We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
St. Johnsbury, VT is about 40 miles south of the Canadian border, and with a population around 7000 it is the main town in Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom. Calvin Coolidge went to school there and Dr. Bob of AA fame grew up there.
You drive through St. Johnsbury on the way to somewhere else, such as grouse hunting in NH or Maine. It's a sad, run-down old town today, with plenty of poverty and few jobs, and it gives you the feeling that those with the inner resources to leave, do so.
Except for the farmers, the logging truck drivers and the Maple sugar bottlers, it's lots of folks on Vermont welfare who would have much better lives if they took a deep American breath and left the squalor behind by taking a bus to Atlanta, Alabama, or Arizona to find a new life and a real job where they could be of use.
This 1900 fixer-upper pictured can be had for $89,000. I wouldn't take it if you gave me $89,000, unless it was wintertime and I was desperate for shelter. No amount of money could make this house charming or homey, but shelter is shelter and, in VT in the winter, ya gotta have some and to hell with charm.
Many years ago, I worked in Manhattan for 6 years, had a fancy office. It was fun and exciting for a young person. But, New Yorkers are thoroughly parochial. The condescending way that we treated people from outside of the region was sickening. It was good to leave and be slapped-down by my new neighbors in the South. Perspective.
St. Johnsbury has a great large gray stone church. Very picturesque and strong looking. Can't remember the denomination or location (I think on hill). It has beautiful wooden pews, alter, walls......inside. For it's size the sanctuary seemed small.
I always thought that it would be an excellent place for a wedding.
We went to Frederic Church's Olana Estate in Hudson, N.Y. this weekend (much nicer than the VT wreck you're showing us, but that goes without saying). On the journey my wife thought it might be good to look at a 'unique' real estate deal with 'motivated sellers' in Vermont close to her parents. It was a post and beam, made with what only could have been green wood as the beams where cracking stem to stern. The finish work was laughable and the layout was an incomprehensible waste of space. All of these charms were announced by an entranceway that was initially mistaken for a garden. There was another structure on the property (2 acres), which was built with as much love and attention to detail as the first. Asking was $350,000 but given the condition of the structures and the proximity to route 91, I would start talking at 150,000 if I was desperate. Apparently the do-it-yourself spirit of Vermont was bumping up against the notion of ROI and the two just aren't getting along.