Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Truly Strange, yet Strangely True.

Vermont's David Smiths to Gather

PLAINFIELD, Vt. (Sept. 9) - Almost everywhere he's gone in life, David B. Smith Jr. has run into other David Smiths, either in person or through their misdirected mail.

"I've always wondered what their lives were like,'' said Smith, 63, who owns the Highland Lodge hotel in Greensboro. "You'd expect someone who has your name to have something in common with you, so the question is, what? Where have they been? What have they been doing?''

This week, Smith and all the other David Smiths in Vermont will get a chance to find out. On Tuesday, the Twinfield Union School in Plainfield is hosting David Smith Night.

To celebrate an already abundant population of local David Smiths, and to welcome a new VISTA volunteer named David Smith who will be working at the school, the school has invited all 57 David Smiths listed in Vermont phone books to a corn roast and community pot luck dinner.

"We're going to sort of get a sense of who these David Smiths are,'' said Twinfield Principal Owen Bradley. "It may be a common name, but we want to show people how unique each one is.''

David C. Smith, a 42-year-old tree nursery worker from Johnson, plans to be there. So does David L. Smith, 53, an artist and carpenter from Marshfield. Like most of the other David Smiths, David L. Smith has stories to tell about his popular name.

"I first noticed it a few years ago when David R. Smith moved into town,'' said David L. Smith. "He's a biker, and I used to get some pretty interesting party invitations that I probably should have gone to.''

David E. Smith, of Putney, a computer network manager, gets calls that were meant for a local contractor, asking him to do construction projects.

"I generally tell them no, but if you need a computer fixed, I'm your guy,'' he said.

Another David C. Smith, this one living in Norwich, said he'd never met another David Smith until he moved from Texas to Vermont 20 years ago and immediately met three of them. He didn't know what to make of the invitation to meet his fellow David Smiths.

"I thought at first it was some marketing strategy or something like that,'' he said.

He remembers a day at the local hardware store when all three of the community's David Smiths happened to be in at the same time. He got them all together at the counter.

"I said, "All I ask you two guys is to keep enough money in your checking account,''' he joked.

Of all the David Smiths, it's David B. Smith, Jr. who is perhaps the most enthusiastic about the gathering.

"I'm so excited. Although we share some things in common, we also look at life differently, and that's going to be very interesting,'' said Smith. "I'm going to eat a lot of corn and listen to what other David Smiths have to say.''

Kentucky Police Call in Ghostbusters

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 7) - Stymied by mysterious sights and sounds in their own headquarters, cops in Shelbyville called in the ghostbusters.

In the still of night, doors rattled and stairwells creaked in the city's police department. In the light of day, a secretary's desk drawer opened on its own. A city worker who toured the building late one night even reported feeling something grab her leg.

So the police took the probe to another dimension.

"The way I treat it is not that there is a ghost, there's just things that I can't explain,'' said Officer John Wilson, who contacted the Scientific Investigative Ghost Hunting Team, based in Louisville.

The team of professional paranormal investigators gave the brick building a preliminary review and will return this fall for a thorough probe. The group will set up cameras and tape recorders as well as infrared thermometers to capture any temperature variations.

The goal is to try to prove the strange occurrences aren't caused by paranormal forces, said Kay Owen, vice president of the nonprofit ghost hunting team, which doesn't charge for its services.

"We'll go in and try to recreate everything that they are experiencing,'' she said. "If they can recreate it, it's not paranormal. It can be explained. It's a process of elimination.''