Stephanie Wissel, Castleton
We are exhibiting our 4-H members and their equine partners, and their exhibiting in everything from fitting to showmanship, to equitation, to pleasure and other 4-H activities. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve had a lot of visitors, and we’re enjoying our new facility.
Kalonna Kantorski, Rutland
For us, it’s going quite well. We’re very pleased, but the weather has a lot to do with it, and there’s a little more activity down at this end, so it’s been very good for us. We’re happy. With the demolition derby, we know it always brings a bit crowd, so that’s very pleasing to us. Everything we do, we time around — especially on Saturday — around the demolition derby, so I would expect a big crowd tonight because it’s Saturday night, and this is a motor sport city or town, or county, however, and I would expect a big crowd tonight. Anything to do with a motor sport, they love.
Jay Meyer, Putney
(The firetruck) wasn’t pink when I got it. My 81-year-old father and I drove to Washington Courthouse, Ohio, and bought this truck and drove it home. We paid $2,000 for the truck and $2,300 to fix the radiator. It runs very well for an old girl. PinkHeals was founded by a retired firefighter out of Glendale, Arizona. He got frustrated with the fact that firefighters are always being asked for donations for this, that and the other thing, and he was at a fire one day, and a woman came out to watch the firefighters do their thing, and she (told them) she couldn’t get a wig. And that just really upset him that someone in his community, where he’s giving all these donations away, and she couldn’t get a wig. She was going through chemo. He was at home lying on his couch and he dreamed up these pink firetrucks, driving around the country supporting the women in our communities. … I do home visits. If you’ve got someone in your community who’s going through something, and they’re having a rough time of things, people can reach out to me via Facebook, and I’m more than happy to arrange a home visit, where we go right up to their front door, lights and sirens some of the times, and I tell the people, hey, I’m Jay from Putney. I came up here to tell you I love you. … I don’t get paid to do this, not one thin dime. I get paid by the hugs that people give me.
Jeryn Mawson, Holyoke, Massachusetts
It’s gone pretty well. It was slow the first few days, but it’s definitely picked up the past couple of days. It went well. I liked it. For our first year here, it’s been good. I mean, the people here are nice, the ones that have the buildings that stay around, and they open every year, they’re really sweet, and we’ve traded with a few people and met some nice folks that do the fair every year. The security’s very nice, and the police officers that were here were nice to us. This is our first year here. We usually do music festivals. We sell coffee. We go to New York and Rhode Island.
Randy ‘Pappy’ Rhen, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
I met a lot of good people, I had a good time. I enjoy traveling around, meeting new people, doing a lot of cool stuff, checking out the towns. I’ve been doing this for 33 years now. We have a bunkhouse back here, we got a room, TV, a shower unit, yeah, so we’ve got it made, central air conditioning.
RH: Thirty-three years you’ve been a carney. You mind that word, “carney?”
RR: No, no, no, I don’t mind. Actually, I use the word “showman.” A carney to me is a guy that’s dirty, that don’t respect nothing. A showman has more respect. I go to a bar in these towns, I’ll sit down, have a few drinks and have a good time. A carney, he’ll go in and trash the place.
Krissy Stroud, W. Springfield, Illinois
Krissy Stroud, West Springfield, Illinois
I came out four spots ago, the end of July.
RH: And you’re going to go on from here?
RH: Where are you going from here?
KS: New York.
RH: Whereabouts in New York?
KS: I forgot! I forgot the name of the spot!
RH: But you’re going to be there tomorrow.
KS: Yeah. We jump out tonight.
RH: How do you like this life?
KS: I do. I’ve done it before. But I had a couple of kids to raise, so I stayed home 21 years. This is my first adventure since.
RH: What do you do when you’re not here?
KS: I’m with my boyfriend!
RH: What are your expectations, like, tonight, you’re going to take down this booth.
KS: We’re going to tear this down, and we’re going to get out. We’re going. We’re going to get off this mountain.
Dennis Ward, Granite Falls, Washington
RH: You’ve been traveling around the country, and you just happened upon this fair.
DW: Yes, I saw it on the internet that it was here the 13th through the 17th, and we thought we could make it, and we did. We finally came in Friday night, the 16th, and we got a campsite here for a couple of nights. Saturday we got to see the whole fair, and we thought it was a great fair. We’ve been to bigger fairs and we’ve been to smaller fairs, and this is a great fair. We liked the dairy cows, the cattle, and the horses were nice.
RH: Well, they’re right over there.
DW: We’re right next to them. We watched them, we watched the girls in the 4-H get all dressed up and do their riding. The dog arena was right there in front of us. They were doing herding shows yesterday, and that’s something I’d never seen before. Like I say, we have fairs in Washington, a few of them are smaller, and we’ve got one or two bigger ones. We’ve enjoyed it. We love fairs.
RH: Where do you head from here?
DW: We’re going over to the coast of Maine. Wife wants to see Acadia, we want to see Acadia, so we’re going to go over to the coast of Maine, and then we’ll be coming back across, I suppose, to New Hampshire and Vermont to New York, and she wants to see Niagara Falls, so we’ll go to Niagara Falls, then we’re headed down to Ohio to see the niece and her husband. We’ll probably head home from there.
William Street, Rutland
RH: William, how’s your summer going?
RH: What’ve you been up to?
WS: Doing a lot of flea markets, and doing a lot of camping and hiking.
RH: Where you been the last couple of months?
WS: On the Appalachian Trail.
RH: How is it up there this summer? Is it crowded?
WS: Not at all because now you’ve got highways going through there, development, so it’s not like when we were younger.
RH: Is there any place that you haven’t been that you want to go to before the snow falls?
WS: I’d like to go to Ireland.
RH: You think you’re going to get there?
WS: You can always get where you want to go if you put your mind to it.
RH: You ever been there before?
WS: No. That’s why I want to go.
RH: You’re Irish? Your people, your parents, your grandparents come from there?
WS: My grandparents do.
WS: They come from County Cork, Ireland.
RH: That’s where you want to go?
WS: If it’s in the country, yes.
RH: Tell me again what they could do out at the fair to make it better?
WS: Well, they could bring back the (BMX) bike racing, have go-cart racing and bring back the sulky racing. It helps the elderly people with heating and stuff. And like I said, so vendors will come in, they could lower the rent they got to pay. They should have taken the old drive-in property, made it into an amusement park. They could’ve had that going all summer long. But they didn’t. And the buildings are all empty.
Camera and production by RH Alcott
Allan Sackey, Pittsford, Massachusetts
I’m not originally from Massachusetts, I’m from West Africa, Ghana. I learned this weaving baskets at age of 7 years, and my grandfather taught me. My grandfather is 125 years old now. He’s still alive in West Africa, Ghana. He taught me how to weave this basket. I use fiber grass. It’s natural fiber grass, and the dye that we use are vegetable fiber dyes. So we use the straw — we twist them to make it double. Some people don’t like weaving double basket because they think it wastes material, but I need the quality of my product. So I always weave double weaving just to make it strong for my customers.
Barbara Mitchell, Guilderland, New York
I wanted to do a mindless hobby. I was teaching and had five kids at home, and I needed something to just relax and be mindless and I found out it’s anything but mindless — but you have to concentrate so hard on it. It’s very relaxing. It was about 30 years ago I started doing it, and then I started taking a couple of classes, too, and I had to sell it in order to make room to make more, so I started doing craft fairs. You’re not going to make a million dollars doing it, but it’s a lot of fun. You’re lucky if you break even, but it’s a lot of fun, yeah.
Sharon Herrmann, Arlington
I’m a silversmith, only silver, and I’ve been doing this for 36 years. What I work with is wire and plate, everything is crafted from that by soldering and hammering and cutting. It’s all basic, everyday wear jewelry. The story of how I started — I had a job, and a silversmith in Manchester called me up and said, “Want a job?” And I said, “I have one,” but I gave notice and started working for her and apprenticed for three years. She said, “Go out on your own, and I did, and here I am, 35 years later. Apprenticing, that’s my education, actually hands on. It’s a full-time business, and I love creating.
Caitlin Gates, Hubbardton
It’s watercolor and I did like a zentangle background — it’s really just Sharpie, but it started out as kind of a project I was doing for a children’s book. It’s sort of at a standstill for the moment, but it’s these really fun illustrations. It’s all about collective nouns, so the parliament of owls, the walk of snails, tribe of goats, colony of bats, that kind of stuff.
RH: Pride of lions, a murder of crows.
CG: Yes! An unkindness of ravens!
RH: That’s harsh on the raven!
CG: I know! They kind of got demoted from the crows, I feel like.
RH: Well, “murder” is not so great either.
Jameelia Abdullah, Amherst, Mass.
We do handmade jewelry, and we pretty much make jewelry out of anything we can find. We do wire-wrapping, beading, weaving. We use lightweight nickel-free products so that we can make really ornate pieces that are good for sensitive skin, and everybody can wear. It wearable art. We’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, and it just came out of need after economic change. My mom actually started, and I came on after my master’s program. I just look young.
RH: So it’s a family tradition. You learned from your mother.
RH: How’s it going for you?
JA: Great. It’s very busy.
RH: Tell me a little about technique. Do you make drawings first? How do you do it?
JA: No, we don’t do drawings. We pretty much have the sketch in mind, and then we lay it out. With our necklaces we lay it out before we do it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And we just see what happens.
Peter Huntoon, Poultney
Nature will do remarkable things if I just have the sense to get out of the way. I do invite the universe to conspire with me, and by that I mean encourage accidents, so I have a variety of tools that manipulate paint in certain ways and many ways out of my control. So when I make a mark it’s at best hopeful and at worst damaging, but I try my best to judge what I put down, make the most of it and most importantly, leave alone the marks that could always be slightly better, but the more you monkey with it, the more the integrity of the paint already on there is compromised. If you look at it in its early stages right now, you can see all the individual marks there. They have integrity, they have personality, they have identity, you know, this one’s green, this one’s orange, this one’s opaque, this one’s transparent. So the more I can leave that integrity intact, i.e., don’t take my brush and smush ’em all together, that just destroys the inherent beauty of this thing. So as the painting progresses, it’s more a job of leaving things alone and gently, gradually building up the surface until it’s a whole painting and things are in their appropriate, organized position, and it works as a whole, and that’s called unity, the most important element of painting in my opinion.
Camera and production by RH Alcott
Tina Spaulding, Royalton
Taking care of cows at the fair starts long before the fair. You have to try to find the heifers that you feel have the best confirmation, body-wise. You start feeding them a little bit differently before the fair starts to make sure that they’re well-grown. You start washing them and clipping them before the fair starts to keep their hair nice and shiny and white. You train them to lead before the fair starts, and you just start playing with them, usually a couple of months before the fair. And when you get to the fair, you’re feeding them all the time, they take a bath every morning, so we’re usually up here about 5 o’clock in the morning. We’re outside in the wash racks about 6. At 5 we get up, we come in, we feed the cows. We make sure they have plenty of water, we clean out their beds. We get everybody milked. Then we go out to the wash rack, and everybody gets a bath, scrubbed nose to hoof, and during the day we make sure every need for them is met. Their tails are brushed, their bodies brushed. They’re fed constantly. We stand behind them, when they poop we pick it up immediately, wipe their butts off, wipe the noses, just like any other baby. And then on show day, they get a little extra attention, a little more spiffiness, a little more spic and span, a little more shine to them before they go into the ring. Most of them are like big dogs. They follow you around, they want to be patted. They like people. They’ll moo when people walk by to try to get them to come over and scratch their heads. bit.ly/2019VTStateFair
‘Wild Bill’ Bartlett, Proctor
“They call me ‘Wild Bill.’ I’m the head of security for the fairgrounds. I’ve been working here approximately 15 years — pretty much making sure everybody behaves and nothing happens here, dealing with people. Not too often, but there are situations that can arise here that we nip in the bud before it gets out of hand.”
Mia Hendricks, Rutland
“I’m the grounds superintendent, so I’m trying to get everything that needs to be done for the grounds up and running and make sure everybody has what they need. My phone constantly rings, and I’m getting pulled in different directions by different people. It’ll be five years this year. I’m hoping and praying that (this year’s fair) is going to be a bigger outcome and more people start coming back”
Camera and interviews by RH Alcott
Click here for audio:
Penelope Weiss, of Shrewsbury, writes poems. She says, “Originally, about 50 years ago, I wrote some poems, but then I didn’t write for another 45 years or so. I’ve been writing these for the last five years probably. I need to speak. I need to communicate. I need to create images, ideas and communicate with people, and that’s one way to do it.”
In the Name of Divination (The Mouse Judge)
The mouse judge sits on his bench.
He looks at the crowd. He adjusts his crinkly white wig and scratches his head.
A young man is in the dock, chained like a slave.
It’s the end of summer. Moths fly through the moist air.
The mouse judge listens to their mutterings.
The moths talk about divination, how it’s a holy thing.
The judge smiles. In the name of divination, he once was ridiculed,
shut up in a cage, bent to the holy will of others.
“All rise,” shouts the bailiff, but the judge is already seated.
The judge remembers the cage where the worshipers had put him.
Even now their prayers chill his bones.
He remembers how he said things he never meant to say,
bowed to unworthy people, danced in the dust.
When they sang their sacred songs, he escaped.
He looks at the prisoner. The prisoner flinches. The trial begins.
— Penelope Weiss
Camera and interview by RH Alcott
Philip II of Macedonia
On this day in 338 BCE, Philip II, of Macedonia, a conqueror you really ought to know, not to be confused with Philip the First, leading the Macedonian army, pounds to flinders, on this day, the combined military forces of Athens and Thebes to secure dominance, hegemony and consolidation of those city-states, which is, of course, what a self-respecting conqueror endeavors to achieve. Hitherto — that is, before the decisive battle of Chaeronia, Macedonia is an ancient kingdom on the outskirts of Archaic and Classical Greece. After, though, Philip’s got the world by the short hairs, and he’s much beloved by decree until after a particularly gruesome sex scandal, Philip assassinated at age of 46, height of his power, it happens, pride goeth, by one of his otherwise loyal bodyguards, Pausanias of Orestis, at instigation of Philip’s son, Alexander — later Alexander the Great — or perhaps Philip’s lovely wife, Olympias. Rumor has it Philip and Pausanias had once been lovers. Another story.
Ian Vair, Granville, New York
Pausanias, of Orestis, not to be confused with Pausanias, the beloved of Attalus, another fella entirely, murders Philip during the wedding of Philip’s nubile daughter Cleopatra, not to be confused with the Egyptian queen — Theda Bara, Fox Film Corp., 1917, Claudette Colbert, Paramount, 1934, Elizabeth Taylor, 20th Century-Fox, 1963 — who isn’t even born until centuries later, to Alexander of Epirus, not the Great one, that’s her brother. It’s the ancient world. There’s a shortage of names to go around and everybody has to share what few there are.
Kerri Simon, Granville, New York
Funny story: Pausanias flees after shivving the king, almost gets away, too, but running in sandals not particularly recommended. He trips, falls on a vine root and is speared to death by his fellow loyal bodyguards in pursuit, jockeying for court favor. There are conspiracy theories. Horses are found waiting nearby. Guy who throws the actual fatal spear that kills Pausanias, Leonnatus, fellow loyal bodyguard, ends up demoted, suspected of offing Pausanias to prevent being implicated in the king’s murder during the otherwise inevitable torture and interrogation.
August 2, 1939. A letter, drafted by Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, who in 1933 comes up with the idea for nuclear chain reaction, then in 1934, with Enrico Fermi in Chicago patents the idea of a nuclear reactor. The letter’s signed by his friend, colleague, fellow theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein — Einstein’s more famous, a celebrity, letter delivered to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Letter explains that sufficiently enriched uranium can be used to create weapons that can explode with enormous energy sufficient to kill hundreds of thousands of people with a single shot, a massive air burst to lay waste to any city anywhere in the world, a relatively economical urban renewal program. Letter explains the Nazis, who the following month, September 1, 1939, invade Poland and begin what comes to be known as World War II, might already have begun to develop such a weapon, which would give them an enormous advantage in the mucho mass murder department on a hitherto unimaginable scale. Einstein and Szilard know each other in Berlin in the early 1920s. In 1926, the two invent the Einstein-Szilard refrigerator, with no moving parts, less dangerous, which is an improvement over a similar fridge built in 1922 by a pair of Swedish inventors you’ve never heard of, have you, because Einstein and his former student, Szilard, swan in, take their work, tart it up, run with it. The Einstein-Szilard refrigerator, sometimes called the Einstein refrigerator, he’s more famous, no moving parts, I mean to say, safety first! don’tcha know, is patented in the United States Nov. 11, 1930 (U.S. Patent Number 1,781,541). The Swedes? SOL! Back to the drawing board! Roosevelt reads the letter, he’s impressed! He calls in his aide, General Edwin “Pa” Watson: “Pa!” FDR exclaims, “This requires action!”
Helvi Abatiell, Mendon
Cost of the Manhattan Project according to the Brookings Institute:
Expenditures through August 1945:*
*Includes costs from 1940-42 for the National Defense Research Council and the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Excludes $76 million spent by the Army Air Forces on Project SILVERPLATE from September 1943 through September 1945.
(Project SILVERPLATE covers the modification of 46 B-29 bombers in support of the Manhattan Project, training of the personnel of the 509th composite bombing group, and logistical support provision for units based at Tinian Island, launching point for the attacks on Japan).
$23 billion in 21st-century dollars
The atomic bombs dropped over Japan on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945, immediately, completely devastate their targets. During the next two to four months, the acute effects of the atomic bombings kill between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occur on the first day.
World War II, between Sept. 1, 1939, and August 15, 1945: An estimated total of 70-85 million souls swept away, about 3% of the 1940 world population (then an estimated 2.3 billion.
Bill Dudley, Shrewsbury
Clark Kent’s secret life
Childhood motivation for a career in journalism, No. 1: Clark Kent, Kansas farm boy, deeply conflicted because of lifelong suspicion he’s not like other kids. And he’s not. He’s not even human, although his feelings are deeply humanitarian, although not political, he tends to support liberal causes. He’s not a socialist by any means, although he’ll save anyone in trouble. He believes in the equality of all human beings, even though none of them have either his super powers nor his compassion. His ability to lift automobiles with one arm, to jump over tall city buildings “in a single bound,” to see through walls, sets him up for a life in law enforcement. He chooses newspaper reporting because of his nagging obsession to get to the bottom of things, f’rinstance, why is he “different,” what’s wrong with people in general, why are they always hocking you to be good and follow rules, sit down, don’t fidget, eat your spinach, don’t interrupt so much, wait your turn, when in reality they’re, as a species, unbelievably weak to temptation, and will screw the bejeezus out you without even blinking, for your money, for your stuff, for a date with your girlfriend, your wife. An early hometown girlfriend, classmate throughout Smalltown public schools, Lana Lang, also suspects he’s different. Young Kent is not her first boyfriend, if you know what I mean, and when they dance, his arms, chest and back are more muscular than the other boys, and he’s always rock hard. Also, the leaping. Nobody can jump that high, over buildings and so forth. No matter how obviously she flirts with him, he just doesn’t seem to get the message. He’s not gay, although he likes hanging out with the other guys. He likes girls, he’s aggressive enough on the ballfield, it’s just that he’s so doggone ambivalent with these senoritas who are drawn so darn cute, can’t seem to make up his mind, and unlike the other boys she goes out with, he never tries to fool around. He’s just such an annoying straight arrow as a teenager, he frustrates the hell out of her, which just makes her pursue him all the more. Maybe that’s his game after all. Maybe he’s just shy. Or maybe he’s an alien from another planet who somehow ended up in Kansas with powers and abilities “far beyond those of mortal men.”
Later in life, his friends are older men, like cigar-chomping short-tempered boss editor Perry White or the perspicacious chief police inspector Bill Henderson. They always seem to be meeting up at one or the other’s apartment for a nice bowl of corn flakes.
“Every time she falls off a skyscraper and Superman has to catch her and fly her to safety, she senses that something different, develops a thing for him and keeps Kent on the back burner even though the two guys have a startling similarity, looks- and scent-wise.”
Elle Ryan, Pittsford
For this performance only, the part of Elle Ryan is portrayed by Miss Myrna Loy.
As an adult newspaper reporter, he’s friends with another reporter, Lois Lane, who sees him as weak because he never makes passes at her and she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. And he’s always hanging out with the annoying staff photographer, Jimmy Olsen. Everybody on the paper knows Kent and Olsen are pals. Lois Lane keeps getting herself into jams with criminals and weird creatures, like the time she got trapped in that warehouse with a thawed-out dinosaur. Every time she falls off a skyscraper and Superman has to catch her and fly her to safety, she senses that something different, develops a thing for him and keeps Kent on the back burner even though the two guys have a startling similarity, looks- and scent-wise.
Whenever there’s a breaking story, Kent rushes out of his office and into the storage closet, where he strips down into his red-and-blue skivvies and jumps out the window to get the scoop. It isn’t fair, it isn’t ethical, Kent becomes star reporter quickly. Nobody’s ever seen Kent and Superman in the same place together. So newspaper work seems like a great job, although we never really see Kent or Lane or even that punk ginger kid Olsen sweating over a typewriter to meet a deadline.
Superman: Bad Judgment?
Narration and production by RH Alcott
“I’ve had multiple jobs deny me access to a good employment because I choose to have jewelry, earrings as in plugs, nose piercing, tattoos not on my face but behind my ear. I’ve had them say I had to cover up, which would result in me being very uncomfortable. It’s problematic because it takes away from people being themselves, and it takes away from the individuality of the person. I think that if jobs were accepting for those who were as they are, I feel like their business would be successful either way. (Neither) my piercing nor my tattoo has an impact on the quality of work that I can give out. I work the same way. I work happy, with a smile on my face when I can be myself. … I’ve actually had a couple of jobs tell me I had to go get my (piercing, tattoo) removed in order for me to get employment. And, I’m sorry, but I won’t work for a fast food restaurant that’s going to tell me to remove a tattoo that I love and that brings a lot of meaning. … My tattoo, which is a bunch of (musical) notes — they resemble my love for music and my passion (for) who I want to be, which is a music therapist, a line of career that I’m going for, and I hope that when I’m my own boss, I won’t have to ever have to deal with it again.
“When I got my nose piercing, it was a big thing for me. When I did it, it was kind of like me breaking out of my shell. There were a lot of parts of me that I was hiding. When I got these tattoos, got this piercing and started doing the things I wanted to do, I lived in a life where I couldn’t be an individual. I actually had to be cookie cutter, I had to be just like everybody else because that’s how I was raised, and when I was finally out on my own … I was finally able to be who I wanted to be, and it took me a while to bring up the courage to do these things, but once I did, it was one of the best choices that I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I will never change it for the world. No one could ever pay me enough money to take out my piercing.”
Camera and production by RH Alcott in Rutland, Vt.
See the Street Talk video at bit.ly/0720RAVE
Bill Brower, Clarendon
It’s a 1954 Chevy panel truck. I’ve owned it approximately 10 years — did all the work myself. We travel with it, go everywhere with it, wouldn’t hesitate to get in it today, head west with it.
RH: What’d you do to it to make it what it is today?
BB: All the drive chains have been changed, the engine’s been updated, transmission, rear end, all the suspension. It’s got power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, all new interior. It’s basically a new vehicle in an old shell.
Gino Piscopo, Rutland
It’s a 1962 Austin Healey. It’s been modified with a 327 Chevrolet Corvette engine in it — it was done in 1964. It’s a two-owner car. I’ve had 32 Healeys, and this is the nicest-driving Healey I’ve ever owned.
RH: You’ve had 32. Is this the last one?
GP: I’d never say that. There’ll be a No. 33 and a No. 34, I’m sure.
RH: What do you like about this car?
GP: It’s dependable. It’s the only Healey I’ve ever owned my wife says I can take on a 100-mile drive and not work on it for six days after I bring it home to get it going again. It’s just an honest, fun-driving car.
Marty Lemmo, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
I’ve had it about 3 years. I’ve always loved the (Corvette) body style, and it’s just fun. It’s a driver, a nice driver.
RH: What’d you do to it?
ML: I bought it just the way you see it.
RH: You didn’t do nothing to it?
ML: OK, I had the clock repaired. And I had the radio — for what it cost to get the radio repaired, I had it replaced with original style that is now modern. It’ll play AM-FM stereo, and I plug my iPod in it so I can listen to what I want.
RH: What do you like about this car the best?
ML: Just the way it looks. It’s fun. I mean, obviously it’s a fair-weather car. What I like about it is, 95% of the ’61s have a white cove. Everyone can recognize these cars — red body with a white cove, and it was a $16 option in 1961, and apparently the guy didn’t want to go for everything.
RH: A cheapskate.
ML: Ah, what can I tell you? In today’s dollars it’s about $110 option. Personally, I like it without the white. I like it with the solid color.
Kevin Durkee, Fair Haven
RH: So it seems like you’re a car fan. What is it about you and cars?
KD: Oh, my goodness, they’re pretty. I love the rumble when they start ’em up. It’s just fun, it’s good clean fun. They’re works of art. They’re just beautiful.
RH: What was your first car?
KD: A Volkswagen. A 1955 Volkswagen Beetle.
RH: How long did you have that?
KD: Well, I had it a year or so, but it would only go 50 miles an hour, so I sold it, and it was absolutely perfect.
RH: What’s the best car you had?
KD: It was a Plymouth Barracuda 273 with a four-speed. That was a nice car. But I’ve had a lot of Volkswagens. I’ve got a Mustang now. I really like that, it’s a 2018. That’s a lot of fun.
RH: It’s almost brand-new. What do you like about that one?
KD: It’s a convertible — what’s not to like?
RH: Just tell me it goes pretty quick.
KD: Well, we don’t want to be talking about that on film here.
Tom Truex, Wallingford
My wife and I were out for a ride, and we came across this at a service station over in Cornish, New Hampshire. Actually, it was right around Plainfield, New Hampshire, I should say. And we saw it outside, and it was in pretty rough shape. Hood was all caved in, and it was rusty. So we figured this would be a good retirement project if we could get it cheap, and we did. So over the course of the next five years, with a lot of help, we took it all apart, everything off it. We fixed the things that needed to be fixed mechanically, and the rest was cosmetic. Right now, it’s running good and I hope it stays that way.
RH: What is it exactly?
TT: It’s a 1935 — it’s a GMC chassis and the fabrication was done in South Portland, Maine. There was a guy that used to work for the McCann firetruck manufacturers in Portland and he went out on his own. His name was Charles Rutledge. He manufactured — not a whole lot — there’s not many in existence, but there’s, I’m guessing, maybe a dozen Rutledges that he made. It was a very well-made truck, but it was more geared toward the small town. It wasn’t a custom truck like you might see, that the cities might have. It was a small, rural firetruck.
David Cavacas, Rutland
RH: Tell me about your Pacer.
DC: I wanted to build something that nobody else had, and I think I succeeded in doing that. My parents and grandparents had ’em when I was a kid. Friend of mine came up with the idea of putting a big block in one, so I just took it a little further. I put a big block Chrysler motor into it and all the full-sized running gear. Wanted to go drag racing — we’ve done a little bit of that with it. It’s a pretty fast little car actually. Other than that, I restored the whole thing myself, built the thing from the ground up, painted it.
RH: What do you call that color?
DC: It’s Synergy Green. It’s actually off a 2010 Camaro. I saw one driving down the road one day while I was building this, and I said that’s the color the car’s going to be, and I’m glad I did. Everybody was skeptical about green at first, but when I painted it, it fits the car. Other than that, we take it out to car shows whenever we can.
RH: So it’s not exactly your daily driver.
DC: Oh, no, no. Gas mileage is not real good. It’ll be lucky if I get five miles to the gallon. It has two big carburetors up in the front.
RH: It’s got a beautiful rumble. I could hear you coming from a long ways off.
DC: Thank you!
Glenn McPeters, Essex Junction
RH: Tell me about your Chevelle.
GMcP: I’m the second owner. Came out of backwoods Virginia. I’ve had it about 10-11 years. Full-frame off restoration, with sort of like a Day Two attitude, you know, just parts you could buy in 1969. It’s 396 in the garage, it’s got a 454 in it now, 562 horsepower, just over 6 seconds, eighth-mile, 97 miles an hour. It’s just bad ass.
Camera and production by RH Alcott
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Victoria Covarrubias, of West Rutland, moved from Oxnard, California, to Rutland, Vermont, bringing the recipes for authentic Mexican food learned from her grandmother. Now she runs her own catering business, has a popular booth at the Rutland Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and sits on the board of directors of the Vermont Farmers Food Center.
Above left, Victoria Covarrubias works the Wednesday Farmers Market. At right, her husband, Gus Covarrubias, works alongside his wife at the Saturday market.
Victoria Covarrubias: “We made a big dinner for my neighbors one day, and the one thing they said was ‘You know that there’s no Mexican food here in Rutland.’ And we didn’t believe it, so we looked it up, and only a few places came out. So that’s how it started, it was just, you know, an authentic plate here and there, and I said I’ll have to get licensed and be official. And that’s how it started, little by little. The farmers’ market was my first big step into the catering.”
“At the farmers’ market we sell taquitos, flautas, tamales — which go really fast — we started making four dozens and by 12 o’clock they’re done. I have people who come buy 8, some people buy a dozen. People buy one, then they come back and buy more. We make burritos, quesadillas and tacos, all made to order … no tomatoes and no lettuce. If I have the cheese and you want cheese on your stuff, I’ll put the cheese on there, but that’s not how the original plate is. I have no problem adding it if we have it.”
Camera and production by RH Alcott in Rutland, Vermont
Nicaraguan-born Brooklyn, N.Y., artist Chris Mendoza takes Talking Pictures on a tour of his Rutland exhibition, “Exactitude,” a 20-year retrospective of his painting, drawing, ink and collage work at the Alley Gallery in Center Street Alley. The show runs through August 10.
Camera and production by RH Alcott in Rutland, Vermont
Street Talk wants to know when was the first U.S. presidential election in which women were allowed to vote, courtesy of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Also, beside fjords, Vikings, guys called Lars and Kjetil, and pickled herring, what else is notable about Norway?