Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina
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The small town of Springdale in upstate New York had celebrated Model Wife Day on June 1 for as many years as they could remember. Some said it could have been over one hundred years. The procedure was for the inhabitants to nominate a woman, then have a set of respected men and women make the final judgment. The winner would receive a small amount of money, typically one hundred dollars, a certificate, and a great deal of publicity. The winner would be known as Model Wife of the Year.
This year the honor went to Laura Cranston, twenty-three years old, two children, a boy and a girl. She had been nominated by her husband Roger Cranston. On June 2 the Evening Springdale Gazette published this story:
Judges Judith Anderson, Wilma, Mason, Andrew Smith, William Brown, and Henry Thornton, selected Laura Cranston, wife of Roger Cranston to be honored as wife of the year, a period that extends from June 1 of this year to the same date next year. There were six other nominees besides Mrs. Cranson. Those were Anna Thompson, Yolanda Branson, Mary Watson, Marianne Benson, Shanika Jackson, and Lillian Stanton. The contest was held at the Range Hall on Bentley Road. There were over seventy-five citizens of the town in attendance. The winner received a standing ovation as she received an amount of money and a certificate from Mayor Stephen Gordon.
This contest is held every year and the winner is judged on the basis of honesty, kindness, articulation, gentleness, law-abidingness and intelligence. Beauty is not a factor, however, it is acknowledged, that the winner is always a very beautiful woman.
Mrs. Cranston was garbed in a striking red suit with matching scarf and hat. She wore a knee length dress and black shoes. After winning the honor, Mister Cranston joined his wife on the stage and gave Laura a resounding kiss. This was followed by loud applause from the audience. After the ceremony, the Springdale Quartet entertained the crowd with several selections of popular country tunes. This was followed by square dancing on the stage called by Johnny Renzi. Music selections were interspersed with the square dancing by the Tony McKenzie trio. It was a gala evening for all and this newspaper congratulates Mrs. Laura Cranston for her being selected as Model Wife of the Year.
On Page three of the Evening Springdale Gazette there was a story of an event on the evening of June 1 that had caused a great deal of commotion in the town. It seemed that there had been a fracas on Main Street that had been reported this way:
Early in the morning of June 2, the two permanent police officers of Springdale’s Police Department were called to quell a near riot on Main Street. It had been reported that there was a woman attempting to break into to a liquor store. When the police arrived, they discovered that a Mrs. Laura Cranston, very intoxicated, her blond hair disheveled, was attempting to break into Springdale Spirits and Emporium. She was pounding on the window with a toy aluminum baseball bat. In attempting to bring the woman under control, she beat on the chests of both officers. It took the combined strength of both officers to stop the attempted break-in and to subdue her.
She said that when she had been to a celebration on the previous evening. She and her husband were drinking heavily at home and run out of liquor. Her husband told her that they had had enough and should go to bed. However, she wouldn’t accept that suggestion, ran to her car, and drove to the liquor store. Using a bat belonging to one of her children she was attempting to break the window at the store so that she could obtained more liquor.
The police attempted to talk to her but she wouldn’t listen, indicating that the Constitution of the United States guaranteed to all citizens the right to seize intoxicating materials when they were badly needed, such as in her situation. In trying to explain to Mrs. Cranston that there was no such stipulation in the Constitution, she stated that the police were obviously “very stupid.” She bragged that she had gained a college degree at the Syracuse two-year community college, and that her education could not be questioned, thereby allowing her to reiterate that the police were, in her words, “dumbbells.”
She was quoted as having said that what she was not guilty of breaking no laws, and had merely attempted to tooken was the right of every citizen under Article Two of the Bill of Rights.
When the police suggested that what she had done was clearly attempted theft, she denied the allegation, and stated that if they did not apologize, she would sue not only the police but also the town.
The police felt that they had no choice except to arrest her. She gave quite a battle in resisting arrest, but was finally restrained with handcuffs behind her back. She is currently in the Springdale jail awaiting an appearance before a Judge Carter.
Mrs. Cranston was honored at the Range Hall earlier in the evening for winning the prestigious title of Model Wife of the Year.
Laura Cranston was elected Model Wife in the small town of Springdale in Upstate New York. She nominated by her husband. The contest was based on the basis of honesty, kindness, articulation, law-abidingness, and intelligence. She won honor, a small amount of money, a certificate, and much acclaim. On the day after the election, there were two articles in the paper. This story reports them.