‘Come Visit Vermont’ reminds this hospital patient how beautiful his home state is

State of Vermont video urging visitors to Vermont this fall

by Guy Page

I spent most of last week in Vermont’s biggest hospital (bowel resection, ewww, a one-off and I’m home and fine now), where I gazed out of my Baird Six window at the world’s lousiest view except for one feature, the steeple and weathervane of the original Mary Fletcher Hospital, where I was born almost 66 years ago.

Mary Fletcher steeple, as seen from Baird Six at UVMMC. Page photo

Since that initial visit to the hospital, I’ve never left Vermont for more than a month or two. A lifelong journalist and amateur Vermont historian, I can speak at tedious length and wishful accuracy about how the politics, demographics, and economy of present-day Vermont got heah from ‘theah,’ whether 1957 or any other year. So much has changed. Much of it for the worse IMHO.

But one thing about Vermont has not changed:

We live in a God-blessed-with-natural-beauty state. At the close of my interview with Washington pundit George Will this June, knowing he hadn’t visited Vermont in 60 years, I asked the unflappable, just-try-to-impress me D.C. insider what he thought of Vermont.

An unfamiliar look of awe came over Will’s face.

“Such a beautiful state,” he said.

Will had only seen the Green Mountain State from his airline seat and then enroute from the airport to the Doubletree in South Burlington. The weather was gorgeous but his view hardly intimate.

You and I are blessed to live every day amid four-season (okay, three) scenes of splendor.

Sure, Vermont can be like that good-looking friend or family member who always seems to make the wrong choices about life, except about appearance.

Sure, there are many other states enjoying both wisdom and beauty.

Still. As I drive, bike or walk around Vermont, I am grateful for the ho-hum, everyday, background riches of maples, mountains, farms and fields. As fall approaches, I’m okay with sharing the love with the tourists. “Come Visit Vermont,” a State of Vermont short video aimed at attracting tourists, also reminds us locals and/or lifers just what a sweet deal we get by living in the Green Mountain State, and I am not just talking about maple syrup. I’m sharing it through this post, and I encourage readers to share it as well.

P.S. Speaking of gratitude – thank you to Baird Six’s Alexis, Owen, the other Alexis, Marie, Kyle, Felicia, Laura, LaChelle, Byrne, Judith, and Xi for your skilled, encouraging, thoughtful, professional health care when I was at my weakest. And thank you to Assistant Editor Tim Page for strapping on his helmet and calling the plays when the First String got knocked out of the game. And to Mike Donoghue and all of the others who ‘fed the beast’ in my absence. Gratia, gratia, gratia.

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Categories: Commentary

5 replies »

  1. We do live in a beautiful State. God blessed us with His creation for us to enjoy, be free, and prosper. Looking around our State, we should resolve to fight hard to keep it free and prosperous for all as the Green Mountain Boys did in generations past. We owe it them and all generations past, present, and future.

  2. Vermont, still has most of its beauty, except for the dismal views of all the solar
    panels covering our green pastures, and windmills hindering the beauty of our
    pristine ” Green Mountains “…………………pretty sad state of affairs !!

  3. When I decided to move to northern New England, there were three choices: all beautiful states, but Vermont had that charm factor, so it was really no contest. Best of all, Vermonters are genuinely nice people, which was pretty much “culture shock” for me, having come out of a place where everyone and everything is monetized and used. Vermonters will do anything for you, and I hope that spirit of kindness, helpfulness, and community so evident after the recent flood will carry us through whatever is ahead: for example, a crippling carbon tax imposed when people have gone into debt in order to rebuild. Meanwhile, just being here in Vermont is good for you: for one thing, the air quality, which is why the recent fires north of us were such a shame. I slept all the time when I first moved here 19 years ago because I just wasn’t used to it. Today I will do what Mr. Trudeau should be doing, now that he has time on his hands: pick up the dry combustible sticks littering the forest floor to make my own fire, and then enjoy this beautiful day. Get well soon!


    By Ellin Anderson

    A quickening, a briskness in the air,
    A lust for florid words against the dark;
    A single tree sends up a signal flare
    Of scarlet warmth against the greenwood, stark
    As flame at sunset on a funeral pyre
    For some well-storied hero — summer lies
    In such a wreath of blood, a shroud of fire,
    Where all too soon, the breath of winter flies
    Down to the lawn, to gleam as silver frost;
    Old season gone, we cheer its crimson cost.

    By field and yard, in breezy forest dell,
    The maple blooms in passion’s tempting red,
    Not just of apple, but the candy shell
    That celebrates the hallowed and the dead;
    On other trees, the emeralds turn to coals
    Upon a trembling branch that sheds hot light,
    For ice has blanched it, as the season rolls
    Away deceptive days, however bright:
    Transformed, transcended in one chilly night,
    The oak is red and gold, resplendent sight!

    His ear cocked to the wind, the crow will perch
    On ground of purest blue, against the sky
    With coin of golden aspen, leaf of birch;
    When all have shown their colors, all must die,
    For summer’s green was just a screen of youth;
    The red, the gold, the orange of the fall
    Show us the soul beneath it, and the truth,
    As when we bowed our heads before the tall
    And leafless trees, in woods whose height and length
    Revealed the secret of undying strength.

  4. Anyone who has dated a beautiful crazy person will tell you, after a harrowing experience, to get away as fast and as far as possible.

    Best to you, Guy.

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