Issue #590

Façades and fantasies

Donald J. Trump might have experienced financial or personal failures before and he has explained them away. But he has never been fired before.

How do you know when's it's time to step back, sit down, or go home? When do you know the job is done?

These questions confront almost every working person no matter the field; athletic, corporate, professional, or public (as in politician). Eventually, we all must face our own work mortality - hopefully, long before our actual one.

People work for many reasons: status, power, wealth, community, or simple survival. Most have faced mini-retirements during our careers, some voluntary, some not. It is unusual to find someone who has not been laid off, transferred, fired, or “externally repositioned” during their working life.

But the challenge of facing the big one - when you go home forever - is not something that most do well or are well-prepared for, especially if you have your personal and professional identity so intertwined that you are afraid that you might not know who you are and might be afraid to confront that person you don't know well - you.

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WWAC hosts webinar with author Arthur Magida

Join the Windham World Affairs Council (WWAC) on Sunday, Dec. 13, for a live Zoom event with author Arthur Magida as he discusses his Pultizer Prize-nominated work, Code Name Madeleine: A Sufi Spy in Nazi-occupied Paris, a much-lauded new biography of Noor Inayat Khan. Author Magida will discuss how...

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Proud to be a first-generation college student in Vermont

‘We had grown up seeing the limitations that exist for people without college degrees. We were inspired to do what our families had not had the opportunity to do. And we were helped along the way by countless teachers and faculty who cheered us on along the way.’

In all the chaos of the election, it would be easy to lose track of the fact that Nov. 8 was National First-Generation Student Day. This day was meant to highlight and celebrate those who are the first in their family to attend college. I am proud to be...

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Rotary’s Christmas Tree Fundraiser starts Dec. 5

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the 56th annual Brattleboro Rotary Club Christmas Tree Fundraiser will officially begin. Since 1965, the Brattleboro Rotary Club has sold Christmas trees as a fundraiser for local student scholarships and this year is no different. The group has a goal of selling 350 Vermont-grown trees of all shapes and sizes, which will be available daily in front of the Brattleboro Bowl on Putney Road through Sunday, Dec. 13. The trees will be on sale from noon...

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‘Print Town’ book launches with event celebrating three-year effort

Print Town: Brattleboro's Legacy of Words, published by the Vermont Historical Society with an introduction by Tom Bodett, will launch Wednesday, Dec. 9, with a Zoom event from 7 to 8 p.m. The first half of the launch will be moderated by Print Town Art Editor Stephanie Greene, a local writer whose parents founded and ran Brattleboro's famed Stephen Greene Press, along with Editor Michael Fleming, a freelance writer and longtime editor of Norton literary anthologies, and designer James F.

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With Holly Days, Holly Nights, Chamber urges local holiday shopping

“Keep It Here All Year!” That's the spirit behind Holly Days, Holly Nights, a shopping and dining event presented by the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with area businesses. Holly Days, Holly Nights began in 1987 and, 33 years later, it is still the centerpiece of the Chamber's year-long effort to remind people of the importance of supporting local independent businesses. “This year more than ever it's important to support our local businesses,” said Kate O'Connor, executive director...

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Around the Towns

Putney Public Library suspends in-person visits PUTNEY - In an effort to keep staff and the community healthy, the Putney Public Library has suspended in-person visits to the library for the next two weeks. No-contact pickup borrowing will continue. Anyone who would like to reserve an item or access their online account to place holds may contact Librarian Emily Zervas for their login information at [email protected] or 802-387-4407. The library's board will reevaluate this decision during the week of Dec.

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BMAC hosts online talk about figurative painting

Curator Karen Wilkin discusses the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) exhibition “Figuration Never Died: New York Painterly Painting, 1950-1970” on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., via Zoom and Facebook Live. On view at BMAC through Feb. 14, 2021, “Figuration Never Died” highlights a generation of New York artists who absorbed the lessons of abstract expressionism but never abandoned figurative painting. The exhibit features work by 10 artists: Robert De Niro Sr., Lois Dodd, Jane Freilicher, Paul Georges, Grace...

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In search of common ground

Our family called them “Vermont Appreciation Trips” - our journeys out of state before COVID-19 limited travel. Usually, the best part would be getting back home. When we'd pass the “Welcome to Vermont” sign on the interstate, it would always bring a big smile. We all have our own best reasons for why Vermont is the best place to live and why we miss it when we go away. While the green hills are superficial beauty, I see our state's...

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Obituaries • E. Wayne Blake, 83, of West Brattleboro. Died Nov. 24, 2020 at his home. He was born in May 1937 in Bradford, the son of Merlin and Elinor (Allen) Blake, and graduated from Peoples Academy in Morrisville. He furthered his education at the Massachusetts Radio and Telegraph School in Boston, earning his certification as a Radio Technician. He owned and operated a television and appliance business in Bradford and also worked with Berkshire Life Insurance Company (later Guardian...

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St. Michael’s Episcopal Church celebrates the Advent season

This year, St. Michael's Episcopal Church celebrates Advent online. You can find links to the 8 and 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning services and to the seasonal special activities at The Adult Forums, held each Sunday from 9 to 10 a.m. during Advent, will alternate between discussion of the Advent Devotional Booklet written by parishioners and discussion of Advent music with Music Director Susan Dedell. On Sunday, Dec. 6, Dedell dives into the Advent music and poetry, asking “What makes...

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‘Light Up Brattleboro 2020’ encourages holiday lights

Get ready to challenge your neighborhood, your friends, and your family to help “Light Up Brattleboro.” The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department invites everyone to transform their front yard, apartment, or house into a bright and decorative celebration of winter to help bring joy and light into the lives of others. “We encourage all of Brattleboro to come together and light up the sky,” organizers of the activity said in a news release. Below are the steps to participate in...

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Literary Cocktail Hour features sportswriter, author Tom Callahan

Grab your favorite drink and join author and sports writer Tom Callahan on Friday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m., for a discussion of his book Gods at Play, an entertaining reflection on a life covering the great sports figures of our time. This book is a penetrating look behind the curtain of the sports world, from a writer who was there for decades as both a newspaper and magazine columnist. Callahan, a former senior writer at Time and sports columnist...

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‘Great Reconciliation’ community art projection begins Dec. 4

Activist-artists Steve Wangh and Julie Snorek of VTArt-Rising, supported by 350Brattleboro, will present an outdoor, digital exhibition from Dec. 4 through Dec. 11 in Main Street storefront windows. Organizers say the aim of the exhibition, “The Great Reconciliation,” is “to support community reconciliation and healing in light of a divisive political period.” Images will light up storefront windows nightly from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. To view the exhibit, stroll up Main Street past the Latchis Hotel (50 Main St.), then...

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Dummerston considers changes to Town Meeting

Town Meeting Day may be three months away, but one town is already considering scrapping an in-person meeting in favor of voting on the Annual Town Meeting warning articles by Australian ballot. The Selectboard says it is weighing this option, rather than holding the traditional Town Meeting at the Dummerston School gymnasium. The question is on the agenda for the Wednesday, Dec. 2 board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Access to the meeting is available by phone...

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Two recent COVID-19 deaths in county

On Nov. 27, Vermont crossed a grim threshold - its 4,000th confirmed case of COVID-19. While the state still can boast about its low number of cases, its low test-positivity rate, and its low numbers of deaths and hospitalizations, November marked a turning point for Vermont in the pandemic. According to data from the state Department of Health, more than 45 percent of the 4,172 cases of COVID-19 recorded as of Nov. 30 came in November alone. Nationwide, the United...

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BCTV announces winners of the 2020 Producer Awards

Brattleboro Community Television has announced its 2020 producer award winners, who will be honored at an annual ceremony that this year will be held virtually on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. In all, BCTV's more than 50 local producers and staff produced 1,300 hours of local programming over the past year. The following organizations and individuals will be recognized for their achievements during the past year: • Community Partner Award: Next Stage Arts. Next Stage Arts in Putney partnered...

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‘His heart and soul is in agriculture’

Not many people in Vermont have accomplished so much yet have been publicly recognized so little as Roger Allbee. His life has been defined by being the quiet insider - not seeking glory but working hard to preserve the agricultural heritage of his beloved state. For being such a deep part of Vermont history, in September, Allbee received the Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The Townshend resident has worked as a cranberry exporter, as...

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A new program for our changing world

Back in 1932, when Donald B. Watt created the Experiment in International Living, he started a new trend in education. His belief that experience is the best teacher resulted in the idea of sending students abroad in order to learn firsthand about people and places instead of simply reading about them in a classroom setting. Today, the term “experiential education” captures exactly what Watt had in mind when he created one of the premier educational exchange organizations at that time,

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