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Archive for December, 2015

 

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You slide down the ladder, bump on the ground and there you are—whacked. Happens. So then you get up and hope the joints work. Yes, that’s me, Peter Miller.

So I have been Vermont Broke. The photography business internationally is in the dumps, thanks to some greedy CEO’s in the stock photo business. The digital revolution cut deep and Lord help us here in Vermont with high taxes, energy costs and escalating fees. And then those like me that live in a house built before the invention of insulation. Even food is more expensive. So it goes and God Bless the local food bank—thank you all!

I have to make changes and I have. Opened an Airbnb and squeezed my photo gallery into one room.  I call it The Squashed Gallery and I AM HAVING A BIG SALE, CLEANING OUT AND STARTING OVER AND THAT MEANS REAL LOW PRICES! Photos from $10 to $600 for real large framed ones. Discounts of up to 60 %. Framed photos, matted photographs in bins: Paris in the 1950’s, Margaux Vendange 1957, Vermont Icons, photos of Stowe and Waterbury, black and white and color. You should take a look at the photos in my Airbnb as you stroll through my guest rooms that, frankly, have paid for my mortgage (but not the rest of it all, god knows!). AND…30% off books including A LIFETIME OF VERMONT PEOPLE and I will autograph all.

SALE IS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ALL DAY LONG. THAT’S DECEMBER 19-20.

First 20 buyers receive a copy of Nothing Hardly Ever Happens in Colbyville, Vermont, with essays and photos taken in the 1970’s before Colbyville became aesthetically sad. And back then instead of a new motel we had that fornicating pig.

Come to Peter’s Squashed Gallery on 20 Crossroad, just off Route 100, two houses south of Ben & Jerry’s and opposite the Hong Kong restaurant, less than one mile from Interstate Exit 10 on Route 100 heading towards Stowe. This Saturday and Sunday.

fred tuttle copy

 

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Carroll Shatney“I had no idea,” says Peter Miller, author and photographer, that my book A Lifetime of Vermont People, would have such an effect on its readers.”

The book is a collection of 62 written profiles with black and white photographs of Vermonters taken over the last 60 years.

The author wrote a summary of those years and the changes he noticed—The interstate, gentrification, the banks, the direction of the legislature and small changes, such as posted land, the Vermont accent, and…the end of a classless society. Most of the comments and letters received by the author, discuss their inability to cope financially and a rising anger about the legislature and the state government.

“They are not out friends anymore,” said a cleaning lady and she practically shouted it.

 “I feel violent,” said an auto garage owner when thinking about the direction the state is moving towards.

 “Our pensions don’t cover our costs,” said a recently retired couple, we would like to leave but can’t find a buyer.”

 “We have given up on our dream of building a house on our land in Walden. The state legislature’s two bills concerning a carbon tax are what really scared us into that decision. I don’t see how the older population in Vermont will survive the push for more wind and solar farms and the costs associated with migrating off fossil fuels. We just wanted to live out our retirement years in peace and quiet, staying warm, enjoying nature, family and friends. Looks like we’ll be doing that in Maine.”

“I cannot tell you how much your new book (A Lifetime of Vermont People) means to me. I was moved to tears after I bought a copy in St. Johnsbury and pulled over at a rest stop and began to turn the pages. This sudden release of emotion surprised me and when I thought about why, I think it was because of who and what we have lost here in the state I call home.”

Some Vermonters now realize their home is not an asset but a liability because of the property tax, student tax, and the cost of energy and upkeep.

And it is ironic that Vermont will welcome refugees from other countries but there is no comment about the Vermonters who want to leave Vermont. They are refugees from one of the most expensive states in the union.

I have spoken to so many that I plan to do a book called the Vanishing Vermonter….An Endangered Species. I will interview a bunch of them and let them tell their story. I will also have a section where Vermonters can comment about what to do about bringing Vermont back home.

The more I think about this anger the more I realize it is about the cost of living, for sure, but embedded in their souls is that foreboding anxiety that we are losing our way of living—the culture—that has made our state so unique.

The book A Lifetime of Vermont People is available at independent Vermont bookshops and at Peter Miller’s website, http://www.silverprintpress.com.

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