Vermont Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and Other Offbeat Stuffby Robert Wilson, Victoria Blewer (Photographer)
Your round-trip ticket to the wildest, wackiest, most outrageous people, places, and things the Green Mountain State has to offer! Whether you’re a born-and-raised Vermonter, a recent transplant, or just passing through, Vermont Curiosities will have you laughing out loud as it introduces you to the most fascinating characters in the Green Mountain State, and
Your round-trip ticket to the wildest, wackiest, most outrageous people, places, and things the Green Mountain State has to offer! Whether you’re a born-and-raised Vermonter, a recent transplant, or just passing through, Vermont Curiosities will have you laughing out loud as it introduces you to the most fascinating characters in the Green Mountain State, and takes you places you never could have imaginedsome of them right around the corner! Among the stimulating sights and spectacles you’ll find inside: • Brattleboro’s annual Strolling of the Heifers• Indian carvings that may or may not be prehistoric• America’s only covered bridge museum (itself a covered bridge)• The architectural wonder of the 32-room Wilson Castle• The Bread & Puppet Theater, where sourdough follows politics• The world’s largest marble museum, complete with forty-one carved presidents and an award-winning bathroom
Read an Excerpt
The Strolling of the HeifersBrattleboroYou’ve heard of the Running of the Bulls, in Pamplona? On eight consecutive days every July at 8:00 a.m., a rocket alerts this entire Spanish town to the knowledge that two dozen cranky, 1300-pound bulls have been released on a closed, half-mile-long public street. Their goal: To vent their fury and frustration on the abysmally slower and foolhardy two-legged creatures who for their own reasons are trying to outrun them. But what Brattleboro’s annual June “Strolling of the Heifers” festival lacks in melodrama and derring-do (people have been killed during the masochistic spectacle held a month later and 3,500 miles away), it more than compensates with its pure celebration of a rural way of life, and an expression of gratitude to the farmers who drive it.The highlight, of course, is the iconic parade: 100 flower-laden Holstein and Jersey cows–and occasionally a Guernsey or two–making their way down Main Street to a cheering crowd, followed by draft horses, tractors, jugglers, clowns, fire eaters, and Turkey Hill Dairy employees giving away thousands of cups of ice cream. But it wouldn’t be a dairy festival without a milking contest, music by the Heifer Brass Quartet (and at least a dozen other jazz and classical groups), a Dairy Princess Pageant, and a Royal Farmers Feast and Farm Tour. Many festival-goers are sure to be in town the night before the parade, when local farm families are honored for the decades of work they’ve done to keep southern Vermont’s agricultural tradition alive.So the Strolling of the Heifers not only kicks off National Dairy Month each June, but is a way to protect and promote Vermont’s agricultural heritage in residents’ daily lives. It has raised more than $100,000 for educational programs for more than 80 schools in Windham County, including a scholarship program that will fund farmers and agricultural students. Related factoid: The 162,000 cows living on Vermont farms are said to produce more than 2.6 billion pounds of milk a year–or more than 16,000 pounds per cow. We’ll do the math: That’s 44 pounds per cow per day. According to Common Errors in English Usage, “factoid” was once an ironic term indicating that the “fact” being offered was not actually factual. It adds that a number of sources have taken to “using the term to mean ‘trivial but true fact.’ As a result, the definition of ‘factoid’ is hopelessly confused and it’s probably better to avoid using the term altogether.” In Vermont Curiosities, “factoid” is used but sparingly, and only to denote a trivial but true fact. We regret the hopeless confusion that may follow.
Meet the Author
Author Robert F. Wilson has specialized in career management for the past two decadesas a workshop leader, executive search consultant, outplacement counselor, author of career transition and management programs, and contributor to Internet career resource providers. He is president of Wilson McLeran, Inc., in Saxtons River, Vermont. Before entering the career management field, Wilson wrote and edited educational materials for McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, and Macmillan. He is author of the award-winning multimedia career transition program Job-Bridge®; writer and producer of the videotapes Interview to Win and Interview to Win Your First Job (Wilson McLeran); and author of Executive Job Search Handbook (Career Press/New Page Books); The Dot-Com Decision (McGraw-Hill); Success Without College: Careers in Healthcare, Better Résumés for Executives and Professionals 4th Edition, Conducting Better Job Interviews 2nd Edition, and Your Career in Healthcare (Barron’s Educational Series); The Lobbyists (Xerox Education Publications); and Conquer Résumé Objections and Conquer Interview Objections (John Wiley & Sons). Wilson received his B.A. from the University of Illinois. His graduate work includes study at the University of Chicago, New York University, Columbia University, and Fairfield University. He is a member of The Authors Guild and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Photographer Victoria Blewer left the chaos and the clutter of New York City in 1986 to devote herself full time to fine art photography in the quiet hills of Vermont. She works entirely with black and white films, and then she hand-colors the images. Her work has been featured in full-length photo essays in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Vermont Life, and Vermont Magazine. Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is the current junior United States Senator from Vermont. Sanders was elected on November 7, 2006, and is presently a member of the 110th United States Congress. Before becoming Senator, Sanders represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives for 15 years.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Loads to learn about the Green Mountain State I read Vermont Off the Beaten Track by Robert Wilson last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, which is what prompted me to pick up Vermont Curiosities. That said, I was worried that Vermont Curiosities would simply be feeding me information I already knew, especially since I've visited the state half-a-dozen times, but I'm pleased to say that I couldn't have been more wrong. Vermont Curiosities takes you off the beaten path and a little bit further again, guiding you through all the wonderful quirks of Vermont and introducing you to the most unique places that state has to offer. Wilson steers his readers away from the commercialized areas of the state and introduces them to some of the state's hidden gems. With chapters like "Indian Carvings that may or may not be Prehistoric" it's immediately obvious that you're not reading your usual guide book. I was pleased to find that the book was organized geographically opposed to alphabetically as this made it much easier to plan my upcoming trip and saved me having to skip frustratingly through chapters. While Wilson's writing painted a wonderful picture of the state, the lack of color pictures what a bit of a let down for me. Overall though, his writing is engaging and at time downright hilarious, making the book as entertaining as it is useful. If you are planning to visit the Green Mountain State any time soon, I'd highly recommend this book as some of the stories Wilson tells and the things he teaches you are not to be missed.