Vermont, looking ahead



This is the view from Overlook Trail in the Jamaica State Park, near our village. The colors are olive-y and yellow, with only a few splashes of brighter color. We’re waiting for rain; scarlet will come later.

Our apple trees don’t make pretty apples, though they are perfectly good for cooking.


A closer look, if you’re interested…


And this…



Yesterday I was clearing out some goldenrod and other stuff from behind the raspberries and found a monster wild grapevine draped and twisted up over two medium-sized smokebushes that turn purple and red at this time of year and two trees, an ash and a maple. The grapevine had ripe grapes on it — blackish purple blue, small, as little as kernels of corn but round of course, and stronger tasting than anything you can buy in a store. I picked them and brought them in, boiled them, strained them, added just a bit of sugar and got a syrup that tasted like pure essence of grape. Stronger than grape soda or grape candy. Bears go crazy for these. We bought vanilla ice cream at the store next door to dilute the intense grape flavor enough to make it edible.

Last weekend the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam up at Ball Mountain, released water to raise the flow of the West River, which runs through the park. Kayakers from all over the East came to ride down the river, some going as far as the Townshend Dam ten miles below. The amount of equipment required for this sport is enormous. The skirts on this woman’s outfit snap onto the rim of the seat of the kayak, keeping it from filling up with water.


A pickup truck carries boats and paddlers up from the parking lot, along the railroad right-of-way, and deposits them at the end of the trail just below the dam.  They gather along the shore before pushing out into the current.

jellybean kayaks.jpg

What does all this have to do with Viet Nam? Well, I’ve been loading papers onto all day now for four days. It’s a tricky website, but it seems to be working. It’s interesting to see what I’ve been up to for the last 15 years. I have also sent some emails. Joe and I have brooded over various ideas. I am reading the new book by John Marciano, The American War in Vietnam, published by Monthly Review, written to voice a perspective that is in angry opposition to the “noble cause” perspective of the Commemoration, an event apparently designed to last through 2025, which would be 50 years since the Americans left.

I’ve looked for and found Nghia’s blog:

It is at:

We are now looking ahead a year instead of back a year.

Published by helenaworthen

Labor educator, retired from University of Illinois, taught at TDT University in Ho Chi Minh City in the Faculty of Trade Unions and Labor Relations. Co-author with Joe Berry of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the contingent faculty movement in higher education, forthcoming (August 2021) from Pluto Press.

%d bloggers like this: