Thank you for reinstating the Fair Game column and giving Dave Gram a public voice. I've been in withdrawal since his sudden departure from WDEV Radio [Off Message: "Media Note: WDEV Cancels Dave Gram's Talk Show," November 9, 2020]. I don't always agree with him — or any others who have written Fair Game — but I appreciate being challenged to think about and reevaluate my positions. I also appreciate insights and facts that I hadn't heard before. Once again, I'm very grateful for the way you carry out your mission and for bringing back both Fair Game and Dave Gram.
Lay Versus Lie
Ken Picard's Bottom Line story titled "Precious Mettle" [January 13], profiling Randolph jeweler and now licensed pawnbroker Luke Ward, is informative and interesting, qualities I expect from my favorite newspaper. What I don't expect, but find too often, are proofreading errors — that is, I hope they are proofreading errors and not the work of the journalist whose writing is thus enfeebled.
I refer in this case to the use of "lay" in the first sentence: "When Luke Ward was 5 years old, he would lay on his belly in parking lots." The correct word is, of course, "lie." "Lay" means to put something somewhere, as in "lay the book on the table." "Lie" means to assume a recumbent position: The young Luke "would lie on his belly." (I know that Bob Dylan, a Nobel Laureate, got away with this in "Lay, Lady, Lay," but he doesn't answer my letters.)
I trust that your proofreader will be duly abashed by this missive. I hope that I shall not encounter such egregious misuse of English in the future. I have had to accept that "their" is now a singular possessive, and I am being forced to the wall about the Oxford comma (though I shall never surrender), but please: "Lie" and "lay" must not be confused; to do so is to open the door to even more appalling usages, which will tempt me to despair. Please, dear Seven Days, do not so abuse your devoted readers.
I just loved Paula Routly's cover article about Jane Lindholm ["Radio Head," January 13]. Clearly they had a great time, and the mutual respect and trust is obvious. My admiration for Jane began decades ago, when she interviewed me in a trailer attached to the Vermont Public Radio studio. She was prepared, engaging, funny and generous. I make an effort to attend or listen to any event Jane hosts. I was unprepared for how transparent and even vulnerable she was in this remarkable interview, and Paula gives her well-deserved credit. Two exceptional journalists crafting an encouraging and joyful story. The photographs by Luke Awtry are wonderful, too. Thank you, Seven Days.
[Re "Ask the Reverend," August 5, 2020]: When a person writing in says that they're in a polyamorous relationship and the columnist responds, "My first reaction was, 'Whatareya, nuts? — because I can't imagine palling around with someone who is banging my husband,'" I feel that the columnist is not fully qualified for their job. Should not a relationship-advice columnist at least have some understanding of non-mainstream relationship models? Even if they themselves do not subscribe to or approve of the model, they should at least not react like this, to denigrate the concept in such a manner, especially since the viability of the concept was not the main thrust of the question the person was posing.
While the columnist did follow with "I know there are all sorts of ways to be in this life," it's still insulting to the person to bash their relationship model like this — and insulting to the poly community in general.
Vermont has a thriving poly community and, as an alternative weekly, Seven Days is popular among non-mainstream communities. As such, I don't see this as a good look for the paper.
White River Junction
'Funny, Accurate and Witty'
I thoroughly enjoyed ["Breaking In," December 23, 2020]! It was funny, accurate and witty! Thanks.
In Awe of Obits
[Re "Breaking In," December 23, 2020]: My husband and I are also new residents of Burlington, although we have visited often, since our daughter and granddaughter live here. In November, we bought a condo in the Old North End.
We often comment on the "culture of sharing," the helpfulness and friendliness of people. Everybody knows everybody. We go to City Market or Church Street or Speeder & Earl's and run into friends or neighbors. There's always a connection. Our mail carrier knows our daughter. Describing the table we just bought at Anjou & the Little Pear, my daughter's friend said, "That's my mother's table!"
Pedestrians have the right of way! I do not step off the curb in my hometown of New York City until the light is green. Here people confidently cross the street.
Everybody keeps warning us about the cold. When I chide my granddaughter about zipping her jacket, she says, "I'm a Vermonter, Grandma!"
But what most resonated with me about Mark Saltveit's piece was his reaction to the obituaries in Seven Days. I, too, read them word for word and marvel. I, too, made the same resolution, the wish "to be remembered as a 'character,' a good guy without any operatic moral flaws, who took care of his responsibilities" — but doubtful if I can pull it off.
Thanks for the tips about so much music I had not yet listened to ["Simply the Best," December 30, 2020]. I understand that you can only pick so many musicians to highlight at a given time, and from what I've listened to already, your choices were spot-on.
Let me throw out a couple of local albums that really helped me get through this past year. King Margo are a Killington duo by way of Nashville playing folk rock with a tad of sarcasm thrown in. Barely Gettin' By is the album; check out "Monsters" or "Bones" for my fave singles. And an artist from your hometown, Marcie Hernandez, mixes two cultures in a melodic and thoughtful musical voyage on her album Amanecer. Her "Light a Torch" video has wonderful scenes from the Burlington area.
Yesterday's Tomorrow Still Works Today!
Has Tom Tomorrow been prescient or what? You might want to rerun his strip from February 12, 2020 [Fun Stuff: "This Modern World"]. We were just cleaning the 2020 kitchen corkboard, and...
- Courtesy of Tom Tomorrow