Do I Put It In The Recycle Bin?

If you’re anything like me, when you’re traveling a great distance, you stop at rest areas to take a break from driving, use the facilities, or maybe get a candy bar out of the snack machine. And just inside the door generally you’ll find a rack or two (sometimes three or four, or sometimes a whole room) of different  pamphlets devoted to and promoting the scenic wonders of the area, places to eat, sleep, shop, recreate, and visit. 

It doesn’t make any difference what town Don and I are driving through, I have to check out the entire rack just in case I miss the greatest things to do in the area or county or state. Even if we’re just passing through one state and not even stopping, I’ve got to pull those pamphlets out of their nice cozy slots and take them back to the car where I peruse them and then toss them on the floor of the back seat. 

At the end of whatever trip we’ve taken, as we clean out the car, I stack up all those pamphlets and usually toss 80% of them in the recycle bin. So why do I take them when, clearly, I may never be back in that area? I guess it’s my way of saying to myself that maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn something from reading the pamphlets and hopefully we’ll be back to explore the area and I need to be prepared. 

I pick up camping brochures, restaurant, museum and shopping cards, pamphlets with pictures of beautiful waterfalls and majestic nature tours, lakes where you can swim or hike around. And don’t forget the wax museum and weird art display, the chocolate factory and symphony music hall. I also pick up brochures on car museums, of course, and anything related to cars for Don. The list goes on and on. Now, admit it: You’ve picked up a few pamphlets yourself. 

Right now I have a stack sitting on my desk that I haven’t gone through since we got home from Arizona. Plus there’s an even bigger stack on a shelf in the closet where all our travel maps and magazines are that I plan to go through one of these days. I know what will really happen. A time will come when the whole shelf gets swept into the recycle bin because our days of travel will be  over. I hope that’s a long ways off. Until then, I’ll keep picking up and saving those travel cards and pamphlets! 

Everything Was Aligned That Day!

If you’ll all allow me to gloat this month, I want to tell you about a very special young woman here in Vermont, and that’s my niece, Michelle Archer. You may not recognize her name, but I’m sure you’ve heard of the events of December 17 where two children fell through ice on a pond in Cambridge, VT. One child was pulled from the pond by the elderly landowner, but the second child still needed to be saved. On that day, Vermont State Trooper Michelle Archer was in the right place at the right time and went into that pond and rescued the little girl, who thereafter made a full recovery after a short stay in the hospital.

What I’m sure you haven’t heard about is that Michelle, the youngest daughter of my brother Tom and his wife, Beth, grew up in Milton, and after taking a very circuitous route after college graduation, then became a Vermont State Trooper. She is unassuming, kind and considerate, unflappable, helpful, tough, and stubborn! When she puts her mind to something, it happens. Michelle will probably kill me for telling these stories, but to prove the point of her stubbornness, when she was young, maybe 4 years old, this trait exhibited itself in numerous ways, one of which was when her grandmother would pick her up from daycare and they might stop at the grocery store for an item, Michelle would want candy and be told no, not today. Michelle would then sit in her car seat in the back seat of the car and not say one dang-blasted word to Grama on the ride from the store all the way to home. Not one! No cajoling could make her break her silence.

Another time, when she, her sister and parents were at my folks’ house for dinner and it came time to go home, even though her father would ask her/tell her/plead with her/threaten her to put her winter boots on because they had to leave, she would… take… her… own… sweet… time, whether it be 5 minutes or 15! Boy-o-boy was she stubborn.

Fast forward to today: If you google “Trooper Michelle Archer,” you will see and learn all about the rescue, but what isn’t mentioned is the fact that Michelle is barely 5 foot two inches tall and the pond where the little girl was, was 8 feet deep. You also may not see in her bodycam footage that she had the presence of mind to immediately unhook and drop her utility belt holding her gun, baton, flashlight, and who knows what all else, just before going into the 40-degree water that had thin layers of ice on it. Now, she was fully clothed in her trooper uniform, all the way down to her black boots that have got to weigh 3-4 pounds! Yet she knew she had to swim to that child and swim back to shore with her in her arms.

Michelle spent her summers growing up on the shores of Lake Champlain in Milton where our family camp is. She, being the youngest of 4 siblings at age 9, persevered to outdo them all when she got up on water skis first and skied around the lake with this big, goofy, smug look on her face. And when the time came to “put the water in” in May, she would help her dad with the chore, braving the mid 40-degree water. Just maybe that chore prepared her a little for the rescue.

Michelle’s brother has a maple grove, and she and her sisters help him place thousands of taps in the trees, so there’s always maple syrup around. Well, if you watch the video of the rescue, as Michelle reaches into the back of her cruiser for the flotation device, there sitting squarely in view is a half gallon of Vermont pure maple syrup. She is a born and bred “Vermont” state trooper.

Michelle has been called a hero, justifiably so, along with Trooper Keith Cote, who arrived on scene in time for Michelle to hand the child off to him, who then ran the child to the waiting ambulance. Their boss has recommended them for the department’s lifesaving award. Also, Michelle is now a finalist in a group of 4 for the Trooper of the Year Award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, awarded in San Antonio, TX, on March 14. She has been interviewed on WCAX, NBC5, Fox News, Inside Edition, WVMT talk radio, along with much more press coverage on local TVs and newspapers across the country, and it’s spread online throughout the world on social media.

But Michelle is the same trooper today that she was on patrol on December 17. And she’s still that cute-as-a-button, smart, kind, considerate, humble….and, of course, stubborn kid that I’ve known all these years. She doesn’t think she’s a hero; she was just doing her job, and, as she has said, everything was aligned that day!

Many thanks to Beth Nichols and Laura Nichols for the photographs.

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!

My mother celebrated her 90th birthday last month. It really got me thinking about how we throw around the terms “old folks,” “elderly,” “getting up there,” etc. That is definitely not my mother. She is in great health, lives by herself a couple of miles from my husband and I, still drives, and takes care of others in her condominium neighborhood who are 10-15 years younger than herself. She’ll get a call from her across-the street neighbor asking if she would take her to Shaw’s. Yep, in the car and off to Shaw’s. Another neighbor calls on my mom to accompany her to doc appointments. Does my mom ever say no? Nope. Never.

Can anyone say they’ve had a best friend for 90 years? That’s ninety years. Yep, Mom and Barb still chat every couple months, and the stories they reminisce about that I overhear are just too funny.

At the beginning of the pandemic, before we were all buttoned up in our homes, Mom, at 87 years old, had knee replacement surgery, and after 2 weeks of the VNA physical therapist visiting her post-surgery, that was to be no more, so I took over as her personal physical therapist. I went over every day, and we’d lie on her bed and we’d start off with whatever the first exercise was on her list. I’d say, “Up, 2, 3, 4, 5; down, 2, 3, 4, 5. Up, 2, 3, 4, 5; down, 2, 3, 4, 5.” Over and over and over again. It wasn’t just “up.” It was more like “uuuuuup.” And then we’d start laughing and laughing all the while getting the exercises done. It turned plain old PT into a fun time! At her post-op appointment, her doc commented that she was the oldest (there’s that word again), healthiest patient he had ever done surgery on! What a compliment to my mom! He then asked her when she wanted her other knee done, to which she promptly replied, “Now.” And it happened soon after that.

My mother was born during the Great Depression. She remembers little things from childhood but, thankfully, wasn’t as affected by the depression as others were across the country due to her age. But she does remember walking up to the creamery for her family’s ration of butter and eggs, and collecting metal for the war effort. And one of her most memorable stories happened when she was in grade school, which was just around the corner from her house. The school caught fire in the dead of winter, and everyone was evacuated safely though without coats, hats, boots. She remembers looking over her shoulder on the way out the door to see the curtains in the gym going up in flames! Her father happened to be driving down Main Street at that exact time and glanced over to School Street and wondered to himself why all the kids were outside without their winter coats!

It’s hard to reconcile the terms “old,” “elderly,” “aged” when my mom is going strong. Yet we at times flippantly use those terms to describe friends and family members in their 70s and 80s who are sick or suffering from dementia or dying. I often wonder what my mom thinks when we use those terms, and I’m noticing myself more and more trying to downplay the age as opposed to the condition because, to me, my mom is not old, elderly or aged.

Is life fair? No, we all know life is not fair. We take the good with the bad and keep on plugging away hoping to reach whatever magic age number we choose happy and healthy. And I hope to follow in my mom’s footsteps.

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!! You’re the best. And Happy New Year!

Ever wondered how a beauty shop gets its name? 

Have you ever wondered how a beauty shop gets its name? Well, riding shotgun in our truck as my husband, Don, drove us around Tucson this winter, the signs over the doors just sort of jumped out at me, there were so many, practically on every corner. Names like Inspirations Salon, Exotic Hair Salon, All Natural Beauty Parlor, Shear Glamour Salon. I’m not making these names up, I promise. “All Natural”? What, do they cut hair with “green” scissors? “Exotic”? Will I find male strippers in the shampoo room? 

This one was one of my favorites: Maple Leaf Hair Salon, in Arizona, no less. I so wanted to yell “Stop the truck!” and get out and go in the salon just to ask the origin of the name. Is this a transplant beautician from Vermont? because I don’t think you’ll find a maple leaf anywhere here in Tucson. I’m not sure Tucsonans even know what maples trees are let alone what comes from them because Don and I seem to have stumbled on an endless supply of – horrors! — Aunt Jemima at the Sunday morning pancake breakfasts at our RV resort. 

Well, as usual, I digressed from the topic at hand. So how about a salon called A Cut Above? Above what? Above 6th Street? What are they trying to imply, that they’re better than everyone else? Then there was Daisy Diamonds Hair Salon. That’s cute and intriguing, but it’s a mouthful. [Phone ringing] “Daisy Diamonds Hair Salon. How may I help you?” Maybe the joint is owned by someone named Daisy and she likes diamonds. Don saw this one: Better Beauty Parlor. Better than what? Better than All Natural Beauty Parlor? 

And of course there were the salons that wanted their name front and center: Remilah’s All Beauty Salon. Bassett’s Fine Hair. This one made me think of Bassett’s Fine Furniture; wonder if they’re related. 

I thought this one was cute: The Beauty Bar. Maybe I could get a cut & color and order a frozen margarita all at the same time . 

Lastly, my personal favorite: Blush & Bloom. It just sounds lovely. With all the grey in my hair starting to peek through, I wonder if they have an opening for an appointment. 

And this one intrigued me enough to write it down: Nueva Imagen Salon. Not knowing Spanish, I just had to get Google to translate it for me. It means New Image Salon. How about Rogue Salon? Merriam-Webster defines the noun “rogue” as a dishonest or worthless person, and the verb means to weed out inferior, diseased, or nontypical individuals. I don’t think I’d’ve chosen that name for my beauty shop. 

What Spare Time?

Before I retired a couple years ago, I’d ask my mom if she would do me a favor and [fill in the blank]. I’d undoubtedly hear her say, “I’m very busy today, but maybe I’ll have time.” Now that “blank” could be filled in with any number of things, from making a batch of brownies to running an errand for me. I figured she was bored with nothing to do since she was retired many years at that point so, heck, she’d just say yes.

Well, fast forward 2+ years into retirement. I’m busier now more than I can say and still can’t quite seem to find the time for all the things that “need” to be done or I “want” to do. Now what point, you may ask yourself, is Anne trying to make here. Well, the point is that our annual car meet is next month, and I’ve taken over the task of registering cars from Jessica Bean, who did an amazing job of handling things these past number of years. Now it’s my turn to register your cars, and that’s definitely a “need” because if I don’t do it, a lot of car owners will be mighty unhappy.

Also, at last year’s car meet I thought the Valve Cover Racing track could use sprucing up (yes, you can say busy-body), so I spent the three days of the meet painting the track, except for the “winner’s circle.” That, Don and I hauled home after the show. But do you think I’ve finished painting it?

Nope. Nada. And it’s been 10 months! Another “need.” And I was so enthralled with the Valve Cover Racing last year that I bought not one but two valve covers to build a couple cars. Do you think I’ve done that? Uh-uh (though I have to say I’m still waiting for my nephew to get me the wheels off his old in-line skates). So these race cars I’d put in the “want” column.

I need to weed my garden. I want to fit in lunch with friends. I need to feed the cat. My list could go on and on. How about your list?

The 65th Annual Vermont Antique & Classic Car Meet is August 12, 13 & 14. You “need” to get your registrations in. Do you “want” to have to pay the increased rate by missing the deadline of July 15?

So get your registrations to me and you’ll be good to go. And by the time you read this, I’ll havefinished the “winner’s circle,” but, alas, I won’t have a car this year to send down the track.

We all “need” to be at the car meet in Waterbury this year. We “need” to welcome back all our Canadian friends. It’s been far too long. So see you next month. And if you get a chance, come to the registration booth to see me. I “need” to meet you in person!

The Softer Side of Barrett-Jackson

Don and I have been snowbirding in Arizona these last few months, and he got us tickets to the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale for January 27. I have sat through hours of TV viewing of the auctions while Don was engrossed in them, and I was intrigued by the whole “up close and personal” side of it but also hoping not to spend THE WHOLE DAY just watching cars being auctioned! Well, I can tell you that Barrett-Jackson has so much more to offer than cars. 

So early on the 27th, we left for Scottsdale. We arrived about 11 a.m., and making our way with 10,000 other people into the main pavilion, the first order of business was to find a bathroom! Ladies, I can tell you they’re all over the place, stall after stall after stall, and spotless, with NO waiting lines! Deliriously happy with that good start to the day, I continued following Don through the main pavilion and then 10, count ‘em 10 huge tents with cars either already sold or waiting to cross the auction block. 

In the midst of the main pavilion, we passed concession stands selling anything and everything you’d ever care to eat. Plus, outside in the beautiful sunshine in between the car tents were more food vendors. I felt like we were at the Champlain Valley Fair. The hardest part was figuring out where and what to eat. 

After satisfying our hunger, we made our way to the grandstands and watched the auction. Car after car passed over the block. We saw some cars sell for $20K and others over $100K in the blink of an eye! We then made our way through the automotive vendors. They were hawking everything: car lifts, concrete coating for garage floors, insurances, powder coating, chrome everything, tools……you get the idea. And as interesting as all this was, I was looking for something more. 

Well, next thing you know I’m standing at a jewelry booth trying on a $1.2 million natural pink diamond surrounded by 3 carats of top-of-the-line diamonds! It was gorgeous. (I think the booth was catering to the men who were dropping big bucks on cars and then, feeling guilty, buying jewelry to make their wives or girlfriends happy also!) 

After reluctantly handing back the ring, the next booth had beautiful bakery items for sale, or so I thought. I was salivating and just about ready to buy that irresistible-looking lemon/vanilla cupcake when I realized it was actually hand-made soap! 

You could get a facial, have your makeup done, get an astrology reading, buy cutlery. There were clothing boutiques and vacation resort promotions. It was like a Vermont home show on overdrive. And there was even live music every day of the auction from noon to 3 p.m. at Billy’s Tequila Stage. 

After a very full day of watching cars pass over the auction block and walking many miles by more vendor booths, Don and I made our way back to our car, but first I had to check out my new want: the new, all-electric 2022 Ford Lightning in pearlescent blue! 

Big Shoes to Fill

As you all, I’m sure, are aware by now, Gary Fiske a number of months ago sent word to the Board of Directors that he had made the big decision to step down as Editor of Wheel Tracks after publication of the October 2021 edition. He did not come to this lightly and let the board know that he needed to slow things down in his life and felt now was the right time to pass the job on to another person (though how can he slow down when he’s now the new president of the VAE and, as we saw in the recent October Wheel Tracks, his wife, Sharon, surprised him with an anniversary gift in the form of an antique GMC fire truck that needs A LOT of work?!)

Gary put out the call for a new editor, and after not hearing from anyone who wanted to take over, he embarked upon an ingenious way to break up the 12 pages of the magazine with 3 editors each taking four pages, and so far he has found two people (yours truly and the duo of Nancy & Ken Gypson). Unfortunately he’s still looking for that special third person but will continue editing pages himself (fortunately for us), until that time comes. So Nancy & Ken and I have agreed to become editors of eight pages. It’s a monumental task for us as neither Ken & Nancy nor I have any experience with MS Publisher. Gary has spent countless hours giving us a crash course on the software, even driving from his home in Enosburg to Colchester where I live not once, but twice, and driving to Poestenkill, New York, and staying overnight with Ken & Nancy to get them up to speed. So please be patient with us as we climb this steep learning curve to deliver to you the quality you’ve become so accustomed to.

Now back to Gary……..

Do you realize that at the end of this year he will have been editor for 11 years?!? That’s 11 years of gathering stories and photos and ideas from anyone and everywhere he could to compile 121 +/- monthly editions. And that’s month after month after month………for 11 years! Every month we’ve looked forward to seeingwhat he’s gathered, what submissions he’s received, what pictures he himself has taken, and every month Gary puts together a magazine as slick as any you might find from an association like ours.

So this is our inaugural issue. I know the Gypsons will agree with me that we have big shoes to fill. We’re up for the task, but please be patient with us as we learn how to make text boxes, insert pictures, line up headers, align, arrange, clip, cut & paste, change fonts, colors, scream, holler, and call Gary for help when you’ve just spent a couple hours on a page and it all of a sudden moves right by six inches seemingly on its own!

(Really, I didn’t do anything, and that’s a true story and I’m sticking to it.) He is ever so patient and calm in the midst of hysteria, even nine o’clock at night at the other end of the phone. Thank you, Gary, for giving all the VAE members a truly wonderful magazine delivered to their door each month. Ken & Nancy and I will hopefully do you proud!

Shuffle off to Buffalo? No, silly. Your list!

Have you ever noticed how things get lost in the shuffle? 

From the extra sock in the laundry room that hasn’t found its mate, to the health savings card sitting on your desk that needs verification on how much money is left on it, to the pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs that needs to go upstairs and find their home. Those are just a few of the things in my life that need to be taken care of. Do we call it procrastinating or ignorance, or are we just bored with the vagaries of life? 

Boredom is defined as the state of being bored; tedium; ennui. Ignoring something can be interpreted as refraining from noticing or recognizing. And of course procrastination is defined as deferring action or delaying. 

How would you define those items in your life? I think most people would say any or all of the above would apply at different times. 

So many things have changed in the last 18 months: how we socialize, learn, work, play. And how much time have we had on our hands that we could’ve dealt with our own personal “shuffle” category? But we’ve found creative and energizing ways to fill that time: Zoom meetings, getting outdoors and enjoying nature, taking online cooking classes. Our own personal lists are endless. 

But now with Vermont past the 80% vaccination rate, things are opening up for all of us to come together. We’re celebrating at a hurried clip. The 4th of July just passed and we got out and celebrated like it was the first 4th! Which brings me to our famous car show that is right around the corner. 

I know the committee has been working diligently through Zoom meetings and finally in person to make this a grand reopening of our wonderful VAE. You can’t say they’ve been procrastinating or ignoring the details. So it’s now up to all of us to put the finishing touch on the show by bringing our cars and that neighbor/friend/relative who has never been to the show. How cool would it be to have a record attendance? Pray for good weather so no one can find a reason not to come. 

Do not procrastinate, become bored or ignore things in your life. Look at the rest of this year and beyond as a whole new time to get those socks matched and clear the path up the stairs! 

What’s on your personal shuffle list to finally deal with? 

This and That

It’s May – yeah! “April showers bring May flowers” and, hopefully, a lot of old “normal” for all of us.

Did you know that phrase, according to George Latimer Apperson’s “Dictionary of Proverbs,” can be traced back to an 1886 saying “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”?

But if you do a little more sleuthing, some say the phrase originated in the United Kingdom or Ireland where the month of April, as we know, lends itself to rainy, cool weather which pushes back the arrival of the many spring flowers we so look forward to seeing.

Then, even more digging reveals that a poet named Thomas Tusser in the 1500s wrote “Sweet April showers do spring May flowers,” about looking on the bright side of things at life in general. And haven’t we all earned that bright side of life now?!

Life in general this past year brought us the “COVID 19,” a take-off of the “Freshman 15,” synonymous with a person’s first year of college weight gain. Well, it seems to be true if you read WebMD, which polled 1,000 people, and their very unscientific results showed people who ended up working from home were way too close to the cupboards and all those tasty snacks inside.

Those same people, in order to comply with restrictions, stopped going to the gym, ordered takeout at an unprecedented rate but also used their kitchens for its intended purpose: making/cooking three meals a day as compared to the on-the-go lifestyle of a quick or nothing breakfast and lunch.

Many have taken their gym memberships for granted as a way of keeping the weight off, but if we went back to the “olden days” of expending energy, we could come up with a list of things in our everyday lives that helped us keep moving more, such as……….

We don’t get up to answer the phone in the kitchen because everyone has their cell phones locked to the palm of their hands.

How about when we go out to pick up that pizza, we push the button to the garage door instead of manually raising and lowering it. And if you want to change the channel on the boob tube? Just keep that remote handy so you don’t have to get out of your Barcalounger (for you young people, that’s a brand of a really comfy recliner).
Need ice in that tall glass of lemonade? Just slip the glass under the spout of the ice maker on your fridge door. You don’t even have to push the lever; that sensor does all the work. No more getting the ice cube tray out, cracking the tray, and then having to refill it with water and then taking it back to the freezer.

A bicycle ride? Those eBikes will set you back $1200+, but you won’t break a sweat.

Does that lawn need mowing? Just hop on your John Deere and it’s done!

And one more for good measure: Raking up your leaves or sweeping the grass off your driveway just got easier with the Dewalt DCBL722P1 20V MAX XR Lithium-Ion Brushless Handheld Cordless Blower Kit because Santa Claus came through this past Christmas. I am so looking forward to using it any day now!

Are you one of the COVID 19 gainers? I’m proud to say I lost weight this past year. So, what direction will you take?

A Different Kind of Pandemic Story

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my maternal grandfather. His name was Maurice J. Villemaire, M.D., and he served the town of Milton, Vermont, as a general practitioner for 40 years. He was born in 1902, grew up in Winooski, went to medical school at the University of Vermont, did his residency out of state, and came back home to marry a cute nurse. They settled down on Main Street in Milton, hung out his shingle, and started practicing medicine in the early 1930s. until his death in 1972. His home and office were one and the same. 

All this background leads me to the early 1980s when, after my grandmother passed away. My mom and family were cleaning out my grandparents’ house, getting ready for sale. I remember we discovered heavy cardstock signs, 12 x 5 inches, with words like “mumps,” “German measles,” and “scarlet fever” on them. My mom told me the Vermont Department of Health provided these to doctors around the state for when they made house calls and diagnosed one of these dreaded diseases. She remembers my grandfather would nail the appropriate sign to the front door of a house as a quarantine measure. I always found it amazing that any of these signs survived, but under the front stairs were a stack of them! 

Science has come a long way: German measles (rubella) is no longer constantly present in the U.S. thanks to a vaccine developed long ago. Likewise, smallpox, a highly contagious, disfiguring and often deadly virus, was also eradicated decades ago after a worldwide immunization program. The World Health Organization considers it one of the biggest achievements of the time, in international public health. Whooping cough (pertussis), though not eradicated, is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that is easily preventable by vaccine. 

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. In the early 1950s, before the polio vaccines were available, polio outbreaks caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis each year. Do you remember seeing pictures of people lying in an iron lung? 

Following development by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1955 of the polio vaccine, the number of cases fell rapidly to less than 100 in the 1960s and fewer than 10 in the 1970s. 

His name was Maurice J. Villemaire, M.D., and he served the town of Milton, Vermont, as a general practitioner for 40 years. 

This brings me to the date of May 4, 1954, when my grandfather, Doc Villemaire, administered the first polio vaccine shot in Vermont to a child in Milton as part of national testing of the vaccine! I’ve often wondered what was going through his mind at the time? Would it save lives? Was he doing the right thing? 

Now, here we are, in 2021 with our very own version of a pandemic that has killed so many worldwide. I’m sure you’ve all read or heard news about the unprecedented research, development, time, money, and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

1954 polio shot
Boston Herald, May 5, 1954 Sandra Smith of the Checkerberry School in Milton, VT gets her Salk anti-polio shot from Dr. Villemaire. Milton was the 1st VT town to start the trials.

I still marvel today how men and women so many, many years ago, without the high-tech computers and modern-day scientific tools, were able to discover and produce those older vaccines that are still in use. 

I’m so very proud I can say that, back in his day, he was on the front lines and helped save lives! This also goes to show just how far the human race has come, yet how far we still have to go. 

UPDATE: With regard to my last article about the woodchuck, it seems he got into our neighbor’s shed and met his demise! I didn’t ask cause of death.