Beautiful Jonas Fricke

Beautiful dean Jonas we are all blessed by your love, creativity, friendship, joy of life. We send our love to his family and all. As we celebrate this beautiful noble spirit.

Saying Good-bye to McNeill’s

McNeills - iBrattleboro Night Out 11-8-2007

One of our favorite places to hang out when we first moved to Brattleboro was McNeill’s on Eliot Street. Having moved up from Boston/Cambridge, home of many gritty, grubby Irish-style pubs that were not then or ever going to be fern bars (remember those?), we were happy to grab a pint at Brattleboro’s equivalent spot whenever we had a free evening. Although many of our new Brattleboro compatriots seemed to prefer fern bars, we never found the clean scene that inspiring. Despite pressure to transfer our allegiance to places shiny and new, we continued to frequent McNeill’s, where an affordable pint was always available and the ambience was right.

Saying Good-Bye To Steve

We were sorry to hear that our buddy Steve, long time resident and “howdy neighbor” of Upper Forest Street, has passed away. He was 80 years old and died of complications of a stroke.

When we lived on Cedar Street, we used to walk by his house all the time on our way to my mother’s or to Main Street. His place was always interesting. He had a cute little cat for many years that looked a bit like a miniature raccoon. He had a stone wall out front that he decorated with little plastic figurines. Some of them — the little pink teddy bear, for instance — were added by passers-by such as myself. I always got a kick out of his Beware of Falling Acorns sign too.

Farewell, Dan Cummings

I wanted to write a few words about Dan Cummings who passed away last week, suddenly, at the age of only 64.  Dan was our very first friend in Brattleboro, and he was one of the most true friends we’ve ever had, here or anywhere.

At the time we moved to Vermont, in 2001, he owned Avenue Grocery on Western Ave, a few blocks from our new home.  Since I was in his store many times a week, we got to be good friends.

I’ll never forget the first time I stopped into the store.  I walked in late one afternoon to buy a six pack, and of course, Dan carded me.  Being over 40 at the time, I was a bit bugged, but I could see he wasn’t going to budge so I went home and got my ID.  I told him to be sure to remember me because I would be coming in many times in the future.  He laughed and that was the last time I got carded there.

Martha O’Connor Memories

I once had a discussion with Martha O’Connor about fence viewing. I had applied and been appointed to the position, and ran into Martha at the grocery store (a frequent spot for us to run into one another). The topic was always related to Brattleboro or governing, and today it was Fence Viewing.

RIP Green Mountain Red, Former Putney Communard, Roz Payne

May 21, 2019 -Vermont has lost one of our most remarkable woman; today film maker, journalist, Black Panther historian, communard, Green Mountain Red, revolutionary, and (ironically) Richmond constable Roz Payne has left this world and these Green Hills for points beyond. Roz grew up in a working class-leftist household in New Jersey. Her mother was a union organizer in Lawrence, MA in the 1930s, and her father ran for NJ State Senate as a member of the Socialist Party.  Poet Allen Ginsberg was her sometimes babysitter.

Passing of Joe Crompton

Joe Crompton

Longtime friend Joe Crompton passed away under the full moon.

You know Joe if you shopped at the Co-op. He was the sausage-making meat expert in the butcher area.

You know Joe if you worked at the Co-op. He kept a constant eye on management and was a leading advocate for the union. He spent many a year trying to get better situations for employees, which paid off in recent years with a succesful union vote.

Aerial Photos of Lester Powers’ Procession

On behalf of Public Works, I was able to take a few aerial views of Lester Powers’ funeral procession earlier today.  Lester served the town for 50 years from 1945 to 1995 and operated a road grader for the majority of that time.  As such, Mr. Powers’ family requested one to lead the procession.

Deborah Tewksbury: A Library of Understanding and Love

She is a library of understanding and love.
Deborah was fearlessly tender in her devotion
to Kip, April, Alex, Michael, Grandkids & friends.
Steadfast love, despite all of life’s commotions

Passionate for her books and libraries of lore,
She more wise in her love than any tome.
A life abundant with adventures galore
guided by a spirit of caring and wisdom.

Liberty Union Co-founder Peter Diamondstone Dies At Age 82

Diamondstone’s wife, four children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren will host a public celebration of his life Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the site of their former homestead at 787 Western Ave. The family is directing memorial contributions to Vermont’s Liberty Union Party, the American Civil Liberties Union and Green Mountain Veterans for Peace.

Rupa Sister Rainbow Dancer

My beautiful loving sister Rupa Cousins has passed on today. I was awake most of the night restless. And there is great peace, joy with sadness in her passing. I wrote this last night and this morning i send this. To all who were touched by her magic, passion and love for life, let us celebrate, Rupa Sister Rainbow Dancer.

The End of Ringling Bros. Circus

The Ringling Bros. circus is shutting down this May after 146 years. This circus would come to Brattleboro back in the day.

Owners says it is a combination of the times (we are easily distracted by other things), the cost of hauling an enormous show from town to town, and a lack of elephants. Elephants had been a part of the show until last year and there was a major drop-off in attendance after they left.

Final shows will be in Providence, RI, and Uniondale, NY later this spring. 500 employees will be looking for work.

(Note to former-circus folk, do consider coming up to Brattleboro. Our circus schoool is being built as I type and we could use more!)

A Word for Wilder

Gene Wilder. Don’t know the guy at all, other than through his work, but his passing made me think again of how much I’ve been entertained by Mr. Wilder throughout the years.

For me, Willy Wonka is perhaps one of the more inspirational movies from childhood that I return to over and over in my life. A poor nothing of a boy gets a lucky break, explores a highly creative manufacturing establishment, and ends up being given the chocolate factory. Wilder’s Wonka is the only one worth watching.

A few guiding lessons that stick with me from lyrics and lines in the film:

1. If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.

Tribute to Joseph Cordero

We relish the early signs of Spring in this area, robins, crocuses to name a few. One indicator for myself, and a number of others was Jose’ Cordero in his motored cart, sitting in front of the Samuel Elliott Apartments in downtown Brattleboro. He would greet you with a smile, and depending on the day would engage you in sunny conversation, or take an opportunity to just get things off his chest, and either way always entertaining.

In the late seventies and early eighties you could view Jose’ leaning out of his apartment window observing the pulse of Main street. He also worked at Walkers Resturant and during his break you could find him out front leaning against the building taking in the moment, always in his starched white apron. He eventually moved into the S.E. Apartments and again he was often in view on his upper floor balcony enjoying the view.