This semester the VFC is very fortunate to have Frank Riley and Katie McAuley, both anthropology majors at Green Mountain College. They’re busy doing work for us including logging interviews our folklorists have conducted with Lost Boys from Sudan who have been settled here in Vermont. But they’re also working on their own projects, and being mentored by Greg Sharrow, Director of Education and Andy Kolovos, Archivist. Frank is developing his ethnographic and digital media skills while listening to Vermont potters tell their story and Katie is doing the same with Vermont vintners. We’re thrilled to have them!
Maybe you’ve been touched by our Discovering Community education program at a local school, or a recent exhibit like After Attica or The Golden Cage, or an interview you heard in one of our series like Deer Stories, Prisoners of War, Under the Golden Dome. Please consider sharing your thoughts. We would love to hear them no matter what the outcome of the Arts Campaign.
This week we present our final installment of Deer Stories—Episode 12, “Cleo Johnson and Lady.” Late game warden and life-long hunter, Cleo Johnson talks about his special relationship with an orphaned doe he raised from birth, and the five-year friendship they shared. For a transcript of this program and photographs of Cleo and Lady, please see: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/deer-stories/prog12/.
Episode 11: Dogs and Deer. In this program, retired game warden Stan Holmquist tells a story about two dogs that attacked and killed deer, and what his responsibilities as a game warden required him to do. He also describes his own personal journey from being a hunter to a protector of deer. For more information on Deer Stories, including transcripts and information about the hunters featured, see here.
In December of 1944 with the Allies closing in on the German heartland, Hitler had a desperate plan to save the Third Reich. He believed a massive assault on Canadian, British and American forces advancing from the west would prove so demoralizing the Allies would seek a separate peace, leaving only the Russian army on the eastern front. On December 16 the Germans unleashed an offensive that would become the most brutal battle of the European war, known then and ever after as the Battle of the Bulge. This is the story of four men—Cliff Austin, Harrison Burney, Bill Busier and Robert Norton—who survived that terrible battle and were captured and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.
Prisoners of War: A Story of Four American Soldiers will be available for free online streaming from December 16, 2010 through January 25, 2011.
Prisoners of War was produced in 2004 by Erica Heilman and Gregory Sharrow for Vermont Folklife Center Media. For additional information on the program, including a transcript, photographs, and biographical information the four men featured, please visit the Prisoners of War website: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/pow/
To commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the Vermont Folklife Center will stream our audio documentary, Prisoners of War: A Story of Four American Soldiers online from December 16, 2010 – January 25, 2011. The audio stream will be available at no cost.
Recorded and produced in 2004 by the Folklife Center as a part of the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress, Prisoners of War presents the stories of four Vermont veterans, Cliff Austin, Harrison Burney, Bill Busier and Robert Norton who survived the initial days of that terrible battle and were captured and held in German prisoner of war camps for the remainder of the war. These men, whose average age was twenty-two at the time of capture, describe their experiences in battle, lives as prisoners of war, memories of being liberated, and the lasting impact of their imprisonment on their lives.
Prisoners of War will be available for free online streaming beginning at 10:00am EST December 16, 2010 at the VFC Prisoners of War site, our Facebook page and here on our Tumblr blog, and will remain available through 10:00pm EST January 25, 2011.
For a special holiday treat give a listen to hunter Barry Forbes as describes how he lures in tom turkeys by using his knowledge of turkey psychology. He also demonstrates a great gobble call. Happy Thanksgiving!
Today on Deer Stories, drop in on a conversation between father and son hunting partners, Rupe and Joe LaRock, who talk about the annual breeding cycle of male deer known as the “rut.” For a transcript of this program and information about the hunters featured, please visit: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/deer-stories/prog07/index.htm
This week on Deer Stories, program 6: Being in the Woods. For many hunters the opportunity to spend long, quiet hours in the woods is as important as getting a deer. In this program, hunters describe experiences with wildlife during their time in the woods.
Under the Golden Dome Program 9, “Civility and the Art of Compromise.” In a body full of divergent personalities who hold a host of different beliefs and values disagreements are a way of life, still an effective Legislature is greased by civility and the best legislation is said to come from the art of compromise.
This week’s installment of Deer Stories is program 5: “Careful What You Shoot.” Doug Bent and Phil Brown tell stories about gun accidents and talk about the responsibility that comes with handling firearms. Once you shoot, you can’t take it back. For a transcript of this program and additional information on the hunters featured, please visit: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/deer-stories/
FILMMAKER MIRA NIAGOLOVA PRESENTS "A PARALLEL WORLD"
On November 11, 2010 at 7:00 PM, the Ilsley Public Library in partnership with the Vermont Folklife Center, the Addison Farm Workers Coalition, and the Vermont Humanities Council will present a screening of Mira Niagolova’s documentary films, A Parallel Worldand Welcome to Vermont.
A Parallel World explores life in the Radusha refugee camp close to the Kosovo/Macedonia border, which has hosted refugees from the various wars in the Balkans since 1992. It is a small camp in a small place, yet the experience of people in this camp is linked to a much larger population worldwide—people with no country, no permanent homes, and no belongings, refugees living in a parallel world created by fear and rejection of their otherness.
Welcome to Vermont, which is a work in progress, looks beyond the statistics to offer an insightful perspective on the lives of displaced people as they resettle in the US to live the American dream. This film represents a continuation of Niagolova’s exploration of the issues of forced displacement, assimilation, and identity as viewed through the lens of four Vermont families: from Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Rwanda.
Bulgarian born, Mira Niagolova is an internationally recognized, award-winning documentary filmmaker committed to telling socially conscious stories portrayed with sensitivity and compassion. She was Executive Director of the Vermont International Film Festival from 2002 to 2007.
This free event is the first in a series centered on the Vermont Reads book, Day of the Pelican, by Katherine Paterson. For information about this and other events in the series, contact the Ilsley Library at email@example.com call 802-388-4095.
Election Day has passed, but politics persevere! Today’s installment of Under the Golden Dome is episode 7: “Getting Involved, Learning the Legislature.” People are drawn to the Legislature for different reasons and all who serve must undergo an educational process which sometimes seems overwhelming. Many find mentors who help them acquire their sealegs; almost all find it a rewarding experience. For a transcript of this program and additional information on the legislators featured, please see: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/golden-dome/programs/prog07.htm
In this week’s installment of Deer Stories, hunters describe how to ‘track’ a deer through the woods. The technique requires extreme focus, a deep knowledge of deer habitat and behavior, and the ability to recognize deer sign. This degree of engagement is at the heart of many hunters’ drive to enter the woods each fall.
On this date in 1927 the rains that would lead to the Great Vermont Flood began to fall. The Flood of 1927 left an indelible impression on those Vermonters who lived through it. In this excerpt from an interview in the Vermont Folklife Center Archive, Edgar Butterfield of Middlebury, VT recounts efforts to keep people supplied with food after the flood waters destroyed bridges and cut off access to parts of the state.
A Parallel World: Film Screening With Mira Niagolova
Thursday, November 11, 7 pm at the Ilsley Public Library, Community Room
Mira Niagolova’s film, A Parallel World, explores life in the Radusha refugee camp close to the Kosovo/Macedonia border, which has hosted refugees from the various wars in the Balkans since 1992 (2002, 28 minutes).
Mira will also be sharing an excerpt from her current work, Welcome to Vermont. This film reflects on issues of adaptation, identity, assimilation and diversity through an intimate look at the lives of four families from Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Rwanda (30 minutes).
This free event commences a series of events centered on the Vermont Reads book Day of the Pelican, by Katherine Paterson. For other events in the series, call 388-4095.
This event is sponsored by the Vermont Folklife Center, Ilsley Public Library, and the Vermont Humanities Council.
Under the Golden Dome, Program 6: “The Senate.” The Senate had a different character from the House. It was smaller, more intimate and often thought of as more genteel than the larger body. When there were differences between bills that the Senate and the House passed, a committee of conference was selected with three… members from the Senate and three members from the House to work out a compromise version of the bill. For a transcript of this program and information about the legislators featured, please see: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/multimedia/radio/golden-dome/programs/prog06.htm
Before 1960 the Speaker of the House was frequently viewed almost as an honorary position, usually going to someone who was at the end of his service and who only remained in the position for one term. This began to change, with the Speaker becoming increasingly partisan until under Ralph Wright, the podium became a symbol of power.
For a transcript of this program and information on the legislators featured, please visit:
If you’re looking to learn something about digital audio recording equipment, you simply must take a look at our archivist, Andy Kolovos’s Digital Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide. Not only will you get well-researched guidance in making your purchase, but you’ll also get a great dose of Andy’s strong opinions,Andy’s basic rules, and his advice on cheap deals.This guide is primarily focused on the needs of folklorists, ethnomusicologists, and oral historians, although anthropologists and anyone working in an ethnographic discipline or conducting ethnographic research will find some information of use here. Andy has done all of the research on equipment for you. And get this, it’s free! Except for the Tip Jar.
This week’s Deer Stories installment—“Championship Buck”: Old-time Vermonter Roy Hines tells of tracking, shooting, and retrieving a 278-pound, 10-point buck—a once-in-a-lifetime event for even the most seasoned hunter. For a transcript, photographs and biographical information on the hunter featured in this episode,… visit VFC’s Deer Stories Website: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/mul timedia/radio/deer-stories/prog03/
Under the Golden Dome, Program 4: Women and the Legislature. Women have been in the Legislature since Edna Beard in 1921. In 1953, Consuelo Bailey became Vermont’s first woman speaker and then the nation’s first woman Lieutenant Governor. Yet despite these milestones, women continued to be separate and unequal in the State House, until a group of activist women from Chittenden County made their presence felt in the 1970s.
Philip Hoff was elected Governor in 1962, the first Democratic Governor in over 100 years which served as a watershed of changing politics. In 1965 Reapportionment was accomplished which reduced the House from 246 to 150 members, no longer basing representation on geography but on population. This of course had a major impact on the Legislature and on Vermont.
This week’s installment of Deer Stories—“Changing Culture”: Hunting plays a less central role in rural communities today than it did fifty years ago.
Hunters describe how open land is being developed, and land used for generations by hunters is being posted by new landowners. For a transcript, photographs and biographical information on the hunter’s featured in this episode, visit VFC’s Deer Stories Website:
Under the Golden Dome: The Stories Behind Vermont’s Citizen Legislature
Today’s installment of Under the Golden Dome: Program 2 —”The Young Turks.”
In 1961 a group of 11, mostly freshmen legislators—both moderate Republicans and Democrats, would meet to discuss legislation and strategy once a week. They came to be known as “the Young Turks.” In this program five of the original 11 give an insight into the Legislature at that time. For a transcript of the program and biographical information on the interviewees featured, visit the VFC’s Under the Golden Dome Web pages.
The Vermont Folklife Center is pleased to announce two workshops that take memoir-writing as their focus. First, on Friday, October 22, from 10:30 to 11:30 at the Vermont Folklife Center, “Preserving Family Stories: Memoir-Writing Secrets of the Hale Street Gang:” How many family stories have been lost forever because nobody took the time to write them down? Find out how to make the process easy and fun in this informal talk with the members of the Hale Street writer’s group. Meet the writers, hear their stories, and learn how to start a similar group in your area in this one-hour discussion moderated by Vermont Folklife Center Educator Director Gregory Sharrow.
Then on Friday, October 29, from 10:30 to 12:00 at Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library, “The Ten-Minute Memoir: A Pain-Free Writing Workshop with Sara Tucker and the Hale Street Gang:” If you can write a thank-you letter, you can write your life story. Writer and editor Sara Tucker will show you how. “The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing” exhibit reflects the work of twelve senior member of the greater Randolph community who began writing their life stories in 2008. The group’s success is the basis for this workshop.
The Hale Street Gang memoir group began at the Randolph Senior Center in the fall of 2008. Most of the writers joined at the urging of children and grandchildren who wanted to learn more about their elders’ lives and preserve their stories for future generations. The group has since published five books, started a blog and a YouTube channel, and tripled its membership.
“The preserving of family stories is of crucial importance,” Tucker says. “It’s through stories that we create an identity, pass along wisdom from one generation to the next, and strengthen social and community ties.” Grab a notebook and pencil and join members of the Hale Street Gang at the Vermont Folklife Center and the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury for two mornings of fun and inspiration.