To the editor: A few clarifications on Vermont’s ‘Hippie Invasion’

I am writing in regard to her column by Susan Leader that appeared in the Chester Telegraph on Aug. 30, 2021 (Left in Andover: ‘Hippie Invasion’ irritated, but ultimately benefited Vermont.)

Susan interviewed me about the Vermont Media Project’s film, Vermont Speaks for Itself. I very much appreciated having the opportunity to talk about the film that was made in the 1970s and appeared on Vermont Public Television last year.

And I thank Susan for her enthusiasm about the project and her interest in the work of the activists back then. I would like to make a few additions and clarifications to her column. I came to Vermont after graduate school in New York, and returned to New York in 1979 but not to go to school.

The Burlington Free Clinic back then provided many services to the community but did not provide abortions. That was the Vermont Women’s Health Center, started in 1972 after Vermont legalized abortion in 1971. We can all be reminded of that history, especially now with abortion rights being threatened around the country.

One other addition, the Mt. Philo Inn was home to a collective, and was the main location where the Vermont Media Project produced Vermont Speaks for Itself. Although I spent a lot of time there during the production of the project, I was not a member of that collective, as it may have been assumed.

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter. And I appreciate and support local journalism.


Joyce Bressler

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