March 2020

Publishing On-Line This Month! (Facebook and Nextdoor)

So it’s come to this!  I can’t safely distribute a physical paper to Bowfin’s houses while a virus might be hiding itself somewhere in my house.  But I really don’t want to see a break in our publishing streak if I can help it. We’ve had an issue of the Bowfin Inquirer every month since October, 1993 – thanks to Arkady O.’s stepping in to cover our absence when Eve and I traveled to Australia and New Zealand a couple January’s ago.   On top of that, part of my inspiration for creating the paper was to help the neighborhood function better should there ever be an emergency, like we faced with the 1989 earthquake.  

Well, this COVID-19 pandemic is every bit as big an emergency – and there may be folks on our block looking to get help with shopping or just phone conversations for company. 

So I’m going to post this “paper” (it’s actually just a bunch of 1s and 0s) on the Bowfin Inquirer Facebook page – and also try to put it up on Nextdoor (it may possibly require 2 posts so I can put both pages there).  

My plans are to resume paper publication when it appears safe to be outside again – and definitely not before the governor has lifted the stay-at-home mandate.

Please write us at to let us know that you picked up a ‘copy’ of this issue – and whether it was via Facebook or Nextdoor.  By being so kind, we’ll know that it reached you, and that we should continue publication – and where we should publish.

Aaron’s Answers – by Aaron O.

Question: Have you ever heard of the poison
garden of Alnwick? What is it?
-Natalie O.
Aaron’s Answer (A’sA): Yes, I have heard
about it. The poison garden of Alnwick is a garden
planted by the Duchess of Northumberland, Jane
Percy. This garden, however, doesn’t contain
ordinary plants. It houses Strychnine trees,
Foxglove plants, Hemlock, and many more
dangerous bushes. It was inspired by the 16thcentury
poison garden in Padua used by the
Medicis to poison their royal enemies.
To enter the Alnwick garden, you must first
fetch a guide to unlock the black iron gates, which
are decorated with a white skull and crossbones
and a worrying message: “These plants can kill.”
The main phrase that the guides constantly say, is
“No touching, no smelling.” Some of the flora can
even kill or sicken by touch or close proximity. If
you ever happen to be in the far north-eastern part
of England, make sure to visit Alnwick Castle and
its poison garden.