lower resolution setting so that I can fit

more images on the disc. 
A recent visitor to HQ here asked me what I

would do if I ever needed
to print out a photo that’ 4 feet by 6 feet

so that I could use it as
a backdrop when I’m giving a speech on

‘Effective HTML Booby Trapping’
to the Emotionally and Mentally

Impaired Web Site Owners
(EMIWSO) conference scheduled for Denver next

Spring, and I told him that
I’d just ask the audience to move a little

closer to the stage so they
can see the darned thing.  Ho Ho Ho.

10.  An LED flashlight: 
In case you’ve missed the news,

light-emitting diodes are
replacing old-style filament bulbs pretty

quickly.  These little
LEDs can pour out a lot of bright light while

using very little energy,
so flashlight batteries end up lasting a

heck of a long time. 
I don’t want one of these, or, I should say, I

don’t want any more of them,
because for one reason or another over

the last 5 years or so I’ve
found it life-threateningly important to

purchase one LED flashlight
after another.  My top drawer at home, if

opened by someone from Maine’
DHS office, will result in me being

treated for whatever it
is that makes people hoard things.  Remember

that lady down the street,
in that house all by herself, with the yard

that went a little wild,
and then nobody saw her for a few days so the

constable stopped by just
to check on things and they found her passed

away in her bed, attended
by a little over 400 cats?  That’ me, only

I’m a guy and it’ not cats,
it’ flashlights. I don’t wear a

housecoat all the time either.
So, don’t get me an LED flashlight,

unless it’ one I don’t
have yet.

I think that’ll do for this
year’ list.  If you’re out shopping

please keep in mind that
last year’ list still applies, which means I

still don’t need a GPS to
help me remember how to get to the office or

the duck blind.  I
know right where I’m going, and if I forget what I

was after I’ve got That
Dog to remind me, though she’ turning 10

years old at the end of
this month.  That’ supposed to be 70 in human

years, but I’d like to see
your Grandpa run that fast after a squirrel

or swim that fast after
a downed duck.

A little business stuff here:

Need an antique trunk or
two for Christmas?  We can still get them to

you on time, and, for you
subscribers to this drivel, buy two trunks

and we’ll knock $100 off
the total price.

Leather news ‘ Last week
we received two large shipments of heavy

weight black side leathers. 
These are both nice leathers,

waterproofed and oiled,
struck-through.  These are on the Sides and

Hides page over on the site. 
We’ve also added more spots and

decorations, new rivets,
and more belt buckles to the hardware

division.  Poke around,
you’ll see it here and there.

Things are hectic, no doubt
about it, so my Christmas wish for you is

that you’re able to find
some time to sit back and relax, put those

worries aside for a while,
and enjoy everything this season means to

you and yours. Peace on
Earth, at least on your piece of the Earth,

that’ what I’m trying to
say. From all of us here at Brettuns

Village, have a very Merry
Christmas.  And don’t get me any of that


Sincerely and Respectfully

Churchill Barton


Auburn, Maine



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