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Old 11-07-2016, 06:47 AM
 
2,782 posts, read 999,221 times
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santafe400, good for you getting a wider appreciation for VT. It is not all wealthy tourist towns and enclaves. There is a lot of rural poverty, though there is also a lot of rural wealth. Pretty much every town has its share of 2nd homes owned by affluent out-of-staters, and also its share of affluent retiree and other transplants from elsewhere. The small hamlet I live in has rusting old trailers on one end of the spectrum and a billionaire's vacation estate on the other and everything in-between. In my social circle are people who visit what is their 3rd home just up the road from me and folks who live in old trailers. It is part of the cultural beauty of VT that rural areas do not economically segregate.

One thing that I am confused about is the comparison being made between VT and Northern Alabama. I have only been there a couple times but that in combination with my many other visits down South left me feeling like I was on a different planet culturally down there. One of my brothers married in Northern AL. Two of the bride's great aunts (who were originally from MA) came to our hotel to apologize for the rudeness of their family for not welcoming us. The problem they said is that we were Northerners and Catholics. An aunt and uncle agreed to host the wedding at their home and put on a small party (no alcohol) afterwards and they were about the only friendly people there. We had a similar cold reception when another brother married a girl in Northern Louisiana, except that time there wasn't anyone in the bride's family that was welcoming. My many other travels down South further confirms what I see as vast cultural differences between down there and up here. VT is a live and let live kind of culture. What I've seen of the South is that religion dominates much of the culture which is not the way it is here.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I would suggest that your confusion about rural Vermont in the 1950s being comparable to rural Alabama today may simple be because you are not quite old enough or didn't live the experience. Before the ecumenical movement and the shift of stance of the Congregationalists, Vermont was much less "live and let live" and more "tolerate, look down upon, and be seriously separated." That probably still exists in some folks, but it is more hidden in Vermont.

Remember that in New England, a LOT of early settlers were fleeing the excesses of the Catholic Church, and to a lesser extent the Anglicans. The railroad workers (heavily Irish) and the stonecutters (heavily Italian) were both ostracized primarily for their Catholicism. I won't even start on how the French Canadians were regarded. All were required for their economic place in the society, and violence wasn't prominent, as in the south had with blacks, but the lack of tolerance of Catholics didn't start in the south - which was initially settled largely by the French and Spanish - but in New England.

This could easily devolve into a discussion of religion and miss my larger point that the overall experience of North Alabama, including land use, small town life, shopping, alcohol sales, road conditions, school activities, type of housing, tax load, and some general landscape are much closer to Vermont in that period than most people suspect.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:39 AM
 
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Thanks for the clarification Harry. I don't know the VT of the 1950's and but was rather seeing it as it is now, which is far removed culturally from Alabama and I'm guessing the VT of the 1950's too based on what you say. I very much like the VT of today, but I do fear the folks in Chittenden County are trying to turn us into Northern Massachsuetts or Eastern New York with their never ending quest for more regulation and higher taxes.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I'm a bit confused by your post. I think of Peter Miller, the fantastic photographer that lives near Ben & Jerry's, and how he has been having to sell off his photography equipment, and turn part of his home into a B&B, and hold sales on his work just to pay property taxes at his advanced age. I don't see any quality of life or conspicuous consumption there. OTOH, Peter would cry if he knew how little property tax I have paid here in Alabama, or how my soc. security is not taxed. Peter loves the state and doesn't want to move, but he will be forced into it shortly.
Ha, I stayed at his place on a photography trip up there. Quite the guy! I still shoot film so we ended up having a great talk. The demise of the stock photography business had a huge negative impact there.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Yes, during the summer months the sun is higher. I think that we each have our comfort zones. I was at a convention in Miami where a German participant was taking photographs of his shadow to show folks back home that the sun was almost directly overhead. I rarely have seen a German freak out, but he was doing a good imitation. Once you get towards the equinoxes and winter, the effect fades some.

I don't particularly miss the long shadows of winter and the short winter days, but I did appreciate that the "golden hour" for photography in Vermont was often much longer than an hour. I do like that Alabama is usually nice and green (this fall an exception).

Oh wait... the winter photo is from out back here, and the summer one in Vermont. Sorry.
I can immediately tell the difference based on tree types. Northern Alabama has far less in the way of Eastern Hemlock, no Balsam Fir, far less Eastern White Pine, and no Spruce. Also, those areas on the Cumberland Plateau in TN and NE Alabama have very bad issues with kudzu infestations of large forest tracts which is not really a factor in Vermont.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:14 AM
 
Location: northern New England
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DH and I used to note the difference between Vermont and "Vermontland", the latter being places like Woodstock, Stowe, etc - the pretty postcard towns. I always threatened to publish a calendar of "The Real Vermont" showing what you saw on the back roads. When we saw a particularly egregious example we would say, "Well, there is April..."

I actually lived next to the cover (lol) - a neighbor who painted her house in an ungodly color and had a zoo's worth of yard animal statues and other gewgaws.

A lot of people don't realize that Tyvek is not a permanent siding for your house.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:24 AM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
DH and I used to note the difference between Vermont and "Vermontland", the latter being places like Woodstock, Stowe, etc - the pretty postcard towns. I always threatened to publish a calendar of "The Real Vermont" showing what you saw on the back roads. When we saw a particularly egregious example we would say, "Well, there is April..."

I actually lived next to the cover (lol) - a neighbor who painted her house in an ungodly color and had a zoo's worth of yard animal statues and other gewgaws.

A lot of people don't realize that Tyvek is not a permanent siding for your house.
Also don't forget the holiday lights up all year long outside to go along with Tyvek.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:18 AM
 
5,820 posts, read 13,276,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
DH and I used to note the difference between Vermont and "Vermontland", the latter being places like Woodstock, Stowe, etc - the pretty postcard towns. I always threatened to publish a calendar of "The Real Vermont" showing what you saw on the back roads. When we saw a particularly egregious example we would say, "Well, there is April..."

I actually lived next to the cover (lol) - a neighbor who painted her house in an ungodly color and had a zoo's worth of yard animal statues and other gewgaws.

A lot of people don't realize that Tyvek is not a permanent siding for your house.
I've seen those things and a lot worse across the US.
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:51 AM
 
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Someone once told me that we live in real Vermont and Burlington or the area along lake Champlain is fake Vermont. We moved from the suburbs of Colorado to the NEK. A simpler life of less groomed lawns and cars on the lawns and yes mobile homes. It's actually calming. The only thing I fear is this area turning into Burlington or Essex county. It would make my cost of living increase dramatically. Walmart is moving in up in Derby & that area is where I fear the big box stores will be moving in. When that happens, it's time to move a 5th time in my life running away from it all AGAIN. Ugh!
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:07 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,936 posts, read 22,211,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domc View Post
Someone once told me that we live in real Vermont and Burlington or the area along lake Champlain is fake Vermont. We moved from the suburbs of Colorado to the NEK. A simpler life of less groomed lawns and cars on the lawns and yes mobile homes. It's actually calming. The only thing I fear is this area turning into Burlington or Essex county. It would make my cost of living increase dramatically. Walmart is moving in up in Derby & that area is where I fear the big box stores will be moving in. When that happens, it's time to move a 5th time in my life running away from it all AGAIN. Ugh!
What's wrong with Essex County?
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