Words for every occasion ...
A quick peek at the bookshelf or nightstand of the folks
you know in and around Franklin County
Jim Murphy retired from the New England Central Railroad last year. A director of the St Albans Historical Museum, he is a photographer and lifelong collector of railroadiana. "I flunked history in school," he said, "and now people call me a history nut." He and Joan recently celebrated their 43 wedding anniversary. A devoted reader, "Joan lives at the library," Jim said.
CURRENTLY READING: Julian Scott: Artist of the Civil War and Native America; With 97 Illustrations by Robert J. Titterton.
Scott was an underaged Civil War hero who saved nine soldiers and captured a Confederate officer; he became the first Vermonter awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He took part in the Indian census of 1890 and witnessed the fall of the Native American West. Titterton shows oil paintings of Civil War soldiers in the field, the battle scene in Montpelier, and pencil sketches of Indians.
Historians and critics admire Scott's work for its authenticity and for his attention to detail. Also a photographer, he often posed in Civil War garb. "He was like Alfred Hitchcock that way and was able to put himself in his own paintings."
Joan just finished Hannibal by Thomas Harris. "That was the first of his I had read [The series include Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs]. I'll pick up some more," she said.
RE-READ: Sally Hemings by Barbara Chase-Riboud who also wrote The President's Daughter.
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: "Our daughter Pam is 40 years old," Joan said. Pam is an artist who loves to dance and sing. "We have all the Dr Seuss. We still have them in the back."
Jim subscribes to Birds and Blooms a magazine "for people who like birds and who like gardens."
Rose Wolcott calls herself a "stay at home housewife" in Enosburg. "I read a lot, but I don't reread anything," she said, "and if I see a movie on TV, I don't even watch it the second time." She did elderly care in a private home in Burlington for 13 years.
CURRENTLY READING: Finding the Dream, the final novel of Nora Roberts' trilogy about the lives and loves of three women brought up like sisters in the grandeur of the Templeton fortune. "It's a love story," Rose said. "I read her love stories and her mysteries."
VERMONT AUTHOR: Midwives by Chris Bohjalian.
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: Cathy, her twenty month old granddaughter lives with her. "She is just now getting interested in books. My other grandkids all liked the 'Dr Seuss' books."
Thomas Sustic is in the ninth grade at BFA Fairfax. He enjoys listening to music and talking on the phone.
The next EVENT FOR TOM benefit concerts features BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet, Mick Moloney with Jimmy Keane and Robbie O'Connell, Jesse Winchester, the Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, La Bottine Souriante, Big Table with Judy Hyman and Jeff Claus of the Horse Flies, and John Roberts and Tony Barrand. Tickets are $25 and are available through UVM Campus Ticket Store, Copy Ship Fax Plus in Essex Junction, and the Flynn Regional Box Office. Sunday, February 27 at 7 pm in the Ira Allen Chapel, Burlington
CURRENTLY READING: Lake Champlain Atlas by R.W. Vogel for planning some fishing trips this summer. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. Tom calls coming of age tale about the experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam "really good. I would read it again." He is also halfway through All Quiet on the Western Front' by Erich Maria Remarque.
RE-READ: Stick, Fist, Knife, Gun' by Geoffrey Canada. "I've read this several times," he said. "It's about growing up in the Bronx, and explains why there are gangs and violence."
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: Day at Buttercup Farm a tale about farm animals.
WHAT HE READ ON WWSR: Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger.
Norma Mercier live in Highgate. She took some time off to be a mom and has recently joined Labatt-Anderson as a supervisor. Her husband Bill works for Belden Wire and Cable.
CURRENTLY READING: Send No Flowers a classic love story with larger than life characters by romance writer Sandra Brown. In Flowers, a storm disrupts a widow's camping trip with her two young sons, setting up a rescue by a mysterious man in a reissue of one of Brown's early and sensual favorites.
"I usually read love stories or horror novels," said Norma. Bill reads Motor Trend and Golf Digest and but he doesn't have orange golf balls.
VERMONT AUTHOR: I've read a little of Robert Frost's poetry in school.
RE-READ: I usually read all of my books twice because I lend them to friends and read them again when they come back. I keep all of my hardcover
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch with illustrator Sheila McGraw's poignant and comic pastels. "I read it to both William, 8, and Evan, 7," she said. "It made us cry."
Pat Sullivan performs as Merlin the Magician, a professional entertainer who does magic for children. His show includes "mystery and fun and amazement, and making the audience think." He is also a customer service rep for a graphic arts company He will appear on the Main Street stage at the St Albans Maple Festival.
CURRENTLY READING: Blackstone, a Magician's Life : The World and Magic Show of Harry Blackstone, 1885-1965 by Daniel Waldron, a biography derived from interviews with the members of Harry Blackstone's traveling troupe.
"I'm also fascinated by the history of magic," Pat said, "and have delved into the biographies of the famous and the not so famous magicians." He collects antique magic as well and sees it as a natural extension of performing.
VERMONT AUTHOR: Joseph Citro. "I find all his books of the supernatural fascinating. It's not dark. He injects humor into his stories."
RE-READ: "Anything by Mark Twain." Pat has been transfixed by his works and with the "more genteel time in a part of the country that up here you only get to hear about" since he was a child.
KIDS' BOOKS OF MAGIC: Magic Made Easy by Bruce Elliot and Bell's Book of Magic.
Dennis Chrin of Milton is a traveling antiques dealer and organizer of the very popular antiques show in the Town Educational Center during the Vermont Maple Festival. His specialty is Victorian-era Sterling flatware, hollow ware, and some silver plate. "People are surprised that there are antique dealers who just do shows," he said. Lynn and Dennis travel an antique show circuit across New England. Last year they did 32 shows.
"I'm going to instantly congratulate Elaine Magnan," Dennis said. Elaine started the Maple Festival Antique Show and built in from six dealers in a church basement to a well-attended production with a huge waiting list of dealers. Visitors can find a $5 Ball jar or a $500 gaudy Welch tea pot and a good mix of furniture, all in the same show.
CURRENTLY READING: "I read six trade newspapers and lots of encyclopedia-type books for my antique business," Dennis said. "No laid back fiction for me."
Beginners who wonder about the purpose or design of a large serving spoon would enjoy the Sterling Silver Flatware for Dining Elegance by Richard Osterberg. It is a field guide "where you can line up the spoon and determine if it's a tea spoon or an ice cream spoon." Osterberg richly illustrated the sterling silver utensils which complement the graceful linen, china, and crystal of a well-set table and included history and information for serving and enjoying the multi-course meals that formed the entertainment for an entire evening.
EARLIER FAVORITES: "Twenty years ago I loved to read anything on the World War II military."
Kaye Mehaffey chairs the Maple Festival cooking contest. "It's an opportunity for Vermont cooks to showcase their expertise with maple," Kaye said. "We are discouraging main dishes this year because they might not be attractive [or safe] if they stay out for the whole weekend." Foods should be delivered to the American Legion Hall from 1-5 p.m. next Thursday.
In real life Kaye teaches family and consumer sciences although she prefers "to be traditional and call it 'Home Economics'."
CURRENTLY READING: "I read strictly for fun," she said. She has just started Lake News, a novel by Barbara Delinsky about a victim and the reporter who hounded her who escape the city and settles in the New Hampshire equivalent of North Puffin.
FAVORITE COOKBOOK: "The Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step by Step Cookbook is the most descriptive and the best with students." New cooks can literally not know how to boil water and be able to cook a full meal.
RE-READ: "I don't like to reread books," Kaye said. "I like to spend my time discovering new ground exploring new territory."
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: She read the Hildreth Tyler Wriston books as a child. "One I remember vividly and tracked down and bought as an adult is Snowbound in Hidden Valley [by Holly Wilson]."
Peter Hofstetter is CEO of Northwestern Medical Center. "We bought Enosburg Community Health Center with Home Health and Mousetrap Pediatrics yesterday [August 30, 2000]," he said. "The Hospital and Physical Therapy will take over the whole bottom floor for two docs and the full time physical therapy presence. Upstairs will be divided between Home Health and MouseTrap." Mental Health, Champlain Drug and Alcohol, and Green Mountain OB-GYN have also committed to a presence there.
"The NMC $5.5 million surgical suite addition and renovation is underway and will be complete and phased in in about 18 months. We also bought the three houses across the street and will be renovating one for Champlain Drug and Alcohol."
CURRENTLY READING: Peter is also on the Delta Dental Board. Established and supported by dentists, Delta is the major dental benefits plan in Vermont. With mergers and alliances so prevalent in health care, they are looking at business strategy. Peter is reading Partnering Intelligence -- Creating Value for Your Business by Building Strong Alliances by Stephen M. Dent.
"The book I'm reading for fun is 'The Perfect Storm' by Sebastian Junger."
SUMMER BOOKS: "I did my Jimmy Buffett thing this summer. After work, it's just fun to lose yourself in his airplane adventures." Buffett's books include A Pirate Looks at 50 and the classic Tales from Margaritaville.
VERMONT AUTHOR: Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher
All Arts Council of Franklin CountyDick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
Go to [Dick Harper | All Arts Index]