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December 2007

December 26, 2007

Goodbye 2007 [59]

Goodbye_2007_2 12/24/07: Eva says goodbye to 2007 and looks back at one full year and 59 episodes of Stuck in Vermont. 

What is next?

Music: The Smittens, "I Hate Vermont" Gentlefication Now!

The Jazz Guys, "Jungle Jackson," So Moped Puree

Colin Clary, "Me Loves You," "The Year of Having Fun," Apocalypse Yow!

For more Stuck in VT year end review fun, check out Eva's 2007 Year End Survey at the excellent music blog False 45th.

You can watch this video on YouTube here.

December 18, 2007

Molly in Manhattan [58]

Molly_nyc6 Molly Hatfield's Vermont family has been selling Christmas trees in New York City for over 30 years.  Every December Gopher Broke Enterprises of Wolcott, Vermont sell trees at 13 locations across New York.

You can find Molly every day at the corner of 110th Street and Broadway where she has been selling trees for 14 years with two brief breaks to nurse her children.  Bring her a cup of tea, stop and say hello, everyone else does.

Molly works 14-16 hour days, every single day of the month of December.  She works outside despite the snow, freezing rain and slush.  She has never seen the tree at Rockefeller Center (which is not from VT, FYI) or taken in the tourist attractions New York has to offer.  After 14 years, she is less of a tourist and more a member of the community.

Molly_nyc14 Molly is known as "The Tree Lady" to many people in the neighborhood and has become a permanent fixture on the Upper West Side every holiday season.  Even people who are not buying trees stop by to check in, say hello, deliver a fresh batch of rum balls or ask after her kids.

Molly does not plan on leaving VT anytime soon but she can't seem to give up her life in NY either.  After all, what would happen to the Upper West Side at Christmas if The Tree Lady didn't show up?  And how would The Tree Lady survive not knowing the city gossip?

Tune by Colin Clary off his awesome new album Apocalypse Yow!, "Gold Medal."

You can watch this video on YouTube here.

Editor's Note: I should also mention that Molly and I were best friends at Lamoille Union High School many years ago.  We went to see David Bowie together during his Glass Spider Tour and it seemed only fitting that we would meet up again on the streets of Manhattan.

December 11, 2007

The Nutcracker [57]

Nutcracker7 On Saturday Vermont Ballet Theater began their tour of the annual holiday favorite The Nutcracker at Johnson State College's Dibden Center for the Arts.  A snowstorm did not deter sold out crowds of young and old.

As breathtaking as the Kingdom of Sweets can be, it is behind the scenes where things get really colorful.  Backstage mice, flowers, soldiers, elves, clowns, and snowflakes roamed the corridors in search of snacks and distraction before their big moment on stage. 

The Nutcracker roles are carefully regimented and each year dancers move one step up, from soldiers to mice to party girls to multiple lead roles.  The members of the company know all the dance routines in the second act and are able to fill in if someone gets hurt. 

Nutcracker24 The roles switch for every performance so the girl playing Clara at 1pm is a snowflake in the next show.  How they manage to keep track of these changes is mind boggling.

The dancers maintain good grades, suffer through blisters and practice 18 hrs/week.  Why do they do it?  For the tiaras, the tutus, the spotlight or the applause?  Watch and see.

Their next stop is the Flynn Center Dec 22-23 and October 1st.

You can watch this video on YouTube here.

December 04, 2007

The Sound of Music [56]

The_sound_of_music11_2 What is it about The Sound of Music?  Why does this story get reinvented over and over again?  And why is it so special to Vermonters?

The Salzburg Marionette Theater brought their miniature performance of The Sound of Music to the Flynn Center last week.  An hour late start did not deter the multi-generational Sound of Music fans gathered for the show.

Members of the von Trapp family were in attendance and met with the Austrian puppeteers after the curtain closed.  The general public treat the von Trapps with a special reverence and many took this opportunity for personal introductions. 

Johannes von Trapp, President of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe VT and son of Maria and Georg speaks about the various adaptations of his family's story and discusses what it is like being a real member of this often fictionalized family.

The_sound_of_music7Singer Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria and Georg speaks of the impression her family's tale has left on audiences, herself included.

Vermonters have a unique association with the von Trapp family and hold their story close.  A tale that has been retold time and time again and continues to spark audience's imaginations and is essentially a simple story about a family who loved to sing.

PS Now that we have seen the marionettes, when is the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music coming to America!?

You can watch this video on YouTube here.

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