Posts Tagged With: don’t piss off the natives

Hibernation Ends and How Did You Know My Name was Mac?


Long Trail Brewing Company’s Hibernator

Hibernation is ending and Town Meeting is tomorrow. The sugarbushes are tapped and waiting for a thaw — the same thaw that will signal the beginning of mud season — and the coldest (on average) 90 days of the year are behind us. It’s not like folks weren’t out and about during the cold, dark days, but there is more hope, anticipation and activity now that it’s March.

In summer Vermont is dreamy, in autumn glorious, and not without certain charms in winter, but to my mind spring defines her and the character of her people more than any season. Maple, mud and politics glue folks together around here at a time they’re coming apart at the seams and, when just getting out of the driveway is a challenge, the world can seem pretty small. Given everything going on in far away places, it’s darn near a pleasure to spend the whole first Tuesday in March debating with one’s fellow villagers just how much a new box culvert should cost.

Town Meeting Day

Town Meeting Day

A thorough examination of these pages will reveal the true identity of this little town, and we are fortunate to hold our Town Meetings just across our attractive village green, in a large room with comfortable seats. Some towns use metal folding chairs or wooden benches to accommodate the voters, which discourage folks from nodding off but also have the advantage of encouraging them to keep things moving along. We spend the day (except for lunch) in a theater.

This town was once considered part of another town and meetings were originally held there, way the hell over the hill. Tired of heading out before dawn and climbing a snow covered mountain every time the first Tuesday of March rolled around, the folks over here eventually declared independence and started a town of their own, closer to home.

No matter where it is held — or the way it is run, with hybrids popping up that incorporate Australian ballots and “informational sessions” — Town Meeting is an integral and iconic part of small-town life in Vermont. The national news will portray it as a quaint throwback to a different, simpler time, but it is complicated and very much here and now. With long-held traditions and well-documented histories, Town Meetings have spawned tales and anecdotes aplenty that are as much a part of Vermont as answering the question, “How’s the wife?” by asking, “Compared to what?” Continue reading

Categories: Humor, politics, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Thank You for Littering

A large part of Vermont’s economy depends on visits by people from other places. Her summers are bucolic, her fall foliage is legendary and, in winter, skiers flock to her slopes from miles around (spring is a tortuous slog through mud and black flies, better left unmentioned). After half the state was turned inside-out and strewn about the countryside by Tropical Storm Irene, I beat the drum as best I could and encouraged people to visit and maybe spend a little cash to help get us going again and, after what has been a mild, brown start to winter, I am happy to welcome our first real snow and the economic shot in the arm that comes with it.

There are perhaps four permanent residences on our hill, but there are twice that many second homes and vacation get aways. Some of those houses are rented out, short term, to people who come to ski at one of the nearby resorts. This weekend, every unfamiliar vehicle going up and down our road has had New Jersey plates.

Our road is not much, by most anyone’s standards. Mud in the spring, bumpy, rutted dirt in summer and fall, I think it is actually at its best in winter, when it is covered with a nice, hard layer of packed snow and ice, topped by a sprinkling of sand.

 When this particular group of people from New Jersey is here, there is also a sprinkling of litter.

Come on, man.

They’re kind of wearing out their welcome. Maybe one cup doesn’t make a difference along a road in New Jersey, what with everyone throwing trash out their windows, but around here it sticks out like a sore thumb. So do they.

What follows was originally posted as a three-parter but, inspired by the love I feel today toward the residents of the Garden State, I have dusted it off, changed the formatting, and cleaned it up, presenting it now, as a gift to the Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading

Categories: Humor, Rural Life, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

An Exciting Friday in Vermont

People who visit our little village are sometimes compelled to ask, “What do you people do for excitement around here?”

No matter how hard I think, my answer is invariably, “Well, I guess we just don’t go around getting excited much.”

If you want excitement, you should head up to Woodstock: Skunk Dispatched in Village

Rabies is serious business but I am amused that the skunk didn’t “release any scent” until it was “put down.”  How do you insult a skunk?

Categories: Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

First of All, I Wasn’t Really Bragging

I recently wrote about meeting an important man and, in the comments that followed, I was reminded of my encounter with a man last summer that resulted in me yelling at the man so loudly and often that his child started to cry. Other than the trauma suffered by a small child, it’s a funny story — at least the way I tell it — but I have often wondered how the man I yelled at would tell it.

Maybe he would send me an email and I would provide a snip of it to convince you of its authenticity, posting the complete text (and photos) below. 

Continue reading

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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