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Voices / Memoir

The ties that bind in Vermont

Four stories of connection and community


On June 14, the Fables Storytelling Series kicked off with its first evening of local people telling true stories on stage. Peter “Fish” Case, who served as master of ceremonies (and told a few stories of his own in that capacity), credits Next Stage Arts Project Executive Director Maria Basescu as the inspiration behind the series, which will run monthly at the historic, recently renovated nonprofit performing arts venue in Putney.

For this first show, the four storytellers — Sarah Levine, Steve West, Rebecca Balint, and Don “Dondo” Cuerdon — told the audience some compelling and heartfelt stories on the theme of living in Vermont.

The Commons is proud to present these stories in print, along with one of Case’s interstitial commentaries. They are edited lightly for space considerations and to ease the transition from the spoken to the written word.

I think there’s merit in taking a deep breath and celebrating the connections and resilience that emerge in the words of the stories that these smart, kind, and funny neighbors told that night. I invite you to grab a cold drink, kick back with this section, and savor these terrific stories — they made me feel just a little happier about this world and the human connections we can forge in this tiny state. I hope you agree.

The next Fables Storytelling event — with tales of travel, starring William Forchion, Ken Lovering, Robin Zegge, and our own Wendy M. Levy — takes place Wednesday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at Next Stage Café (a new small cabaret space there), 15 Kimball Hill, Putney. To pitch your story for a forthcoming show, fill out the form at For more information, contact Case at —Jeff Potter, editor

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Originally published in The Commons issue #466 (Wednesday, July 4, 2018). This story appeared on page D1.

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