Take Me Back book cover.

Look what’s coming just in time for the holidays! It’s the second edition of “Take Me Back: An Anecdotal History of the Mad River Valley.” The book has been upgraded to a hard cover with a winter scene and includes 25 bonus photographs. Our local photographers contributed their work to Take Me Back Inc. [a 501(c)(3) nonprofit] to help us raise awareness about and money for individuals and groups that want to showcase the history of the Mad River Valley. The Mad River Camera Club is run by Gail Curtin and Russ Bowen. It has about 35 members that meet regularly. They have been instrumental in growing the new edition to a more gorgeous book about our Valley.



‘A friend of mine recently said, “I didn’t know you published a Take Me Back book and now they are all gone.”(Though it was always meant to be a keepsake limited edition, there still might be a few copies of the summer first edition at Addison West, Artisans’ Gallery and The Collection.) My friend’s comment made me think I should recap the Take Me Back process thus far for our readers.

As I think back, I’ve been working on this column for almost three years. It all started when the publishing world stopped short as the pandemic wound up. My third and fourth novels were being shopped by my agent, but nobody we contacted was buying anything as they couldn’t print the books they already had. COVID cases in some parts of the country began surging in the weeks after Thanksgiving of 2020 and officials were gravely concerned about the extent of travel for the Christmas and winter holidays. My sons had me on lockdown and I was lonely and bored.

I need purpose in my life. I need to write every day! And so, I proposed to The Valley Reporter’s editor and publisher that I start a column called Take Me Back. My idea was to tell the memories of locals, as much as possible, in their own words. My first thought is always, “How hard can it really be?” Of course, any worthwhile project is always hard. In the words of President Kennedy, we choose to do things, “Not because they are easy but because they are hard.” Never mind that I had never written a column before. I just dove in.

In a matter of weeks, a big problem became obvious. Our historical societies were struggling, and it occurred to me that I should do something to help. Raising some money seemed like the first course of action. But how? A dear friend of mine told me to write a book since that is something I know how to do. My son Jonathan chose a model that he thought would work well. I applied for an artist development grant from the Vermont Arts Council and got it. Our local best-selling author, Jim Tabor, came onboard as project mentor, and my son Jon (the director and showrunner Jonathan C. Hyde) as head art consultant. Jon chose Marin Horikawa of Moderate Breeze to be our designer. Artists donated their work and local businesses paid for design and printing. By watching YouTube videos, I learned how to apply for nonprofit status and miraculously we became Take Me Back Inc.


While writing the column I was also creating the book and in preproduction for my third novel which had finally been acquired. In June, we launched “Take Me Back: An Anecdotal History of the Mad River Valley” at a wonderful event at Lawson’s on the same day my third novel, “The Belonger,” came out. All proceeds went into the nonprofit.

Then I spent the summer running around hand selling copies and we sold out quickly. After spending a year of sleepless nights worrying that it was possible no one would want the book, it was a huge relief.

Take Me Back Inc. promptly used some of that money to hire Kitty Werner to edit and design a book by The Valley’s own Kevin Eurich. We will also pay for the printing. There are many photos and stories that you have never seen or read. More about the book, Kevin and Kitty next time. And a huge shout out to Kevin, who will donate the profits from the book to our 501 (c)(3) nonprofit so we can create and, also support others’ projects to celebrate our history. You will be able buy it wherever books are sold including online venues and at Tempest Books.

And what are we going to do moving forward? I have found that many of our most historic families have or had writers in the family!  So, I am gathering up memoires from them and other longtime residents of the Mad River Valley to produce more books to leave behind to future generations.

It’s a good feeling. Happy Holidays my friends!

Mary Kathleen Mehuron lives in Waitsfield and writes novels. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..