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Left in Andover: Susan takes well-deserved break

Left in Andover: Susan takes well-deserved break

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC I will be on break from “Left in Andover” for the remainder of the year to collect my ideas going forward. I wish to thank The Chester Telegraph and our readers for the opportunity to write this weekly column. It has caused me to look inward, providing motivation […]

Left in Andover: Taking the week off

Left in Andover: Taking the week off

Susan Leader will be taking the week off from her Left in Andover column, which will return next week.

Left in Andover: The sword, and the stones of the Bennington Battle Monument

Left in Andover: The sword, and the stones of the Bennington Battle Monument

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In late June of this year, the bronze sword attached to the statue of General John Stark at the Bennington Battle Monument site went missing, but was found within a matter of hours. Was removing Stark’s sword a political act, a copy cat action related to the dismantling […]

Left in Andover: Some heroes don't wear capes

Left in Andover: Some heroes don’t wear capes

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I was little, my family made frequent trips to Bennington from Andover to visit our aunts. We developed various rituals coming into town including who could catch sight first of the Bennington Battle Monument. Then, yelling “keppel” (Yiddish for head), we ducked our heads in unison as […]

Left in Andover: The mouth of the Williams River

Left in Andover: The mouth of the Williams River

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC During my childhood in the 1950s, I almost never went to the doctor. My mother nursed us through earaches, measles, mumps and chicken pox with hot water bottles and rest on the living room couch. She dismissed fluoride as rat poison. tetanus shots were resorted to only for […]

Left in Andover: A woodland Rosh Hashanah

Left in Andover: A woodland Rosh Hashanah

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC On Nov. 6, 1950, shortly after closing on Popplewood Farm in Andover, Mom wrote Grandma: “We were in Rutland on Sunday night with the express purpose of meeting the Jewish community. We went to the Jewish Community Center and Modern Orthodox Synagogue housed together in one beautiful building. […]

Left in Andover: Treasures within the thrift shops

Left in Andover: Treasures within the thrift shops

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC The boxes of hand-me-downs mailed to us every fall by Mom’s cousins in Cincinnati were a high point of my young life growing up in Andover. We kids had never met these cousins in person but, like clockwork, one of them seemed to have always just outgrown my […]

Left in Andover: Peru Fair pottery sales & parades

Left in Andover: Peru Fair pottery sales & parades

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Ever since 1984, when I got serious about earning a living as a potter, I have looked forward to my annual Peru Fair “seconds sale” as a chance to clear away the old, to make space for the new — my pottery New Year’s celebration of sorts. In […]

Left in Andover: Ancient cellar holes a window to the past and future

Left in Andover: Ancient cellar holes a window to the past and future

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC A hundred feet off my front doorstep lies the original cellar hole to the “West Place, so-called,” as my property is referred to on the deed. Lucy Jones West bought her eponymous homestead in 1866, a year after her husband Henry West was mustered out of the Union […]

Left in Andover: Drawing strength from the roots

Left in Andover: Drawing strength from the roots

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When we moved into a cabin on my family’s land in Andover in 1979, one of the first things my partner John Specker did was plant trees. Following in the footsteps of his great grandfather at his farm in the Catskills, John dug up evergreen seedlings in early […]

Left in Andover: A wider world, a wider vision

Left in Andover: A wider world, a wider vision

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I sent my tender firstborn off to kindergarten in Chester in 1989 I fretted she would eat white sugar, discover Twinkies and Barbies, celebrate Christmas, take the DARE program literally and go steady by third grade. Although my daughter did most of the above, I discovered it […]

Left in Andover: Treasures in the stones

Left in Andover: Treasures in the stones

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC According to The Local History of Andover, Vt, written by H.H. Gutterson and published in 1886, the earliest settlers of this area “could have had any part of the Connecticut valley they came through, at the same price they paid for their farms here; but the early settlers […]

Left in Andover: Local newspapers, social trust

Left in Andover: Local newspapers, social trust

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Mrs. Frieda Bergman is spending some time at the Herbert Leader home” in Andover. The deep winter time frame for my maternal grandmother’s visit was possible because she had taken a job teaching in a nearby one room school. “Seven little friends,” continued correspondent Estelle Bentley’s March 1952 […]

Left in Andover: Tackling adversity and bridging differences

Left in Andover: Tackling adversity and bridging differences

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Teaching is my job,” wrote Scott Nearing from Forest Farm, his remote Winhall homestead, in 1944. “I have been sure of that ever since I gave my first sociology courses at Temple University, Philadelphia, back in 1903. Teaching has three essential aspects: 1) to arouse interest,  2) to […]

Left in Andover: A step back to go forward in women's health care

Left in Andover: A step back to go forward in women’s health care

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Brattleboro Hospital was the place to deliver when I had my two babies in the mid-1980s. It had been early to adopt woman-centric policies, offering my women friends and me wide latitude in our birth plans. But Springfield was a shorter drive from my home in Andover. I […]

Left in Andover: Home in the hills of Vermont

Left in Andover: Home in the hills of Vermont

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Due to the pandemic, scores of non-resident property owners have worked remotely from area ski and vacation homes. Many will choose to remain as full-time residents. And even more will continue to find their way here as air travel becomes increasingly problematic. I believe future leaders of our […]

Left in Andover: The gift in the rituals of death

Left in Andover: The gift in the rituals of death

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Four women, members of the local chevra kadisha burial society, arrive to perform the ancient rite of tahara, or washing the body of the deceased, upon my mother. As I cross the dimly lit funeral home lobby on my way out to grab a soy latte, they reach […]

Left in Andover: Waters in the heart

Left in Andover: Waters in the heart

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC A hundred feet into the woods off my front porch is a shallow well hand dug in the 1950s by a hermit who lived in the cabin which is now my pottery studio. We dubbed it Hammy’s Well after our daughter’s hamster met its demise there many years […]

Left in Andover: Vegetarians in meat-filled world

Left in Andover: Vegetarians in meat-filled world

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC As a hyper-sensitive vegetarian child in the 1950s I avoided close-up contact with the chickens my family kept for eggs. Obscured underneath their pretty feathers, my X-ray vision detected dead poultry as displayed at the supermarket. My little brother, on the other hand, enjoyed picking them up and […]

Left in Andover: Between Chester and home

Left in Andover: Between Chester and home

By Susan Leader ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC As a child in the 1950s, I developed my home town identity attending Peaseville School in Andover. The other kids and families who lived scattered among the surrounding hills were my world. Their names, faces and home places are forever etched in my brain like points on a […]