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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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My old stomping grounds

The Knoll Farm article in last week's Valley Reporter was great except for one small error.  I never said that I had ever seen anyone riding around in a box behind a tractor!  Maybe someone mentioned something about that, but to my knowledge, that's not what was said and that would be really bizarre.  Yes, we rode around on the back of farm trucks, in old cars, and were packed in like sardines, but no boxes behind tractors.  Poor folk didn't even have tractors!

I did say that my first movie during WWII was seen in Waterbury, by driving over Duxbury Hills, then dirt, in our 1934 Plymouth, packed to the gills, to see "Stage Door Canteen"!

I also said that there was an old lady, Pansy Mae, who put on her bonnet, toted her bible, sang hymns, and tried to proselytize all who would listen to her.  She rode in a horse and buggy, not a tractor!
I think Valley Reporter readers would find articles about  what The Valley looked like on the large farms, as opposed to the hill farms which were very, very poor without electricity. Huguette Abbott always mentions looking down at the farm where I was raised, seeing all the lights at night.  Ann Day was really surprised when I said that I left The Valley, graduated from high school, in 1954, the same year she bought Knoll Farm from Dr. Willgoose, Chapman and Alice Bisbee.  Much of my history was at Knoll Farm and there are lots of pictures showing open land and views from that era.
And isn't it ironic, that the poor lived up on the hills in the boonies in shacks, and the wealthy farms were in the river valley, while now the further up the mountain you live, the larger your megamansion is! 

I saw an MRVTV piece with Waitsfield dairy farmer Elwin Neill and read an article in The Valley Reporter quoting him on milk prices.  I remember when his father moved to the old Prentiss farm, as I knew it, probably before he was born.  And much of the old Drew Bisbee farm is now part of Neill's holdings, all along the river north of Meadow Road. That was my old stomping ground, North Waitsfield.

Mary Alice Bisbee lives in Waitsfield.


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