POD: Set in the future
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Occupation:||Retired history professor|
Jim Farrell was a retired SUNY Albany history professor and long time resident of Maine. While a professor, Farrell became famous or perhaps notorious for his newsletter To the Small-Endians which skewered PC academics. Charlie Storer had read some issues and was impressed by Farrell when he met him at the Trebor Mansion Inn after the Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption. Storer and the rest of Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles impressed Farrell, in turn, when they sang an impromptu version for their song "Came Along Too Late" about Alexander the Great.
Farrell ran unsuccessfully as the Republican Party candidate for the Second Congressional District of Maine prior to the eruption. He took his loss in good humor, better than Dick Barber who had worked on his campaign. Rob Ferguson took advantage of having a political, even if unorthodox, present to ask what could be done in the aftermath of the eruption. Farrell couldn't speak for the whole country but for the part of Maine north of the Interstate he thought they could get through one winter. After things warmed up, they would have to stock up with whatever they could get to survive the next winter.
Farrell spoke about this at a town meeting during the second winter after the eruption. He stated they had to get organized to share what they had and to set up hunting and woodcutting parties since game and trees were further afield. A heckler called him a Communist but he demurred stating people had to work together as neighbors instead of squabbling. He quoted Benjamin Franklin that they had to hang together else they would hang separately. He won the crowd over and went on to talk about growing parsnips and mangel-wurzel which had a chance to ripen in the shorter growing season. After the meeting, a crowd gathered around Farrell to discuss things further.
Farrell continued to preach self-sufficiency and encouraged people to leave for warmer areas if they could. By the second summer after the eruption, many who had relatives elsewhere had left. Farrell thought this was helpful for the remaining people as there would be less mouths to feed with the town's limited resources. However, neither he nor Dick Barber or Squirt Frog elected to go themselves.
Word of Farrell's leadership role in Maine north and east of the Interstate spread into the rest of the country, such that during the third winter CNN sent Marie Fabianski with a crew on two dogsleds up to interview him. Fabianski came across Rob Ferguson out hunting for moose who offered to introduce her to Farrell. She accepted and interviewed him in the parlor of the Trebor Mansion Inn about his "extraconstitutional authority".
Jim Farrell is loosely based on Professor John Frary. (See the Trebor Mansion Inn website).