Friday, November 7, 2008

Election Day in Vermont 2008

After voting and going to the dump I called my friend Harry to see if he had any interest in making run up Rt 22a on the western side of Vermont looking for hawks. Rt 22a runs north south in what is called The Lemon Fair Valley which is mostly broad flat farm country. Miles of hay fields perfect hawk country, in the spring and fall it is not uncommon to see 3 or 4 types of hawks and 20 plus sittings. Not this day though, we found a pair of Rough-legged Hawks early on in the trip but the winds started to pick up. Which makes birding of any kind difficult. In Bridport I turned off 22a and Harry immediately asks; Where we going?, to check a manure pile for Snow bunting or Horned Larks, I said. No larks or bunting,but if you stay on this road it loops around and you will eventual get back to rt 22a. As we round the corner in the village I see a 1954 Ford flatbed truck that's just begging me to take it's photo, so I stop. Harry says; Pete a pile of old rust just what you love, he's right of coarse he's been through the drill before. I'm standing there taking photos of the truck when a old Vermonter is heading this way , I ask if he's the owner ? What happens next could only happen out in real farm country. What it to ya?, He said. I'm doing a book about old Vermont hill farms-he reaches for his wallet and hands me his business? card which reads "I'm somewhat of a bullshitter ............. I couldn't help but chuckle , looking up at him there was a twinkle in his eyes and a warm smile on his face. He extended his hand , Please to meet you! We spent the next 45 minutes or so talking about anything and everything. He was joined by a friend from town who had just voted, all the while people were voting in the restored Free Mason's Building right behind us. Kent had parked his truck just to the side of it , you see his truck was like a rolling protest sign for many subjects and personal causes. We talked about many of them and got some local history too. When I ask Kent (76 yrs old) about his buddy in the cab of the truck he just replied, that's my drinkin buddy - don't talk much. Amongst the political bumper sticker was a sign that read; KENT for CONGRESS! and the stories rolled on. Harry was having a time of it talking to Kent, I asked if I could come up and visit him at his farm, he said sure but I'm a night owl so don't come before noonish OK! I can't wait to go visit him at his farm in Bridport, he told me that he has all kinds of old cars and trucks mostly from the late 30's to the 60's.
We could have stayed and talked for hours but we had to move on. As I turn to leave I noticed there was a American flag flying high over the village green and I thought that this is what makes America so great, in a small Vermont town people were voting for the next president, Kent had parked his rolling protest out front and no one cared. The people were voting for their future and their children's future and everything just seemed like it was normal again to me.
Thanks for visiting

Peter Manship
As I traveled around New England before the election there were many many John McCain sign up all over Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and hardly any for Obama. I couldn't help but wonder about that, it seemed like people were afraid to put signs out for Obama . But on election day the Silent Majority came together in great numbers and spoke with their votes. Which felt very good to me, Americans voting and the will of the people making history. Pete