Estate Sales of the No Longer Living, Rockfire Firewalk Festival, Museum of the Creative Process & the Greatest Italian Deli in Vermont
Go south young man
Dinner's in the oven
Kids are in their bed
Wife is in the shower
Song is in my head
Good morning friends near and far! Greetings to you!
I took a little road trip to NYC last weekend and, obviously, had to get into some weirdness on the way down. Southern Vermont continues to provide…
I’m not sure how I missed these but it wasn’t until I moved to Vermont that I experienced my first estate sale: an entire house, full of stuff with every single thing sporting a price tag. Furniture, clothes, jars of nails, art, forks, rakes, junk drawers, linens, rugs – all for pennies on the dollar. The thrifter in me is thrilled, as is the voyeur. But who leaves a house full of their clothes and family photos? Mostly dead people I think. It’s a strange experience to see a life parceled off into three dollar chunks, sad and strangely beautiful, the ashes of capitalism spread far and wide to lookie-loos and thrift shop owners. Dust to dust indeed.
These folks have a sale every weekend in Vermont, sometimes two. So when I drove past a KC Scanlon sign (“ESTATE SALE TODAY!”) somewhere south of Rutland I had to follow the crumbs and found myself in a musty, crowded, carpeted cottage. An oversized scrapbook from a pile called to me. It was falling apart but stuffed with handwritten letters, typed poems, obituaries, postcards. Someone in 1938-40 poured themselves into making this, I felt compelled to save it from the dumpster. Maybe there’s a song in there somewhere…
This week’s sale in Stowe (“Fine Collector's Estate Tag Sale”) seems a little less fraught – always an adventure though.
If you’re here you know my love for Barre, VT is deep and deepening by the day. My summer schedule has never aligned with this event (hence the ??? rating) and I’ll miss it again this weekend, but boy does Rockfire super look like it checks the weirdo box. Witness:
“The centerpiece of the event is Firewalk, a three mile long procession lit by thousands of candles and luminaries with dozens of bonfires, all leading to variety of fire-lit art installations and 6 live performance stages.”
“In addition to the customary molten-metal and fire performances (emphasis! mine!), the fest includes a luminary-lit walk on a 1.5-mile route featuring eight stages where musicians channel Scottish, Italian and French Canadian sounds that hark back to Barre’s past.” - Seven Days
Someone go and tell me what number to put in that “???” box. I trust you.
Gonna lead with some pics on this one:
I mean, it’s called The Museum of the Creative Process so I obviously had to make a beeline for this joint. I did. And it was, um, something.
The Good: this valley, south of Manchester, is super special. I’ve only lollygagged through here a few times but each one has been indelible. Wonderful Points™ for location alone. There are a few sculptures on campus, indeed in a lane of their own, so that gets us a little further up the wonderful ladder. Regarding the content…
The Questionable: As you enter the “museum” the following is your entry point, your “Once upon a time,” “In the beginning,” “Call me Ishmael,” etc:
I try to read Gravity’s Rainbow every few years and never seen to make it very far into that either, so what do I know. Michael from TripAdvisor was also a bit bewildered by the museum and received this response:
To be continued when I can actually dedicate the bandwidth to this multidimensional theory of the universe? Probably.
A comment in a reddit post for “Best Sandwich in Vermont” led me to Al Ducci’s (look ma! research!). As I walked in, the matriarch behind the counter was on the phone: “Listen Wendy, we’re super busy right now so if you don’t know what you want think it over and call me back”… You had me at, “Listen Wendy.”
It’s chaotic and fancy and they put broccoli rabe on your chicken cutlet sandwich and the ladies working here have a take-no-shit-but-also-call-you-sweetheart vibe and I wish this weren’t 98 miles from my house because I would be here at least twice a week. I love this place and my sandwich was all kinds of flavors I’ve not experienced in Vermont. Glory be to Ducci.
On my way back home I spied what is apparently the last A&W Restaurant in Vermont. Burger, fries, root beer ordered and delivered through my car window, Dazed and Confused style. I had to, it’s my Texas roots. I regret nothing.
One last dealio for you city kids – you know how you see someone walking a dog and if it’s the same dog as your dog you have to tell them you have the same dog? Welp, I did that with a lady in Greenpoint, we got to chattin’ and she said her favorite WW thing going is Hot Honey Sundays, a free and BYOB outdoor dance party. I miss you Brooklyn.
Summer is ON, hope you’re deep in it you guys.
Love you miss you see you soon