About Gary Church ...

Gary Church is a contributing writer and columnist at The News. His blog appears on our website each Friday.

Charlie Mort was the official mayor of my street.

He would often tell me, "I need one more vote to get you booted out of the neighborhood."

If you knew him, you know he was quite the talker.

For me to get in the house after work, without Charlie calling me over to chat, took some real sneaky maneuvers.

He had an old rototiller, which was probably dated back to the Civil War, that I would borrow each year to till my garden.

He told me, "When I die, the rototiller is yours."

Since it was in my garage when he passed away, I became owner by default.

It was never the best tiller in the world, to begin with.

Finally one spring, it would not start anymore.

I gave it to my barber, who had it worked on, and it started running again.

When he was done with it, somehow it came back into my possession.

It hasn't started since.

Because I tried to get rid of it once, and it came back, it made me think that maybe Charlie stills wants me to have it, as a memento of him.

My wife, on the other hand, wants me to get rid of it.

I agree.

It's finally time for it to go to the big junk yard in the sky.

I don't rototill anymore, and it does take up space in the garage.

Plus, if I don't get the garage cleaned out by winter, according to my wife, I may be joining Charlie.

That wouldn't be so bad, sitting next to Charlie, Pop, Red, Joe, and Wilbur, in our lawn chairs talking for eternity.

Of course, that's on the condition that Charlie doesn't get me voted out for getting rid of his rototiller.

If so, I'll just do what I always do, and blame it on my wife.

I'm sure he will understand.

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