Scandal at Maple Valley – Episode 25: Finding Sylvia Meisner

Everyone loves a parade, and the good folks in Maple Valley are no exception. When news quickly reached everyone that Sheriff Pete Terkinberry would soon patrol the three streets of town in a new squad car, excited anticipation of a parade swept like a wind-blown grass fire.

From one end of town to the other, neighbors gathered in the streets to watch the sheriff drive by in his new car. They waved, shouted, laughed, and a few cried. The dream of Maple Valley having its own police car finally came true.

The patrol car isn’t new. The Maple Valley council purchased it from the Chicago Police Department. It only has 61,000 miles on it, so folks here believe it was a good investment. Sheriff Pete is happier than anyone else. He’s been patrolling in his own car since he took office fourteen years ago when his father, Sheriff Wilton Chase Terkinberry passed away after thirty-four years as Sheriff of Terkot County.

Folks in Maple Valley are happy with any reason to have a parade. Believe it or not, last summer there was a parade because Hazel Wiklaten’s spaniel, Gertrude, had twelve healthy puppies. They were loaded into the bed of Berton Pilshur’s old pickup truck and before he reached the end of First Street, crowds of people stood on their porches waving as the twelve grand marshalls rolled by.

That parade went a long way to support rumors that Berton has eyes for Hazel. His wife Nellie passed away eight years ago. Hazel has been alone since her husband, Maxil Ned Wiklaten III, went on to his barn in the sky nine years ago. A year after Nellie died, neighbors saw Berton talking to Hazel over the fence. There’s been talk ever since.

With the arrival of the new police car, there seems to be more determination to find Sylvia Meisner. Certainly, with this fine new used patrol car, there won’t be any reason why answers to this year long mystery can’t be found. Sylvia is sure to come home now.

It’s good that the arguing over the cost of sending the sheriff and mayor to Chicago to pick up the new police car has ended. The vote to send the two officials was a tie. Since the mayor holds a higher office, he said his vote carried more weight, thereby causing the motion to pass. Well, that brought some of the folks attending the meeting to their feet. A few walked out. Nothing unusual for Maple Valley council meetings.

Awesome New Top for a Patio Table

Many years ago we bought a white metal table with four matching chairs. It had a glass top that measured twenty-eight by forty-eight inches.

We purchased the table at Forward’s Up North Store in Pinconning, Michigan. The antique-lodge decor-knick-knack store was a favorite stop on our trips up north, always followed by breakfast at H & H Bakery and Restaurant.

The table retained its beautiful condition until we moved from our house with a large covered porch. The patio set suffered Michigan winters and summer rain and soon showed signs of rust. I decided it was time to strip the table and chairs for repainting.

I purchased a sand-blaster attachment for my compressor. Big mistake. The first time I used it all I accomplished was filling my shoes with walnut shell grit. The paint chips and rust literally laughed at me. I knew it was time to go for the muscle.

I bought a grinder. The old paint didn’t have a chance against my new toy. My biggest problem now was my obesession as a proud card-carrying perfectionist. Every last speck of rust, paint, and corrosion had to go. Didn’t happen.

The finished product was beautiful. We took the set to Cottage Outfitters in Caseville, Michigan for sale. In the process, somewhere along the trip, I chipped a corner on the glass top! Ugh!

The answer to the broken glass is a new top made of wood. I used 1 x 4 inch, tongue and groove pine. I knew this material would hold together nicely.

I glued the pieces together, a few at a time, then clamped and weighted them overnight. I made the new top larger than the original glass to allow more space around the table.

The biggest challenge was making the frame on the underside to hold the tabletop in place. I glued at 24 x 48 inch rectangle made of 1 x 2 inch pine to the bottom. I then glued a 23 x 47 inch rectangle made of 1 x 3 inch pine to the first. This allowed the larger rectangle to rest on the table frame while the smaller dropped down inside to keep the table top from moving.

After the glue had plenty of time to dry, I used an orbital sander on the top and to soften and round the edges. I used a water-based, varnish with a white-wash finish on the entire piece. I then covered it with Polycrylic. Amazing, if I do say so myself. The table sold last week.