Chester Chatter: A ball called Tommy and my guinea pig hairdo

By Ruthie Douglas
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

These past few days, I have been hanging out near my air conditioning, as I have been on the mend from a leg infection.

Being bored, I have been recalling times long ago, emptying out my head.

Our family oftentimes rented a cottage on Lake Hortonia for a couple of weeks in August.  We had great fishing and boating and swimming. We also took daytrips. We did our grocery shopping in Brandon.

My dad bought me a rubber ball for playing toss and catch with. It was a special ball for it had a boy’s face, complete with pug nose, freckles and dimples, painted red hair, ears and a wide smile. I named it Tommy. How I loved that ball. For at least two weeks it went everywhere with me. One day we went shopping and we parked on a hill.

When I opened the back door to the car, Tommy rolled out and down the hill. And I went running after him calling out “Tommy, Tommy,” as if he could hear me. But he went faster and faster that I couldn’t keep up. Tommy was not to be found.

How I cried. I was perhaps 8 years old. What made me think of Tommy after all these years? I went from Tommy to my pet Guinea pig Peggy. Peggy loved TV’s Gunsmoke. Most evenings, she cuddle up to my neck, making little noises. One morning I hurried into my classroom  and my teacher asked “Ruthie, what happened to your hair?” I learned that Peggy had chewed my hair in an uneven pattern. My Dutch boy haircut had ups and downs. And Peggy wasn’t allowed to watch Gunsmoke again!

Summertime visits, celebrations and music

Judy LaVallee has spent some time in Lancaster, S.C., visiting her daughter Lizzie Smith and her family. Judy also spent some time with friends Chris and Cheryl Cook.

Little Charlotte Adams celebrated her first birthday on Saturday with a family gathering at her home. She is the daughter of Ashley Austin and Damien Adams.

Wayne and Linda Stowell have been camping at Jamaica State Park with friends Ron and JoAnn Peck.

Joe and Jeanie Bolaski spent time in Wells Beach, Maine, celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary.

Springfield High School Class of 1959 met on a recent Friday with only nine present. Plans are already being made for next year’s alumni gathering, its 60th.

Music in the Meadow raised more than $10,000 for the Susan G. Komen Vermont Race for the Cure on June 30. The heat did not keep people away and it was a large turnout. Congratulations Pat Budnick, who has been putting on this event for 15 years.

  • This week’s trivia question: When did the Moon Dog Cafe, now located in Bellows Falls, open its doors in Chester?
  • Answer to June 11th’s trivia question: Second Avenue once went by the Baptist Church on Main Street in Chester, over the brook, up the hill, then down the hill to meet First Avenue.

Street Talk

Small amounts of marijuana is now legal for adults in Vermont. How do you feel about that?



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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 more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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