Skis & Sleds & Being A Kid In Vermont

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Everyone who lives in Vermont has memories of some small hill, or some big hill, they used to slide on during the winters of their youth. Sliding and skiing were about the only things that got me through the winters in the 50’s and 60’s. There were hills and of course there were logging roads on those hills to tackle. There were fields down the road, and the very minor incline on our lawn that qualified as a hill until I was a bit older. I remember the single-bulb outdoor light my mother would turn on at dusk. It was next to the kitchen door and lit up the stone steps down to the driveway. There was a dim, but bright enough glow Continue reading

First Solo Driving Experience… Not Good.

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I’ve decided to move up to my adolescent years for this post, and tell the story about my first solo driving experience. I was, of course, 16 years of age and had successfully completed my driving test in Vermont at the DMV in Springfield. The vehicle I used was a CJ -5 canvas top Willys Jeep. The color was a kind of emerald green and the windows around the perimeter were canvas framed sheets of plastic. My father had removed them so I could have maximum visibility and add to my chances of passing the road test. Starting and stopping on a hill was one of the most difficult

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Putting Meat On The Table

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For many people it’s hard to recall the first time they encountered the concept of death. I suppose usually it is the loss of a family pet. For me it was the shocking reality of the loss of a young bull we were raising for meat, but I had begun to think of as a pet. I was barely 3 years old. My folks had no money to speak of, and we were apparently poor, but being as young as I was, I wasn’t really aware of this fact. Continue reading

A Young Perspective

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Autumn is the time of year for venison and for hunting in the forest for the illusive white tailed deer for many Vermonters. For my family, it was one of the most cherished times of the year. My father and his brothers were avid hunters. My uncles always looked to my father for guidance in where to go and where the deer were traveling on a regular basis. Many evenings were spent planning and figuring out where to go Continue reading

Can I Go With You Dad?

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Most of us, at one time or another, have been pests to our parents, asking if we could go with them every time they left the house. I was no exception to that, as just about every time my father went out the door, or even told my mother he was planning on it, I asked if I could go. It was more like, “Can I go too?” I also recall there were more than one of those occasions that I regretted having spoken the question.

One of such times was when I asked if I could go with my father and Uncle Dave to the top of Saltash Mountain, to listen to a radio broadcast of the Red Sox baseball game. The reception was better there. I have no idea who the Sox were playing, but I do remember Continue reading

First Day of School

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Sometimes it seems life presents a pattern of embarrassing situations. School was more than frequently a series of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. My teachers got a few laughs because I was so literal in my understandings of what was said, and I would often be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I remember being dropped off at the front door on my first day of school Continue reading

Lost The Race…

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In the 60’s, living in the woods of Vermont involved a lot of down time because there was hardly any t.v. reception, and certainly no cell phones. Riding a bicycle was the only way to experience the feeling of freedom, and how much fun you have on that bike is dependent upon how hard packed and smooth the dirt road is. One summer day, David, the neighbor closest to my age stopped by, and we anxiously rode up the road to Cavendish town. It was always a big deal when we got permission to go all the way to town about 2 ½ miles from where we lived. The partial shade of the trees made cool spots along the way. It was a free feeling to weave and change speeds at a whim as we enjoyed the sounds of the tires sliding and rolling along on the dirt. We got to the end of the dirt part of our ride where the railroad crossing marked the spot that the pavement started. Pavement riding was rare. We stopped for a few minutes to talk with a pretty girl who was a classmate of ours, but unfortunately that was the last thing I actually remembered Continue reading

A Rough Ride…Heed Mom’s Warning

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Parents are full of advice as their child grows. My mother was full of advice, and full of superstition and scare tactics. She had a variety of fears and she wanted me to adopt them. She was well meaning and often the lessons were valid, but sometimes it would have been good to add a few exceptions to the rules.

One of the things she told me time and time again was that if I ever got into a stranger’s car I’d never be seen again, and Continue reading

Encouraged To Write

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I’ve been interested in writing most of my life. As a grade school student, my interests developed with some encouragement from my educators. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Hemenway, wrote a note on my report card that I might perhaps become a writer someday. I was drawn to writing as a form of self-expression and to occupy my time and exercise my imagination. Continue reading