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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Last Track

Freynes_last_track_2 As you may have noticed, dear reader, the writing stopped in Freyne Land two weeks ago, both here in cyberspace and over there in the print edition of Seven Days in the "Inside Track."

Here's why.

Been covering the Vermont political/news/media scene since autumn 1979. Way back before Bernie Sanders ever won an election and nobody had heard of Howard Dean M.D. other than his patients.

And for most of that time, I simply could not believe they were actually paying me to have so much fun!

But in the last few years, what had been pure pleasure had turned into work - drudgery, in fact.

Not good.

Depression set in. Cancer followed. And, surprise! surprise! - beating the darn cancer did not change things. The depression, which those who've been there know is utter misery, came back. Why?

Because being "successful" at one's job does not mean being "happy" with one's life.

It has not been easy, mes amis, but the lesson learned in the last month has been positively enlightening.

I deserve to be happy - as do you -  and if that means putting the period down, ending the paragraph on the last "Inside Track" then so be it!

Life is short. As my ol' pal Mike always said, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time." And as I've come to realize, one cannot begin that new chapter of life until one closes the page on the current one. It's a big step to take, a risky one, but until one takes it, the misery reigns supreme.

Health-wise, things haven't been this good in Freyne Land in decades. And the writer within - the non-political columnist - has a whole lot of material that's been waiting much too long to get out.

Stay tuned. We continue our good relationship with Seven Days as contributing editor and blogger and who knows what's next?

The simple fact is that life is good...and getting better.

And I haven't been able to say that in years!


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Peter: it's hard to imagine 7Days without Inside Track, as no one does it better in VT, but may you "live long and prosper", and I'd add to Spock, "be happy" wherever that may take you...your faithful readers look forward to your novel! your 5Sisters neighbor Roger on Caroline

John & Ginny Burgess

Peter: We have enjoyed your insights for over two decades. We will miss our daily and weekly dose of commentary and opinion which has unfailingly been based on sound information.
Enjoy your new life, but remember that there are some of us who will miss you.

Katrinka in Randolph

Guess it's time for you to find your light elsewhere, after shining so much of it our way. (Literally, more sun could be useful). Not many could do what you do so well for so long. Wishing you a brighter path...please keep in touch. Katrinka



I've been suffering withdrawal symptoms the past couple of weeks, and have also been a bit concerned by your extended absence. But it sounds like brighter days are ahead for you, and I wish you well.

Thanks much for all the insight and enjoyment you've provided over the years.




May you find happiness and joy in life. We have been blessed to have known you and learned so much through your writings. Frankly, I'm relieved in some way to learn of the reason for your departure. I feared a remission and am incredibly relieved to hear you are in good physical health. I'm certain you will find a new niche where your valuable insights will continue to make our lives richer. Godspeed and good wishes!

Cha d' dhùin dorus nach d'fhosgail dorus.


Ruth H

Good for you, Peter, and good luck!

Kitchen Talker

I saw all those beautiful photos you've been posting in the past year or so and I knew there was a big shift in progress. May your future work be as important and engaging as your past. You are one of a kind, my friend. Pax vobiscum.

Alfred Snider aka Tuna

It has been an item of conversation around the office -- worrying about what your absence means. I am glad it does not mean health issues, but merely a change of direction.

We become creatures of habit often even when the habits are not as good as they once seemed. I am one of those. But, I stopped doing radio after 17 years to do other things, I stopped doing the Vermont Reggae Festival after 16 years because it was time to move on, and someday I might even step away from my professorship here at UVM (26 years now, and a job secure for life), but who knows.

As you remind me, I should decide, not others. Congratulations on making your decision. I know you will enjoy it.

But, I will miss you and the nicknames you have given so many Vermont politicians. I hope 7Days continues to have a column like yours, but I am not sure who could write it.

Best of luck,


Mark in Burlington

We will miss your wit and wisdom, But as you would surely wish any of us in a similar situation, be well and keep in touch.


Thank you, Peter, for all you've done to enlighten, amuse (and occasionally enrage) all of us who love Inside Track. For anyone who gets in your way, you can tell them to pog mo thoin.

Best to you and your work - slainte!


Hi Peter,
Good luck to you, my friend. Haven't seen you since my old Esox days, but I always kept "Track" of ya. The future? A screenplay? A run for Governor? Whatever you do, forget about being Press Secretary for an elected official. Take Care.

Tim Newcomb

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Peter! There go half my cartoon ideas! I was wondering why there were sounds of scissors dropping and corks popping up on the Pavilion's fifth floor this afternoon... now it's clear.

I will absolutely miss Inside Track!

Tim Newcomb

Steve Marshall

Peter: You will be sorely missed. God speed in your new endeavors and know that you have accomplished much in your life [with more to come] and have brought joy to many.

ruth & sid poger

Peter, it's been fun. We will miss you, especially this year. Keep in good health.
Ruth & Sid


Mazel Tov, Peter! I will miss your column/blog, but personal life should always take precedence over professional life. I have a little motto that I say to myself regarding work that has become drudgery- "just because you are good at something doesn't mean it's good for you." I wish I could say I didn't understand (about the depression), but I do, it is indeed utter misery. Hard as it is to believe when you're in it, eventually the cloud lifts and the colors come back into focus. Enjoy the spring colors!

Bill McKibben

What a Freyne-sized hole this leaves in Vermont journalism! As long as you don't stop writing altogether, you hear?

Bill McKibben

Peter Joes

It's been clear for some time that no one in the State of Vermont has the guts to really challenge our elected officials except for Peter Freyne.

The governor's press conferences without Peter are a total PR session for the gov. and his administration.

Hats off to Peter for making this life move! Who the heck are we going to get to fill those shoes????

Peter is a real hero in Vermont - - love him or hate him.

Thank you sir!


Appreciative Burlington Reader

Thanks, Peter and good luck with everything. I've always looked forward to your column, a weekly map of VT politics with wonderful humor, wit, insight and style. It was always a pleasure to read, and much appreciated.

And it makes total sense to take a break for other kinds of writing - write on!

Emmet Helrich

Ahhh Paeter, t'is lovin' ya I am, and t'is missin ya I'll be

Diane Derby

I'm thinking Galway's a good spot.

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