It's been like spring today! Beautiful sunshine all day, not a flake of new snow in the air, the temperature actually hit 40 degrees at about mid-day, and it was gorgeous. The snow pack has probably compacted a bit, but I don't think much melting took place.
Some of you may know one of our local newspapers, the Hardwick Gazette has been for sale for some time, and this week that happened. Owner Ross Connelly's last day at the help was yesterday. The new owners, Ray and Kim Small, from Connecticut, have not owned or operated a newspaper before, but they both have a good deal of business experience. so the Gazette will be in good hands - and the staff will stay on, so the change will probably go unnoticed by those of us who read the paper.
I have known Ross Connelly for quite a number of years. He was always receptive to publishing without charge the many notices about Ice-Out or other goings on I've submitted. He was also generous about publishing my articles, and over the years became a friend as well as mentor. Ross usually drops by the Cabot Historical Society building on the Fourth of July, and I always look forward to chatting with him. He says he wants to travel and write; I wish him safe travels and endless inspirations. I know he'll find his niche away from the Gazette, but it won't be the same knowing he's not at the ancient building that balances on the narrow piece of land between the Lamoille River and Main Street in Hardwick.
I just chatted with Shelly Walker who lives down the road from us, and she told me her dad, Don, turned 90 on Feb. 8th. The family did a little birthday breakfast party for him at the Wayside Restaurant on the Barre-Montpelier Road. Don is spry as they come and will be selling Ice-Out tickets again for us this year - how many years has it been? Actually, Don Walker was one of the originals who came up with the idea for the Ice-Out Contest in 1988, so it's been almost three decades. That's a lot of tickets sold, Don!!! Congratulations on turning 90 - and we wish you many more great years.