Hilltown Postcards

Horrible Hank the Hog Killer

That’s the nickname Hank was given by one of the locals in Worthington, but it’s probably not for what you think why. No, we’ve never raised hogs. And we don’t eat pork. But there is an interesting story behind the name.

When we lived in that rented house in the Ringville section of Worthington, the only vehicle we owned was a vintage VW Microbus we bought in Boston long ago during one of the times we lived in that city. The tan VW went cross-country twice when we lived in Seattle and then returned to Boston before we moved to the hilltowns. It had a spare tire mounted on the front. And there was plenty of room inside for our kids. 

Anyway, one winter night Hank was driving home from a job in a blinding snowstorm. An excellent driver, all was well until he drove very slowly down Mason’s Hill on Huntington Road not far from where we lived. Suddenly, the VW van stopped in its tracks. What the heck? When Hank got out, he found out why. The broadside of a 500-pound hog blocked the VW’s way. The animal was white so it wasn’t visible in the falling snow.

The hog, which had escaped from Bert Nugent’s yard, was dead but still standing.

As Hank surveyed the situation, the tire that had been mounted on the VW’s front came spinning down the hill. The tire had been thrown backwards when the hog had dislodged it and gravity sent it back.

Bert, who was also a town selectman in those days, was a good sport about it, offering to give us half the hog after it was butchered. No thanks, Hank said. So, instead Bert told him to bring the VW to the garage he owned then in town and he’d fix the tire, which he did. There wasn’t any other damage to the VW. If I recall correctly, Bert used a tow truck to retrieve the hog’s body.

Now about the name. Bert, unarguably a character, called him “Horrible Hank the Hog Killer.” He said it with a grin whenever he met Hank, which was a frequent occurrence in our small hilltown.

Just one of the fun stories about the place where we used to live and I fondly remember.


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