Chester Chatter: No such thing as scraps

By Ruthie Douglas
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

When you bought shoes from the shoe store on Main Street in Springfield, they would hand you shoes wrapped in tissue paper and in the covered box.  Not only did my grandmother save the box, she saved the tissue paper as well.

With a warm iron, she would press the paper, fold it neatly and pack it away. Come Christmas, we kids recognized Grandma’s presents, wrapped in the tissue paper and tied with scraps of yarn.

The lessons I learned from Grandma followed me through the years. I saved rubber bands from the Rutland Herald, string tied around the meat from Jamison’s Market  and paper clips from the bank. Folks have teased me about my habits. But they always knew who to go to for rubber bands, string and paper clips.

At the farmhouse, we had a ragman come by our farmhouse to collect old rags that we wanted to get rid of. He loved to stop by for a visit to have a cup of tea and share stories. He was Jewish and from Europe. And during World War II he had avoided the concentration camps by moving around frequently and staying with friends who hid him before he could make his way to the United States. He loved his new home.

We gave him what rags we had, collected in a large pillowcase ready for his visit.

Gatherings and celebrations

All over our town folks have shared holiday meals with friends and family. Hope you had a great holiday.

Chris Greene is back home with his family after working in Louisiana for a few weeks.

Brian Waldo, his mother Shirley Waldo and sister Cathy and husband Bruce McWilliam and I had Christmas dinner together at Springfield Health and Rehab. We recalled old times in Chester and had a nice visit and some laughs.

Fran and Corey Riendeau of Virginia were in Chester for the holidays spending time with family.

Congratulations to Becky Klopchin, Jessica Call and Kayla Cook who are recent graduates of the LNA program at Springfield Health and Rehab.

A big thanks to my family and the Grahams, who sang Christmas songs to my roommate and me on Christmas Eve.

Molly Bee, the 27-year-old pony of Sue Griswold, died on Saturday, Dec. 29. Sue had had this rescue pony for 10 years. Molly Bee was much loved and will be greatly missed. She was buried on the Griswold property.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Card shower for Phoebe Barnes

The family of Phoebe Barnes is celebrating her 90th birthday Jan. 10th with a card shower. Phoebe has been a resident of Chester for more than 60 years since she moved here with her late husband, Albert Barnes.

Phoebe worked in Chester and together with her husband raised their six children — Lewis, Tim, Kathy, Kevin, Richard and Julie — in Chester. Please help us wish her the happiest of birthdays with a card.

Cards can be sent to:
Phoebe Barnes
354 Depot St.
Chester, Vt. 05143

  • This week’s trivia question:  Where was rollerskating once held in Chester and on what day of the week?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Tom Henning’s pizza parlor was located where the Mountain Leather Shop once was and where the Main Street Coffee and Scoop Shop now sits.
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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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