by Cathy Resmer
Jessamyn West has this first-hand account of social capital, alive and well in Central Vermont.
Says our friend the intrepid librarian: People who nod their heads and say "That is JUST how community is disintegrating" when they read Bowling Alonemay want to come for a visit to Vermont during the Autumn. There is alot of celebrating going on what with the harvest, the leaves and thelast gasp before it gets too cold to really want to go anywhere. Wewent to chicken pie suppers in Chelsea and in East Bethel. Astutereaders may remember the East Bethel Grange because it was the site ofthe talent show last month...
Incidentally, I'm one of those Bowling Alone fans. I interviewed Robert Putnam when he came to speak at Middlebury in March. He didn't tell me much about Vermont specifically, but he talked about how, after a hurricane or an earthquake, you see a spike in "community-mindedness" that then falls off again after awhile. I think we're in that drop-off now with the hurricane survivors.