Autumn In Vermont,
And My Baddest Picture

Dateline: 20 October 2016

Autumn always reminds me of my year of school in Vermont back in 1976/77. The YouTube video above, taken just a few days ago, shows the town where I went to school. It's in the Lowell Mountains of the Northeast Kingdom. You can really see the beauty of the place in that drone film.

Sterling College (as the school is now named) was, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. It was an adventurous year with many new experiences, and it changed my life for the better (I've written about my year at Sterling HERE. And there are several essays about that year in my 20-part Finding My Way series HERE).

One of my best friends in that school year was Ed Bais. I wrote about Ed and me making apple cider in Craftsbury Common At This Link. In that essay I wrote:

"Several years ago, Ed sent me a photo he had taken of me just prior to one of our "rumbles." I have just burst through the door (he knew I was coming) and have a heavy length of tree-branch-for-a-club raised in my right hand. A menacing scowl is on my face. I'm about to thrash him. I'm sure Ed was laughing when he took the picture, which I'm also sure was just before he commenced to boldly meet my challenge."

Well, I didn't have the ability to post pictures to my blog back in 2005 when I wrote that essay, but now I do, and here's the picture...

That's the baddest picture of me that you'll ever see. Notice that my hair is long—practically down to my shoulders. I was 18 years old.

A few months later, when school was out, and I was back home in New York, I looked a whole lot more respectable, as you can see in this next picture...

In that picture Ed and I are about to leave for Craftsbury Common to attend a fiddler's contest. Ed had his sister's car and drove from Ohio to pick me up. My mother took the picture.

After the fiddler's contest, Ed headed home and I stayed in Craftsbury Common for a couple of months. I had a job there helping to restore an old building on the outskirts of town. It was a job that set me on a life course in the building trades. I haven't seen or spoken with Ed since then.


  1. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
    Oh! I want so much to go back east and see the beauty of autumn! Thanks for this video. Here on Johnson Mountain and surrounding county, we have evergreen oaks(yes, there is such a thing), evergreen pines, and evergreen manzanita. The regular oak does come out with gold leaves, not yellow. Some folks bring in non-native species like liquid amber, otherwise we have to go north into Oregon to see the turning aspens, and very little else! You are so blessed!!