The very best of Bill Schubart's commentaries, collected in a two volume set.
Whether he's being funny (a pond with a wood floor?) or serious (what are the implications to keeping the death penalty on the table for serious crimes?) Bill Schubart hits a chord with all his commentaries.
And for the first time, get the very best of them, collected from his two books, 'Life' and 'Times' for the low price of $9.95
Enjoy this sample commentary from Bill:
We recently decided to dig a pond in the retired pasture next to our house. It raised some questions, the most common of which is, “Is the bottom yucky?” I have learned to dismiss the question with a simple lie, saying only that we used hard wood flooring for the bottom. If the person is older, I just say the bottom is linoleum. This seems to satisfy most people since we decided to sidestep the issue of “yucky bottoms” altogether by building elaborate stone steps into the pond. We had talked about one of those stair climbers that seniors install in their homes, but learned they pose a significant risk of electrocution when installed in water.
In truth, the pond bottom is yucky. The bottoms of all ponds are yucky unless one uses flooring, which, I am told, makes it hard for fish to feed. We were advised by the pond excavator of the habitat needs of the trout we planned to stock the pond with. Trout are very private and like shade. He suggested I place large rocks in the bottom for them to hide in. Our attorney recommended against this as it might pose a risk to humans diving in, but I ignored him and built a trout castle out of stone. It’s kind of a low slung raised ranch with plenty of privacy to encourage discrete breeding and the raising of little smelts.
I also get asked if there are snapping turtles, water snakes, or leeches in the pond. We took an innovative approach to these perennial pond-owner problems. I had a number of three-inch-high enamel traffic signs made with a universal reptile symbol inside a circle with a diagonal line through it. These form a tight perimeter around the pond or at least they did until my neighbor ran over them noisily showing off his new ride-on mower that sports a built-in cooler for Switchback. Anyway, the rainbows are supposed to eat the leeches.
A grumpy conservative friend of mine asked about the regulatory hurdles I had to fight to get permission to dig the pond. Honestly, they were remarkably few. We had to fill out a one-page sheet detailing our plans for the pond and submit it to the design review board with a blank check. Our good neighbors signed off on the deal when we gave them permission to have their two pink flamingoes and a lawn chair by the pond. Only a few showed up for the hearing: a wild turkey who said nothing but took copious notes, two does who wanted to know if we planned to post the land around the pond, a mud hen who claimed ancient nesting rights and a hippie farmer seeking to retain his “strolling of the heifers” right-of-way.
Frankly, the pond is a joy. The water is like a clear broth on top where we swim and pea soup near the bottom where we don’t. Its natural beauty has only been enhanced by our neighbor’s pink flamingoes, though the growing number of personal injury attorney’s business cards tacked to trees around the pond is becoming an eyesore.
One last thing for pond owners, be sure and reset your Google privacy settings for Google Earth. The You-tube videos of me skinny-dipping, though funny, are embarrassing. This prompted me to check all my privacy settings, and unbeknownst to us, my Google cell phone, sitting in its charger on the bedroom dresser, was sending videos to my Facebook page of my wife and me reading in bed surrounded by our naked cats.
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Bill Schubart has lived with his family in Vermont since 1947. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Kenyon College and the University of Vermont. He is fluent in French language and culture which he taught before entering communications as an entrepreneur.
He writes and speaks extensively on the media and about Vermont in fiction, humor and opinion pieces as a VT Public Radio commentator.
He is a co-founder of Resolution, Inc., a fully integrated E-commerce services partner. In 1973, he co-founded Philo Records, an independent record label producing international artists in the folk and classical field now part of the Rounder Group. He also founded the Pleiades Music Group, a music publishing company.
At the age of 26 Schubart was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Vermont Arts Council, the State's arts agency - the youngest trustee ever to serve as Chairman - and then served again at age 41. At 30, he joined the Board of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. In 1984, he became founding Chairman of the Vermont Folklife Center. At the request of then-Governor Madeleine Kunin, Schubart chaired the Vermont Statehood Bicentennial Commission, planning the celebration for Vermont's 200th birthday in 1991.
He has advised many non-profit and educational organizations on a variety of cultural and technical projects including the formation of Vermont Public Radio, on whose board he recently served as Chair. Additionally, he has taught courses at the University of Vermont in music, technology and business. Schubart is a founder and past chairman of the American Video Duplication Association, has served on the Governor's Telecommunications Task Force He is past Chair of the Vermont Business Roundtable. He recently completed a three year term as Chair of Fletcher Allen Health Care, a 500-bed academic medical center. He currently serves on the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Taxes charged with making recommendations to improve the VT revenue system.
He is the author of "The Lamoille Stories," a collection of Vermont tales and of "Fat People," a collection of stories about people and their relationships with food.
His interests include poetry, photography, stone gardening, cooking with fire, classical and primitive music. He lives in Vermont, with his wife Katherine, also a writer. http://www.Schubart.com