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Middlebury women take a snowy ride up to Ripton, ca. 1940s

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In this clip, members of the Women’s Forum of Middlebury College load up holiday gifts into a truck parked behind Forrest Hall, en route to the Meeting House in Ripton, VT. Upon their arrival in Ripton, local children run (and slide, trudge, and sled) to meet them. The Middlebury women, joined by a costumed Santa, distribute their holiday gifts.

Established in 1937, the Women’s Forum was itially organized to further interest in economic, political, and social issues of the day. In 1944 the group merged with the Student Action Assembly to focus on social and service work. This clip dates likely dates from the early to mid 1940’s.

Happy holidays from Special Collections & Archives.

Stargirl

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

download“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.”
― Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

Wonderful, wonderful book, which miraculously found me through the amazing Christmas gift of Kalina Bibishkova who came at home to give it to me, saying I reminded her of Stargirl- a compliment most valuable and heart-warming. I did see myself in the book, but it also served as a great inspiration to me to keep on being authentic, peeling off layers of fear…

I read the book “at one breath” as we say in Bulgarian. And at every description I saw you, too, Kalina. Thank you for the Christmas miracle. I guess we aren’t strangers if we share the same path, the same “life mission”: to be at all times in love, to create Love and to breathe Love.

“Star people are rare”- the author says. But I have the feeling each and every one has a Star person lying somewhere deep in ourselves. To be awaken as Star people we need to dig deep into ourselves, but we also need each other, to support each other and show each other our greatness no matter whether we see it or not. And to that I dedicate my life, my Love, my words, my actions, my body, my min and soul, and… I’m not giving up. I’m not giving up on wanting to be better, to be free, to Love and be Loved, … After the n-th brake up/failure/whatever, we go on, enriched, but not thrown down. We, stargirls. 

stargirlred“Of course we did other things too. We walked. We talked. We rode bikes. 
Though I had my driver’s license, I bought a cheap secondhand bicycle so 
I could ride with her. Sometimes she led the way, sometimes I did. Whenever 
we could, we rode side by side. 

She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day. 
She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh. 
My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else’s; but timid 
introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I 
threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life.
She saw things. I had not known there was so much to see. 
She was forever tugging my arm and saying, “Look!”
I would look around, seeing nothing. “Where?”
She would point. “There.”
In the beginning I still could not see. She might be pointing to a doorway, or a person, or the sky. But such things were so common to my eyes, so undistinguished, that they would register as “nothing” I walked in a gray world of nothing.” 
― Jerry SpinelliStargirl


Destination Recreation: Christmas Tree Farms

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Destination Recreation: Christmas Tree Farms.

Here I am on the Vermont WCAX TV Channel Check out the vid and don’t mind my hair! MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – WCAX

Whether it’s already cut and waiting or still hiding in the field, a tree farm can hold that perfect centerpiece for your holiday living room.

And at Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury, they say picking out your own tree at a farm is a traditional Vermont Christmas experience.

“I think in Vermont people are more willing to go out take a walk and cut their own tree down and get their hands a little bit dirty,” says manager Amanda Werner.

Most people make it a family outing, she says, getting outdoors and spending time together.

“Part of that is being able to come out and walk around the grounds and look at the trees. A lot of people, even the ones that end up getting a pre-cut tree, like to walk through the fields,” she says.

One visitor to the farm is Maggie Nazer, an exchange student at Middlebury College. She says in Bulgaria they bought their trees from vendors on the street. This is her first time to a tree farm, and she has friends to help her.

The group is learning a few things in the field, such as why it’s important to know the height of your ceiling before you get to the farm.

“A standard ceiling is about eight feet tall which means you might have to make it a little bit shorter. If you do, I’d suggest doing it from the bottom so you keep the shape of the tree intact,” Werner advises.

A few minutes later, they spot the one. Nazer gets to cut it down.

“Wow it smells so good,” she says.

Once the tree is brought out of the field they put netting around it and then tie it down to the car. This tree is headed to the Middlebury campus, where students will make ornaments for it.

“It’s amazing. It’s so much fun. I think it’s great just having this ritual and really be able to feel the Christmas spirit,” says Nazer.

She’s one of many getting her tree here. The farm says they sold 1,200 last year and expect to do even more this year as demand increases.