Compiled by Grey Almeida, Wrentham 350 Committee Member.
Special thanks to Mr. William Conrad for providing additional photos for this article.
This is the story of Mr. Farewell T. Razor, a symbolic razor buried on the first day of Wrentham's tri-centennial celebration in 1973. It is narrated through a collection of news clippings that describe the efforts of the Brothers of the Brush to hold Mr. Farewell T. Razor's burial and keep it safe from potential kidnapping for ransom.
In case you missed our first article about the Brothers of the Brush and the Belles, make sure to check it out HERE!
December 8, 1972
Hole Awaits Razor
WRENTHAM - Special guest at this week's meeting of the Brothers of the Brush was Herve "Bucky" Lariviere, past president of the Bellingham Brothers, who told of centennial shenanigans in his town at its recent observance. Offered the use of the jail and stocks, which was accepted, these will be installed somewhere near the center of town next year.
Several new members were inducted, bringing the roster to more than 80 members. It was noted that there are now six charters operating around town with raids and kidnapping followed by ransoms. Charter names are Model Tees, Sod Busters, Bush whackers, WOWS, Minutemen and Renegades.
Preparations were made this week for the official burial of the razor, Jan. 1. Anticipating that perhaps the ground will be frozen or covered with snow, Brothers assembled at the memorial flagpole, opposite Center School, and with the aid of a local contractor, Thomas DiPlacido, dug the grave and made ready for the beginning of the 300th year on January 1.
In photo, with DiPlacido at the controls, the hole is dug. It was then covered over and protected with a fence to avoid complications. George A. Lavallee, president, led a discussion on getting television coverage for some of the centennial events, which will be amplified at the next meeting. Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. at the VFW Post Home, Lake Pearl.
December 19, 1972
Brothers of Brush Plan Wake, Funeral in Wrentham
WRENTHAM - Plans for a wake and funeral were made at this week's meeting of the Brothers of the Brush, although no one seemed a bit sad about it.
Subject was the symbolic razor which will remain buried throughout the tri-centennial year 1973, with the wake set for Dec. 27, at the VFW Post Home on Lake Pearl. Dancing will be permitted during the wake with Richard Kelly as disc jockey. Funeral procession for the burial of the razor will begin at 11 a.m. on Jan. 1 at Randall Road and the Wrentham Plaza. The already-dug grave awaits at the flagpole triangle across from the its historical Center School.
Leonard Unger was appointed pay assistant treasurer, and it was voted to hold off on making any contributions to tricentennial events until the end of the season. More than $30 was turned in from the Minutemen, from their Jolly Green Giant ransom payoff, James Ryan was appointed to represent the Brothers of the Brush for the Tri-Centennial newspaper, which is being published in the Regional Pharmacy Building.
A letter of thanks was received from the Tri-Centennial Committee, expressing thanks for the set-up of the announcement bulletin board in the center of town, constructed by the students at the King Philip Regional Vocational High School and sponsored by the brothers. It was noted that anyone having an event to announce should simply tack it.
Leonard Unger, Edward C. Perry, Kevin Norton and Thomas L. Hartley were appointed weekend Santa Clauses, and they were instructed not to deliver any gifts out-of-town. It was also voted that if the Bellingham Brothers steal the razor during, before, or after interment, that John Flanagan will be required to whatever ransom is requested for its return. This was announced with a specal note to Alfred Lariviere.
A protest was lodged by the Model Tees an "illegal" on capture of their mascot by the Petticoat Gals, and the matter will be placed before Judge Joseph Delorey for judicial deliberation.
Awards were made to William Healy and Paul Sciaba, and the next meeting was set for Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. at VFW hall.
December 23, 1972
Mr. Razor Eulogized in Norfolk Rites
WRENTHAM - "Mr. Farewell T. Razor," late of Brush Hill Road, lay in state Wednesday night at a wake held in his honor at VFW Post Home. Judge Joseph Delorey of the Brothers of the Brush delivered a eulogy in his honor, referring to his younger days when he was a "gay blade" telling of the scrape he had gotten into and several close shaves he had with liberation girls.
He was never one to get in a lather about conditions, except when he was in real hot water. but did get a little edgy when someone was sharp in their criticism and got off a few cutting remarks of his own, the judge noted.
The coffin was built by Robert Sekula. The honor guard included Robert Gotschall, George A. Lavallee and Leo E. Pfieffer.
Careful security measures are being taken to protect the razor and coffin from possible raids from Bellingham and Norfolk chapters who have sworn to swipe the swashbuckler.
Burial is slated for Monday starting with a procession at 11 a.m. from Randall Road, to the already-prepared grave at the flagpole triangle at the intersection of Routes 1-A and 140.
Eulogy to Farewell T. Razor:
Friends, relatives, beloved Brothers of the Brush, we have gathered here this first day of January, 1973, to pay tribute to our departed Farewell T. Razor.
Farewell was adopted by the Gillette family in 1970 and given the nickname of Techmatic. As a child he was passed from hand to hand and soon developed a cutting reputation.
Techmatic was gifted with many qualities; he was very sharp, dependable, he maintained an even temper and was ambidextrous. He could easily go from left hand to right hand not missing a stroke. When it came to ejecting, he was superb.
Techmatic's job was cut out for him right from the beginning and he faced many a competitor. His main function in life was to clean up the human race in a manor that would allow no blood-shed. This was no easy task -- he was dragged over many a dirty faces and reached many a pit fall. His only consolation was found in some leg work which gave him the incentive to go on to higher places.
By 1971, Techmatichad cut his way to the top and was handled by many important people. He developed a reputation as being a clean cut.. smooth operator. His only downfall was
that he was easy to handle and the word was slowly getting around.
Techmatic travelled the country and stayed with many a celebrity, he even caught the eye of a glamorous movie star and was invited into her home. He spent many a happy day there tending to his duties and enjoying every movement. But, like all good things his end came, when, after complete exhaustion and no replacements he neglected his duty and was quickly replaced by Mr. Nair. Poor Techmatic.
Techmatic did not give up, he was determined to go on to smaller and better things - but his efforts seemed fruitless. Competion moved in. The Trac II Twins were making the scene. Mr. Nair now covered the delicate jobs that were once handled by Techmatic. Some say Techmatic lost his edge, he became a drag. Others say that he moved too fast.
Techmatic realizing he no longer could handle the leg work shut himself in and spent his last days as a hermit. In a moment of depression and despair he made his last
stroke and passed away. (Poor Techmatic.)
My friends, as he lies here before us I think that each and everyone of us will agree that Farewell T. Razor has covered more area in his short life time, than all of us here put together.
Please bow your heads-------------------------------
Farewell, Farewell T. Razor --- What we have this day put under let no man dare uncover. Ashes to ashes and Dust to Dust, Our Mighty Razor will never rust.
Judge: Joseph R. Delorey, Wrentham, January 1, 1973
December 27, 1972
'Wake' Flowers Judged
WRENTHAM - No tears were shed last night at a wake for Farewell T. Razor, held at the VFW Post Home, Lake Pearl, by members of the Brothers of the Brush. Mr. Razor will be laid away, assisted by sisters of the Centennial Belles.
A competition was held on the best floral piece for the late Mr. Razor donated by area florists. Judging was done by a team of arrangement experts from the Sohoanno Garden Club, on the basis of the requirement schedule submitted by the competition sponsors, which included size, focal point, design lines, color and condition.
First place went to Arrowhead Gardens, second to Wrentham Florist, and third to Franklin Florist. Others were given honorable mention. Judges were Mrs. Richard A. Taylor, Mrs. George Reidel and Mrs. Howard W. Topham. Photo below shows Mrs. Topham Taylor and Mrs. Topham inspecting entries. The winning arrangement consisted of a showpiece of white gladioli and carnations, while the second one was a fan shape featuring orchids, and the third a centerpiece of peppermint carnations.
Mr. Razor will be laid away on Jan. 1 after a procession at 11 a.m. from Randall Road to an already prepared grave at the flagpole triangle opposite the historic Center School. Once the razor is interred, members of the Brothers will stop shaving until the end of the celebration of the town's 300th anniversary. Prizes will be awarded for the best beard.
At present, there are six official entrants in the contest for the longest beard, all of whom were shaved at the same time at a party held at the VFW Post Home. William Healy, John Guen- thner, John Verna, Richard Andrews, George Ringuette, and George Lavallee are matched.
It was announced that Sunday, the Sodbusters will pay off a ransom to the Minutemen by shining shoes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Vining Real Estate, South St.
January 1, 1973
Razor Ceremoniously Buried By Wrentham Brushmen
WRENTHAM - More than 150 persons turned out for the ceremonial burial of Farewell T. Razor at the flagpole triangle yesterday morning.
Mourning procession started at Wrentham Plaza, Randall with the march proceeding down South Street to the center of town, and the intersection of Routes 1-A and 140, where the already prepared grave received its honored guest amid a tight ring of security.
A nervous restlessness rippled among the crowd when it was seen that the dreaded Alberic (Bucky) Lariviere, president of the Bellingham Brothers of the Brush, was among bearers. Possible robbing of the razor, now safely underground, was feared.
An impressive eulogy was delivered by Judge Joseph Delorey of the Wrentham Brothers as the coffin was lowered, covered with heavy rocks, and finally buried.
Both Norfolk and Bellingham have expressed determination to kidnap the interred sharpie, then force the Brothers to pay a ransom. John J. Flanagan was made responsible by the Brothers at a recent meeting to see that the razor is protected at all costs.