Life is short, eat more pie

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copyright the Chronicle November 22, 2017

 

by Elizabeth Trail

 

WEST GLOVER — Peter Gould is a small man with crinkly eyes and a quiet smile that lit up the shadowy nighttime interior of the West Glover Community Church Friday night.

He was there to read from his new book, Horse-drawn Yoghurt, a memoir of his life on a communal farm near Brattleboro.

He’s honed the stories for years, carried them in his head and told them over and over before finally setting them down on paper.

They’re meant to be read aloud, he said. Their rhythms, their cadences, roll off the tongue even better than they read on the page. And like any good writing, they also have a philosophical takeaway that lasts.

Mr. Gould has spent most of his life in the southeast corner of the state, but he’s no stranger to the Northeast Kingdom. His summer theater program for teens, Get Thee to the Funnery, has been a staple of summers in Craftsbury for two decades.

He gets an appreciative audience in this corner of the Northeast Kingdom, which has its own history with the back-to-the-land movement.

In fact, many of West Glover’s most solid citizens once lived on one or another of the communes in the area. So, after sharing a community potluck to get in the mood, the audience was laughing or groaning even before Mr. Gould got to his punch lines.

People here know his stories. They’ve lived them.

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Orchard owner searching for stolen apple trees

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copyright the Chronicle September 20, 2017

 

by Tena Starr

 

BARTON — Randolph Cross of West Glover is looking for information about who stole two of his best apple trees.

Mr. Cross, who lives on Parker Pond, also owns property on Route 16 in Barton, just north of Glover Village. He’s put up a garage there, and has perennial gardens, a vegetable garden, and a small orchard with apple and nut trees — walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts.

“It’s something to do, to keep my mind working and to keep active,” he said.

It’s a tidy and well-tended place that Mr. Cross said is something of an experiment — to see what grows and thrives here. He did auto repair for 40 years, which is why he built the garage, he said.

The apple trees were four years old and producing well, Mr. Cross said. His theory is that someone dug them up to transplant them in the woods, or a field somewhere, to bait deer.

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Swastikas, racist slogans sprayed on local roads and buildings

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copyright the Chronicle September 13, 2017

 

by Elizabeth Trail

 

GLOVER — Swastikas, racist epithets, and crudely drawn penises were spray painted on road surfaces, mailboxes, and the side of a farm building in Glover sometime during the night of September 7.

The incident prompted a GoFundMe campaign, which was started on Monday by Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm. It raised $4,535 in less than 24 hours toward a reward to help catch the perpetrators.

Jasper Hill is one of the owners of Andersonville Farm in West Glover. A building there was defaced with “get out” and “nigger” along with a hashtag, a swastika, and a Nazi SS symbol.

About ten feet of pavement on the Shadow Lake Road was co-opted for a swastika and the message “I kill niggers.” Sexual drawings and slogans were painted in the oncoming lane.

A swastika was painted on a stop sign at the intersection of Shadow Lake Road and Mud Island Road. A mailbox in that area was defaced with swastikas on one side and the word “nig” on the other. Another mailbox had swastikas, the twin lightning-bolt SS symbol, and a sexual reference.

Law enforcement is handling the incident as unlawful mischief.

A joint press release from the Vermont State Police and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department says, “Sometime after dark on September 7, 2017, the offender(s) spray painted on the side of a barn, the roadway, mailboxes and posts.”

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Poetry informed by the unique perspective of an EMT

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copyright the Chronicle April 12, 2017

 

Reviewed by Tena Starr

  

A Life Lived Backwards, by Mark Creaven. Paperback. 76 pages. Available on Amazon.com, $9.99.

 

Longtime West Glover resident Mark Creaven has been, among many other things, an EMT, a job that, in the opinion of this writer, requires a rare skill set.

Not everyone has what it takes to tend the sick and injured in emergency situations; not everyone is willing and able to jump out of bed at 2 a.m. to console the parents of a broken teen who has just died in a car crash, or at reassuring the lonely old woman who fears this is the night that her weary heart gives up.

No, it’s a job that not only requires medical skills, but also compassion, courage, patience, and the ability, and willingness, to engage in situations that most of us don’t even want to contemplate.

I’ve never heard of anyone who has specifically turned such situations into poetry.

However, the subtitle of this slender book is “Poems by an Emergency Medical Technician,” and its first section, called In the Field, provides a glimpse of the kinds of heart-wrenching moments an EMT, through the very nature of his work, must deal with.

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Matt Dunne talks about challenges and opportunities

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Matt Dunne, a Democratic candidate for governor, held a community forum at Parker Pie in West Glover on Sunday afternoon.  The lists of challenges and opportunities generated at the brainstorming session will become part of Mr. Dunne’s campaign platform.  Jill Michaels, left, is the volunteer coordinator for the Dunne campaign.   Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Matt Dunne, a Democratic candidate for governor, held a community forum at Parker Pie in West Glover on Sunday afternoon. The lists of challenges and opportunities generated at the brainstorming session will become part of Mr. Dunne’s campaign platform. Jill Michaels, left, is the volunteer coordinator for the Dunne campaign. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle September 16, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

WEST GLOVER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne came to the Parker Pie restaurant here Sunday to listen to what people think are the biggest challenges — and opportunities — facing Vermont.  Mr. Dunne wants to hold at least one community forum in every county in Vermont to help plan his campaign platform.

Over slices of what Mr. Dunne called “the best pizza in Vermont,” 13 people from Orleans County brainstormed ideas for the state’s future. Mr. Dunne plans to e-mail a copy of the lists the group generated back to everyone who came to the meeting. He will also compare his notes from all over the state, looking for common threads that will become the core of his platform. He hopes to become aware of issues that are unique to one area or another, he said, so that he can serve those constituents better.

Mr. Dunne, who lives in Hartland, is… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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West Glover high drive collapses

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Pictured here next to the remains of the high drive roof on the left is the Coe family.  James Coe and Nella Cargioli Coe are in the back, and their children Isabella Coe (left) and Jude Coe (right) are in the front.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Pictured here next to the remains of the high drive roof on the left is the Coe family. James Coe and Nella Cargioli Coe are in the back, and their children Isabella Coe (left) and Jude Coe (right) are in the front. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle August 26, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

WEST GLOVER — The old high drive at the Andersonville Farm here collapsed on Thursday, August 13, after an employee drove under it in a “silage dump truck with its tailgate up,” operational owner James Coe said.

“It’s supposed to go down on its own,” he said about the stuck tailgate.

No one was injured in the accident.

“I didn’t know what to think,” said Dennis Poginy, another employee.

He assumed that wind had blown the already weak structure over.

“That’s what you get for leaving the farm,” Mr. Coe said, laughing.

He was at Parker Pie in West Glover with his wife, Nella Cargioli Coe, when the accident happened. They had just celebrated their wedding anniversary the day before.

They’ve been the operating owners since…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A mobile home hits the road

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This house trailer was abandoned in Irasburg at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill sometime early Monday morning.  On its journey from Glover it lost its tires, but ventured on, tearing up the gravel road.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

This house trailer was abandoned in Irasburg at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill sometime early Monday morning. On its journey from Glover it lost its tires, but ventured on, tearing up the gravel road. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 3, 2015

by Tena Starr 

IRASBURG — Town officials here were flummoxed Monday morning by the appearance of a house trailer at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill. Not beside the road — in the road.

Someone had hauled the big yellow trailer there overnight and left it leaning against a telephone pole. That someone had also left quite a mess behind him. The trailer had been dragged for several miles without tires and had badly damaged the gravel road.

The house trailer started its journey in Glover Sunday night, and with tires. It came north on Route 16….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Tena Starr at [email protected]

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In West Glover: Andersonville Farm has a new champion

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James Coe takes a moment to chat in his office at Andersonville Farm in West Glover.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

James Coe takes a moment to chat in his office at Andersonville Farm in West Glover. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle January 14, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

WEST GLOVER — James Coe traveled by way of Oregon to get to the office at Andersonville Farm where he sat Thursday afternoon. As one of the owners and the managing partner of the farm, Mr. Coe now works a hundred yards or so from his boyhood home.

His office, a small wood-paneled room, is obviously not his main workplace. A wall calendar portraying a champion Holstein is still turned to October. Plaques recognizing the farm for producing quality milk are stacked on a windowsill, although it is hard to know where they would go. The hallway outside the farm’s office is lined with similar awards and there seems to be little room left for more.

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Poetry book on fall light, picking stone, cutting corn

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kinsey book review webcopyright the Chronicle March 26, 2014

Winter Ready, by Leland Kinsey.  Published by Green Writers Press. 85 pages.  Paperback.  $14.95

Reviewed by Tena Starr

It was yet another cold and snowy March day in this cold and snowy winter of 2014, and Leland Kinsey’s latest book of poetry, Winter Ready, seemed an apt read.  But there is little in this volume that chronicles the grueling.  Nor is Winter Ready poetry as some may know it.

This lovely collection is as much prose as poetry.  It’s a collection of moments, observations, and sometimes a reminiscence of a Northeast Kingdom that’s, sadly in my view, fading into memory.

In fact, the onerous chore of picking stone had completely escaped my own memory until I ran across Mr. Kinsey’s poem called “Stone Picking.”

Does anyone pick stone anymore?  We used to on our farm.  I recall, as a girl, thinking that rocks must somehow grow and multiply, like potatoes.  Picking stone was a task for Sisyphus, who spent eternity rolling a boulder uphill.

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Parker Pie plans airport expansion

 

Parker Pie will open a new branch of its restaurant in Coventry in this hangar at the airport. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle, July 5, 2012

by Joseph Gresser

COVENTRY — Newport State Airport here may see a big increase in traffic by the end of the year.  But most of the people won’t be trying to catch flights.  Instead, they’ll be after pizza, beer and music.

Cavan Meese, one of the owners of Parker Pie in West Glover, plans to open a second branch of his restaurant in a hangar at the airport.  Construction workers are readying the building for occupancy, he said in a telephone interview Monday, and will hand it over in a couple of weeks.

The state, which manages the building, has put in insulation, windows, sheet rock, fire safety improvements and a radiant slab heating system.

After that a crew will move in to build a bar and mold the space into a comfortable gathering spot.

Mr. Meese said he is not depending on air travelers or other aviation-related visitors to fill his new establishment.  Instead he said he hopes that the Coventry version of Parker Pie will attract patrons from nearby Newport, as well as Coventry, Irasburg and Orleans.

He said he would like to see the airport restaurant become a community center just as the original West Glover edition has.

Mr. Meese opened the original Parker Pie seven years ago with the idea of creating a gathering place for his community.  That idea has been far more successful than he could have imagined at the beginning of the project.

That success can be seen in a couple of expansions of the original dining space and kitchen, and the creation of Village Hall, where performances and community gatherings are held.

It can also be seen in a lack of parking space, long waits for pizzas and grumbling neighbors.

Mr. Meese said he would have liked to open the Coventry space for the summer season “to take some of the heat off Parker Pie in West Glover.”

He said it made sense to open another restaurant.  “Rather than expanding our kitchen, we’ll expand 15 miles north.  I wouldn’t mind if business in West Glover dipped off.”

The new space will have a menu that is “a mirror image” of that offered in West Glover, he said, although he did hedge a bit by suggesting that Coventry may feature some signature dishes of its own.

“We’ll be able to do bigger shows there,” Mr. Meese said.  The converted aircraft hangar that the new Parker Pie will occupy will retain its huge front door, he said.

Once a way is figured to lock the big door open so as not to endanger patrons, Mr. Meese said, “we’ll end up with a setup that will allow us to do special events there.”

The new restaurant will hold “quite a bit more people than fit in Village Hall,” he said.  But Mr. Meese joked that he doesn’t expect that any of the bands he plans to present in Coventry will rival the crowds brought in by Phish at the town’s largest-ever concert.

Opening day for the second Parker Pie hasn’t been set, but Mr. Meese said he hopes to start operations sometime this fall.

The larger space will give the restaurant an opportunity to pursue some of its long-term ambitions on a larger scale.  Mr. Meese said Parker Pie has always tried to use as much local produce in its dishes as possible.

In summer months when growers in the area have plentiful supplies of plum tomatoes and jalapeño peppers this is no problem, he said.  So far, though, the Parker Pie kitchen crew has not been able to put up enough local produce to last through the long winter.

The exception has been basil, Mr. Meese said.  Parker Pie’s chefs freeze enough pesto that every diner is served a local product at any time of year.

With a larger facility this will not only be true for the restaurant’s patrons, but Parker Pie will also be able to offer canned marinara and barbeque sauces as well as salsa for sale.  Plans also call for freezing pizzas for home baking.

Mr. Meese said he is looking forward to working with local growers to supply Parker Pie’s increased demand for tomatoes and other produce.  One of those could be a near neighbor, if Pete’s Greens realizes a plan to build large greenhouses on nearby land owned by New England Waste Services.

That project calls for the growing area to be warmed with waste heat from a power plant owned by Washington Electric Cooperative that burns methane gas produced by the landfill to run generators.

Mr. Meese said it would be fitting if that connection were made, because he heard that the project was originally conceived at Parker Pie.

The location of the new restaurant could be made more valuable if development plans for the state airport come to fruition.

In January Guy Rouelle, Aviation Program Administrator for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), outlined plans for the airport.  At that time Mr. Rouelle hinted at Parker Pie’s plans, without naming them.

He also said that a company is in negotiations to build a 50,000-square-foot plant to manufacture airplane parts and aircraft out of composite materials.

Mr. Rouelle said composite materials, such as carbon fiber, are both lighter and stronger than aluminum and titanium, which are currently used in aircraft construction.

According to Patricia Sears, director of Newport City Renaissance Corporation (NCRC), discussions are still proceeding with the aircraft manufacturer who, she said, is not yet willing to be identified.

Mr. Meese said he now has a connection to NCRC, having been appointed the chairman of the organization’s transportation committee.  He said this position will give him an opportunity to push ideas he has had about transportation options for the Northeast Kingdom.

These, he said, include reestablishing passenger train service between Newport and White River Junction.  Mr. Meese said he would like to see early and late runs between the two towns every day, with stops in Lyndonville, St. Johnsbury, Wells River and Bradford.

He hopes to see round-trip midday runs between Newport and St. Johnsbury for shoppers, workers and people seeking medical treatment.

Mr. Meese said he also expects to see an increase in air traffic in the area.

He said he has other plans to improve the way taxi, shipping and delivery services work in the area.  These may, he said, eventually involve home delivery of Parker’s pies.

“It’s the kind of innovation we need more of in the Northeast Kingdom.  We have to think out of the box.”

contact Joseph Gresser at [email protected]

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