History as seen through the novels of Jeffrey Lent

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A novel by Jeffrey Lent

A novel by Jeffrey Lent

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

History as seen in the novels of Jeffrey Lent: In the Fall (542 pages), published in 1999 by Atlantic Monthly Press, and A Slant of Light (357 pages) published in 2015 published by Bloomsbury.

To write out of time, or write imaginatively about a century that transpired 100 years ago, is a tricky proposition for any writer to undertake. Historical novels have evolved to become a genre of their own, but the best ones are arguably those that focus on a particular event. The one that comes readily to mind is the American Civil War novel Killer Angels, written by Michael Shaara. It’s a novel so good at recreating the pivotal three-day battle of Gettysburg that more than one reader has mistaken imaginary characters for real ones.

Much of the novel did revolve around…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Remembering the last log drive on the Connecticut

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Where else but a log drive would a team of horses be rafted down a river?  Photo from Bill Gove’s book Log Drives on the Connecticut River

Where else but a log drive would a team of horses be rafted down a river? Photo from Bill Gove’s book Log Drives on the Connecticut River

copyright the Chronicle August 12, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

The Northeast Kingdom has often been called the state’s last frontier, but where do we turn to find the bigger than life characters or the tall tales that go into making up a frontier? There are still people alive who remember individual heroics either in the mills or on the railroad tracks, but what is it about the Kingdom that fires a schoolboy’s imagination when he reads about its past?

When anyone mentions frontier, it’s usually the West that readily comes to mind. We know its famous characters from Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid to the more legendary Stagger Lee or Frankie and Johnny. Cowboys and cattle, lawmen and…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Island Pond swamped with visitors for July 4

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copyright the Chronicle July 1, 2015

Pictured is one of the flag-twirling majorettes in Les Éclairs, a marching band from Quebec that provided a highly polished performance during the Fourth of July celebration Saturday in Island Pond. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle July 8, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

ISLAND POND — More than fireworks sizzled and popped in this small town at the weekend’s celebration of the Fourth of July

The size of the crowd that turned out over the three days of festivities prompted one observer to remark that he didn’t realize that so many people knew where Island Pond was.

Beginning with Friday night’s fireworks and extending into Saturday’s parade with a Canadian marching band accompanied by a fleet of floats, decorated to celebrate America’s two-hundred thirty-ninth birthday, Island Pond sparkled day and night.

The first wave of revelers appeared at the weekly Friday Night Live, an open air dance at the Pavilion Park, that includes… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Keep small schools, school directors say

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Bobby Starr.  Photo by Micaela Bedell

Bobby Starr. Photo by Micaela Bedell

copyright the Chronicle March 18, 2015 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Legislators from the Northeast Kingdom were told in no uncertain terms to oppose Montpelier’s efforts to shut down small schools and consolidate districts.

That stern warning came from school board members from around Orleans County and was delivered Monday night at a gathering held at the North Country Career Center. About 20 legislators and school board members sat around a big table while another 30 or 40 people sat nearby.

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the Chronicle changes hands

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A solid reminder of how we used to operate — an old manual typewriter — sits in a corner of the Chronicle office.  The hat belonged to Anna Baker, the artist responsible for the Chronicle cows, and on the wall behind it is a copy of the original flyer announcing the start of a new newspaper, the Chronicle.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

A solid reminder of how we used to operate — an old manual typewriter — sits in a corner of the Chronicle office. The hat belonged to Anna Baker, the artist responsible for the Chronicle cows, and on the wall behind it is a copy of the original flyer announcing the start of a new newspaper, the Chronicle. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle February 4, 2015

by Chris Braithwaite

To me the Chronicle will always be a novelty — a shot in the dark, a crazy gamble undertaken with almost no money but all the energy a 30-year-old immigrant could summon in himself, his wife, and a handful of friends.

But more than half the people living in Orleans County today had a Chronicle to read when they were old enough to read anything. And when my mind wanders up and down the streets of Barton Village, I can’t find a business that has been around, under continuous ownership, any longer than the Chronicle.

Those are hardly the trappings of a novelty. And at 70, I am a long way from the youngster who set out to see if small-town weekly journalism could be as complex, as challenging, as rewarding as the big-city journalism he’d left behind four years before.

After four decades I can report the result of that experiment. The stories I’ve encountered have been every bit as complex, and just as “good” — in the hard-eyed way that reporters evaluate their raw material — as the stories any reporter covers, anywhere.

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Biography pays heed to Governor Robinson

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WEB mello bookcopyright the Chronicle December 17, 2014

Moses Robinson and the Founding of Vermont by Robert A. Mello. Published by the Vermont Historical Society, 2014. 450 pages with footnotes and bibliography. $34.95

Reviewed by Paul Lefebvre

Robert A. Mello is a better historian than he is a biographer. Perhaps that’s because his writing lacks the flair we look for in reading about people whose lives merit a biography. Still his recent biography of Moses Robinson and the role he played in Vermont’s formative years has arrived at a fortuitous moment.

In 1789, Vermont’s second election for governor was thrown into the Legislature as neither candidate had achieved a majority, as required by the state’s Constitution.

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Rifle season: Mild winters may lead to higher success rate

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Makenzie Smith, 10, of Irasburg shot her first buck, an eight-pointer weighing 164 pounds, during Youth Weekend — in her secret spot!  Photo courtesy of her very proud Grampa Brent Shafer

Makenzie Smith, 10, of Irasburg shot her first buck, an eight-pointer weighing 164 pounds, during Youth Weekend — in her secret spot! Photo courtesy of her very proud Grampa Brent Shafer

copyright the Chronicle November 12, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Between sunrise on Saturday, opening day of rifle season on deer, and closing day at sunset on November 30, hunters will lose roughly 30 minutes of hunting time.

That’s because they can hunt deer from 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset during the 16-day season.

But sunrise on November 15 comes at 6:45, or 19 minutes earlier than it does on Sunday, November 30 — the last day in the season.

A comparable loss in time occurs at sunset. On Saturday the sun will set at 4:21 compared to 4:10 on the last day of month. Added together and that’s a loss of 30 minutes in real time.

Will it make any difference in hunters’ success rate? Probably not.

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Governor’s race: County lawmakers lean toward Milne

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Scott Milne.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Scott Milne. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle November 12, 2014

by Tena Starr

If Orleans County’s legislative delegation had its way, Scott Milne would be Vermont’s next governor.

That’s not a surprising decision for the Republicans who represent the county, but as of this week only one of the three Democrats was willing to unequivocally say that he’ll follow tradition and support the candidate who won the popular vote.

Representative Sam Young of Glover said he will vote for Governor Shumlin.

“I think it’s generally a bad precedent if the Legislature starts electing people who didn’t win,” Mr. Young said.

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Election wrap: Barrett, Viens, Hardy win elections

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Important correction to the November 5, 2014, election results:

House - Orleans-Caledonia.xlsx

These are the full results to the Orleans-Caledonia House race, as it should have appeared in the Chronicle. A cropped version of the chart, with only Chris Braithwaite and Devin Small, was printed in the paper, in error.

Complete election results for each race available in the Chronicle.

copyright the Chronicle November 5, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

Jennifer Barrett was the big winner of Tuesday’s election, scoring a convincing victory to secure the office of Orleans County State’s Attorney. The Republican candidate garnered more votes than the combined totals of her two rivals.

When all votes were counted Ms. Barrett had 3,882, to 2,337 for Democrat James Lillicrap, and 1,486 for independent Ben Luna. The three candidates were all but unavoidable over the course of a long campaign that began this summer as Ms. Barrett faced incumbent State’s Attorney Alan Franklin in the Republican primary and defeated him.

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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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