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Common Ground, Uncommon Voices

05/18/07 12:32PM

VPR recently spent a day celebrating the short and sweet – the short and salty – the short and spicy. In short – the commentaries. These brief, pithy bursts of insight and inspiration began in 1988. Since then, literally hundreds of Vermonters have told their stories, made their cases, and imparted their wisdom through the Commentary Series. Many of them were with us that day and just to make things interesting, we decided to ask them to tell us what the phrase “Common Ground, Uncommon Voices” means to them – in one minute.

Philip Baruth: Hummels4BigTime
Philip Baruth discovers how the Internet could bring the world together into a virtual state, where Americans can all find their virtue, somehow.



Cyndy Bittinger: Wangari Maathai
Cydi Bittinger tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, the first female in her Kenyan family to be educated.



Frank Bryan: Our beloved little Republic of Vermont
Frank Bryan notes how our perception of the seasons shows us that Vermont is two thirds hope and one-third nostalgia.



Jay Craven: The past is never dead. It's not even past
A line from writer William Faulkner affects how filmmaker Jay Craven views his work and gives insight to how the past is always lurking in the present.


Caleb Daniloff: Strangers in a small town
In small towns where people can over time become strangers to one another, Caleb Daniloff finds comfort in one person who always has a hello ready.



Nils Daulaire: April Snow
Nils Daulaire has good things to say about a topic many would like to forget - snow in April.



Peter Gilbert: Empathy
Peter Gilbert thinks the process of striving to empathize can itself be redemptive for both self and others.


Gloria Estela Gonzalez: What do Mexican immigrants offer Vemont?
Gloria Estela Gonzalez offers her thoughts on the benefits for both farmer and immigrant worker of providing access to health insurance.


Vic Hennningsen: Dead End Road
Vic Henningsen finds a common ground with neighbors from all walks of life who look out for each other regardless of their schedules and work loads.


Henry Homeyer: We All Share the Planet
Henry Homeyer says we all share this old planet of ours, and how we treat it affects us all.



Edith Hunter: My Bookhouse
Edith Hunter recalls the children's books her mother used to sell and the influence on future generations they may have had.



Helen Labun Jordan: Science and Policy
Helen Labun Jordan thinks that to solve problems such as global warming you need a collaboration of science knowledge and policy-making knowhow.


Willem Lange: Moving to Common Ground
After forty years living in New Hampshire, Willem Lange is intrigued by the thought of his impending move to Vermont.



Deborah Luskin: Our Common Diaspora
Deborah Luskin thinks being a Vermonter is like being a Jew. Both share a common diaspora, a history of resettling in other places and bringing our common knowledge elsewhere.


Timothy McQuiston: Winter in Vermont is like a marriage
Timoty McQuiston thinks the winter we all share in Vermont is like a marriage. If you don't get into it, you won't get through it. And if you build a relationship with it, you will end up better than if you moved elsewhere.


David Moats: Morning Sun
David Moats reflects on the sun greeting him in the morning at home and far flung places around the world, a sun that emerges to us all as we carry out our lives.


Stephanie Montgomery: The Dinner Table
Stephanie Montomery finds the kitchen table a place where her family forged a common language and continues to return to.



John Morton: Snowmobilers and cross country skiers
For John Morton, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of common ground is of snowmobilers and cross country skiers, formerly bitter rivals, but now, frequently sharing space - just like a lot of people in the state.


Nancy Nahra: C’mon, Ground
Nancy Nahra thinks it's time to give the winter wind that blows off Lake Champlain a name.



Charlie Nardozzi: The Seed
Charlie Nardozzi says coaxing a plant out of the soil so we can feed our family or feed a desire is something we can all understand.



Ruth Page: Common Ground elsewhere
Ruth Page marvels at the possibility of finding a common ground in the cosmos.



Janisse Ray: It's all our earth
Janisse Ray reflects on the recent burial of a friend and how the same earth, teaming with life, is here for all of us.



Tom Slayton: The Valentine's Day storm
Tom Slayton discovered bright evidence of love, even – perhaps especially – in the depths of winter's worst storm.



Alia Stavrand Woolf: Mud season
Alia Stavrand Woolf says that in this wild place of mountains, valleys and lakes we inhabit, it's the mud that binds us together.



Christopher Wren: Men and domestic drudgery
Getting men to help with domestic chores is a universal problem. But Christopher Wren thinks that doing dishes is the definitely the best way to capture a woman's heart.

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