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My Vermont Essays

05/05/08 7:50AM


In April, 2008, for our special series, My Vermont, VPR posed some questions to listeners: What do you value about living in Vermont? What do you see as the advantages and challenges of living here? We asked people to send us their thoughts in 200 words or less. They came in from all over the state and helped shape a multi-part project that looked at Vermont's future. Some listeners recorded their essays for broadcast. All this week, VPR is airing select essays during Morning Edition, Vermont Edition and All Things Considered.

Click here to find out how you can participate in My Vermont.

Click here to post your essay and read what your neighbors have to say.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jim Woodard, Underhill

Jim says it's challenging to live anywhere. Every place has its own inherent strengths and disappointing drawbacks. The key is how we, as a community, choose to respond to either.

Read and listen to Jim's My Vermont Essay »



Sarah Jo Willey, Bakersfield

Sarah's Vermont is connection, community, family, the deep comfortable roots of home.

Read and listen to Sarah's My Vermont Essay





Maxine Leary, Montpelier

Maxine Leary wrote this poem especially for a nephew who grew up in Montpelier but at the time was working overseas. She thinks a Vermonter's life-story and geography resemble each other, so the poem has many layers of meaning.

Read and listen to Maxine's My Vermont Essay


Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Kate Cadreact, Milton

Kate's overriding concern is that only the highly paid and wealthy individuals will have adequate housing, heat, nutritional food, and the privilege of serving the community.

Read and listen to Kate's My Vermont Essay




Lali Cobb, West Pawlet

Lali says that in an era when most Americans have forgotten the history of the food they eat the cycle in Vermont continues for all to see, and be inspired by.

Read and listen to Lali's My Vermont Essay.






Becka Roolf, Montpelier

Becka loves the freedom and the community that comes with having a compact approach to transportation and life.

Read and listen to Becka's My Vermont Essay






Wednesday, May 7, 2008



Dot Helling, Montpelier

Dot Helling says the smells, the views, the culture and our way of living are all part of a package that she has yet to find anywhere else on this planet.

Read and listen to Dot's My Vermont Essay



Mickey Meyers, Johnson

Mickey says the process of making art, which can be lonely, challenging and complex, is appreciated and fostered here. There is something about the support of the people that steers her, like the stars in the sky, through the journey in her own studio.

Read and listen to Mickey's My Vermont Essay


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cara Butterly, Montpelier

Cara Butterly's Vermont reminds her of who she is and how much of her character is rooted in this landscape.

Read and listen to Cara's My Vermont Essay





Megan Humphrey, Burlington

Megan feels that with a little awareness and hard work by all of us, we can keep the best of the state and change the pieces that need a bit of help.

Read and listen to Megan's My VermonT Essay




Josh VanHouten, Richmond

It's been said that "Vermont is what America used to be," and that "in Vermont we live life in the slow lane." Josh says both those statements are true, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Read and listen to Josh's My Vermont Essay




Friday, May 9, 2008

Dawna Neron, Tunbridge

While Dawna often yearns for the Vermont she grew up in, she appreciates that it's still a special place. It's not perfect, but it just may be as perfect as it gets.

Read and listen to Dawna's My Vermont Essay





Amy Braun, Rochester

Amy has noticed a unique phenomenon here in Vermont: "The Wave." She says it's a special part of life in a small state.

Read and listen to Amy's My Vermont Essay.






Alice Outwater, Burlington

After moving to Vermont, Alice grew to appreciate Vermonters' no-nonsense values, their work ethic, their reserve, their basic kindness and pioneer spirits.

Read and listen to Alice's My Vermont Essay.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Cara Cookson, Sharon

Cara has found herself wondering if she could belong to an illicit counter-culture of young Vermonters who want to live here.

Read and listen to Cara's My Vermont Essay.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wendy Jenne, Bridgewater

When Wendy came to Vermont it was only to be for one ski season... that was almost 20 years ago.

Read and listen to Wendy's My Vermont Essay.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

John Reed, Saxtons River

John feels that the biggest concern facing Vermont is the exit of children and youth from all but the Burlington area.

Read and listen to John's My Vermotn Essay.

Related Links

Commentary: Philip Baruth - Multitudes and a Torch Commentary: Willem Lange - "My Little Piece of Vermont" Commentary: David Moats - My Vermont Council on the Future of Vermont Commentary: Frank Bryan - Robert Putnam Commentary: Tom Slayton - "Redwings" Post your My Vermont comments
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