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Chester Chatter: The excitement in preparing for Thanksgiving

Chester Chatter: The excitement in preparing for Thanksgiving

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the days rushing up to Thanksgiving Day, our farmhouse was filled with a delicious smells. It was the beginning of getting the holiday dinner ready. Mother Helene loved holidays and she was a great cook. Every kitchen should have a pantry and that was what we had. […]

Chester Chatter: Deer camps were a center of camaraderie

Chester Chatter: Deer camps were a center of camaraderie

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Once, back in time, deer hunting was a much-enjoyed sport at this time of year. In early fall, deer camps were made ready, cleaned out, supplied with firewood for the stove and stocked with freshly clean blankets for the beds and oil for the lamps. Hunting of […]

Chester Chatter: Time moved slowly, and a steeple clock dazzled

Chester Chatter: Time moved slowly, and a steeple clock dazzled

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up in a hill town of rural Vermont in the 1920s, life moved at a slow pace. My mother-in-law Helene told me many stories of her growing up in Windham. Her father was a sawyer at the mill, and her family included three brothers and her […]

Chester Chatter: Farm life and the family business

Chester Chatter: Farm life and the family business

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC The family farm of times past was a great place to put down your roots. It was a comfort zone. When I married Don Douglas, I had never been in a barn before. Don wanted to show me the cows and calves. I was afraid of the cows […]

Chester Chatter: A home filled with dancing and love

Chester Chatter: A home filled with dancing and love

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC During the Depression, my mother was left a widow with three young children. She was a widow for five years when she met my father. They were married and soon had my sister Marie and me, making it a family of five daughters. Times were tough. But my […]

Chester Chatter: Let's not let art of letter-writing fade

Chester Chatter: Let’s not let art of letter-writing fade

By Ruthie Douglas 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Remember the joy of receiving a letter from someone you care about? Has it become a lost art? Recently, I received a letter — a complete surprise and a delight to me. It simply made my day. It also got me to thinking about a time when it […]

Chester Chatter: When radio news ruled the airwaves

Chester Chatter: When radio news ruled the airwaves

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Lately, I’ve been wondering about how we received the world news in the 1950s. When my father got home from work, one of the first things he would do is to turn on the radio for the 6 o’clock news. We girls would have to be quiet […]

Chester Chatter: Door-to-door salesmen to Tupperware parties

Chester Chatter: Door-to-door salesmen to Tupperware parties

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Remember a time, long past, of door-to-door salesmen? A knock at the door might mean the Fuller Brush salesman or perhaps the Knapp Shoe salesman. At the end of the Green Mountain Turnpike we even got a Sunbeam Bread man. Also there was Avon, Watkins products and […]

Chester Chatter: A short diary of a happy lunch lady

Chester Chatter: A short diary of a happy lunch lady

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Time spent working at Chester-Andover Elementary School made my job as supervisor of the hot lunch program a pleasure. It is very true, kids say the darnedest things. Perhaps time spent serving their lunch was short but they told me everything. The kids were so comfortable with […]

Chester Chatter: First day of school filled with anticipation

Chester Chatter: First day of school filled with anticipation

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Excitement was running high: Tomorrow would be the start of a new school year. We kids were anxious to get back to school and see our friends once again. That night, we had laid out our new school clothes so to have everything ready for morning. Opening […]

Chester Chatter: On the loving grandparents next door

Chester Chatter: On the loving grandparents next door

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC I had only one set of grandparents — my father’s parents died before I was born. My grandparents lived right next door. They were my biggest fans, they supported me always and stood by me. They nurtured and helped form my character. They did this by sharing […]

Chester Chatter: New mown hay on a hot summer day

Chester Chatter: New mown hay on a hot summer day

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Oh the scent of new mown hay! Come summer and the hay was ready to cut and put in the barn for the winter months ahead. The entire family all helped with the job. Under the sun, it was a hot job, but once evening came around […]

Chester Chatter: The joys of an old hardware store

Chester Chatter: The joys of an old hardware store

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC I came to live in Chester in 1957 and I knew it was where I wanted to live and never move from. It was the simple things: Stepping into the hardware store. Opening the door, just the smell of the oil on the wide-plank floors, the floor made […]

Chester Chatter: Swimming in the music of summer

Chester Chatter: Swimming in the music of summer

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up, my family’s source of entertainment was simple and mostly inexpensive. Come summer, on warm evening, we went to the music concerts at Riverside, where the school in Springfield is now located. The band — the town band, played selections to suit everyone. Instead of clapping, you […]

Chester Chatter: Watching a grandchild grow up

Chester Chatter: Watching a grandchild grow up

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC The call came. My new grandbaby had arrived. I rushed over to Springfield Hospital, hurried down the hall and turned into the room. It was a boy, in his father’s arms. Kissing him on the cheek I knew I would love this baby, named Ben, forever. Over […]

Chester Chatter: Lessons from one-room school houses

Chester Chatter: Lessons from one-room school houses

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC Chester at one time operated more than 20 one-room school houses. Once those schools served an important part in our outlying areas in hamlets such as Gassetts, Popple Dungeon and Smokeshire. They offered education and a meeting place for social gatherings. The teachers of these schools opened the […]

Chester Chatter: A little saw kicks up a lot of trouble

Chester Chatter: A little saw kicks up a lot of trouble

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC When my sister and I were teenagers with summer jobs as car hops at the local A&W, we no longer wanted to go up to camp every weekend with our parents. We were old enough to stay home and out of trouble — or so my mother thought. […]

Chester Chatter: Knee-deep in frogs

Chester Chatter: Knee-deep in frogs

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Young’s furniture store was just down the street from where I grew up in Springfield. We neighborhood kids kept an eye out for when it received deliveries. New appliances and furniture came in slab wood crates with heavy card board. We looked over the rubbish area and selected […]

Chester Chatter: Lakeside retreats for family 4th of Julys

Chester Chatter: Lakeside retreats for family 4th of Julys

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC My parents were married on the 4th of July. They took the Toonerville Trolley to Charlestown, N.H., and took the train up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a two-day honeymoon. As years went by, our family mostly celebrated their anniversary up at our camp on Cole Pond. We’d go […]

Chester Chatter: Town doctors a life-line in small communities

Chester Chatter: Town doctors a life-line in small communities

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC The country doctor had an important role in small town America. Folks counted on him to fix their ailments. They counted on him for all sort of advice as well. In Springfield, where I grew up, we were lucky to have two such doctors — Dr. Griffith and […]