More than 250 people turned out at St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Burlington on this sun-splashed Saturday morning to pay their respects to a legend in Burlington, Vermont journalism who is with us no more - Maggie Maurice. She passed away February 15 at the age of 82.
Maggie anchored the Living Section of The Burlington Free Press for many, many years with her "Maggie!" column and fine features. As Archdeacon Catherine Cooke, the Homilist, put it, "Maggie never lost sight of the individual."
Longtime Freeps writer Mike Donoghue was there in the front row, but didn't see Publisher Jim Carey or any editors. I went with Seven Days co-publisher/co-founder Paula Routly. Paula had a desk next to Maggie's in the Free Press newsroom of about 20 years ago. The magical, creative and, dare I say, politicially "revolutionary" 1980s in Burlington, Vermont!
Yes, indeed. Maggie Armstrong Maurice was a special one. She always had a smile and a hello for everyone, even this "Inside Track" columnist back in the 1980s when it was running in Steve Brown's one and onlyVanguard Press and The Burlington Free Press was my favorite pin-cushion. As we learned at the reception following Maggie's memorial service, she sincerely appreciated our efforts. In fact, we had something in common, me and her. Several attendees at the memorial made a point of personally telling me that she "hated Gannett." (Ah, but she loved life!)
One, Sandy Post, approached with something she said Maggie would want me to know.
And what was that?
Sandy, you see, is a longtime Burlington hairdresser. For the last 10 years she's owned and operated Venus & Crew downtown at 1 Lawson Lane.
But, more importantly, for the last 18 years, she's been Maggie's regular hairdresser.
Sandy wanted us to know that the first thing The Burlington Free Press Living Section columnist would do when she came in for her Thursday appointment each week was grab a new Seven Days off the stack and flip immediately to "Inside Track." It was the first, and usually, she said, the only thing she read.
God bless her!
And didn't she always have beautiful hair, too?
Hey, Maggie, save me a seat, will ya?