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FRARY PHILANTHROPIC, 2007


I am constantly amazed at how generous our "representative" in Congress is to other people - with MY money. And so I was lured into the fray. But there is is no reason not to be generous with one's own money. When I retired I had fond visions of puttering around the community, showering largesse on worthy causes and watching my trees grow. My vision of retirement was John Frary lying in a hammock like Moby Dick in a net.

So here's where my money went in 2007, before politics intruded. This constitutes a sneak peak at where my Congressional salary, should you deign to bestow one upon me, will be going. All of it.

Maine's First Ship $125 ¤ Maine Vietnam Foundation $25 ¤ Rotary $638 ¤ New Sharon Library $800 ¤ Franklin County Animal Shelter $250 ¤ Parents for Playgrounds $350 ¤ St. Stephens $2166 ¤ Farmington Elks $600 ¤ Farmington Historical Society (Old North Church Restoration) $5,000 ¤ Chesterville Grange $17 ¤ American Chestnut Foundation $40 ¤ Kids Wish Network $55 ¤ American Foundation for Disabled Children $20 ¤ Build a Bridge Project (Plan to construct a snowmobile, cross-country skiing bridge across the Sandy River where the old RR trestle used to be) $1300 ¤ WB Equine Rescue $250 ¤ American Legion $500 ¤ American Breast Cancer Fund 80 ¤ Christian Education League of Maine $120 ¤ Holy Trinity Anglican Church $65 ¤ Clearwater Ministries Food Pantry $2,202 ¤ CSA $200 ¤ Freedom Center $40 ¤ Maine Vietnam Veterans Fund $25 ¤ B&B Equine Rescue $200 ¤ Firefighters Charitable Fund $46 ¤ St. Thomas Anglican Church $362 ¤ AFDC $30 ¤ Town of Farmington (Gazebo Lights) $150 ¤ Mitch Boulette Fund $405 ¤ Farmington Area Alumni Association $400 ¤ American Cancer Society $10 ¤ Vietnam Assistance Foundation $25 ¤ 7/12 Kids Wish Network $30 ¤ Maine State Grange $200 ¤ Ian Smith Scholarship $200 ¤ Ducks Unlimited $45 ¤ Lee Ann Tinker Church Pianist $420 ¤ Town of Farmington (Mary Wright Monument) $200 ¤ Coalition to Salute America's Heroes $25 ¤ Macular Degeneration Research $25 ¤ American Foundation for the Disabled $20 ¤ Women Unlimited $100 ¤ Maine Heritage Policy Center $10,600 ¤ Playground Fund $749.38 ¤ First Congregational Church Angel Fund $200 ¤ (Selectman's salary) for the Playground Fund $1,250.62 ¤ Small Woodlot Owner's Association of Maine $50 ¤ ParentalRights.org $500 ¤ Maine Preservation $50 ¤ Bangor Symphony

TOTAL INCOME FROM PENSION AND SOCIAL SECURITY: $66,486.48


FRARY FAMILY SAGA


Ideally, every candidate for public office should come equipped with a proper family to display before the voters: a charming wife, at least two charming children and a charming dog are generally accepted as minimal requirements.

Unfortunately, I am ill-equipped in this respect. A couple of ex-wives and four cats falls well short of regulation equipment, but I do have a family and can give some account of them. My brother is an Episcopalian priest who lives as an expatriate in the Philippines, where Episcopalians still take Sacred Scripture pretty seriously. He’s more conservative then I, something of a monarchist in fact, and prefers to live in a country where people still feel free to smoke.

My sisters are both cold-hearted liberals. The cold-hearted part appeals to me and we get along pretty well. My liberal brother-in-law sent me a letter of ex-communication ten years ago. He seems to think I said something sarcastic about his political views. Can’t imagine what he was talking about. The other brother-in-law (brevet rank), is a master machinist with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things mechanical. He seems to enjoy mowing my lawn, plowing my drive and fixing things. I’m happy to indulge his little amusements. He has frankly stated that it would be dangerous for me to operate any equipment more complicated than a screwdriver and I’ve never contradicted his thesis.

The Frary Stammvater, John, arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his family in 1632, before there were any immigration laws. The Frary Family Association counts something like 1800 descendants. As far as we know, the Frary escutcheon has been blotted by only one felon in twelve generations. George Washington Frary spent two and a half years in Springfield Federal Prison in the 1890s for counterfeiting nickels. I’ve never seen a transcript of his trial, but I think I can guess the circumstances. There was an issue of nickels around that time that were the same size as ten-dollar gold pieces and their value was denoted only by the Roman numeral V. I conclude that he was gilding them and passing them off. Later issues had 'five cents' etched below the V. Nothing more is known about this Napoleon of Crime except that the federal authorities were continually trying to track him down to verify his entitlement to a Union Army pension. But he kept moving and they never caught up with him.

My father, George, was a third generation wood-turner. He started out with different ambitions, majoring in Greek and Latin at Yale and Harvard. He soon tired of trying to teach ancient languages to the indolent and incompetent sons of the rich at a Connecticut prep school and sought more interesting work. Having been a bit of a Red, he was fascinated with the Soviet Union and when the Harriman interests concluded a deal under Lenin’s New Economic Policy, he quit teaching forever to get a look at the Workers’ Paradise.

The deal fell through, so he looked for work with Standard Oil, figuring he was well suited to serve in their Constantinople office because of his knowledge of Greek, Russian, German and French. They hired him, trained him and sent him to their South China office. He ended up as manage pro tem of the operation, but resigned after eight years in exasperation with his immediate supervisors. He took leave of his left-wing sympathies when a Communist rising butchered a number of his Chinese friends and associates.

He married my saintly mother, Margaret, while on leave half-way through his China career. She was a Republican from birth and never deviated in her loyalty to the Grand Old Party. I’m proud to report that her father once had a shoot-out with some IWW radicals in his lumber yard in Oregon.

So they settled in Maine and re-established Frary Wood Turning Company, which finally became extinct when the mill burned down in 1971. I only learned of this when I received a letter from Mother with a photograph of the ruins. Excited and emotional telephone calls are not a family tradition.

Here’s an interesting story and instructive story. When war broke out my father applied for a commission with the OSS, the CIA forerunner, with the idea that his knowledge and experience of China and Chinese would be valuable. He was interviewed by Col Duncan Lee who rejected his application. My father always maintained that this was because of his anti-Communist views. A few years ago, I read about a certain Col. Duncan Lee who defected to Communist Czechoslovakia in 1948.

This is enough to give an idea of my background. I suppose that when Michaud’s opposition researchers realize their candidate’s peril they will rake up that old story about how Nebuchadnezzar Frary showed up early at Bunker Hill, shot off all his ammunition before the Redcoats came within range and went home. Not a word of truth in it. Any way he isn’t in my direct family line. As against this calumny I can cite Jehosaphat Frary, an ardent and fiery patriot who was one of the first to call for armed resistance and no compromise.

This hero gave his life for the cause when his gunpowder mill accidentally blew up in 1779.

¤ Home ¤ Congress ¤ Forum & Emporium ¤ Why Am I Running? ¤ Peak Oil ¤ But SerIously, Folks... ¤ Frary's Women ¤
¤ Frary Family Saga ¤ Issues and Bunk¤ Dumb & Dumberer ¤ Dollars to Doughnuts ¤ Libertarian Impulse ¤
¤ War and Fleece ¤ Mike Michaud Fan Page ¤ Two Faces of Sleaze ¤ HELP WANTED ¤