“Fancy and Francis” is a children’s book by Barbara Winslow, who was inspired to write this short story based on a true incident in the life of Francis Fenton, owner of the Sandy River Apple Orchard in Mercer.

Fenton is 97 years old and still an active member of the community. His greatest pride is having served in the Navy in World War II and in the Korean War. He lives on the farm that was settled by his grandfather and worked by his father. He is well known for the antique apple varieties in his orchard, as stated in a press release.

This book tells about one time when Francis was too ill to get his apples picked. Upon learning this, the town rallied to help. This became a community event which continues to this day. On a bright autumn day each year, people from all over gather to help pick that last of the apples.

Winslow is also the author of “Dance on a Sealskin.” She retired from 36 years of teaching in 2011. She lives in Norridgewock with her husband Skip.