RSSAll Entries in the "Left in Andover" Category

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 […]

Left in Andover: The Coolidge connection

Left in Andover: The Coolidge connection

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC As a young child I used to hike up Weston Road with my mother to Middletown Cemetery, where we enjoyed trying to figure out the stories behind the gravestone inscriptions. What triple misfortune befell the Chandler family, summers end, 1839? Even the ministrations of Dr. Charles Chandler, husband […]

Left in Andover: A bit of Hetty Green in Weston

Left in Andover: A bit of Hetty Green in Weston

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1966, I inherited my older sister’s job as a housekeeper at the newly rebuilt Weston Playhouse, designed by architect and esteemed native son Ray Austin. What I most dreaded was cleaning the toilets. Luckily for me, all the bathroom fixtures in the upstairs actors’ quarters were still […]

Left in Andover: Finding our place in France

Left in Andover: Finding our place in France

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Late August 1963, stranded in Helsinki, my family and I explored the city, subsisting on hearty black bread, figs and sour yogurt from an open air market. A family living near the Olympic Stadium rented us the dining room of their mansion, outfitted with five beds. An overly […]

Left in Andover: Starting at the Finnish line

Left in Andover: Starting at the Finnish line

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Free-standing saunas, some in excellent condition, others rotted into the ground, still punctuate the hills of Andover. It was not possible to grow up here without being aware of its Finnish heritage. “Yksi, kaksi, kolme … one, two, three” and “Paha tytto, paha poika … bad girl, bad […]

Left in Andover: A job stopped on a dime

Left in Andover: A job stopped on a dime

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1957 and 1958, I attended school up in Burlington for part of each school year. My dad had scored a job as an assistant librarian at the University of Vermont in late 1957, shortly after he recovered from his operation for a brain tumor. This was the […]

Left in Andover: Getting in touch with the earth

Left in Andover: Getting in touch with the earth

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC For me, summer on Popplewood Farm in 1958 meant forced labor. I detested the endless hoeing of weeds in my family’s large vegetable garden. There were, however, several limited compensations. When no one was watching, I dallied, catching grasshoppers to feed my kitty, who lolled in the grass, […]

Left in Andover: Bewitching water in the 1980s

Left in Andover: Bewitching water in the 1980s

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Hard by the original cellar hole on the West Place – as our deed identifies the southern section of my family’s Popplewood Farm – is where my husband John Specker and I decided to build a “real” house, in 1988. We had dithered through the decade living in […]

Left in Andover: Big house, little house, book barn

Left in Andover: Big house, little house, book barn

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Until I came across Thomas C. Hubka’s transformational book Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, I assumed that the purpose of our Popplewood Farm “little house,” as we called the honey room, and breezeway was just to make it easy to get to the barn in the […]

Left in Andover: Living off of and for the land

Left in Andover: Living off of and for the land

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1979, my parents gifted me two cabins and some land, the one-time ‘back forty’ of our Popplewood Farm in Andover. I have lived there ever since. This head start made it possible for me to pursue my “impractical” life-long career as a potter, and my husband, his […]

Left in Andover: The pacifist peril in the '50s

Left in Andover: The pacifist peril in the ’50s

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC In 1950, my parents settled in Andover, coming directly from Stratton Mountain, where they had thrived as part of the lively community that formed around Scott Nearing, vegetarian/pacifist/socialist guru of the modern “back to the land” movement. My dad, Herbert Leader, had met Scott years earlier, when he […]

Left in Andover: Bill Newhall's whole grain life

Left in Andover: Bill Newhall’s whole grain life

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC Technically I was underage the summer that health food nut Bill Newhall tapped me to run his whole wheat bakery in the ell next to the fudge shop in the Weston Mill Yard. In the mid-1960s, baking with whole grains was an anomaly in rural Vermont. This enterprise, […]

Left in Andover: Schoolhouse memories at play

Left in Andover: Schoolhouse memories at play

By Susan Leader ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC My heart still gives a little flutter each time I drive by our old Peaseville Schoolhouse in Andover. Is it sorrow, for the sheer forlornness of it? Or mere nostalgia, bad memories softened over the last 60 years so only the good ones remain? Either way, the abandoned […]

Left in Andover: Archaeology in the family dump

Left in Andover: Archaeology in the family dump

Editor’s Note: The Chester Telegraph welcomes Susan Leader to our family of columnists.  We’ve known Susan for many years, seeing her as a talented potter who is thoroughly invested in her community. Little did we realize until recently just what a talented writer she is. Please join us in welcoming her! By Susan Leader © […]