Elsie Lynn Parini


WEYBRIDGE AUTHOR DOUG Wilhelm stands with a local man in Herat, Afghanistan, in 2007. The fort behind them was built by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. and is known as the Citadel of Alexander. Wilhelm will give a talk and reading of his latest book, “Street of Storytellers” at the CVUUS in Middlebury on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. Courtesy photo
10/14/2019
WEYBRIDGE — As a young adult novelist, Doug Wilhelm knows that if you don’t pull the reader in right away, “you're done.” Nothing is different about the way he starts his 17th and newest book, “Street of Storytellers,” which he’ll share in a discussion and reading at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. The book opens into the strange and intriguing world of Peshawar, a crossroads city in Pakistan’s North West Frontier. This is where 15-year-old Luke and his father have just arrived. Their relationship is strained by a recent divorce and his father...

SARA GRANSTROM, LEFT, Sophie Pickens, center, and Justine Jackson, right, are reviving Marrowbone — a celebration of storytelling through poems, music and dance, performed in the woods of Lincoln. This year the performances will be held Oct. 12 and 13, beginning at 1 p.m. COURTESY PHOTO
10/03/2019
LINCOLN — Marrowbone is a celebration of story and storytelling performed outside in the blaze of Lincon’s autumn woods. Perhaps you remember it? This annual tradition was conceived, produced and directed for about 20 years by Marianne Lust; but she hung up the reins in 2009. Since then, those woods have belonged only to the birds and the bears, and a few good caretakers keeping the path open in case Marrowbone would someday be revived. Well, that “someday” is here. Three childhood friends are rekindling the production for the first time in nearly a decade. Sara Granstrom, Justine Jackson and...

SUSAN GINGRAS IS the featured quilter this year for the biennial Milk & Honey Quilters’ Guild show that will take place on Oct. 12 and 13 at the Middlebury Recreation Center.
10/03/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Coming up on Oct. 12 and 13, the Milk & Honey Quilters’ Guild will host their annual show at the Middlebury Recreation Center on Creek Road. Guests are invited to come marvel at more than 90 quilts made by members of this Addison County group. Each year the Guild picks a featured quilter, who gets their own space to exhibit as many quilts as they can fit. This year, Susan Gingras of Weybridge was selected for the spotlight. “They picked me when I wasn’t there,” laughed Gingras, referring to one of the monthly meetings the Milk & Honey Guild holds for its members. “I’ll be...

STARKSBORO'S MIKE BLAKESLEE has been a historical reenactor for decades. These days you can find him reenacting the life of a Chaplain during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, like in this photo, taken earlier this year, at “Soldiers atop the Mount,” at Mount Independence, in Orwell. Courtesy Photo
09/26/2019
STARKSBORO — On those days when your computer freezes, your cell phone endlessly beeps, buzzes and dings with updates from your social media feeds and you can’t figure out what diet to follow, it’s easy to wish you lived in a simpler time. Well, that’s part of the appeal of being a historic reenactor — where you say goodbye to the 21st century and fully immerse into the days of the Civil, Revolutionary or French and Indian wars. Sure it sounds refreshing, but who actually does this? Starksboro’s Mike Blakeslee for one, and, it turns out, a whole lot of other enthusiasts.  “I do it because I...

THE THIRD ANNUAL Eat on the Green Food and Music Festival will take place on the Vergennes City Green this Saturday, Sept. 21, from 3-9 p.m. Festival goers will enjoy food and drink from local vendors, local music and games. Proceeds benefit four Vergennes nonprofits.
09/19/2019
VERGENNES — For the third year, the green in Vergennes will become a bustling hub of grub, games, music and more on Saturday, Sept. 21. From 3-9 p.m., the annual Eat on the Green Food and Music Festival will take over the Little City’s park with delicious dishes, desserts and brews served up by Vergennes-area eateries.  “This event is so fun because you can literally eat your way through Vergennes,” said city resident Laura Mack, who’s also the owner of lu·lus ice cream on Main Street.  lu.lus will have scoops available at Saturday’s event, plus Mack might throw in fantastic pastries for good...

BRISTOL'S MOIRA SMILEY will bring her folk music to Tourterelle in New Haven for an Epic Little Folk Fest on Friday, Sept. 20. INSPIRE PHOTO ART (TONYA LESLEY)
09/12/2019
NEW HAVEN — The name says it all: Epic Little Folk Fest. This one-night festival of folk music, food and friends is coming to Tourterelle in New Haven on Sept. 20 — and, yes, it’s going to be, well, epic. Mark your calendars now. Moira Smiley and the beloved Nordic folk band SVER (pronounced “Sfeer” — which means “grand” by the way) will headline the evening with energizing folk and traditional tunes. Smiley’s plaintive, powerful voice will weave between the fiery, inventive forces of SVER’s fiddles (including the special Norwegian hardanger fiddle), accordion, guitar, and drums. Alternating...

FRANCOIS CLEMMONS WEARS a King coat from Nigeria while showing off his impressive closets at his Middlebury home. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
09/09/2019
VERMONT — Governor Phil Scott today announced François Scarborough Clemmons as the recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Clemmons, who lives in Middlebury, is a nationally renowned actor, singer, playwright and author. He is best known for his role as Officer Clemmons on the children’s television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Clemmons is also a Grammy-winning opera singer and founder of the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He appeared in the 2018 documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" which told the story of Fred Rogers, who was a dear friend and mentor to...

CLINT BIERMAN AND his wife, Lauren Bierman (a.k.a Rhonda Jean), sing together at Mad River Glen five years ago during The Grift’s 15th anniversary concert in 2014. Catch The Grift on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Mad River Glen, where they’ll celebrate 20 years of making music. Photo by Benjamin Bloom
08/26/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Everyone gets it when two Middlebury College kids graduate, move to Boulder, Colo., and decide to start a rock band — they’re just enjoying their 20s and will get “real” jobs in a couple of years. But, for Clint Bierman (’97) and Jeff Vallone (’98.5) punching a clock and working a daily grind was just not in the cards. “When we first started, we thought we’d only be doing this for a second,” said Bierman, who now lives with his wife and two sons in Bridport. “I mean, there’s no way to be a local musician — the money just isn’t there — but we did it and we are doing it.” Maybe you...

FOUR OF THE Robinsons were artists. Ann Stevens Robinson did landscapes and still-life paintings, and her husband, Rowland Evans Robinson, was a successful illustrator for agriculture and sporting periodicals. Their two daughters, Rachael Robinson Elmer and Mary Robinson Perkins, were also both artists; Rachael's work is pictured here.
08/22/2019
FERRISBURGH — Did you come out to the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh for the annual Pie and Ice Cream social last Sunday? Not only were guests treated to fanciful, homemade sweets, but they also enjoyed perusing the history museum’s exhibits. Chances are, folks were surprised to see so much contemporary art. After all, “Rokeby’s current board and staff are committed to connecting the history of Robinson family members to current scholarship and — in the case of the abolitionist Robinsons — to contemporary issues of social justice,” said Vergennes resident and museum director Catherine Brooks....

Eden Ginsberg and Ethan DeWitt practice one of their songs during rehearsal last week. Ten of the songs in this production are originals from members of this cast. Independent photo/Elsie Lynn Parini
08/15/2019
Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” might not be an obvious choice for Town Hall Theater’s Young Company — a troupe of youthful players ages 12-26 — considering our time’s current attention to oppression and equality. But that didn’t scare off the theater’s Education Director Lindsay Pontius; she took this controversial classic and decided to make it a rock concert. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16 and 17, 7 p.m., at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. “Clint Bierman of The Grift agreed to do a class with me back in February,” she said. “The class was primarily scene study of...

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