The Soupster spied NuBuck, one of the three Bucks in Our Town, along with “Red Buck” and plain “Buck.” NuBuck was named for the short, velvet-like whiskers that upholstered his cheeks and chin. The Soupster didn’t know how the brown-haired Red Buck got his name and regular Buck would just glare at you if you asked how he got his.
NuBuck was sitting on a bench outside City Hall, shuffling through some official-looking papers. “I’m catching up on the plans for the Maritime Society to install a ground-source heat system at the Old Boathouse and save lots of money and energy,” said NuBuck. “It’s one of the best ideas to come down the pike – if Our Town had a turnpike.”
“I’ve always thought the people who owned boats together were kind of brilliant,” said the Soupster. “People often use their boats less than they think they will and no one will turn down help with an oil or prop change.”
“Herring roe-on-kelp in pounds is also brilliant,” said NuBuck. “You get the herring roe and it doesn’t kill the fish.”
“How about the City Permanent Fund?” said the Soupster. “We got that by investing grant money until it was actually paid out and banking the interest. An idea so good they changed the rule to make sure other towns couldn’t imitate Our Town.”
“That’s it!” cried NuBuck. “Our Town is so unique that things will work here that don’t work in other places.”
“I always imagined big floating trailer parks, like the old floating logging camps,” said the Soupster, “But with manufactured homes. Affordable housing.”
“Tidal energy,” said NuBuck. “Big wind-turbine-like gizmos placed in parts of No Thorofare Bay and Sergius Narrows to catch the strong tidal currents and make electricity.”
“We should encourage hitchhiking,” said the Soupster. “Save money on gas.”
“Feed our food scraps to the fish,” said NuBuck.
The two men breathed heavily.
“For brilliant, how bout the Monthly Grinds and the Seafood Festival?” said NuBuck, starting up again. “Seafood subscriptions and the Farmer’s Market.”
“What I’m trying to figure out,” said the Soupster, “is a way to have our cake and eat it, too.”
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