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Left in Andover: Taking a little break

Left in Andover: Taking a little break

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Editor’s Note: Susan Leader is taking a little time off.  

Left in Andover: The universe in a pocketbook

Left in Andover: The universe in a pocketbook

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC According to my smart phone, I now carry 7,282 photos with me everywhere I go. They comprise an impenetrable mishmash of videos of grandchildren, photos of trees, as well as documents and reminders to self. I get lost in them, unable to distinguish which are of value. I […]

Left in Andover: Perfectly ordinary beauty

Left in Andover: Perfectly ordinary beauty

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC I spent most of my year and a half in Japan, from late 1972 to early 1974, bent over a potters wheel. But I did take a monthlong break between apprenticeships to hitchhike around the country. I managed to visit every single one of the six ancient kiln […]

Left in Andover: A personal Passover celebration

Left in Andover: A personal Passover celebration

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC The eight days of Passover celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Especially at this latitude, it is also a festive welcoming of spring, symbolizing rebirth and hope in the Jewish context. The Passover ritual, held around the dinner table, is called a Seder, meaning […]

Left in Andover: A Latin lover lives in Vermont

Left in Andover: A Latin lover lives in Vermont

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC I was the beneficiary of my father’s unfulfilled ambition to be a high school Latin teacher. An insatiable lifelong learner, he sprinkled his every day speech with Latin phrases and aphorisms. Of course, more than 60 percent of the English language has roots in Latin and Greek. In […]

Left in Andover: The many paths to becoming <br> an independent woman

Left in Andover: The many paths to becoming
an independent woman

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC I was 14 years old when Lydia Ratcliff bought Lovejoy Brook Farm on East Hill. It was 1965, and back then, single female farm owners were not a thing. Like everyone else in Andover, I wondered how long she would last. By that age I was on the […]

Left in Andover: Found in translation

Left in Andover: Found in translation

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up, I never suspected my extended family of any deep secrets. Boy was I mistaken. Now I yearn to recreate the kitchen and Popplewood porch gatherings of my childhood, to sift for evidence. At that age, I was focused on my aunts’ cooking rather than on their […]

Left in Andover: Wrestling with electrical power

Left in Andover: Wrestling with electrical power

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Project Independence, President Richard Nixon’s response to the energy crisis created by OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo, called for blanketing America with 1,000 nuclear power plants by the end of the 20th century. Although the theoretical advantages of nuclear power were great, NIMBY-style resistance proved even greater. Communities across […]

Left in Andover: Home Dem meetings were <br> a lifeline for rural women in the 1950s

Left in Andover: Home Dem meetings were
a lifeline for rural women in the 1950s

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I was a child, my mother looked forward to Andover “Home Dem,”or Friendly Club meetings. Open to all, they were held at a different member’s home each month. Each meeting included a practical educational topic of discussion as well as time to socialize. The Home Demonstration movement […]

Left in Andover: Grandma Freda's determined life

Left in Andover: Grandma Freda’s determined life

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC After Mom died in 2012, I inherited my maternal grandmother Freda Freund Bergman’s intimate diary in a box of mementos I brought back to Vermont. The fraying, soft-leather five-year journal holds Grandma’s unexpurgated entries from when she and the 20th century were both in their 40s. I doubt […]

Left in Andover: Correspondence with mother

Left in Andover: Correspondence with mother

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC From the late 1930s when she left home through her years as a 1950s housewife in Andover, my mother showered her mother with chatty, revelatory letters and postcards. At times, the correspondence was almost daily. Grandma saved it all. When my parents bought Popplewood Farm in 1950, Grandma […]

Left in Andover: The singular steps of Martha Hennessy

Left in Andover: The singular steps of Martha Hennessy

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., honoring his call to action against “the triple evils of militarism, racism and materialism,” Martha Hennessy along with nine other non-violent Catholic activists, the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, entered the premises of the […]

Left in Andover: The unbearable lumpish oatmeal

Left in Andover: The unbearable lumpish oatmeal

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC In his poem Oatmeal, Galway Kinnell, Vermont poet laureate from 1989 to 1993, enlivens his solitary morning bowl by inviting “imaginary companions“ to share it with him. The Pulitzer Prize winner’s Rolodex includes some persons of note: “Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him: due to […]

Left in Andover: Communing with commune life

Left in Andover: Communing with commune life

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Blame it on my father that I ended up joining a commune. I was sitting on the porch at Popplewood when he tossed me the New York Times open to the family/style section. (To see the article, click here.) “Where Craftsmen Pursue Philosophy and an Almost Monastic Life” […]

Left in Andover: Joe Gould kills his own pig

Left in Andover: Joe Gould kills his own pig

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Joe Gould’s Teeth, by Harvard historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore, explores the life and times of renowned Greenwich Village graphomaniac Joe Gould. In the 1920s, this Harvard educated artist/madman bursting with noblesse oblige, proposed to write an “Oral History of Our Time:” “Apart from literary merit […]

Left in Andover: Long before Amazon, there was Alvin Adams

Left in Andover: Long before Amazon, there was Alvin Adams

By Susan Leader ©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC Days after the holiday, Joe Gould’s Teeth, a book by historian by Jill Lepore, finally arrived in Andover, three weeks after I placed my order. “little joe gould has lost his teeth and doesn’t know where to find them,”  wrote the poet E.E. Cummings. The sentiment was mine […]

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 […]