In Charleston: Sixty years of oysters

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Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper.  Photo by Paul Lefebvre

Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle October 8, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Sixty years ago a photograph was published of Marilyn Monroe standing over a New York City sidewalk register whose hot air lifted her skirt higher up her legs than anyone expected to see.

Sixty years ago Elvis the Pelvis recorded his first hit, “That’s all Right,” a song sung in such a seductive voice that it went beyond ballistic as soon as people saw him perform it.

And 60 years ago, the volunteer firemen of Charleston held their first fund-raiser, an oyster stew supper that has gone on to become an annual event in a region known for its chicken pie suppers and strawberry shortcake.

How to explain the popularity of oyster stew in landlocked country nearly half a day’s drive from the ocean?

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In Derby: Kermit Smith recalls a day when apartments were $10 a week

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Kermit Smith regales a crowd at the Derby Historical Society with stories from his life.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Kermit Smith regales a crowd at the Derby Historical Society with stories from his life. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle October 1, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

DERBY — Kermit Smith was canny enough to ensure a return engagement before the Derby Historical Society. When he addressed the group’s annual meeting Sunday afternoon, he held back some of his best material, promising to share stories of his political career in another talk.

The former state senator and the Legislature’s Sergeant at Arms for many years did come prepared with a collection of stories from his own life and the history of Derby.

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Jordyn Cowles breaks Lake Region soccer shutout record

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Jordyn Cowles.  Photo by Kimberly Messier

Jordyn Cowles. Photo by Kimberly Messier

copyright the Chronicle September 24, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Lake Region Union High School soccer goalie Jordyn Cowles is flying high after establishing a new record for keeping other teams scoreless.

On Friday the senior goal minder snared her eighteenth shutout, breaking the old record of 17.

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Coach Tom Evans talks soccer, math, family, and how he became a lucky man

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Coach Tom Evans watches as his players run drills at practice Monday afternoon.  Now in his thirty-third year coaching boys soccer at Lake Region, he says “I've coached 33 teams, but it's really all one big family.”   Photo by David Dudley

Coach Tom Evans watches as his players run drills at practice Monday afternoon. Now in his thirty-third year coaching boys soccer at Lake Region, he says “I’ve coached 33 teams, but it’s really all one big family.” Photo by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle September 17, 2014

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — “I tell this story to my players all the time,” Lake Region Union High School soccer Coach Tom Evans said, as he settled into a cream-colored leather chair.  “But, mind you, it’s not really about me. Capiche?”

Though Mr. Evans has achieved a certain degree of success in his 33 years of coaching soccer at Lake Region, he doesn’t view his achievements as his own.  He doesn’t much care for the glare of a spotlight in his face. He’d prefer that the light shine on someone else.

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At 91, Francis Whitcomb recalls varied career

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Judy Bevans, former chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, looks on while Representative Sam Young of Glover reads a resolution honoring Francis Whitcomb of Albany.   Photo by Donald Houghton

Judy Bevans, former chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, looks on while Representative Sam Young of Glover reads a resolution honoring Francis Whitcomb of Albany. Photo by Donald Houghton

copyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

by David Dudley

ALBANY — At 91 years of age, Francis Whitcomb has held any number of titles, formal and otherwise: Lister, moderator, planning commissioner, justice of the peace, chairman of the Orleans County Democratic Committee, teacher, principal, farmer, sugarmaker, singer, advisor, father, and husband, among many others.

Mr. Whitcomb tried to add state Representative to that list, but the title eluded him through seven campaigns.

Sitting at the head of the kitchen table in his old farmhouse in Albany Monday, Mr. Whitcomb had the air of a preacher. He’s tall and was dressed simply, as though he were going to spend the day in the garden, in the sugarhouse, or engaged in one of his favorite pastimes, walking.

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World War II friends reunite after 45 years

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Left to right are Seymour Leven, a female acquaintance, and Addison Merrick.  This photo was taken in Texas in 1945.

Left to right are Seymour Leven, a female acquaintance, and Addison Merrick. This photo was taken in Texas in 1945.

copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

Addison Merrick of Craftsbury and Seymour Leven of Cavendish met in Peyote, Texas, in late 1944 or the very beginning of 1945.  They were in the U.S. Army Air Corps getting ready to be shipped out to the Mariana Islands in the South Pacific during World War II.

Dr. Leven, who later became a psychiatrist, remembers it well.  He walked into a Quonset hut where a bunch of the men had already chosen bunks. He looked around.

“The only one who was reading was him,” said Dr. Leven.

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At Bread and Puppet: Fire revival for Gaza draws reflection, silence

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Bread and Puppet Theater performers practice for a revival of Fire.  Photos by David Dudley

Bread and Puppet Theater performers practice for a revival of Fire. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle August 13, 2014

by David Dudley

GLOVER — Before the Bread and Puppet Theater’s Friday night performance of Fire, Genevieve Yeuillaz rakes the dirt floor theater. Though the audience rarely acknowledges her effort, she carefully makes lines in the dirt before each performance. It’s a way of making the space feel fresh. The raking is, perhaps for Ms. Yeuillaz, a meditation, a kind of prayer. She focuses her attentions on a seemingly small, repetitive task to rest her mind before the intense performance.

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Quebec man makes 400-mile sojourn on foot

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Regent Hurtubise finds rest and an omelet at Paddie's Snack Bar in North Troy Saturday morning.  Photos by David Dudley

Regent Hurtubise finds rest and an omelet at Paddie’s Snack Bar in North Troy Saturday morning. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle August 6, 2014 

by David Dudley

DERBY — If you were driving along Route 105 this past weekend, or Route 5 on Monday, chances are you passed a well-tanned man, walking, pushing a cart with bicycle wheels alongside the road, accompanied by his dog. On Monday afternoon, he rambled his way through Derby, on his fiftieth consecutive day of walking this summer.

That man is Regent Hurtubise, 66, of Chartierville, Quebec, which is just across the New Hampshire border. His beloved dog, who travels with him, is named Rocky. Though Mr. Hurtubise may look, at first glance, like a drifter, he is a homeowner in Quebec, living off a pension from the Canadian government. Mr. Hurtubise and Rocky are on the final leg of a 400-mile walk.

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At Newport Aquafest: A selfie with an iguana?

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Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim.  His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog.  Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim. His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog. Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 16, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The weather was kind to Newport this weekend, and people enthusiastically turned out for the city’s Aquafest. A celebration of life on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, the event is in its fifth year since its revival in 2009.

The traditional events associated with the festival, such as the Kingdom Swim and the Swimmers and Pet Parade, were included in the festivities with a few tweaks to keep them fresh.

While Newport’s Main Street was closed off for the parade and a street dance Friday evening, the entire city was open for business Sunday.

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Guardians ad litem can make a big difference

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Kathy White of Barton has been a guardian ad litem for nearly eight years and says it’s a rewarding experience.  Photo by Tena Starr

Kathy White of Barton has been a guardian ad litem for nearly eight years and says it’s a rewarding experience. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle July 2, 2014

by Tena Starr

BARTON — Nearly eight years ago, Kathy White of Barton decided she’d like to “pay it forward,” as she put it. “I wanted to find something I could do that had meaning,” she said in a recent interview.

That desire led her to become a guardian ad litem, or a GAL, a person who volunteers his or her time to represent the interests of “children in need of care or supervision” (CHINS).

That could involve anything from a nasty divorce to a situation where a family can’t properly care for a child anymore. The Guardian Ad Litem Program’s mission statements says its goal is to make sure that children and their families receive “appropriate services in a timely manner; that case plans and court decisions are based on the child’s best interests; and every child has a safe, stable and permanent home within a reasonable period of time.”

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