WILLIAMSTOWN — During a recent purge of stuff on my desk, I came across an old resume that I put together for a job search in the mid-1980s.

I’d made a substantial investment in that curriculum vitae: I paid for a consultation with an expert and for the document’s professional layout and printing on high-quality paper stock in hopes that its classy appearance would speed its rise to the top of the pile. As things turned out, that didn’t happen, but I ended up getting the job anyway. With mission accomplished, the resume was retired, and by the time it was needed again more than a decade later, printed resumes had largely gone the way of the dodo.

As I perused the resume, it occurred to me that the information it did not contain might have been of as much use to a prospective employer as the material it did.

For instance, had the CV revealed certain details of my (unwritten) job history, the human resources folks might have concluded that they were not dealing with a “detail guy.” Such a guy would surely have checked the security of the makeshift latch on the tailgate of a truck before popping the clutch at the top of Spring Street to slip into a break in heavy Main Street traffic. In the bed of the truck was a valuable carpet-cleaning machine, which shifted violently backward upon the sudden acceleration. It broke through the tailgate and landed in the westbound lane of Route 2, spewing hoses and electrical cords in all directions.

Miraculously, the machine was undamaged, a condition opposite to that of my late adolescent pride. Small towns being what they are, the snickering began soon after the minor traffic jam I’d caused was cleared by a helpful, if talkative, passerby.

For a short while, in my small circle, I was referred to as “Mario,” as in (Formula One driver) Andretti.

No sooner had what I came to call the “machine incident” faded from the headlines when I overlooked another small detail in connection with my employment at the former Drummond Cleaners.

Luckily, the wages of this folly were paid in-house. The company’s dry cleaner, Leonard, was a thin, muscular, wiry man with a penchant for organ meats — deer heart was among his favorites. Leonard spent several hours confined in the cramped space behind an industrial-size dryer picking the rope-like strands of the enormous braided rug I’d pitched into the dryer from the machine’s “basket,” which I had not fully closed before hitting “start.”

I also was informed by Leonard, in occasionally colorful (mostly blue) terms, that the only way to dry a braided rug safely is to hang it on a line in a warm spot and wait. As it happened, the rug had to be restitched, but in Jim Drummond I had a patient, generous, understanding boss with a sense of humor.

Put to other types of “detail” work — house painting, landscaping, drywall installation — I accumulated a similarly tarnished record.

The old resume reminded me of the importance of knowing which career paths might be best avoided. Luckily, there’s no need to put all that down in writing immediately.

I figure it’s OK after, say, 48 years.

Double victories at Fire District meeting

The thick forest of cards that popped up on Feb. 28 when “yes” voters were called on to weigh in on borrowing $22.5 million to build a new fire station was a heartwarming sight for this “ink-stained wretch.”

Of the 540 votes cast, 509 voted yes and 32 people voted no. That marked the first, and most important, victory of the night.

I saw another win: As a reporter for this newspaper, I spent nearly 20 years covering public meetings in every one of the 32 municipalities in Berkshire County. Dozens of those gatherings were concerned with the business of spending taxpayers’ money on public building projects of one kind or another, but until last week, I had never seen such clear evidence that voters had gone to the trouble of preparing for the meeting by fully informing themselves about the proposal on the table.

Then, they turned out on a cold, raw New England night to speak up and to vote as they choose.

Many things threaten that freedom in 2023 America, and the example set by Williamstown voters forms an eloquent and unequivocal reply to those seeking to tamper with and/or dilute civil liberties.

D.R. “Dusty” Bahlman may be reached at notesandfootnotes39@gmail.com or 413-441-4278.