First Solo Driving Experience… Not Good.


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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Lost The Race…


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


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


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

Woodchucks, Snakes & Raccoons


It was a great start to the summer when I was between 11 and 12 years old. The neighbor down the road a quarter mile away and I decided to go to the only farm in the valley and go woodchuck hunting. The farmer told us it was always a big help to get rid of them because they were so destructive to his gardens. I had worked on the farm so he knew I had a good handle on the specifics of the property and would be safe while hunting there. My friend and I took a mile walk to get there and scouted around the fields. We were on our way home and came upon a man who was maneuvering a bulldozer around the huge stone wall near the Mactice house Continue reading

Writing, A Therapy

Rick, Writing As Therapy

While riding in my car, I began listening to an interview on NPR, with Rob and Nick Reiner about their new movie, “Being Charlie”, a rehab story.  The conversations with people who called in about their experiences with drugs and alcohol, reminded me that I had also once felt the need to experiment. Neither gave me any true feelings of satisfaction. I found that the negativity of substance abuse didn’t leave much room for comfort or reality blending. I did however, at an early age, find writing was a great relief for my Continue reading