RSSAll Entries in the "Left in Andover" Category

Left in Andover: A search for an ideal home

Left in Andover: A search for an ideal home

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC I lusted after the mug, coveting it for my very own. Henry Little, our hired man in 1956 and ‘57, brought it back to Andover for us from one of his many sojourns south of the border.Each side was more brilliantly glazed than the other. A wave of […]

Left in Andover: Keys to the past, and the future

Left in Andover: Keys to the past, and the future

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Last summer, relatives who were about to purchase Popplewood requested I play the role of “inspector” during the final walk-through of the premises before the sale was finalized. Never having bought or sold a house myself, I had to ask for clarification as to the nature of my […]

Left in Andover: Building a utopia from 'abandoned' Vermont lands

Left in Andover: Building a utopia from ‘abandoned’ Vermont lands

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1941, Alfred and Norma Jacob, Quaker Relief Service volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, purchased the last standing farmhouse on West Hill in Jamaica, Vt. During the post-American Civil War era, a mere 70 years earlier, an astounding 28 farms had thrived on that very same hill. […]

Left in Andover: A potter turns toward reality

Left in Andover: A potter turns toward reality

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC This is Part II of a two-part story on my journeys with pottery. Last week: Pottery as a spiritual pursuit My original plan to take the Hippie Trail home across India through Afghanistan to the Middle East and thence back to the USA lost its appeal after my […]

Left in Andover: Pottery as a spiritual pursuit

Left in Andover: Pottery as a spiritual pursuit

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC I divide my 51 years as a potter into several different stages. What started out as a spiritual experience for me at age 17 morphed into a much more mundane, “of this earth-ly world” career. This is Part I of a two-part story. Next week, Part II: On […]

Left in Andover: The canopy over his head

Left in Andover: The canopy over his head

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The box containing Dad’s cremated remains sat under the eaves at Popplewood for two whole years before we figured out what to do with them His instructions to “dump me on the compost pile” seemed crude if not illegal. But Dad’s opposition to the funeral industry left few […]

Left in Andover: Steering toward the good life

Left in Andover: Steering toward the good life

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC I treasure Simple Food for the Good Life, the 1982 non-cookbook by Helen Nearing (1904-1995), not for its recipes, but as a reminder of how fortunate I am to live in an era when women have the freedom to choose how much of their lives to invest in […]

Left in Andover: A whipping to end whippings

Left in Andover: A whipping to end whippings

 By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Compiling her “Vermont Historical Gazetteer,” Abby Maria Hemenway (1828-1890) enlisted the elders of each Vermont town and city to provide historical material, which she then edited and published from 1861 until her death. The section titled “The Local History of ANDOVER, VT.” (1886) includes a primary source contribution […]

Left in Andover: A long Thanksgiving walk

Left in Andover: A long Thanksgiving walk

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The Sunday before Thanksgiving, 1975, my dad and I set out for an adventure hitchhiking from Andover to Bennington, then onwards to Albany, N.Y., to visit Cousin Frances who had invited us to stay at her house overnight. The weather was mild for that time of year, and […]

Left in Andover: Martha's life of faith and family

Left in Andover: Martha’s life of faith and family

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Eight-year-old Martha Hennessy learned of the assassination of JFK standing in line at Perkinsville Elementary School. Fifty-seven years later, the Vermont native and grandmother of eight recalls: “That same year, 1963, we were still having duck-and-cover air raid drills because of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the perceived […]

Left in Andover: Taking the wheel, and a ticket home

Left in Andover: Taking the wheel, and a ticket home

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Although Dana-san, the boss, had given me  permission to work on the potters wheel, no one actually “taught” me. One learned by doing, in this land where questions as such were just not asked. I was assigned my own wooden kick wheel, the concrete base of which was […]

Left in Andover: The push to learn in Japan

Left in Andover: The push to learn in Japan

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC The downside of securing an apprenticeship at the Ogami Pottery was that I could no longer freely visit the other workshops in Tachikui village without feeling like a traitor. Wherever I wandered, workers quizzed me as to how the Ogamis did things: What tools and techniques did they […]

Left in Andover: Transformation in Japan

Left in Andover: Transformation in Japan

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1979 I resettled permanently on our family land in Andover with my life partner-to-be, fiddle player John Specker, my long held dream of establishing a family run pottery upmost in mind. John had recently come to southern Vermont from Ithaca, N.Y., where his bowing, singing and rhythmic […]

Left in Andover:  Discovering pottery in Japan

Left in Andover: Discovering pottery in Japan

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I started college at Antioch in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in the summer of 1969, it was an era when all the rules were being broken. I was desperate to create my own young adult identity. But it was disorienting to go from a very structured high school […]

Left in Andover: Finding the Promised Land

Left in Andover: Finding the Promised Land

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1942, at the age of 21, my mother was determined to escape her urban New York life. “The superficial, merry-go-round life of the city is hateful to me,” she wrote. “I want to get away from it and remain close to the soil. You are holding a […]

Left in Andover: Following the golden thread

Left in Andover: Following the golden thread

By Susan Leader © 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC A sermon by the distinguished guest preacher the Rev. Roland T. Heacock, presented at Simonsville Church in the summer of 1966, was instructive as to how to live a righteous life. The imagery was striking in his “Golden Thread” sermon: “I am giving you a thread, a […]

Left in Andover: Keeping up with Anne Mausolff

Left in Andover: Keeping up with Anne Mausolff

By Susan Leader 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC While visiting Middletown Cemetery in Andover this summer, I met a man paying his respects to his dad and son, whose ashes he had scattered guerrilla-style between two boulders where were no gravestones. Both had loved roaming nearby Markham Mountain to hunt, though neither had ever lived in […]

Left in Andover: Warp, weft and spinning a life

Left in Andover: Warp, weft and spinning a life

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the late 1960s and 1970s, when I viewed “dropping out” as a viable career option, I wrestled with what version of the Age of Aquarius would be right for me. I toyed with creating my own clothes, the goal being to make myself independent of the exploitation […]

Left in Andover: An oasis in our food deserts

Left in Andover: An oasis in our food deserts

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC My father Herbert Leader (1917-1988), self-described “Bennington boy,”  recollected driving out to the surrounding countryside as a small child with his father: “Pappa used to take the horse and wagon around the countryside, a rabbi from Slonim looking out for his flock. Sometimes he’d take me along and […]

Left in Andover: Apple picking plants seeds for lifetime of growth

Left in Andover: Apple picking plants seeds for lifetime of growth

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1978 my mother, Miriam Leader, wrote, “I search the reddened cheeks of a Northern Spy, my daughter’s cheeks rosy as she picked it … I am becoming greedy of those times.” I have no desire to reprise my time as a professional, seasonal orchard worker throughout my […]