Monday, June 3, 2013



By Alice DiNizo

   Every town in America has its share of characters and Arlington was no different back in my younger days. But Waylon Medford took the cake, honestly. Born to an old and very distinguished Vermont family that went way back to Revolutionary War days, most folks would have expected Waylon to be an upstanding citizen, maybe even a State Senator or at least a local leader of some sort. 

Not Waylon, no way. To look at him back about 1950, someone new to town would swear that Waylon was a bum. He shaved whenever he thought of it, dressed in the same ratty-tatty clothes with his shirt held together with leather laces, and was famous for loving the married ladies around town and then leaving them with their mouths hanging open. Decades later, some of them were still talking about his “visits.”

  “There goes Waylon! Wonder what he’s up to?” Old men sitting on their porches would watch Waylon as he’d drive down Main Street, slow and sure, going somewhere, maybe.

 His mother and sister had given up on him years before when he came home from his graduation with honors from Yale, changed his clothes, and went outside for a walk in the hills. He never attempted to work in the local bank his uncle owned or to run the family’s successful grain business. Waylon was just Waylon.

  His elegant little mother, Flora, shook her head as she watched her talented, handsome son sitting on one of her prized needlepoint chairs, reading a recent issue of the family’s Saturday Evening Post while the morning’s chores piled up, undone.

 His family just shook their heads and left food scraps on the old Chinese Export plate that Waylon used to feed his pet raccoon, Dilly. Waylon had taken the dish from Flora’s dining room hutch when she wasn’t looking so she couldn’t “pitch a fit”. Waylon loved Dilly and his faithful old border collie Glory. Dilly would ride around on Waylon’s shoulder as he plowed fields, milked the cows, and slopped the pigs. Glory followed Waylon around like she was his shadow and rode at his side whether he was driving his Jeep or the John Deere tractor..

 Waylon was best friends with a fellow who’d moved up to Arlington to get away from city life and they were always together for hunting or fishing season. They used to take one or two of Waylon’s nephews along on their camping trips to Lake Champlain where they set up their camping site, caught trout enough for everyone and had a men’s well-earned weekend away from female chatter and carrying-ons. Waylon made a point of never listening to whatever Flora and his sisters had to say, anyway.

 Now Waylon had his own way of doing things. He and his friend went down to New York City and shocked one of those fancy car dealers when he asked the price of the Cadillac convertible in the display window. The man thought Waylon was a joke with his ratty-tatty clothes until our boy opened his wallet and handed over five thousand dollars cash to pay for the car.

 Waylon died a multi-millionaire when he was in his eighties. Seems Arlington’s hometown boy had saved up his pocket money, never touched his inheritance except to buy up property over the years. He owned half of Bennington County the day he died. Never argued over what a farmer was asking for those back acres, just opened his wallet and paid in cash.

Alice's books are available for purchase  at local New Jersey events and on (, Barnes and Noble (, and Booksamillion( If you buy a copy of one of my "donation" books, I keep track of each sale and add a dollar  per sale to that organization. All through 2013, a dollar from the sale of any one of my books will go to Hurricane Sandy victims. Yes,I know I've written this before but to live here in New Jersey and see what's happened and do nothing is unforgivable.   

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Great post, and love reading about people like this. People out of the box and "Un" normal. And who's to say how "successful" he was. Obviously lived his life according to his standards and lived it well. Seems ok to me. :)