The Town Meeting

An annual Vermont tradition occurs on the first Tuesday of March: Town Meeting. It is actually a state holiday; many businesses and all schools and state offices close for the day. This year, as every year since I returned from the Marine Corps, I make the trek from graduate college to home to participate. While I have resided in different towns in recent years, Guildhall, the county seat of Essex in the Northeastern portion of the state, is still home, a permanent fixture in my life.

In the midafternoon I leave Milton, a small town just north of Burlington, Vermont's bustling Metropolis of 40,000. I travel east along U.S. Route 2, a familiar route which cuts across the spine of the state, the Green Mountains. The sun is bright off the snow, and the mountains create beckoning shadows, shadows in which evening's darkness will continue to hide for a few brief hours more. Traffic is light. In the winter, as long as one is away from the ski areas, the vacationers which plague the entire state in the warmer months are for the most part absent. It is one of the few blessings of our bitter winters.

After passing through St. Johnsbury, named in honor of St. Jean de Crévecoeur. Route 2 becomes even more barren. I am now well into the part of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom. It is heavily wooded with few houses, and the towns are small and scattered. I don't see this as a drawback. To me, this is the essence...

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