Goodbye To My Beloved Standard And Historically Speaking

February 24, 2011

in History,News,Opinion,Pomfret

Inevitably, it has become evident that my participation in Historically Speaking would come to an end—now that that time is here! So, as we move into February 2011, I am forced to recognize that day has come. Space permitting, I will review how and why it all began. Back in 1984, this newspaper announced a special edition to celebrate its 131st anniversary and I contacted the editors to explain that I would like to provide a history of how it all began. (As many or you know, local history had long been a hobby of mine.) The result was a handsome supplement published, I believe, in the spring of that year featuring my article detailing the history of this newspaper and its predecessors in Woodstock. I could not have known then, but this move lead to the creation of a weekly column emphasizing not only Woodstock’s history but of the towns in our area as well.
Thus it is that I went on creating approximately 750 word stories regularly until recently when, to give me a break, my editors found two others to spell my chores. What a good job was done by Jack Anderson, headman at the Woodstock Historical Society ‘s History Center and Carol Mowry from Hartland joined the cause, providing well-told tales of their own! Now, faced with the inevitable, I am most reluctant to say goodbye. I am delighted this column will continue its focus on local history! Thank you, Phil and Gwen!
Another fascinating piece of news for me: With the assistance from the Historical Society, the Vermont Standard and no doubt, many others, most of my articles will become available to re-read at a public place. They are available in the Vermont Standard collection at the Woodstock Historical Center, but only by lifting heavy annual bound volumes! This effort is just beginning with Jordan Engel at the helm. I am delighted that this mammoth effort is going forward. I have learned a lot from those weekly efforts but do not, at the moment, begin to remember the details! I will be happy to share this earlier research with the loyal readers I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last two plus decades.
How nice to discover that there are so many loyal readers who share with me their fascination with history…and with this their local paper. As we have discovered, even when local area readers move out of the area, they often subscribe to this paper, taking their hometown with them. I have shared some fascinating stories received from this group of ex-Woodstockers and am most grateful that they wrote or even called on me later. I shall not mention most of them by name, lest I leave some one out. But among the ones mentioned in the last year: I must mention Donna Gay D’Addario from Fairfield, Ct. who even sent me a book she had written about her Woodstock great-grandmother. Bessie (Wheeler) Gay.
I am most thankful for the Vermont Standard and all the opportunities it has given me over the years—and to the greater community as a whole including South Pomfret where I spent 43 years—across from Suicide Six. Ironically, today I am in a beautiful building exactly 100 years old when I was born in 1932! Across from me, the building where Dick and I and the children lived at 29 Pleasant St just down the street from where I lived with Hillary Underwood at 21 Pleasant and in the opposite direction, just down from the Inn (the New England Inn in those days) that my husband Dick and I owned the last ten years of his life—he died in 1975. So, there you have it — my life has come full circle, and I have been blessed to have shared it with you all, my readers. Thank you each and every one who have made it so wonderful. I assure you that I retire with many happy memories, Life has indeed, been a pleasure — my best to all of you. I could not have guessed what awaited me when I came to work at the Woodstock Inn in 1953. I shall miss my column, but cherish all the pleasure it’s meant for me.
And so, “My best to all of you, until we meet again.”


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