Elsie Lynn Parini


SCOTT COOK WILL perform for the Ripton Community Coffee House on Oct. 2. Photo by Steven Teeuwsen
Summer COVID-style has been — shall we say it? — almost bearable. Masks have gotten cuter and more comfortable, vaccinations are widely available and six feet feels just fine. Yes, we’ve adapted and have enjoyed outdoor events, gatherings, live music and a restorative sense of community. However, what happens when sounds of crunching leaves and chilly gusts start to fill our ears? Does a slow dread seep in? Will the winter months be frozen in isolation again? Say it ain’t so! Time will tell, but prospects for live music in the Addison County area this fall look great. The Ripton Community...

JEFF REHBACH WILL pass his baton as director of the Middlebury College Community Chorus to Jeff Buettner, director of choral activities at Middlebury College.
“Music has always been a part of my life.” Since he was a boy growing up in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y., Jeff Rehbach was surrounded and inspired by music. “My parents sang in the Lutheran church choir in my hometown, and my younger sister, brother and I all sang in the youth choir at the church,” he described in a recent interview. “Our aunts, uncles and first cousins gathered at Christmastime to sing carols together each year from the time we were all in elementary school right through high school and early college years.” He picked up the violin in fourth grade and continued with that...

POTTER STACEY STANHOPE Dundon and colored pencil artist Catherine Palmer will be co-exhibiting at Brandon Artists Guild’s newest show, “Home Grown; Pasture Raised,” which will be on view for the months of September and October. The artists will be at a public opening reception on Friday, Sept. 3, from 5-7 p.m., 7 Center St. in Brandon. INDEPENDENT PHOTO / STEVE JAMES
With a name like “Home Grown; Pasture Raised” it’s no surprise that the new exhibit at the Brandon Artists Guild features farm animals — no, no, don’t get too excited, there won’t actually be sheep stuffing the gallery and chickens flapping in the windows. But you will see all sorts of animals illustrated on the ceramics of Stacey Stanhope Dundon and in Catherine Palmer’s colored pencil drawings. “This exhibit is the culmination of a year and a half of work,” said Palmer, who started focusing more on her art after retiring from teaching eight years ago. “‘Home Grown; Pasture Raised’ covers...

“The Price of Safety,” filmed, directed and produced by Vergennes residents Chris Spencer and Erin Wolcott, will screen during the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival on Saturday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m., at the Middlebury Marquis. This feature-length documentary explores national conversations of over-policing and racial bias as they unfold in the quaint community of Vergennes. Photo by Chris Spencer
Sometimes you need to step back to see something clearly; or if your Vergennes filmmaker and photographer Chris Spencer, you use a drone. Flying high over the Little City, Spencer’s footage captures the picturesque falls, homes nestled snuggly on their quiet neighborhood streets, and traffic gliding through the city on Route 22A. The videography is perfect; too perfect. When Spencer and his soon-to-be wife Erin Wolcott, an assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College, bought their house in Vergennes last year in April, Spencer was immediately interested in participating in City...

ACTORS GRACE EXPERIENCE and Stephen Shore pose amid the beehives in Charlie Mraz’s backyard in Middlebury. The duo will perform in Middlebury Acting Company’s first live performance since the pandemic hit. “Constellations” comes to the outdoor stage on the Swift House grounds in Middlebury on Aug. 12-15. Photo by Peter Lourie
Slowly, slowly, the stars are beginning to align. We’re emerging from this pandemic with some trepidation — nod to the Delta variant — but nonetheless, press forward. Masks on, masks off… masks on again? Let’s do whatever it takes to hold onto the live performances we lost last year.  Speaking of which, the Middlebury Acting Company is preparing its first live performance, Aug. 12-15, under a tent on the grounds of the Swift House in Middlebury.  The play? “Constellations,” written by Nick Payne and directed by Melissa Lourie, starring New York actors Grace Experience and her real-life...
Did you see a trailer parked outside Aubuchon in Vergennes a couple weekends ago? It was big and teal, with the words “BUILDING ARTS” in big white letters. Well we found out what exactly was going on inside that trailer and it’s pretty cool.  Ryan Pierson works for the Shelburne Craft School, and for the past six months has been building a mobile woodshed and maker-space to bring around the area and offer pop-up classes supporting volunteer carpentry and doing school demos.  “The trailer is outfitted with state-of-the-art woodworking tools, along with digital fabrication devices such as 3D...

MONA RICHARDSON OF Middlebury has been crocheting since she was a young girl. Her craft is reaching new heights as she breaks into large-scale crochet sculptures. She recently mounted two massive doilies on five-foot wheels, which now decorate her backyard. Independent photo/Steve James
What do you do with “really big string,” “really big hooks” and “really big hands?” Why make really big crochet doilies, of course. Just ask Mona Richardson (a.k.a. Mona Rae Hill — that’s her artist’s name) who has made probably the biggest doilies in all of Addison County. “I’ve been crocheting since I was 15 years old,” said the Middlebury resident, who’s now 60. “I learned from my grandmother… but she had small hands and did lots of lace work. Lace was definitely not going to work for me — I have really big hands, and you know what they say: ‘Go big, or go home!’” Richardson’s doilies...

LILY ROBERTS, LEFT, plays Jack Kelly, and Noah Smith-Sabourin plays Jack's buddy Davy in Town Hall Theater's production of "Newsies, Jr." Independent photo/Steve James
Back in the late 1800s, newsboys were on every street corner in New York. Poor, often homeless and shoeless, their cries of “Extra! Read all about it!” could be heard throughout the city.  But when publishers Pulitzer and Hearst demanded a bigger cut of the newsies’ income, the kids did something extraordinary: they organized and went on strike. It was a bunch of unruly kids against two of the richest men in America.  And the newsies won.  This story has been turned into a hit Broadway musical, which will be presented by Town Hall Theater’s Young Company on July 23 and 24.  “It’s the perfect...

RIPTON NATIVE CODY McGlashan is more than halfway through a Kickstarter campaign, raising funds to make “Gary Screams for You” — “A film about a very freaky man and his very scary compulsion to scream at strangers in the wee hours of the night.” Eben Schumacher, also of Ripton, designed the film’s poster and concept art.
Cody McGlashan signed up for a weight loss study with Harvard just before COVID took hold in the spring of 2020. The basic idea of the study was to live isolated with a community of people in the woods for three months and lose 40 pounds, then collect your $10,000 and go about your life. Sounds like some reality TV show with way too many seasons. No, McGlashan wasn’t on a reality show, but over those three months, he did write a screenplay — “Gary Screams for You.”  “At first it was about this goofy guy hiding in the bushes screaming at people,” explained McGlashan, a Ripton native and...

ADAM FRANCO, A Middlebury software developer and motorcycle enthusiast, created a program called Curvature back in 2012 that “generates a map highlighting the most twisty roads, all across the world.” After a decade of work, Franco has most of the major roads mapped out in Vermont. Independent photo/Steve James
Most of us might think that Google Maps works perfectly well. Sure, sometimes there’s a glitch here or there, especially in areas with spotty service or when the navigation takes you straight through heavy traffic just because it’s the shortest route. But yeah, generally, Google Maps gets lots of us from point A to point B just fine. What if there was a navigation app that was more than “just fine?” Like what if there was a customizable program that not only directed you to your destination, but did so in a way that was more fun? This question led local software developer and motorcycle...

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Addison County Independent