This web-log is a combination of observations, including those of the crazy nutters I call friends, intermingled with my column, Upper Valley Girl. The column has always ended with the words “Good day” (not because I’m cheery or Paul Harvey)–except for a few times, including when my Vermont Standard editor died; that column ended with “Good night.”
Upper Valley Girl began in 1996 at the suggestion of a fellow escapee from Manhattan, Sassy C. She and I worked as pool girls at the Woodstock Inn, then owned by Lawrance and Mary Rockefeller. We enjoyed ripsnorters poolside about our strange new lives in rural America. When Sassy told of astonishing incidents at selectboard meetings, I reported the shenanigans at the stable I worked at (everyone in Vermont has 4 jobs). She suggested I pitch a column to the local paper she worked for, The Vermont Standard,
This lovely weekly, then privately owned for 160 years, serves 10 towns including Woodstock, Vermont, named one of America’s Most Picturesque Villages by National Geographic and The Prettiest Small Town in America by Ladies’ Home Journal—also the hometown of Vermont’s sole Congressman, Peter Welch (dang you, Bill Maher, for suggesting we should only get 1 senator as well). The paper serves the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River that separates Vermont from its (some say lesser) sister state, New Hampshire. I was later invited to publish my column in The Herald of Randolph, another esteemed, privately owned, long-time Vermont newspaper, by its owner/editor M. Dickey Drysdale. Both editors now gone, I often think about the encyclopedic body of knowledge that went with them. Kevin and Dickey knew everyone and everything. Both were funny as hell.
I planned to change the name of the column when I turned 40, but “Upper Valley Woman” sounds like a dreary clothing store. So I remain forever young, your Upper. Valley. Girl. Who’d have thought, that summer at the Woodstock Inn, that Sassy and I would live long enough for the title to become asinine? Little tip fer the Young People, there.
The title still works – most guys refer to women as girls, regardless of their age.