Wind: 5 mph
Twenty-five years ago last week I drove into The Valley for the first time. In the car in front of me, driven by Bill Carnright, was Gerry and our 5-month-old son Christian. Bill was bringing us to Waitsfield to look at a rental property on German Flats. We were contemplating moving to Vermont after growing up in Connecticut and boy, were we excited.
When I turned right at the stop sign at Maynard’s Farm, The Valley opened up in front of me. Towering corn, wispy clouds, neon green fields—it was breathtaking. I was filled with a sense of place I have never experienced elsewhere.
We had a deal, Gerry and me. We would try Vermont for six months but at the end, if we weren’t both happy, we were returning to Connecticut. Five months later we bought the house on the bottom of Hill Number Nine where we still live. The decision was unanimous.
Twenty-five years. Ahhh, the memories. Controversies galore. Who the hell is Michael Krapowski? The Irasville curb cut. Condoms at Harwood. Clear cutting on Marble Hill Road. Barstools at the Pitcher Inn. Snowmaking ponds. The Kingsbury Farm. Solar panels. Sunday store hours. The sense of place I cherish is equaled only by the sense of community. Even in conflict, The Valley gets along.
Through the years we’ve seen businesses and friends come and go. Yes, we considered being the ones leaving The Valley but the memories of that August day a quarter century ago and the life we’ve built since keep us here.
Thank you. Words cannot express how much we enjoy being Valley residents. Although we were not actually invited here, we were welcomed with open hearts and homes. We like to think we’d have had a great life no matter where we lived but most days we think The Valley’s been a big part of our success. We can only hope we’ve had as much positive impact on The Valley as it has had on us. The kindness and support we have received is rare by any standards.
To Gerry and Christian—I’d take the same ride with you again any day.
Nooney lives in Fayston.