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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Vermont Views Magazine

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Features

Articles

Columns


Dairy Home Companion

#4•Ups and Downs•

#3•Jig and Drabble•

#2•baby talk•

#1•Paradise Postponed•


Meanderings

Mountain is open

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

•a series•

March 28, 2020 — Rome Frozen

Toni Ortner


Love In Action

A Lovely Little Thing Called Hope

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Paper-Bag Crowns & the Pandemic Anniversary

Susan Cruickshank


Selected Letters

Nurses Have Rights Too

(Or Should)

Rob Mitchell


Monkey’s Cloak

Facetime goodbye

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

Entering the Space

Between Us

Nanci Bern


Love In Action

After New Zealand — A Series of Vignettes from Soul to Soul

#3 Look to The Rainbow

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Meandering in place

Charles Monette


The First Glass

My grandmother died of the Spanish Flu

Vincent Panella


Finnish Fandango

IMAGINE  A  WATERFALL

Anneli Karniala


Write Walk

Hip Hip Hooray!

Susan Cruickshank


Vermont Diary

What about your contribution?


in between

BRIDGING BACK TO LOVE

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

After New Zealand — A Series of Vignettes from Soul to Soul

Glow Worms- Who Knew?

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Paid Sick Leave

Offie Wortham


Vermont Diary

Bernie in the age of

corona-virus


Write Walk

Darwin’s Theory of Adaption and My Crampons

Susan Cruickshank


Meanderings

Dust of Winter

Charles Monette


Open Mind

My brother Lonnie

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

After New Zealand — A Series of Vignettes from Soul to Soul

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

saturday’s quiet morn

Charles Monette


Water’s Edge

OCEANS RISING

Nicola Metcalf


Write On!

Why is Martin Luther King Day a day off from school?

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

The Glimmering Tail of the In-Between

Susan Cruickshank


The First Glass

POOL

Vincent Panella



Vermont Diary

Wurz that?


An A-musing Life

Pass the Abundance Please, It's Next to The Holiday Pie

Nanci Bern


Selected Letters

Letter from Australia

Annie Matthews


Love In Action

Welcome Bay and Beyond

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

A book review

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Broken twigs on snow

Charles Monette


Write Walk

Forging a Relationship with Fire

Susan Cruickshank


Finnish Fandango

IT'S ABSOLUTELY FREE !

Anneli Karniala


Monkey’s Cloak

A Gift for the Season

Jeri Rose


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Growing Up

Jeri Rose


Our Man In

Findhorn Foundation

Doug Hoyt


Vermont Diary

There are Four Seasons


Love In Action

A Walk Around the Block with Mister Rogers

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Authors Reviewed

The Animal One Thousand Miles Long: Seven Lengths of Vermont and Other Adventures — by Leath Tonino

Laura Stevenson


Write On!

Slow travel plans for the holidays

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

boy child

Charles Monette


Open Mind

So far it’s been a good run

Offie Wortham


On My Walks

Three New Images

Kate Hill Cantrill


Love In Action

Draining The Swamp at 510

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

Love’s Grace

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

Fall Epiphany

Susan Cruickshank


Meanderings

Tale of two skies

Charles Monette


Real Vermont Stories

Vermont “Maternity Homes”

Beth Kanell


Meanderings

eco-virtue, eco-ethos, eco-sin

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Resurrecting The Grail

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

WHAT HAPPENED TO FRUGALITY?

Anneli Karniala


Write Walk

Django

Susan Cruickshank


On My Walks

One Art,

Elizabeth Bishop

Kate Hill Cantrill


Meanderings

In striking contrast

Charles Monette


Water’s Edge

Burying Roger

Nicola Metcalf


How I Write

2019

Publisher Challenge Essays

Vincent Panella


Vermont Authors Reviewed

Tony Weldon,

Drunk in the woods

Laura Stevenson


Love In Action

Ruminations From the

Yellow Brick Road

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

The Recipe

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Encase the world in iron

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

The Funeral

Anneli Karniala


Selected Letters

5,000 Vermonters at risk

Emily Cohen


Meanderings

Stones kicking back

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Facets of Woo Woo

Jeri Rose


Love In Action

A Bowl of Cherries

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

The Fickleness of the Toronto Coffee Society

Susan Cruickshank


Real Vermont Stories

Two Kinds of Truth

Beth Kanell


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

A short recollection from fifty years ago

Jeri Rose


in between

How Very Rich and

Deep our Lives

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

You and Me

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Green Mountain Mourning

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Mexico City closed today

Charles Monette


Meanderings

Mountain laurels in June, mountain laurels in bloom

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

The Vital Un-Silencing

Nanci Bern


Old Lady Blog

Two Pieces

Toni Ortner


Real Vermont Stories

Real or Not Real? Famous Words of the Vermont Supreme Court

Beth Kanell


Our Man In

Kilkenny, Ireland

Doug Hoyt


Finnish Fandango

Watching the maestro

Anneli Karniala


Love In Action

The Hills of Nova Scotia

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Authors Reviewed

Beth Kanell, The Long Shadow

Laura Stevenson


Selected Letters

Blurb Writers At The Edge

Distler, Mayo, Innes


Water’s Edge

Walmart Universe

Nicola Metcalf


Write Walk

Random Birthdays

Susan Cruickshank


Meanderings

Another foggy morning

Charles Monette


Our Man In

Kilkenny, Ireland

Doug Hoyt


Write On!

George and Agnes

Howard Prussack


Meanderings

River of the Lonely Way

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Special

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

“When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

A major essay;

part 3 of 4

The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

Uncle Paul, Big Macs

& Thank You’s

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

A robot picked my strawberry today

Charles Monette


Meanderings

Into the grey

Charles Monette


Meanderings

Mud bumps of April

Charles Monette


The First Glass

Speech to the congregation

Vincent Panella


Write Walk

Mud

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Red-Handed

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

TO READ OR NOT TO READ!

Anneli Karniala


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Division Tactics

Jeri Rose


SCREENplay

Wildlife

Lawrence Klepp


World & US Energy News

Environment there and here, Special Report by Phil Innes

Phil Innes


Old Lady Blog

Trapped, part II

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Loud and Colorful Advance Party Marks the End of Hogle Sanctuary's Winter Silence

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

And Still

Phil Innes


Open Mind

What is Trump’s “Base”?

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

Trapped

Toni Ortner


Water’s Edge

Two Knives

Nicola Metcalf


Love In Action

Dance Everybody Dance

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Why are 380 people in prison in Vermont without a trial?

Offie Wortham


SCREENplay

At Eternity’s Gate

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

All’s relative

Charles Monette


Meanderings

February thermoplasticity

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

SAFETY IN NUMBERS?

Anneli Karniala


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


SCREENplay

Stan and Ollie

Lawrence Klepp


in between

What In your Life

is Calling You?

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

ElizaVanGoghbeth

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Kairos

Phil Innes


Write On!

Unpacking Weaponized Masculinity

Greg Hessel


Vermont Diary

Five Chill Words


From The Archive

Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology


Water’s Edge

Ruminations on Kale

Nicola Metcalf


Vermont Diary

490 — a Record!


Vermont Diary

Caravanserai


Write Walk

Auld Lang Syne

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Ultima thule

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Transcultural Awareness Dining

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

A Ladybug’s New Year

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

One Moment, Please

Nanci Bern


Open Mind

Secret Voting in Congress, The Answer to the Gridlock

Offie Wortham


FOODISH

Scandinavian Christmas Dishes

Feature Article

Anneli Karniala


Vermont Diary

Newz and the perennial season


Meanderings

Sunday quiet

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

WHAT'S THE RUSH?

Anneli Karniala


in between

An Encroaching Lawlessness

Julia Ferarri


Water’s Edge

Morning on the Mountain

Nicola Metcalf


Old Lady Blog

For the gardener who is gone

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Moments of Silence

Charles Monette


Write Walk

Shower Etiquette

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Choosing Hope

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Walls Have Ears

Alan Rayner


SCREENplay

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Lawrence Klepp


Water’s Edge

Italian Impressions

Nicola Metcalf


Urban Naturalist

An Austere Hogle Sanctuary Sleeps in Beneath a Chill Sunday Morning Sun

Lloyd Graf


Write Walk

Apple Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Susan Cruickshank


Open Mind

Why do we really have a drug problem in Vermont?

Offie Wortham


SCREENplay

Colette

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Of Home

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

a rainbow swirling jet stream

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

Apple-bobbing and Remembering the Dead

Anneli Karniala


An A-musing Life

Witch Hat To Wear

Nanci Bern


Write On!

TYRANT!

Phil Innes


The First Glass

TEXAS TOAST, VOLUNTEERING FOR BETO — Parts I & 2

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Has Bean Has Travelled


Meanderings

Apache foggy morning

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Spiritual Smorgasbord for Soul Sisters

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

BUT (YOU SAY) IT'S ONLY A BOOK !

Anneli Karniala


Write Walk

Where’s the Gravy?

Susan Cruickshank


Vermont Diary

Twelve Good Men


World & US Energy News

Just one day in the energy life of the planet

September 2018

George Harvey


Selected Letters

Why I chose to look ugly, and the reasoning behind it.

Susan Polgar


SCREENplay

The Wife

Lawrence Klepp


Finnish Fandango

Got Milk? --

Not this kind, you don't!

Anneli Karniala


The First Glass

Typewriter days

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Beyond the bees

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

Focused Light from a Different Star


Part 1 Self Portrait Frida Kahlo 1940

Creation of the Birds


Part 2 Remedios Varo 1958


Part 3 Join, Elizabeth Murray, 1980


Part 4 IXI by Susan Rothenberg 1977


Part 5 The Artist’s Wife in the Garden at Skagen 1893


Part 6 Gathering Paradise, Sandy Skoglund, 1991,

color Cibachrome photograph


Part 7 The Savage Sparkler, Alice Aycock, 1981, steel, sheet metal, heating coils, florescent lights, motors and fans

Toni Ortner


Water’s Edge

A Touch is All it Takes

Nicola Metcalf


Write Walk

Ladies I Need Your Help

Susan Cruickshank


Gallery One

#1 Sennen

#2 Surfing at Portreath

#3 Air Mail?

#4 Tall Ship at the Brixham Pirate Fest

#5 You can’t have a pirate ship without pirates

Anne Lenten, Ed.


Love In Action

Rainbow Connections

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Woodier


Urban Naturalist

Blink little fire-beetle, flash and glimmer

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

You Can’t Do That

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

How To Evaporate Hate?

Black Panther meets Klansman

Offie Wortham and Curtiss Reed Jr.


in between

Losing the Garden

Julia Ferarri


Write Walk EXTRA

Rabid Fan & Conversion

Susan Cruickshank


Finnish Fandango

Crossing The Finnish Line

Anneli Karniala


Meanderings

The Blazing Sun

Charles Monette


Love In Action

To Have a Piece of Cake

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Is that You Aunt Helen?

Susan Cruickshank


An A-musing Life

Letting if flow

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

hell to swelter

Charles Monette


The First Glass

Sleeping With Herodotus

Vincent Panella


Water’s Edge

Maine morning

Nicola Metcalf


Selected Letters

How Can an Educated Person be Poor in Our Affluent Society?

Anonymous


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“Thus, I was of the opinion...”

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Affirmative Action should be based on Need not Race!

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Mother and Child

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Ten Minute Plays

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

Understory vines

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

Of hippos and their snacks

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

I See You

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Fifty Years of Gratitude in One Beautiful Weekend

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Don’t free Tibet, yet


Monkey’s Cloak

to Mother Teresa

András Adorján


Selected Letters

Compassion is volunteering to feed the hungry

Jane Southworth


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Perfect

Jeri Rose


in between

Searching For All the Moments We Put on Hold

Julia Ferarri


Open Mind

So what is Donald Trump

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

Fake News & Side-Seams

Susan Cruickshank


Write On!

In Light of Pee

Nicola Metcalf


Love In Action

May Hem at 510

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Horoscope & Water Wars

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Here comes the sun

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

I set myself afire

Charles Monette


Write Walk

barking soliloquies

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Blooming through the gloaming

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Ode to a Goddess

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Black Man/Black Panther

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

Peaceful

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Shawabty and Snowdrops

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

I’ll stay here till I get here

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

Writer and Agent

Toni Ortner


Vermont Diary

The American Way


Guest Column

Covered Bridge Cathedral

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

The Darkest Hour

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Not So Plain Jane

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

The Resolution Revolution

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

The Man on Newfane Hill

Susan Cruickshank


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 13

What’s time to a shoat?

Shanta Lee Gander


Open Mind

“Social Relationships”

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Untitled

Phil Innes


Vermont Diary

Like a Dan Shore Report


Love In Action

My Weekend with Lenny

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Lady Bird

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

Whither the storm?

Todd Vincent Crosby


Urban Naturalist

“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Women,

you can’t get there from here


Selected Letters

Who do fools fall in love — Letter from a friend

Offie Wortham


Open Mind

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

The Fruitcake Caper

Elizabeth Hill


in between

OUR EXPECTATIONS

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

Cut To The Core

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

75 at tea

Todd Vincent Crosby


SCREENplay

Wonderstruck

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

All souls’ elegy

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Little Miss Buster

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Gapstow Bridge

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Slow Day at Hogle Sanctuary is Salvaged by a Furry Visitor's Aquatic Star Turn

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

You cancelled your vacation

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Thay

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Light footprints

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A Remembrance of Yom Kippur Angels and the Dancing Rabbi

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Bread and Circuses 

Jeri Rose


The First Glass

DEMOLITION

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

Nighthawks

Lloyd Graf


SCREENplay

Wind River

Lawrence Klepp


Old Lady Blog

A Cross By The Sea

Toni Ortner


Love In Action

A Man Named Shin

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Full Circle Meander

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

A Rational Solution to our Dilemma in Afghanistan.

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Charlottesville

The Heart of the Serpent

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

Malvern Hill

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Dunkirk

Lawrence Klepp


Open Mind

So Who Came

To Your Funeral?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Cicero’s Hands

Mike Murray


Open Mind

2030 — a short story

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

How To Fold A Presby Cap

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

A July summer’s midday morn

Charles Monette


in between

Reflection

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

The Art of Flight

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

For The Birds


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Jumping Through Time

in My Life

Jeri Rose


Love In Action

Baby Buddha

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

A Transcultural Awareness Experience

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

A Blackbird with Snow Covered Red Hills 1946

for Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


Monkey’s Cloak

overflowingly so

Charles Monette


The First Glass

John Dante’s Inferno,

A Playboy’s Life -

by Anthony Valerio

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

From the Hands

of Our Fathers

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Their Finest

Lawrence Klepp


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Rights and privileges 

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Does Lifestyle Matter more than Race?

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Robin in the rain

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

Luck

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Change of Season


Selected Letters

Immigrants in Vermont

Philip B. Scott, Governor


Old Lady Blog

The language I speak

is a language of grief

Toni Ortner


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Tarnished Gold

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Other voices

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Elle

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

The Great Exodus-Salamanders and Passover Crossings

Nanci Bern


An A-musing Life

One Sip at a Time

Nanci Bern


Love In Action

This Land

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

The British Aren’t Coming — Alas


Open Mind

But The Goalposts Keep Moving!

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

‘Beware the ides of March’

Charles Monette


Write On!

Grey Tower

Phil Innes


The First Glass

Writing like a Painter

Vincent Panella


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Ice floes slow

Charles Monette


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 2 —

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

Mein Yertle

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Lion

Lawrence Klepp


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 1 —

Lloyd Graf


Meanderings

White as Snow

Charles Monette


Love In Action

People Power in Pink

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Populism

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

White Buffalo in the Sky

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

Venus Smiled

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A resolute spirit

Nanci Bern


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

New Year’s Reflections on

“Charlotte’s Web”

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey


SCREENplay

Manchester by the Sea

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

White Mountain

Charles Monette


The First Glass

San Diego, Ocean Beach – November 17, 2016

Vincent Panella



Vermont Views Magazine


A unique community supported cultural magazine exploring Quality of Life and Spirit of Place in our bio-region, with extraordinary photographs, 22 regular columnists plus feature articles, galleries & essays, new articles and photos every day. 100s more articles in the Archive.






Contact the magazine HERE

 


PHOTO OF THE DAY


Water, is taught by thirst

Emily Dickinson

Tritone Photo: Phil Innes, Hogle Sanctuary, Brattleboro


Water, is taught by thirst

Land—by the Oceans passed

Transport—by throe

Peace—by its battles told

Love, by Memorial Mold

Birds, by the Snow



DAIRY HOME COMPANION


A shut-down column for the Plague Year 2020.                    

                                        

G came by with a new puppy and thanked me for saving his life. That’s a bit strong I said — not from my perspective said he.


And it’s true, I delivered him 20 meals a week for 3 months when he was doing chemo, and this was encouraging to him.


I also completed another jigsaw puzzle [illus] and set up an exchange with a neighbor who sent me several, some said ‘support war bonds’ and were from 1943.


Downs were the on-line census I completed including responding to the question ‘Race?’ I have detested this formal declaration on American forms every since I came here in 1984. The census then proceeded to decline ‘Race’ by asking about color. I presume this is skin color and it offered me several for my own including Germanic, English and Irish. Not quite knowing how to fit this quare I wrote English, which is true only upon a nationalist basis, though I could have written Irish if the census folks were interested in 1500 years ago. I say I detest this question since Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a racist as someone who sub-divides the human race. And, you know, formal declarations of race simply substantiate the problem, the uniquely American problem, as if indeed human beings were of different races.


And to end on another downer: a kid [some spots still, prob 20 yo] at Walgreens was wearing no mandatory mask, so I challenged him why not, and he said without apology he was not comfortable in one, and then I asked what about the rest of us, to which he shrugged. They served him anyway even though it was against the law — likely because people have been shot after refusing service by pimpled young male white-trash impatient of any inhibition whatever.


<extract> Read more Dairy Home Companion


PASSAGES


Harold Wilson

Text selections by Vermont Views


Given a fair wind, we will negotiate our way into the Common Market, head held high, not crawling in. Negotiations? Yes. Unconditional acceptance of whatever terms are offered us? No.


The ambition of the present Labour government is that every worker in the country will have a greater than average income.


"The main essentials of a successful prime minister are sleep and a sense of history."


"A week is a long time in politics."


"One man's wage increase is another man's price increase."


"The monarchy is a labor intensive industry."


"I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle."


"I'm an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat."


"Whichever party is in office, the Treasury is in power."


"Everybody should have an equal chance - but they shouldn't have a flying start."


The labour party is like a stage-coach. If you rattle along at great speed everybody inside is too exhilarated or too seasick to cause any trouble. But if you stop everybody gets out and argues about where to go next.



Read more PASSAGES >>>


Recent Passages By: Harold Wilson, Charles Dickens, Toni Morrison, Iris Murdoch,  David Hockney, Allen Ginsberg, Abigail Adams, Thomas Hardy, John Ruskin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Lowell, Bernardo Bertolucci, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Keats, David Niven - Actor, David Niven - PhD, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joan Didion, Pablo Casals, Geoffrey Chaucer, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Dorothy Maclean Read their work here



VERMONT AUTHORS REVIEWED


Leath Tonino,  Trinity University Press, 2018.

Reviewed by Laura Stevenson


Debut collection of essays from a young writer celebrating Vermont


The animal in the title is a creature Aristotle invented in The Poetics (7B) to demonstrate that an observer of a gigantic object could see only its parts, and thus lost perception of its "unity and wholeness." Tonino implicitly compares Vermont to this animal; his twenty essays, collected from periodicals published between 2011 and 2017, portray his adventures and observations in all parts of the state. Together, they also portray his impossible yearning to experience the whole by feeling "the infinite invitation that is the terrain of home."


Young and vigorous, Tonino is an enthusiastic adventurer. "Seven Lengths of Vermont," for example, opens with his vow, upon returning from several years "bumming around the West," to rediscover his native Vermont by touring it in seven different ways in the course of a year. The reader (presumably ensconced on a sofa) then becomes his vicarious companion as he hikes the length of the Long Trail, hitch-hikes around the state in over thirty rides; completes a three-week, 300-mile ski trek along the Catamount Trail; bikes through the state in a tour of some 500 miles; paddles 260 miles in a canoe trek along the Connecticut River; swims, in ten days, the length of Lake Champlain; and finally, climbs into a friend's small plane for a two-hour “vast and fast” flyover of the whole state. At the end of the year, Tonino has experienced parts of Vermont from many angles and at many different speeds in an attempt to understand the whole.


There are more parts, of course, and more ways to investigate them. In "The Smiles are Huge" Tonino goes jack-jumping, a winter sport practiced only in Vermont. Other portraits of his cold and exhausting winter adventures (biathlons, New Year's Day kayaking, sled-packing) prove that Vermont offers winter opportunities far beyond commercial skiing. Mingled with Tonino's delightfully ironic portrayals of his adventures are interesting considerations of Vermont's present wilderness (its official Wilderness areas) and its unofficial wildness, thousands of acres of trees that are the result of ecological collapse and subsequent regeneration. Between 1791 and the War of 1812, Tonino says, Vermont had the fastest growing population of any state in the union; a half-century later, its population had declined 40%. Why?


<extract, read on>


Read the full review and other reviewed titles in this column.

The Devil in the Valley — Castle Freeman, Jr.

Vermont Exit Ramps II — Neil Shepard and Anthony Reczek

Half Wild: Stories — Robin MacArthur

A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir — Walter Hess

Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook — Tracey Medeiros

Robin MacArthur, Heart Spring Mountain.

Jackson Ellis, Lords of St. Thomas

Chris Bohjalian, The Flight Attendant

Beth Kanell, The Long Shadow

Kimberly Harrington, Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words

Jessie Haas, Rescue

Toni Ortner, Writing Shiva

Tony Weldon, Drunk in the Woods

Aesop Lake, Sarah Ward

The Animal One Thousand Miles Long: Seven Lengths of Vermont and Other Adventures. Leath Tonino



SHORTS


Hello Mary Jane

Vermont Views


STATISTIC: The July 2019 Gallup survey found that the likelihood to smoke marijuana varies significantly by gender, age, and political ideology. Men (15%) are more likely to smoke marijuana than women (9%). At 22%, 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely age group to smoke marijuana -- about twice as likely as those between the ages of 30 and 64, and seven times as likely as adults older than 65.Liberals (24%) are six times more likely to smoke marijuana than conservatives (4%), and twice as likely as moderates (12%).


The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act that would federally decriminalize marijuana passed the House Judiciary Committee in November 2019, but, with that bill yet to make it to the House floor and facing an uncertain future in the Senate, the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Meanwhile, 33 states have legalized marijuana in some way for adults -- whether for medicinal or recreational use; however, only one of those states, Florida, is in the South, which is reflected in that region's lower rate of marijuana users.


Between 13% and 16% of adults across the East, Midwest and West smoke marijuana, versus 7% in the South.


Read More shorts



OLD LADY BLOG


March 28, 2020 — Rome

Toni Ortner

  

(10,000 dead from the corona virus)


The fractal clouds descend from heaven like a question.

Hours are scissored here.

Fear runs through Rome like a river of tears.

The streets are filled with ghosts.


Rain falls in St. Peter’s Square

where Pope Frances stands alone in front of a microphone head bowed in prayer.

Hundreds in isolation

no one to perform the last rites.


Absolution becomes the only absolute

for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews

when the cincture is stained with blood.

the wafers are not the host.


Read More Toni Ortner >>>



LOVE IN ACTION


Elizabeth Hill


Hope

by Emily Dickinson


“Hope” is a thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops- at all


And sweetest- in the Gale- is heard-

And sore must be the storm-

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm


I’ve heard it on the chilliest land

And on the strangest sea

And never- in Extremity-

It asked a crumb- of me. 


In my teens, I played the cello in several youth orchestras, including The South Jersey Orchestra. Each year, we performed a variety of songs, many of which were from classic musicals. At that time, my most favorite song was one called “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” from Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s musical called “Carousel.”


Over the years, I’ve frequently watched the movie version of Carousel on Netflix and Turner Classic Movies. Without fail, each time the movie comes to its end with the entire cast singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” I find myself belting out every word along with them, while my heart trickles down my cheeks.


This week, while our world continues to struggle through the ravages of this pandemic, I think it’s safe to say that we can all use a good measure of Hope to tuck away in our hearts.


That said, I invite everyone to join in and raise your voices high to spread some Hope, Love, and Healing around our aching Mother Earth. Just click the following link and join the voices and instruments of three hundred others from fifteen countries: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gpoJNv5dlQ


Photo by Kate Cantrill- Sign made by the community of Philadelphia’s Waverly Street Courtyard.


Extract... Read More of this column and others by  Elizabeth Hill >>>



WRITE WALK


Paper-Bag Crowns & the Pandemic Anniversary

Susan Cruickshank


Chinese take-out bags and markers were spread out on the rust-speckled gold shag carpet in my room, along with a large piece of sturdy cardboard. The cardboard came from a box in the basement that had held a chair now sitting in the Forrest’s dining room. All the supplies necessary to create my patched-together extravaganza were beginning to take shape!


Grin.


My pet-sitting business had been one of the casualties of the COVID-19 shutdown and my friend’s parents generously opened their door to me, welcoming me in for the duration. That was over eight weeks ago. The old normal seems to have fallen away forever. And as we wait in this time of suspension, not knowing what our new world will look like, the milestones of life continue to anchor us in the fog.


Mr. and Mrs. Forrest’s 51st wedding anniversary was the Sunday after Easter –– and COVID Pandemic or not –– attention needed to be paid.


People. We needed people to celebrate. But how to do that with mandated social distancing and all gatherings greater than five outlawed? Zoom of course!  The internet conferencing platform that I wish I had bought stock in before the virus hit. My friend, and the Forrest’s daughter, took on the task of contacting her brothers and their families to meet at 9:30 on Sunday morning and deal with all of the tech issues. Alleluia! 


My bag of tricks for planning such occasions had also been severely limited due to the lockdown. So I had to improvise. The first to go were store-bought flowers. 


The purchase of freshly cut flowers is a way that I show love. But there would be no purchased flowers for this anniversary. I briefly thought about scheming to make it happen, but it was a good exercise in ‘acceptance’ to leave the pretty store-bought flowers alone and look for something closer. The night before their anniversary, I took a walk, scissors in hand, in search of a suitable alternative.


<Extract> Read More of this and other articles by Susan Cruickshank >>>



SELECTED LETTERS


(Or Should)

Rob Mitchell — Murfreesboro,Tennessee


I write regarding a disparity in the nursing profession and the treatment of nurses as a class not only within private hospitals but within the VA Federal hospital system as well. Not only are nurses being forced into dangerous situation without training or adequate protection; it's against their will as well.


Nurses train, interview for and specialize in a field of medicine just as doctors specialize. Hospitals interview medical professionals with the skill set and necessary experience to best fit the position. Nurses seek positions for which they are best suited; both for the sake of the patient and themselves. While hospitals take every effort to insulate physicians from unnecessary exposure to "risks" management fails to provide the same level of respect to nurses.


Doctors who lack the skill to care for infectious disease are sent home to work remotely and do "tele-health" visits. Nurses who lack the skill or desire are given several hours of refresher training and cast to the wolves as so much fodder! It may be legal, but it is wrong. Those who would dismiss this by attempting to equate it to the often quoted " It's not my job to sweep the floor. I wasn't hired to do that." would be missing the point and would be wrong. Dead wrong!


<Extract> Read more of this and other letters to Vermont Views >>>



MONKEY’S CLOAK


Facetime goodbye

Charles Monette                     

                                        

Mom spirited “the lady of the Lamp” for 37 years

white on white uniform, “doing the sick no harm”

immaculate… always on time


Loved to waltz with dad

gliding, weaving arm ‘n arm ‘round the floor

at Roseland…


So many years ago…

her smile would light his eyes

his eyes would smile back


Now her living was assisted; gentle help

to get along at Bradley house

dad’s eyes had closed long ago


One day, a quiet invasion turned upheaval

staff and nurses running ‘round spellbound

locking up, locking down


A virus had hitchhiked on a suitcase

multiplied, spread amok, all the rage

temperatures rising


Mom caught a chill, then a fever

coughs followed, continued,

soon shortness of breath


<extract> Read more Monkey’s Cloak




AN A-MUSING LIFE


Entering the Space Between Us

Nanci Bern


We would be fools not be afraid. This is ripping every emotional, social and economic system to its shredding point. But we do not have to lose ourselves to this modern fall from what could be our redemptive amends for all that we have wrought. We can do this. You got this. I got this. 


Awakening this morning, I felt the need to reread Viktor Frankl’s ‘Mans Search for Meaning’. Through the years its wisdom has helped pull me from whatever nonsense I have gotten myself into. Feeling that we are prisoners of this virus, I went to my bookshelf. We are at the mercy of this creature, politicians, and those of the masses who put us all at risk because they do not take this seriously.


But then again, are we really captives? Frankl came through the concentration camps more emotionally intact than many because he encased his suffering with his connection to life, soul, nature and spirit. This is a lesson for us to heed. His instinct and natural leaning toward relationship to others, faith in something bigger than himself, an astounding will to be, and his cunning capacity to be present amidst the constancy of terror, enabled him to maneuver through those years.


We are not free to walk about. We are not free to feel the human touch of community that is so essential for wellbeing, especially for those who live alone. Worries about food availability, work, financial stability, loved ones, and the world at large is a mist of burden that surrounds us. Sometimes it is a light spray of concern, other times it is a suffocating haze of fear, and at its worst, a drenching downpour in its voracity of collective trauma.


Of being a prisoner, Frankl says that “…the last of human freedoms” is the ability to “choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.” He urges us to find our way to this through many illustrations of his own experience. Choose well, choose whole-heartedly. Live through this time soulfully. We may be confined, but we are not without some self-determination. 


And then Frankl offers us this: “In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen.” If you don’t resonate with ‘spiritual’, replace it with the belief that your inner depth of self, mind and heart are what will save you. Taking signs from the world outside of the awareness of pain and torture, Frankl sees the movement of a bird that is so brilliantly timed to his ‘communing’ with his beloved wife, who for all he knew was already dead, he writes, “Then, at that very moment, a bird flew down silently and perched just in front of me, on the heap of soil which I had dug up from the ditch, and looked steadily at me.”Frankl grasps there is a future beyond the hell he is in. There is the wider expanse of the world, nature and the will to be. All in time, Frankl knows this hell will pass. 


Read more Nanci Bern



MEANDERINGS


Charles Monette


A strange thing to say.  The mountain is open.  The mountain is always open, it’s just been closed to us Homosapiens these past few months.  The Nature Conservancy’s policy.  Made sense with so much uncertainty.  Our governor, Scott and his medical and governing advisors, are also handling this well.  Early stay-at-home order, social distancing a practice, mask wearing advisory, and more.  Vermonters following the official re-opening book.  Taking small gradual steps to intermingle midst the COVID-19 contagion.  The well-being of the citizenry at the forefront of the response.


The nurses, the doctors, the 1st responders, the essential workers deserve our highest praise and thanks and support for their selfless sacrifice and giving. 


“The highest wisdom is loving kindness.”

– The Talmud


May 20th, 2020, a twenty something kind of day.  Great to be back on the Mountain!  Nice day for it!  It being a fresh air hike amid the green new leaf life of trees of Black Mountain.  Birds fly low in chirps of greeting.  I feel welcomed.


Yet, a feeling of uncertainty is palpable, of not knowing what lie ahead on the trail.  Like lovers separated by a virus, there was a restless wonder of how, when, where and why we’d meet up.


<extract> Read more of this and other articles by Charles Monette >>>



THE FIRST GLASS


My grandmother died of the Spanish Flu

Vincent Panella


It’s quiet on the Augur Hole Road, but not as quiet as during those Hurricane Irene days when the brook across from our house was one foot above road level and racing down the valley with its flotsam of trees and twisted culverts. After the storm there was an eerie silence, no cars, no trucks, and not many people either, the only vehicles were the occasional four-wheelers or motorcycles nimble enough work around the washouts.


 Now with Covid-19 there’s traffic, cars, trucks, and more people, joggers, neighbors on foot or on bikes, most of us keeping a distance. A woman parks her car and walks her dog, we chat from opposite sides of the road about where and how to shop, how long this isolation will last, how we need to invent new lives, how the old landmarks of everyday life are out the window; but at least we’re lucky to have a place to sequester—unlike so many—and that subject ends the conversation because we don’t know what to do about those less fortunate.


 The virus has me thinking of my paternal grandmother, who died in Italy of the Spanish Flu pandemic three years after giving birth to my father. Consiglia Panella, née Rubano, was an American born-Italian, married to my grandpa, Vincenzo, who arrived here in 1901 at age seventeen. The 1910 ten census lists them as living in Madison, Connecticut, with one child. The couple had two more children, and at some point and for some reason, Consiglia, went back to Italy—alone—where she delivered my father in 1915. She died three years later of the pandemic.  I don’t know exactly where she died, how long she was sick, or who took care of her. My father was three years old at the time of her death and if he remembered anything he never shared it. He would emigrate four years later, in 1922, when his father and three siblings came to fetch him. His predominant memories of that one-mule town in Campania Province were being raised by a grandmother and wearing dresses because there were no boys clothes available.


<extract>  Read More of this and other articles by Vincent Panella >>>



Finnish Fandango


IMAGINE  A  WATERFALL

Anneli Karniala


In December of 2018, I wrote the article in my column here, called "What's The Rush?". It had to do with both rushing and not rushing, as does the following. The final focus below is also on not rushing.


In one theme of tackling the coronavirus, rushing is necessary. Rush to test, contact-trace, and reach everyone quickly. Rush to stop the spread. Rush to get to the ER and ICU in time. Rush to intubate those that need it STAT. Rush to get only what is needed in the supermarket or pharmacy, then leave quickly to return home.


However, the other theme for handling this pandemic, paradoxically depends upon NOT rushing.


I will guess that many people who are now relegated to staying home or working from home have discovered just how stressed and rushed they really had been in their jobs when going to work. The morning rush at home. Getting dressed, maybe eating breakfast standing up and half-way out the door, on the fly, while simultaneously getting that gastric reflux disorder to hammer away. Commute to work, sit in traffic jams in the car. The lower back pain. The crowded bus or subway. The meetings, deadlines, the this and the that. 


For anyone whose daily work has been predicated on a chronic or fluctuating state of stress, with accompanying higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol plus stress-related diseases ....well, then the acknowledgment of "wow, I didn't know how stressed I had been until now" can cause a myriad of emotional states, anything from relief to irritation to anxiety, for example.


Extract Read more Anneli Karniala



VERMONT DIARY


Phil Innes


There is  a wicked inclination in the current age to skip personal responsibility and blab on in the newspapers at extraordinary length about the failure of the Fathers — a Freudian dream-cast of projections about fathers and authorities. Not only does the government get it in the chest for promising things which no twelve year old would credit possible, but no fifty year old would credit as even desirable. Doesn’t matter if you are Left or Right to understand this.


This used to be a community where citizens who had the wherewithal that took responsibility for those who had not. It was not desirable that government should fix things in Vermont when citizens could do as well or better themselves, and volunteerism was a part and even expected part of the social scene. Second-home ownership has not helped in this with Vermont being the second highest state in the Union for second-home ownership, including 81%, Quechee with 69% and Proctorsville.


But for those who live here regularly the time to have volunteered a contribution and get an orientation to it was last year. With some sort of acknowledged and sometimes measured training toward being competent in a skill, plus a regular attendance at a critical forum which makes a difference, a couple of months training at a few hours per week would have qualified anyone to attend on emergencies rather than wax large about the paternal and inadequate government in the newspapers, however efficient the government is, since the government cannot govern what the citizens are unwilling to perform.


[Captioned is Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen in Brattleboro]


Otherwise what do you personally find yourself useful in contributing that is now accepted and included by a social body?


Read More VERMONT DIARY >>>


IN BETWEEN


BRIDGING BACK TO LOVE

Julia Ferrari


In this tumult of times, when things are uncertain, unknown, frightening and surreal, what do we know with truth and how can we utilize what we are experiencing toward living a better human life?


During trying times the best or the worst of us comes out. I find myself becoming aware of the best that such trials can bring to us. Besides noticing the person who ignores the sign to buy just one package of toilet paper and grabs two, or the man who buys two bottles of rubbing alcohol only to sell them online later for 17 times what he paid for them, I also feel and see the more positive possibilities amid the restlessness and fear: the open caring ability of the human heart. Each of us can choose how we weather this storm. We can become more self-focused, falling into greed and the worry of limitation or we can realize that we all have enough—enough love to give kindness, enough patience to give consideration, enough of a scarce product to let someone else have some and share.


Life and death experiences bring us closer to our essential selves as all the frivolities drop away from the necessities. In the face of such circumstances we can see what is really important through all the clouds of chaos and bring into focus what is essential in our lives. Yes, we all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones, but it is important to see that this reflex is part of a greater concern for the whole community. We can choose to feel only fear or we can also feel deep concern for each other’s wellbeing.  This is one way to grow as a human being. 

 

Extract Read more Julia Ferrari



Paid Sick Leave

by Offie Wortham


Paid sick leave is required to allow low income Vermonters help to prevent a Coronavirus epidemic!  If all employees were allowed to have emergency paid sick leave it would cut the spread of the virus by over 50%! Presently, 68 percent of companies nationwide offer paid sick days to full-time employees, while just 25 percent of part-time workers get such benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a direct relationship between the spread of the coronavirus and sick food handlers who cause over half of the foodborne norovirus outbreaks. Many food workers here in Vermont say that they have concerns about leaving co-workers short-staffed, and are more likely to work while sick if their absence would have negative impacts on remaining staff and on restaurant operations. If workers were making a living wage they would have more flexibility to take an unpaid day when needed. But for workers making the federal sub-minimum "tipped" wage of $2.13 per hour, they can’t afford to take an unpaid day off. Also, workers with access to paid sick days are also more likely to utilize preventative health services such as cancer screenings and tests. Many Vermonters admit they go to work while sick because they wouldn’t get paid if they didn’t work; only 15% of food workers get paid sick leave. Fifty-one percent of food workers — who do everything from grow and process food to cook and serve it — said they "always" or "frequently" go to work when they're sick. We must also organize to overcome the opposition to paid sick leave from organizations like the National Restaurant Association.


There is no state or federal law mandating paid sick days. The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave! The present proposals of the President and in our federal and state legislatures for sick leave are not sufficient solutions as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. The recent address by the President does not allow a worker to take sick leave and not miss a paycheck. One way to do this is for the federal government to immediately establish a program administered by the Social Security Administration that would pay workers $10 per hour for sick leave related to the Coronavirus. Workers would pay a one to two percent federal payroll tax to pay for this.  


Vermonters want a paid sick day policy! Three-quarters of adults support a policy giving employees a minimum number of paid sick days. Employers in Vermont should be encouraged to do the right thing and let sick employees stay home without fear of missing their paychecks. Urge employers to give their workers paid sick days today, even before a program begins from the government! In the short and long run, we all will be better off in a healthier country.


<Extract>

Read More of this column >>>



WATER’S EDGE


OCEANS RISING

Nicola Metcalf


Plastic containers everywhere for single serving sized pieces of pie, sesame noodles, and nuts, you name it. You can have it all in a plastic box. Single serving, single use, single insult to the planet. No one wants to talk about it. I am not innocent. We may feel healthy and righteous buying organic while ignoring the planetary cost of packaging. Gleaming transparent containers scream at me the cost to the oceans, the impact of factories that make them, and the deteriorating health of the planet under our feet.


Their contents lure me. A moist, delicious piece of tiramisu, a handy portion of tamari roasted almonds, an elegant row of sushi packaged with individual portions of wasabi, tamari, pickled ginger, and a set of chopsticks. What could be easier?  Beware the ease of ease. It makes one soft in all the wrong places. 


It dawned on me that bulk food departments might disappear in the near future. Tall stacks of sexy, expensive, specialty items sit right next to the humble and whole unprocessed foods waiting in plexiglass bulk bins at Whole Foods. In another aisle, prepackaged grab and go beckons the harried shopper, take me! Take me! You don’t need to let go of your cart, make a decision about how much to buy, or search for a pen to write down the PLU. We will feed your need for efficiency.


I want to slap a large photo of sea trash on the sliding front doors of Whole Foods. I want to gather all the containers from my neighborhood’s recycling bins. I would spill them in supermarket parking lots, let them come flying out my windows, tumbling out of my trunk, until people are walking through them chest deep, the noisy scrape of plastic containers filling the air. Oceans rising. I’d do it at food coops too, for even stores touting environmental awareness have joined the plastic container explosion. I want to hand out reusable containers and levy a deposit of a dollar or two, or maybe even ten (because interest has been accumulating). Let’s include plastic water bottles and K-cups, relative newcomers to the trash stream we are drowning in. 100% recycled or 100% recyclable - don’t be fooled. We’re living on a free lunch.


<extract> Read more Nicola Metcalf >>>



WRITE ON !


Why is Martin Luther King Day a day off from school?

by Offie Wortham


Today I had the opportunity to try to answer this question to my 8-year old grandson. He did not have any idea who Dr. King really was, and what life was like for people-of-color in the United States when Dr. King was a boy or a young man. Living in Vermont today, he had no knowledge of the history of the racism and violence in the country in the past against people-of-color.


How does one begin to explain that at one time it was against the law for a black person and a white person to marry or even live together? Can a young person today even comprehend that people were actually killed for looking at, or whistling at a person of a different race?


I felt I had to begin with the fact that when I was in high school in 1956 there was no such thing as interracial dating. And this was in Westchester County in New York! When I went to college in Ohio the barber refused to cut my hair and it led to demonstrations where water hoses were used to prevent a riot. A movie theater refused to sell me a ticket because they said I had to be a member. Over 200 students mobilized and demonstrated before he admitted Negroes. In the South in the 50’s students sat at lunch counters while people spit in their food and beat them off the seats and hit them with baseball bats until they were hospitalized. Thousands of black people were beaten, hung from trees, castrated, doused with gasoline, and set on fire… because they dared to violate some racist rule or law.


<Extract>

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ARCHETYPAL HIPPIE SPEAKS


Growing Up

Jeri Rose


When I was in sixth grade, Adlai Stevenson ran for president. The news made a big deal out of him having a hole in his shoe. I thought that was disgraceful and unworthy of a person being president and went to the Republican headquarters and said I wanted to work for Eisenhower. As I was a young child, the local party leaders came to my home and spoke to my parents to find out if they were OK with having me volunteer.  I guess, my mother fielded that one because I did not get to do any political action.


Looking back on the situation, I recognize now that Adlai Stevenson was an excellent choice for president. I can forgive myself for shallow values at that age. Since then, I have seen perfectly good public servants drummed out of the possibility of leadership for saying WOW, for having a private affair, for being incapable of saving a person who was in the car with them when they had an accident. 


Then I can also see that a good half of this country is willing to have as their leader a blatant womanizer and molester of underaged females, who cheats those who work for him, who encourages racism and violence, who considers the role of president to be akin to being a king be president and this half of the country are willing to take arms against any who would depose him.


I also see a Democratic party willing to allow that half of the country to have that leader if they can not have their choice as their nominee. The Democrats consider themselves a private club that has the right to ignore the will of the people and that party leadership considers our votes to be mere suggestions. They presume to know better than we do what is in our best interests. Furthermore, they wish to dismantle the Electoral College which was created in order to balance the needs of the farmers against the numbers in the cities. They do not see that they need to find the means to present a platform that convinces the farmers that what they stand for will support and be in the best interests of those whose vast land labors feed the country.


We are at a place in our history more devastating than the one we were in when we actually were engaged in a Civil War.


<extract> Read more Jeri Rose >>>



OPEN MIND


So far it’s been a good run

Offie Wortham


<extract> After attending 7 other colleges and getting degrees from 5 of them, including a Master’s and a PhD, I married four times, had three partners, (for a total of 55 years) and around 30-40 girlfriends before, between, and after these committed relationships. I once had a stable of 5, and had a lot of fun with my hobby. From two of the marriages I have three wonderful daughters, who have given me seven beautiful grandchildren.


Eventually, there were over 60 cars, including a new Porsche convertible, a red Jaguar, three BMW’s, an MG convertible, three Mercedes, an Alpha Romeo, a jet black businessman’s BMW motorcycle; and five other convertibles. Have lived in seven homes and over 20 apartments in New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vermont, Ohio, Santa Monica, and San Francisco. Have been to Paris, Switzerland, London, Italy, Spain, and the Bahamas so far.


I was a Community Organizer and Director of many large programs on college campuses and in several major cities and national human and civil rights organizations. I had my own office and lab conducting experiments at IBM’s top “Blue Sky” research facility in the world. As a Senior Electronic Research Technician, or “Rocket Scientist”, I did final tests on the Saturn Missile at Douglas Missile & Space prior to launches in the California deserts preparing for the first moon landings.


I worked closely with the FBI in 1971 initially developing the obscure concept of “Psychological Profiling.” Around that time I also collaborated with the American Cancer Society to promote a button I conceived reading “HELP! Your smoking is hazardous to my health” which began the movement against second-hand smoke worldwide. I had dinner and dialogue with Eleanor Roosevelt, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Coretta King. I lived 6 months with Pete Seeger and Toshie. Went with Harry Belafonte and 7 students to confront President Eisenhower at the White House about his resistance to support the 1954 Supreme Court Decision on school desegregation.


But like any long journey, there have been some rough times. I’ve had cancer and lost my prostate. Fell on ice and had serious brain surgery. Broke my neck and lost a front tooth playing high school football. The late discovery of the broken neck at a special examination at West Point prevented me from becoming the youngest person ever in the AF Aviation Cadets and possibly the first black in the Air Force Academy. I had scored the highest score ever on the AFOQT which is the test all graduates of the Air Force Academy, West Point, Annapolis, and OCS must pass to get admitted into pilot or astronaut training. I was only 20.


<extract>    Read More Offie Wortham >>>



Real Vermont Stories


Vermont “Maternity Homes”

by Beth Kanell


It began with a postcard. My husband Dave (who passed last April) collected them: colorful Vermont scenes, yes, but more importantly the black-and-white ones from the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s that showed actual scenes, especially in the Northeast Kingdom. There are hundreds of St. Johnsbury and Lyndonville images in his collection—but, proportional to both town size and events that seemed worth marketing as photographs, there are very few from, say, Granby or Victory in Essex County.

Or from Concord.

Dave plunged me into a new research project when he found a card labeled “Quimby Maternity Home, Concord, Vt.” His knowledge of postcard publishers and some quick investigation prompted him to added the information “1949–1953.”

As we, and then I, probed further, we found more than 50 documented births that took place, not just in the Quimby (also called Graves, for nurse Ardella “Nana” Graves — illustrated) Maternity home, but also in the Austin Maternity Home in the same small town (this one, run by Leah Virginia Austin). And both were clearly “supervised” by the local doctor, Frederick Russell Dickson, M.D.

“Maternity homes” in the rest of America seem to have often been places for unwed mothers to give birth and send their babies out for adoption. Dave and I found a single request from an adoptee born in 1946 at a Concord maternity home for clues to his parentage. But that turned out to be the exception. Online access led us to birth certificates of many babies simply born in these more supportive, medically encouraged “homes.” Mothers could arrive a day early, stay a few days afterward, have a break from parenting and get a good start with the new arrival.

But such maternity homes were not well documented. In the case of the ones in Concord, Dr. Dickson worked under contract for the local paper mill, which provided him space for a “dispensary,” and cared for many more illnesses, injuries, and preventive cases than the babies being born—and no records from the two maternity homes have been located.

So Dave and I went to local Facebook “pages” and “groups,” where residents current and past share their memories. To our astonishment, we discovered another maternity home that took patients at the same time period, the early 1900s, and it was about 20 miles from Concord, in Lyndonville, Vermont.


<Extract>

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How I Write


Vincent Panella

THE CHANNEL


These journal entries center on a fragment written forty-odd years ago. I recently found the pages typed on carbon paper, yet through all those years I mulled over the story and its possibilities – a confined setting, clear situation, very few characters, maybe a one-act, maybe a short story, but still no desire to get back in. This summer I re-entered the typescript and came up with a story line that might work: 


A young man named Larry heads for Hollywood with a copy of his first novel soon to be published. The premise of the novel is a young man’s affair with his father’s lover. Larry’s car breaks down in the Mojave just outside of Barstow. He ends up in a radiator shop and there he meets a Samaritan type called Fenwick, also a writer, and they talk about his novel, what he invented, what he remembered – what was ‘true to life - and that blurry line between art and lived experience.


The dated entries here are edited for clarity. The original fragment was page after page about his car breaking down on a long hill.....almost nothing about substance, character, motivation, etc. Forty years ago – like now – I’m still learning. It’s working title was Barstow, but gradually a theme emerged, and the title Hill of Dreams helped me shape it. The entries span two months of this year but I must have worked on the story twice as long as that. In most cases the journal entries prompt the writing of actual text, which is done on screen, on paper, and sometimes with an Olivetti.


 7/21/19 - Took a look at what I did to Barstow - still on the opening, how I chopped it to s - - -. Now all the car details are almost gone – the old V-8 burning oil, the crankcase ventilation valve, oil gauge idiot light, the retread tires because the character has so little money.


 7/22 -  Woke up thinking Bartow was f----- -  that the whole gambit is a cliche - Larry writes a novel based on life, sort of – the premise being that his main character has an affair with his father’s lover. Larry has rendered a real life experience into a novel – his novel is within this story. The story is that that Larry’s heading for Cali with a novel in which the central action is drawn from his life and a threat to his family’s privacy. And his car breaks down on the long hill outside of town.


 – and where a movie producer is interested in the novel as Larry imagines famous actors playing his family members and what their reaction might be.


 Then his car breaks down on the Hill of Dreams. Fenwick (name borrowed from a Boll story) takes him to a hotel while he waits for a new radiator. They have some yet to be written convo about his situation, what he's written about his father etc. In the end Larry drives off into the sunset, back up the hill of dreams. End of story.


 Scene: "I call it the Hill of Dreams," Fenwick said, They were sitting in the hotel lobby at a small bar and tables with a view of a garden and a raft of Eucalyptus trees.


Fenwick points out the similarity between Larry and the Okies generations back -  heading for a new life out west, beaten by the hill, or not beaten....Fenwick there to pick up the pieces.


Larry felt a little buzz from the whiskey, a comfortable feeling, the big room with its open windows along the wall was cool and comfortable without any air conditioning as was his room where he'd slept well and long, realizing that the past four nights he'd been sleeping in the back seat of the Pontiac.


<Extract>

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SCREENplay


Wildlife

Lawrence Klepp


Wildlife, the directorial debut of the actor Paul Dano, came and went quietly early this year, but it’s now available on streaming platforms, and it’s worth pursuing if you have a chance. In a year of outstanding female performers—Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Rachel Weisz, among others—the riveting work by Carey Mulligan in this film was largely overlooked. Based on a Richard Ford novel, the movie is set in a small town in Montana in 1960. The town, like many small Western towns, has a bleak, windswept, middle-of-nowhere ambience, but there’s a soaring mountain backdrop that is impressive in itself and lends the film a pathos of distance, a sense that life, or happiness, may be just over the horizon.


Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal play Jeanette and Jerry Brinson, a working-class couple in their mid-30s with a 14-year-old son, Joe (Ed Oxenbould). The family is barely making it financially but seems united and happy. But then Jerry gets fired from his job at a country club, having joined several members, at their invitation, for an off-hours game of golf and a drink afterward, thus violating club protocols. Jeanette, always smiling, always encouraging, is at first optimistic. She’s sure Jerry will quickly find another job. And, if necessary, she could work part-time, and they might move to a cheaper house, one even smaller and more nondescript than the one they’re renting.


<extract> Read More SCREENplay



WORLD & US ENERGY NEWS


Environment there and here

Special Environmental report by Phil Innes — Column George Harvey


In Iceland:

¶ Katrin Jakobsdottir, the 41-year-old chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement, has been elected Prime Minister of Iceland. One of the most well-liked politicians in Iceland, Katrín, a former education minister and avowed environmentalist, has pledged to set Iceland on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040. As Iceland’s fourth prime minister in only two years, Katrín will take office at a time when national politics have been tainted by public distrust and scandal. A democratic socialist, Katrín is viewed as a bridge-building leader that may lead the country towards positive, incremental change. “She is the party leader who can best unite voters from the left and right,” said Eva H. Onnudottir, a political scientist at the University of Iceland, according to the New York Times. “Because this coalition includes parties from the left to the right, their work will be more about managing the system instead of making ‘revolutionary’ changes.”


In an era when climate change is making it necessary for countries around the world to implement sustainable energy solutions, Iceland presents a unique situation. ... The story of Iceland's transition from fossil fuels may serve as an inspiration to other countries seeking to increase their share of renewable energy.


About 85% of all houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy. ... Renewable energy provided almost 100% of electricity production, with about 73% coming from hydropower and 27% from geothermal power.



In the USA:

¶ President Trump's first EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, resigned effective July 6, 2018, amid a series of scandals. Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, started serving as acting administrator on July 9, 2018. Wheeler was confirmed as EPA Administrator on February 28, 2019.


The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA's purpose is to ensure that: ... the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.


The EPA has 14,172 employees, and has a budget of $8,200,000,000.


<extract> Read More World & US Energy News





URBAN NATURALIST


A Loud and Colorful Advance Party Marks the End of Hogle Sanctuary's Winter Silence

Lloyd Graf


<extracts> Finally there are signs that the figurative bird repellent is beginning to wear off. Vultures appeared in Sanctuary and town skies in the 2'd week of March, and quickly became a welcome, if delayed roosting presence on both north and south ends. Robins migrating from southern climes recently joined the sparse but rugged group of over-wintering companions on the scene. For me, though, Hogle's silence ended definitively (and literally) on the morning of March 17, St Patrick's Sunday. I parked by the Sanctuary's Eaton Avenue entrance under partly sunny 9:30 AM skies and started down the trail toward the boardwalk and viewing area. As it developed I had to give up my descent at the top of the riser zone and survey the boardwalk, the massive old cement pump station, and some of the waters from on high. The most traveled part of the Eaton trail has recently been, and remained on that day a treacherous packed-down strip of ice. The remnant of once- navigable snow alongside the trail has also been largely iced over. The Eaton approach still remained tricky as recently as March 21 though the risk factor may by now have given way to the mere nuisance factor of mud season gunk.


Suddenly I was treated to an unmistakable and unexpected spring anthem: a series of loud, shrill, overtone-laden “kon-ka-reeeeee's “, the signature calls of Red-winged blackbirds, filtered down from the Eaton Ave neighborhood I was now returning to. As I emerged from the woods, I was greeted by visual confirmation. Some 12-15 blackbirds were artfully distributed on the barren branches of an Oak or Maple tree in a yard on the east side of Eaton Ave's north-south stretch. Back-lit by the eastern sun, the birds all appeared similarly dark, but occasional flashes of red epaulet combined with continuing vocalizations served to establish that I was viewing a small flock of Red-winged blackbirds.


This was exciting to me, in that Red-wings are among the most visually striking, and entertainingly aggressive of all spring harbinger species. The fact that they are also voraciously insectivorous is both encouraging (their efforts will be appreciated very soon, when mosquitoes and flies make their appearances) and perplexing, in that their favored prey insects were not yet obviously there for them as they huddled in the 31F chill. One assumes that the Red-wings must have known what they were up to, though they have not been sighted since that Sunday, neither by me nor by residents whom I buttonholed. Let's hope they're holed up in some life-sustaining local haven or have found well-stocked bird feeders.


Red-wings are great favorites of mine, in part because of their vivid looks (that is the males' epaulet-flashing sinister good looks; the females are tastefully brown-mottled with a subtle russety suggestion on the tips of back feathers) , remarkable vocalizations and consumption of nuisancy insects, and in part owing to the manic, shrill high-energy ferocity with which they defend their territories and nests against any and all intruders. An anecdote from Chicago days 3 decades ago serves to illustrate. Strolling through Lincoln Park, a prosperous, neighborhood often referred to as a “yuppie town”, and specifically through the Lincoln Park Zoo on a glorious warm spring morning, I came upon a knot of people, many resplendent in Sunday morning finery, gathered around a Tapir's outdoor stomping ground. It was quickly evident what had attracted these folk's attention: the Tapir, a large, sturdy, and as it developed, studly male, was experiencing the glandular surges of spring in a distinctively masculine way. One after another, would-be passers-by of various genders and ages joined the clutch of gawkers captivated by the beast's equine-scale endowment. So awe-struck were they, that they were unaware, at least initially, of the entry of another testosterone-fueled character onto the stage: a furious male Red-wing. Enraged by the proximity of the human gaggle to his and his mate's nest in a nearby tree, he first circled the group screeching avian expletives. Then as his ire escalated, he started dive-bombing people's heads, especially ladies' up-do hairstyles and Easter season hats. By the time the crowd dispersed, some members having left to avoid avian strafing runs, others as the tapir's rampancy gradually waned, the Red-wing had knocked a hat off one woman's head and disarranged a couple more.


Extract Read More Lloyd Graf



From The Archive


Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology

Editorial Essay


...Not too long ago these [energy] subjects were spoken of as ‘alternatives’, but in the chaotic energy scene of today they are currently only an alternative to chaos itself. One may scoff at specific proposed solutions, but the main problems can no longer be denied.


Elsewhere, Brattleboro as an influential hub to an extensive bio-region, a region without a name, is taking steps to implement a topic suggested by Wendell Berry in an essay he had published at Orion Press, Winter 2001. He titled the central essay The Idea of a Local Economy. This too, said Berry, is not an ‘alternative’ to anything but disempowerment. ‘Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice.’


Indeed, I remember William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Foundation, New York City, saying much the same in 1982 — that the evolution of democracy will occur when we begin to shift from economy to ecology, thereby an intelligence of bio-regions provides the basis for action within the region, and Berry’s Local Economy is also the base of an enhanced local polity.


Certainly just being ‘aware’ of the difficulties in the world is altogether too passive and we might also consider a term coined by Buckminster Fuller in terms of the right way to harness our technology and economy; Imagineering.


<extract> From The Archive




SELECTED LETTERS


Not everyday a Vermont Views columnist has a book published. Here is Daybook 1 by Toni Ortner with reviews by Arlene Distler, Tim Mayo and Phil Innes


This would be Steinbeck if he hadn’t fooled around in other people’s kitchens. This is a full-score Cohen with two more notes, not reaching anywhere, but ever taking in. The words come humming out of the dark to shatter crystalline on the floor as sharp edged duo-tone fridge magnets familiar and mysterious as if designed by Paul Klee — not made in China or the Old Country, made in the Wild East of New York is more like it. There are hiding demons in the text waiting to pierce you, and there are non-resident angels flirting with sin.

—Phil Innes, Vermont Views Magazine


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GALLERY ONE


A photographic essay on Devon and Cornwall

Anne Lenten, Ed.


A series of photographs about ‘another place’ collected by the remarkable photographer Anne Lenten — Notes by Phil Innes


#6 Mining conditions haven’t changed much in 100 years




See more photos in this article Gallery One >>>










GUEST ARTCLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander

It is dawn in La Habana and I am listening to Bob Marley’s “Rebel Music” as my wife Shanta sleeps in the next room and I mark the end of our third week here. One week to go. Travel is exhausting. There is no moment in which one does not wish to be awake.


I am thinking of the opening trope in Denis Johnson’s “Fiskadoro,” where he invokes Marley as one of the three great gods still left in the Florida Keys after a nuclear holocaust, a book that ends with a war-ship returning to those shores after a 90-year quarantine, from Cuba, a grey ship that is taller than the sky.





GUEST ARTICLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #12

What lies beneath: Our stories our ghosts

Shanta Lee Gander

Who came first?  Europa or Europe?  With some research, I could get an answer, but the story of a girl who keeps dreaming about two continents fighting over her and who meets her fate and immortality with a God turned beautiful bull is an old one






NOW, HERE, THIS!




Its not over ‘til

Vermont Views


hey, at least its not going to get below freezing


— that is down here in the valley in Brattleboro, though not on the hills and not up North. Looks like Brattleboro is snow-free through Wednesday!





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