cover image Vermonters


Chronicle Books, Ron Strickland. Chronicle Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-394-5

Strickland (Going the Distance: The Pacific Northwest Trail interviewed 39 Vermonters who talk about themselves and the way things used to be (and in some parts of the state still are). Agnes Deering, postmistress and poet of Guildhall, always has something to say to her customers (""They pay my salary, don't they?''), and her ode to dandelions is included here. Wilma Farman of Lyndonville once taught in a one-room schoolhouse and thinks children are better off learning in one room. William Godfrey, an auctioneer from Ely whose auction style people could understand, is considered by the author to be ``the ideal portrait of a Vermonter.'' Other subjects are loggers, storytellers, a doctor, a basketmaker and the governor. The photographs are warm and funny. Perhaps the only flaw is that Strickland is a ``flatlander'' (someone from out of state). But who else except an outsider would dare think he could write about proud, independent Vermonters? (November)