WELCOME TO MAY 2020
Spring has finally arrived here in Island Pond. Buds and small flowers are blossoming, avid gardeners are eagerly preparing their vegetable plots, and the sun is shining! Beautiful bouquets of flowers have begun appearing beside the headstones and monuments in the cemeteries on Pleasant Street, and birds of all colors are flocking to the seed feeders on people's porches. No Hummingbirds have been sighted yet, it is still a little too cold for them, but I expect their arrival soon!
Although the town itself is still quiet, the governor of Vermont has lifted some of the restrictions. This means some open air venues in Island Pond can be accessed, but restrictions remain on closed venues like libraries and museums, and churches, though the health & dental clinic is offering limited access.
The IPHS is as busy as ever, work has always gone on despite Covid-19. The inside of the museum now houses several new exhibits, including the framed statue of Saint Anthony, donated in April 2020 by Eric Dufour. As soon as Governor Phil Scott announces the lifting of all restrictions I know visitors to the IPHS museum will enjoy seeing the latest artifacts!
Behind the scenes, IPHS members have been busy, too! Volunteer of the Year Richard Martin has written his autobiography, your president has completed her third book on Island Pond - titled Business As Usual, in memory of her late husband, Mark. IPHS member Stephen Dwyer has co-authored a book detailing the memoirs of a young American soldier in Vietnam, titled REMF - Hurry Up And Wait, and IPHS Trustee and Newsletter Editor James H. O'Gorman has begun researching material for his book which will focus on the sporting achievements and the history of Brighton.
What have you been getting up to during the Covid-19 lock-down, and how have your families coped? Why not write in and let me know. I am always very pleased to hear from members, and was very pleased when Greg Frey, son of Wilbur, got in touch from his home in South Dakota to shoot the breeze as did Morris McKenney from his 'Compound' in Florida, Peggy Pentz made contact from PA by sending a beautiful card, Irma Hartigan called for an uplifting chat, Luella Allard sent in a beautiful greeting card, and Bob Johnson down in CT - as well as author Jeff Holt in Montreal, have remained in contact with us. Also staying in touch were Beverley and Paul Reynolds of Michigan, and new member Ralph Cabana who presented us with a lovely sepia photograph of the Cabana family in Victorian era Island Pond. All are well, and each send you their warmest regards.
I love being able to update you to happenings in Island Pond. Although it has been quiet here with a slightly subdued atmosphere, the town of Brighton and its inhabitants are keeping very well and also send you their very best wishes, so do keep in touch by letter, email, or 'phone. Your news is always welcome and keeping in touch is important especially during the current nation-wide situation.
There have been some sad updates, too. At the beginning of May, Joan Stafford passed away in New Hampshire. Her married name was Aubut. Joan (and her twin Joanne who passed away in 1949) was the sister of Gordon & Gregory (McGee) Stafford, another set of twins! Joan was the niece of IPHS Trustee Muriel Maw O'Gorman and her late husband Nicholas, and cousin to their son, James H. O'Gorman.
On a happier note, James's son Austin Patrick O'Gorman graduated this month from UVM. Though graduation ceremonies have been cancelled at UVM and deferred to September, Austin's achievement will be celebrated here in Island Pond and in Burlington where Austin and his faithful companion, a rescue dog named Chance, rent an apartment in the university district. Well done to Austin who is now off to Boston to work in an investment firm.
Other developments in Island Pond are the demolition of the rectory house beside St. James church, the installation of faster internet, and the now nightly chorus of Peepers. These little frogs can be heard from all the marshy areas around town!
Do keep in touch, your news is important to me and of great interest to your fellow members.
Sharon J. Biron