RSSAuthor Archive for Ruthie Douglas

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.

Chester Chatter: When the norm was repair, recycle and re-use

Chester Chatter: When the norm was repair, recycle and re-use

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC I my family home growing up, we were not very quick to throw away anything. Instead, we recycled or repaired. Downtown, there was a repair shop and that gentleman stayed very busy. My mother would send me there when she had a problem with any small appliance. The […]

Chester Chatter: A slower pace, a time for visiting

Chester Chatter: A slower pace, a time for visiting

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC A walk around the village streets of Chester in the 1950s looks different than today. Starting low on Route 103 was Putnam’s Diner, where the yard was nearly always filled with tractor trailer trucks. It was open nearly 24 hours a day. Moving up the road was the […]

Chester Chatter: Autumn leaves a child's delight

Chester Chatter: Autumn leaves a child’s delight

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Autumn leaves of red and gold come down in my neighborhood, creating a carpet that has covered the dried up grass of the summer past. As kids, we did not waste time to play and jump in the leaves. Later on our fathers would rake the leaves to […]

Chester Chatter: Vacationing in the car with kids

Chester Chatter: Vacationing in the car with kids

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When planning our two-week summer vacation, we would do so around some historic place. Don liked big cars, such as a Chrysler New Yorker. It took us — me and the two girls — a couple of days to pack and get ready to go. The back seat […]

Chester Chatter: Perfect fall day for a flea market

Chester Chatter: Perfect fall day for a flea market

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Saturday was a near-perfect fall day to spread your wings and breathe in some fresh air. The American Legion Post 67 utilized for the first time its new property across from their home in Chester. It became a flea market and craft fair. You should have seen it. […]

Chester Chatter: Drive-ins were for family time

Chester Chatter: Drive-ins were for family time

By Ruthie Douglas 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Some Saturdays, my mother would begin to pop popcorn, filling a big paper bag and adding butter and salt. It was a signal that my sister and I understood. Later we would be going to the drive-in movies in Bellows Falls, one of my family’s favorite things to […]

Chester Chatter: A sad but true tale of cash cows

Chester Chatter: A sad but true tale of cash cows

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC A Vermont farmer doesn’t always need to count on the New York City stock exchange for big money. On one hot summer night with our bedroom windows wide open, I awoke to hear the pounding of hooves and cows stampeding down the dirt road. Worse than that, I […]

Chester Chatter: Memories of first day of school

Chester Chatter: Memories of first day of school

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Come Labor Day, most Vermonters would head to the State Fair in Rutland and never ever did school start until afterward. As a student, I always loved stepping into my new classroom for the very first time. And that was because of the smells. On our desks sat […]

Chester Chatter: Tater Hill was work, but also a party

Chester Chatter: Tater Hill was work, but also a party

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1974, Tater Hill Country Club was up and ready for tennis and golf.  It was decided to hold a grand opening complete with fireworks. I think that Windham had never had a traffic jam before then nor since. It turns out that the fellow who said he […]

Chester Chatter: The beginnings of Tater Hill GC

Chester Chatter: The beginnings of Tater Hill GC

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1974, Don Warner hired me to work for him on his new project. He had designed a golf course and air strip high on a hill in Windham. The clubhouse was the old farmhouse and the attached barn became the lounge. It meant hours of work but […]

Chester Chatter: A porch makes a home

Chester Chatter: A porch makes a home

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Every house should have a porch because that is what make a house a home. A porch is a place to step outside under a roof. Although a deck is nice, it can’t take the place of a porch. Put a roof on it. My family had a […]

Chester Chatter: Wash day, the longest day

Chester Chatter: Wash day, the longest day

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Homemakers of the 1950s were apt to keep a routine for their household chores. Monday meant wash day. The wringer washing machine was kept in the unheated back room, so come Saturday night Dad wheeled the machine into the house to warm up. As we kids got ready […]

Chester Chatter: The tale of toad and frog

Chester Chatter: The tale of toad and frog

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the late 1960s, the government gave money to lots of small Vermont towns to be used for summer programs for children. Just down the road from my house was the town of Bartonsville. It was in a different county from my farmhouse but my daughters still were […]

Chester Chatter: Ah, those trips to the dump

Chester Chatter: Ah, those trips to the dump

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Yippee! Yippee! School was out and summer vacation had begun for me and my sister. My Uncle Kenny had a butcher shop and small grocery in front of our house. The shop was closed on Mondays and my sister and I would hang out with him. We really […]

Chester Chatter: Air conditioning ushered in changes

Chester Chatter: Air conditioning ushered in changes

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up I did not know anyone who had air conditioning in their homes. This was the 1950s. No one had air conditioning in their car, either. We had one big fan that we moved around from room to room, whereever we were. Often we sat on our […]

Chester Chatter: A softball league of our own

Chester Chatter: A softball league of our own

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC The Green Mountain Softball League is celebrating 41 years of playing on its field off Route 103 in Chester. It all started in Londonderry with an idea from a few young boys. Alan Benson of Weston helped get everything started. Neil MacKenzie of Chester donated funds to help. […]

Chester Chatter: My not-so-older sister

Chester Chatter: My not-so-older sister

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC My sister Marie and I were what is known as Irish twins. We were 10 months apart as well as being born in the same year. That meant that we started 1st grade together. But still, Marie was my big sister who helped me climb out of my […]

Chester Chatter: A time to get organized

Chester Chatter: A time to get organized

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Stop everyone. Take a minute and don’t make comparisons between the Depression and how we are living right now. Back in the 1930s, many people didn’t have a telephone, a radio or a car. This year as we have been told to stay at home, we at least […]

Chester Chatter: Fireworks at the Douglas farm

Chester Chatter: Fireworks at the Douglas farm

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC As a little girl, I loved fireworks. In the years of my growing up, anyone could shoot off fireworks in their backyard, their driveway or the street. You didn’t have to wait to use fireworks for any particular time because you could celebrate birthdays, a new baby, an […]

Chester Chatter: Bird calls and backward shorts

Chester Chatter: Bird calls and backward shorts

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When school was out for the summer, the girls were ready for our annual two-week vacation. We usually planned those family trips for the immediate weeks following the end of school and we always went to some historic place. One time we visited Colonial Williamsburg. It was mighty […]