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22 Jul 2007
American Society of Dowsers Convention July 29 - Aug 6


My Uncle Bill was a very likable person whom I recall as having a bemused smile on his face as though life were a mostly silly affair playing out in front of us. He and my aunt owned a women's clothing store in Worcester MA but in the evenings he sat in his favorite chair drinking a few Carling Black Label beers and listening to his police scanner (rare equipment several decades ago and I'm not sure it was technically legal at the time). We would read and talk but when the radio crackled and a voice came over it, he would cock his head and listen while carrying on whatever he was doing. I would ask him what was going on and he would explain.

Bill (I call him Bill now that I'm the age he was when I knew him) introduced me to the American Society of Dowsers . He belonged to it and told me it certainly did work and that our ancestors believed so too. Like anything, it was a skill that some people were born with and other people had to learn. You got better at it by practicing. I joined. I received an occasional newsletter but, like many teenagers, or at least the lot I hung out with, my interests changed from year to year finally focusing most of the time on such modern wonders as internal combustion powered mobile machinery, and girls.

A few years ago, those memories of Bill came back when I discovered (or re-learned) that the American Society of Dowsers is headquartered in Vermont. Danville to be specific. It's near Cabot, Peacham, and St. Johnsbury in the northeast part of the state, and just an hour's drive from where I live.

Dowsing is the ancient (and I mean ancient - thousands of years) art of finding water by walking over a piece of ground holding a dowsing stick which moves when you cross underground water. It's usually water that is sought but it can be other items too if you are really good at it. In rural parts of the world, like VT, it is how people used to find a place to dig a well. Dowsers are still in use today for such purposes.

Like any self respecting group of five or more people living in two or more places, they have an annual convention . This year will be their 47th. It is being held at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, just 20 minutes down the road from us. I should go. It would make Bill smile. In fact, he would get a kick out of it if a bunch of us went so why don't you plan to show up also.

There will be workshops, schools, speakers, vendors, the usual rigmarole you see anywhere but I think this one will be more entertaining and educational than most I can think of.

Have fun, learn some new things, and keep an eye out for people with pleasantly quiet demeanors, slight grins, and a twinkle in their eye - they may be relatives of mine.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
 
Events , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  21:49 | permalink



20 Jul 2007
Stowe's Antique and Classic Car Show August 10 - 12, 2007


Stowe's Antique and Classic Car Show is one of the state's largest events, attracting more than a thousand rare and unusual vehicles. This year it will be held Aug 10 - 12 and will be located as usual at Nichols Field on Route 100 a few minutes south of Stowe village.

Tip: the best time to visit the show is mid-morning to early afternoon. Usually by 3:00, the majority of the cars have left the field and the exhibitors are out touring or going to dinner. That is especially true on Sunday when many of them leave late morning to begin the trip home which may be as long as a day's drive for some of them.

This event is always held rain or shine. I can't remember what the admission price is (perhaps $8 ?) but it's reasonable. There is a food tent and, while it's not great food, it's probably what you would expect: hamburgers, hot dogs, and so on that are OK. But there are plenty of alternatives: Stowe has about 55 restaurants and they range from good quality to outstanding.

If you are a car enthusiast, you should also note the British Invasion which takes place also in Stowe, Sept 14 - 16, 2007, and is one of the country's largest all British cars shows with about 600 cars entered each year.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus

 
Events
posted by  grunhaus at  19:51 | permalink



16 Jul 2007
Sailing Regatta Looking for Crew Members


Here's something different to do on your trip to Vermont: volunteer to be a crew person on a sailboat at the annual Regatta for Lake Champlain. The regatta is a fun event, not a serious race, that raises money to benefit several organizations working to help the lake. Beginners are welcome.

There is a July 20 Friday adult party from 7:00 pm to midnight (tickets at the door or online) at the ECHO Aquarium in Burlington. The party would be a fun way to wrap up a visit to the Vermont Brewers Festival (see my entry below).

The Regatta is the next day, Saturday July 21.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
 
Events , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  21:40 | permalink



12 Jul 2007
Messing About With Boats at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum July 14 and 15


"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats." *


This weekend, Saturday July 14 & Sunday July 15, 2007
the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is having its Small Boat Festival celebrating the pleasures of building and putting a small boat on the water.

You can just watch or be hands-on in learning how to build, row, paddle, or sail. There will be canoes, kayaks, sailboats to try.

The Kids Duct Tape Regatta is always a hoot. Families are invited to design, build, and race a cardboard creation held together with duct tape. It's surprising how well many of them work. Construction is from 11:00- 1:00 with the regatta at 1:30. Tip: see the Museum's "Boat Building in the Champlain Valley" exhibit for some how-to's.

Umiak outfitters will have beginner and advanced kayaking classes.

On Sunday, the Lake Champlain Challenge three mile race takes place at 11:30 and is open to non-motorized boats. Last year, 50 watercraft raced in this event.

There is also a Boats Around the World photography exhibit featuring 125 photographs ranging from fishing boats in Ghana and Malaysia to sailing ships on the Adriatic and the coast of Maine. The exhibit will be on view through July 29.

And there is an exhibit of building a birch bark canoe by Aaron York, an internationally recognized Native American Artist based in Swanton, Vermont, based on academic research to be a replica of the type seen by Samuel de Champlain during his travels here in 1609.

* "There is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it."

Rat to Mole in the classic children's book, The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, published 1908. See the Wikipedia entry for more information. There is no copyright on the book since it is so old and therefore you can read it in its entirety on Wikipedia also.


Ratty and Mole Messing About in Boats

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor except the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum photo, and illustration from Wikipedia
 
Events
posted by  grunhaus at  12:12 | permalink



11 Jul 2007
Vermont Brewers Festival July 20 + 21
Vermont is home to more breweries per capita than any state in the USA. To many of us, that's good. Fewer people, more beer.

Once a year, all those brewers put down their hops shovels and get together on a lake front to celebrate and do a little competing. They even invite some of their friendly competitors from Massachusetts, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Delaware.

This year, the Vermont Brewers Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 at Waterfront Park in Burlington in the northwest part of the state. Take Exit 14 from I-89, go toward downtown Burlington 1.5 miles on Route 2, Main Street, to the dead end in front of the old train station. Turn right on Lake Street and you will see the festival on your left.

Participating brewers are there by invitation only, based on brewery capacity, distinctiveness, and product quality. The festival will have many brands of lagers, ales, and unique products such as fruit beers, barley wines, and Belgian-style white beers. You can read descriptions of the breweries and other information in the 16 page Festival Guide which is available at the festival or by downloading here.

The website has a detailed schedule of the musical entertainment, food, vendors, and educational sessions. These educational opportunities include: Cooking with Beer, Organic Beer Panel Discussion, Chocolate and Beer Pairings, Grilling with Porter, Beer & Cheese Pairings, Hop School.

Waterfront Park in Burlington is a very attractive large grassy area next to Lake Champlain with great views of the NY Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains in the other direction. Tip: bring your camera and hang around for some wonderful sunsets.


Two Vermont Brewers signs will be raffled at the Festival to benefit the Cooking for LIfe program, part of the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus


 
Events
posted by  grunhaus at  20:40 | permalink



11 Jul 2007
VT Mozart Festival July 15 - August 5
"The hills are alive with music," and Vermont is full of music performances especially during the summer. One of the largest events is the Vermont Mozart Festival which starts this weekend and runs through early August. The Inn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne VT will be hosting the first performance. (Google map.)

In case of rain, the performance will be moved to the Robert E. Miller Expo Center Champlain Valley Fairgrounds Essex Junction, Vermont. (Google map.)

Many performances are scheduled during the summer and you can see a VT Mozart Festival calendar here. These concerts are a nice way to wrap up a day. Most begin at 7:00 to 8:00 pm and last about two hours. You are encouraged to bring a picnic basket. Dress is casual.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus

 
Events
posted by  grunhaus at  12:16 | permalink





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