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Entry date: 7-20-2022 - Weekend update part 1 - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


How in the heck are you all? I wrote ahead a few days so we could go on a little side trip to Burlington on Sunday. What a fun time! Let me share…


So, our friends Jamie and Eric came up from the coast to hang out on Saturday. Rhondi knows Jamie from high school (long story) and they live about three hours-ish away on the coast now. We hung out with them a bit last summer and had fun. Eric is an old music dude who had some roots in Phoenix, as well, so we know a few of the same people.


When I realized the Circle Jerks were playing in Boston and Burlington last weekend, I reached out to Eric to see if they wanted to join us for a show. I was leaning toward Burlington for a couple of reasons. One, I had never been there and two, it would be crazy expensive to stay in Boston on a Saturday night at any place decent.


Eric and Jamie were down for a road trip, so we got our ducks in a row. Saturday, we took a nice boat ride on Rangeley after they got here and then Rhondi made some excellent haddock. There is a fish truck that comes to town twice a week with fresh stuff and their haddock on Saturday was awesome.


Actually, Saturday was even good before our friends got here. Teresa went to the dump with me, and we had a wonderful ride and talk. We’ve been talking a lot since we’ve been up here, and it feels amazing. I feel like we are reconnecting in a way and I’m going to keep it going. I don’t know if I’ve been the best ally for her by trying to be there but stay out of her way, so I’m switching gears a bit and it seems to be working.


The dump in a Rangeley is a wonderful place, really. It’s a nice little drive over and there is a hilarious sign for a tight turn where someone has scrawled, “Wicked shaaaaaap.” It makes me smile every time I go there. The guys who work at the dump are very nice and helpful and make sure all the trash goes in the right spot. It is crazy how organized that place is and I am often curious if the guys there would want to do anything else.


They also have a place called the “Bargain Bin” which is a basically like one of those old portable classrooms schools would have filled with stuff people don’t want but don’t want to throw away. On Saturday, I got a really nice pea coat that fits amazing. It even has a liner. Someone didn’t want it anymore and boom…I have another coat for the winter up here. Liam has scored some great pants and there are tons of books. Teresa even got into the mix on Saturday and got some coffee cups for her friend.


After the dump, we went over to Haley Pond to help Paul, who is a friend of Cousin Ned’s, put an arcadia door on the building he is working on behind the camps. It was a lot of fun to do and I realized that I do enjoy building things. Well, I like helping. Someday, though, who knows? Maybe I will build a little structure of my own.


Paul is an interesting guy and very cool. Last summer I got a bunch of records from him. He is a music guy and had a bunch of old punk rock records. He made me a killer deal on them, and we both walked away happy. One of the records was an original press of This is Boston, Not LA and I was stoked to get it. During my time with The Freeze, we played a bunch of the songs off of it and they are really fun to play.


So, anyway, Teresa and I were at the pond for a bit and then went back home. As I mentioned, we went on a nice ride around the lake that afternoon after Jamie and Eric got up to Rangeley and it was really great. It was a warm day for up here, so being on the water with a decent breeze was perfect. Cousin Ellen and her friend, Wendy, joined us and we had a great time and conversation. Teresa even joined us, too, and she usually doesn’t like the lake.


On Sunday we got up, ate breakfast, and the four of us (Jamie, Rhondi, Eric, and I) took off for Vermont. Some of the drive I have been on three times now, but it is still fun. There is not a lot to see in top half of New Hampshire except trees and a few little towns, but it is still quite lovely. As we got into Vermont, though, I got to see some new places.


Vermont is very, very green. The forest areas are like Maine and New Hampshire, for sure, and the little towns are very reminiscent of Maine, at least to me, but it has a slightly different vibe. Most of my Vermont experience has been with people being not super friendly, but Sunday was different.


We stopped in Montpelier, which is the capital, and got some lunch and a beer. We found an excellent liquor store and they recommended the little tap room down the street and it was great. Three Penny Taproom is a must for beer lovers as they had a killer selection of beers on tap. I really liked an Italian pilsner we had called Arno. It was from Upper Pass and if you like an Italian pils, you’ll love it. I also tried the Hill Farmstead American pale ale called, What Is Enlightenment? and it was decent, too, but not my favorite.


We ended up meeting a guy from that brewery, Hill Farmstead, named Mike and he was really cool. He hipped us to a record store around the corner and that is where I will leave you for today.


See you tomorrow.



The sleepy town of Montpelier. Not super sleepy, though, when we were there. Stole this pic.

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