Blowback In the North

By: Robert Patton

Terrorism is once more the explanation for an explosion of violence in Canada. First a Muslim driver ran down two Canadian soldiers near Montreal killing one and severely injuring the second. Police pursued the driver in a high-speed chase that ended when his car overturned. When the man left the car he was shot and killed by police. Apparently no attempt was made to take the man into custody.

Less than two days later, a Canadian soldier guarding a war memorial in Ottawa was gunned down by an assailant, reportedly a Muslim convert who had his passport confiscated to prevent him from traveling to the Middle East. The shooter then went to the nearby Parliament building where he was quickly cut down by what witnesses described as “dozens of shots.”

Although the victims in both cases were soldiers, neither had any reason to believe that they could be attacked. The wanton, cold-blooded murder of innocents is a tragic thing, but there are a number of lessons to be learned from these attacks.

A half century ago, America was at war in Vietnam; Canadians, sensibly, were not. In fact, a significant number of American war resisters, sought and received sanctuary in Canada. America lost more than 50,000 brave soldiers and Marines in that pointless conflict; Canada lost none. We were at war because an egomaniac in the White House did not want to be “the first President to lose a war.” Lyndon Johnson, like George W. Bush, lied to the American people to get us into that war.

In 2008 we elected a President who promised to get us out of Bush’s war, but 6 years later, we are not only still in it, but it keeps expanding. From Afghanistan and Iraq, we moved on to Libya and now Syria. Right under our nose, the government that had gained power in Iraq at the cost of thousands of American lives purged its army of soldiers that belonged to a different faction.

Then, not surprisingly, many of these purged Sunni soldiers found a new flag under which to ply their trade and we had a new war to fight. This time we would fight from the air. Those who remember Nixon’s “plan” to end the war in Vietnam will find this failed strategy all too familiar. But the Canadians, at least recognized the folly of our actions in Southeast Asia and stayed home.

But this time Canada, like the authoritarian regimes of several Arab states, decided to throw in with us. Why not? Killing from the air is relatively safe and can be portrayed as heroic. But there is something the Canadians overlooked. Our own CIA calls it “blowback.”

Blowback is the term the intelligence community uses to describe the unforeseen consequences of an action. It is important to understand that describing a consequence as blowback does not, in any way, excuse or justify the slaughter of innocent people. But what happened in Canada in the last few days is certainly blowback.

Why Canada chose to participate in an air war in a far-off nation is hard to understand. With Obama it is different. He has political opponents who would quickly attack him as a coward if he failed to carry on the wars others started. He is certainly aware that when historians list America’s “great” presidents, they invariably select those who have presided over, and in some cases, started great wars. It goes without saying that “greatness” requires that wars, once started, must be pursued to victory. That’s why Lyndon Johnson is seen as a failed President. A President who presides over a peaceful and prosperous nation is never called “great.”

The same is true of Canada. Who remembers Canadian leaders during long peaceful and prosperous years? And now Canada too is at war. Canadian pilots will be killing people who, as of a few days ago, meant them no harm. And so there is blowback. By calling it terrorism, Canadian leaders wash their hands of responsibility. Terrorism is seen as the irrational acts of fanatics that need no justification for their acts.

When America was at war in Vietnam, we had domestic terrorism. Best known of these was the Weather Underground. Bill Ayers was a key member of this group which acted on a belief that terror was the way to peace. Ayers narrowly escaped death when a close friend and his  own girlfriend blew themselves up while building a bomb in a Greenwich Village apartment. The bomb, packed with nails, was of a type designed to kill lots of people. Ayers, although he was not present, was involved in the plot and now, 44 years later, is a good friend of Barack Obama.

Canadians, at the time, bothered no one and no one built bombs to blow up Canadians. But now that Canada is playing the American game it is unrealistic to expect different results. And yet the airwaves are all full of stories about Canadian dismay at how this could happen to as peaceful a country as Canada and as peaceful a city as Ottawa.

There is another aspect of this tragic situation that is noteworthy. Only days ago, a Norwich University professor opined on Vermont Public Radio that while the militarization of police may be going too far there is one place where it is sorely needed. And that place is [drumroll please] our own Vermont. Why with our low crime rate do our police need tanks and heavy weapons? It is because of our permissive gun laws. Did you know, the professor asks, that Vermonters can own 50 caliber rifles? These fearsome weapons, he claims, have bullets 5 inches long and can smash through concrete barriers to slaughter innocent people.

Sorry professor, the 50 caliber bullet is not much more than one inch long and does not have the fearsome abilities he describes. Not only that but such weapons weigh more than 30 pounds, cost up to $5000 and are not the machine guns he describes in his op ed.

Meanwhile in our neighbor to the north, almost all firearms are prohibited especially handguns and we have an innocent off-duty soldier killed with an automobile. And the killing, two days later was carried out with a sporting weapon. One account describes a hunting rifle while another witness claims to have seen a double barreled shotgun. And in the late nineties, in Japan with the most restrictive firearms laws of all, a leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult was killed, while television cameras were rolling, by a Japanese gangster, a yakuza. The weapon used was a knife.​

The $2500 Box

By: Austin Boucher

This box would be rolling off the shelves…literally. Lyndon State College student, Jess Curley, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her original macaroni and cheese box that’s designed like school bus. Curley calls it “Wheely Cheesy,” and it placed third in the PACK-tastic National Design Competition held by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) and the EFI Monarch Foundation. “I was blown away that I placed [third],” Curley wrote over Facebook. “I put a lot of hard work into the design and it paid off.” Curley was one of six winners out of the 228 entries (three winners for each secondary and postsecondary school). Surprisingly, LSC was awarded a $1,500 grant through both foundations, an award not listed below either first, second, or third place Judging and Prizes list on GAERF’s website. Curley’s box was showcased over the summer at the GRAPH EXPO in Chicago on October 1st. “Knowing my skills can be good enough is very rewarding.”


Future of Vermont Transportation

By: Ryan Perlstein

On Tuesday the Vermont Board of Transportation visited LSC as a part of their tour of Vermont’s colleges to hear the opinions of students, faculty members, and those responsible or key in the operation of our state’s transportation system.

The board of transportation threw many topics at us, mass transit, the idea of apps, carpooling, bike paths etc.  However they didn’t speak on the state of the current road re-pavings or the state of other roads in Vermont. That had to be brought up by those of us in the meeting, and telling them what roads were in really bad condition.

One that had the most good discussion and ideas was about having good mass transit on this (the eastern side) of the state. Currently there is the RCT (Regional Community Transportation) bus that leaves from the welcome center in St. Johnsbury, however its hours are odd, and it is infrequent. An idea that I truly believe in, and others in the meeting agreed with, that might be able to liven up this side of the state rail.

The Vermont Railway (VTR) line between White River Junction and Newport was recently upgraded within the last few years. New ballast, new ties, new rails. Currently there is the daily local freight that runs on that line, carrying freight between White River and Newport, and servicing the local industries. Vermont Railway has been very successful in the freight business, they were voted “Shortline of the year” in 2012, and could easily take on the task of passenger operations.

The idea of having a passenger rail connection between the two points is a good one. It’s efficiency, safety (especially in winter), and operating costs would lend itself well over adding more buses. Buses could be used to connect to people in the immediate area, however, and maybe even add to the passenger rail concept. Freight and passenger rail have seen their highest earnings in decades, and for some their highest ever here in the United States.

There are jobs here in New England, but lack of any real public transportation is holding us back to an extent. However we have the solution, and it’s the twin ribbons of steel that run by the river.

College Dating or Mating

By: Katrina Floranza

It’s said that our 20’s are known to be our selfish years– but how true is that saying to what we actually live by? With many of us here at Lyndon reaching the age of 20, could this be the real reason as to why college dating has actually turned into college mating?

“I could never hook up with someone, unless I’m dating them. Usually, I’m the one to say no. I think I lost a lot of guy friends, because they wanted to hook up with me and I just said no,” said Taylor Young, Senior.

When asked if they’ve experienced the same situation, a handful of girls agreed that many men actually do try to hook up with them and aren’t “OK” with being in the friend zone. So, if they don’t want to be in the friend zone, what’s the thought on being in a relationship?

“People just don’t want to have to deal with the attachment, so, they kind of just do their thing and call it a day,” said Vinnie Boccanfuso, Junior.

College students tend to not look for someone they can call their boyfriend or girlfriend, but instead, they tend to look for someone they can call at 2 a.m.

“That’s just our generation… We’re not about relationships. It’s about how many you can do in what time. I’m not saying it’s my mentality, it’s just how I see a lot of our generation,” said Kelly O’Brien, Senior.

Could the “dating pool” be the real reason why students aren’t engaging in relationships? “The dating pool is tiny, and the girls you’d actually want to date is smaller,” said Nathan Rivard, Super Senior.

As stated, “the girls you’d actually want to date,” highlights the different personalities that live at Lyndon. Could this be the true reason as to why college dating seems to fail at LSC? “Dating at Lyndon State is difficult, because there are so many different types of people here. You can’t find the one person unless you look really hard,” said Julia Costello, Junior.

And with all the different types of students that go here, sometimes emphasis on “looking really hard” is a must and what’s key to finding the right partner. “I made an attempt the last two years and they were both crazy… so,” said JJ Murphy, Junior.

Once college students do get involved with each other, it’s possible that because we are all from different places, we don’t want to take each other seriously. One fact that was listed under the 7 College Dating Statistics on the campus explorer website pointed out that most college couples end up breaking up right before winter break, spring break, and summer break. “And everyone’s from different sections and long distance dating is so difficult,” Costello added.

Or maybe, we really just are the generation who doesn’t want to date. Could this mean we really are using our selfish years and focusing on academics, the main point of college?

“I haven’t dated anyone up here. It’s not really worth it, I haven’t really tried. I’ve more so been focused on school. If it seems like it works, I’ll try to go with it, but I wouldn’t force it.” said Vinnie Boccanfuso, Junior

So, does this take away all hope and every fairy tale ending for every girl looking for love in all the wrong places?

Alex Farnworth, Senior, reassures, “Every situation is different. It depends what you want out of the deal I guess.”

Habitat For Humanity

By: Andrew Baughn

NEK Habitat for Humanity is a local project committee of the upper valley located in White River Junction. They have worked on thirty three homes  in five years serving seventy six homeowners and repaired affordable housing in sixteen towns.

Last weekend the Community Service ASSIST club hit the road to help a family on the Prue’s land on Laramee Road near the Newport Airport. It is the project in habitat’s bungalow program of trailer replacement.

RHD and Community Service ASSIST Club Advisor Jonathan Ross had this to say about the event.

“Habitat for humanity is a great organization and it is a nationwide organization, but have local chapters we are working with the North East Kingdom Habitat for Humanity their range branches up to St Johnsbury and all the way up to the Newport area which is where we were this weekend up in newport carpentry area building a house. This is primarily what they do is build houses for those who are living in structures that not safe. they work with families that are in need to build house for them so they have adequate shelter, warmth and  good home for the rest of the family even the children. Usually has to do with a hard working family who is doing the absolute best that they can and very engaged families in the community.

The person that we are building for this time is a full time pastor at the local churches and on top of that helps his family out with a farm. he is not someone who is out of luck and not really trying too hard, this is someone who works very hard to provide for his family and they reached out to habitat for humanity and said hey we would appreciate if you help this family that is raised in a trailer and it would be really great if they had a home so they could have all the benefits of that. They are building right next to where they currently live, they call it a bungalow or a two story floor building that will have enough bedrooms and be warm throughout the winter and all sorts of things. Thats what we are doing and we have students helping who are doing a fantastic job  and also the community service assist group which i do advise just a great bunch of volunteers. We have done two weekends so far with them now building and we will continue to build throughout October and a little bit through November, just helping them and also get students to come along and educate them on how to use certain tools they haven’t used yet on the job site, mostly carpentry skills. Everyone walks away feeling good and all they need is hands to hold that wall and raise it up.”


Feliciano to Lyndon

By: Tyler Simpson

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Feliciano visited Lyndon State College on Wednesday.

He is running as a libertarian.

“We believe that people should be able to do as they chose as long as they don’t harm anyone else,” Feliciano said. ”I’ll add a third caveat to that as long as we don’t have to pay for it.”

Feliciano is running on reforming the health care system in the of Vermont. He would like to get rid of Vermont Health Connect and move the Federal Exchange citing the cost benefit to the State Of Vermont.  Vermont currently spends between 26 to 36 million dollars on Vermont Health Connect.

When asked about the challenges facing the Vermont State College System Feliciano stated the problem was not a lack of funding but rather it was a cost management issue.  “The smart way to do things us to understand the cost where your cost structures are and reduce those cost to see what’s going on.”  Feliciano Said

Feliciano also hinted that he would privatize the Vermont State College System  “I think the colleges start operating more as independent entities and they’ll start to compete. I believe as a libertarian one of our principles is a much small government. I don’t think government should intervene in that process quite frankly I think the school system can take care of itself and once they realize the costs are too high and people are going elsewhere it will all adjust itself. “

“I think we need to decouple them from the state and I think that’s a good way of doing it. Feliciano said.  I’m not sure the exact laws that couple these schools to the state… but I would look into that.”

To address the issue of the job creation in sticking with the libertarian platform Feliciano would like to reduce taxes and transform Vermont into a business friendly state.  He pointed out how Vermont Yankee was recently forced out of business due to a tax that was levied against them.

“ I think at the end of the day people claim to want to have choice and I’m offering you that opportunity and that choice I think you’ll do what’s best for you.  Feliciano said. You can’t have it both ways if you want to be free and independent and you want more liberty you’ll have to take more risk. “

Backpacker’s Guide

By: Kaylee Murphy

If you decide to travel to Europe the most important this is to be open. Be open to meet new people and try new things. It’s easy to make lasting friendships with people who you have only met a few days ago. Once you find someone who speaks English in a foreign country, it is easy to form an instant bond. In the U.S you don’t really experience difficulty with communicating with other people, but it’s a surreal feeling when you’re in a foreign country and you can’t ask anyone for directions or help.


I recommend going to watch a “football” game at a local bar, especially if you are in Europe during the World Cup. Be careful and respective while watching because football fans in Europe can be a bit over-enthusiastic. It will be an experience that you will always remember.


Try to not just visit the cities. To get the real feel of a culture, visit the countryside. Chances are less people will speak English, but the landscapes will be breathtaking.


There is so much to do in Europe, so here are my favorite stops along the way.


  1. London is just something you have to visit if you go to Europe. Buckingham Palace is an obvious must see. Big Ben is a must hear. If heights don’t bother you, there is the London Eye. There are also cool tours such as the Jack the Ripper tour that takes you along the route where the murders occurred. There is definitely much to see and do in London.
  2. Amsterdam is a perfect destination stop for the young. Almost everything is legal. The waterways are under cute bridges, lined with beautiful buildings and have interesting houseboats in them. Talk a walk in the Red Light District for an interesting experience. Amsterdam also has plenty of art museums and the Anne Frank House. Most importantly, however, is to experience smoking pot in a coffee shop.
  3. Prague is a fun place. It has an amazing night life. Beer is only around 25 cents. Overall everything is pretty cheap. I didn’t even mind their ethnic cuisine. It has one of the top zoos in the world. Prague Castle is one of the largest fortresses in the world. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but once you do the view is amazing. The tour of the castle is pretty cool as well. Some people may find Prague’s Astronomical clock interesting.
  4. Paris is a place that some people think is overrated. It’s not. The Eiffel Tower is all that it’s cracked up to be. The Louvre museum is packed with paintings such as the Mona Lisa (which isn’t that cool) and The Last Supper. There are so many other artifacts that it would take days to be able to examine them all. Notre Dame is magnificent and is definitely worth seeing. Behind it is the bridge with all of the locks on it. The Arc De Triomphe is also magnificent and is within walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.
  5. Munich is one of the few places I could see myself living. They have huge beer gardens that give you giant beers. Other than beer gardens, you have to have a beer at the Hofbrauhaus. Many historic famous people have had a beer there including Hitler. Marienplatz is the heart of Munich there are stores, restaurants, and historical buildings. The Neuschwanstein was Ludwig II’s last project. It is the castle that Disney based its Cinderella castle off of. Take the tour inside the castle. Ludwig II died before all the rooms were finished inside the castle, but the ones that were finished inside the castle looks like an actual fairy tale.
  6. Rome was my favorite place in Italy. The Vatican trumps every church, every castle and any building I have ever seen. It is simply breathtaking. If you do go to the Vatican make sure that you climb up the narrow stairs and see the view of Rome. The Coliseum is also worth the long, hot and sweaty wait in line to go view it. Watch for people saying that they are with a tour group and you can skip the line and go with them. They may take your money and you may lose your place in line.
  7. Athens is incredible and packed with ancient historical ruins and artifacts. The Acropolis, doesn’t seem that high up, but when the hot Athens sun is beating down on you, you’re drenched in sweat by the time you reach the top. Seeing the Acropolis and the view of Athens makes it worth it. Other than that you can also see the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and plenty of other ruins.
  8. Barcelona is another place with a great night life; there is this one bar that I went to that only served shots. There were two distinctive shots that I remember: the first one was that they set the shot on fire then gave you a marshmallow to toast over it. The second shot was called the Lewinsky; the bartender would hold up a dildo to your mouth and pour the shot into the dildo. If you’re interested in modern architecture, you can check our buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. You can also check out all of Picasso’s favorite spots.
  9. Split, Croatia is stunning. The ocean water is a beautiful blue. The nightlife is great. You can go on a party boat for a night. Old Split is a cool place to visit and walk around. Outside of Split there are ancient Roman ruins. There is a bus from Split to the Plitvice Lakes. Croatia’s waterfalls are gorgeous and if you are in Croatia, it is a must see.
  10. Santorini is a nice little island. Its black sand beaches are incredible. The red sand beach is interesting. You have to hike a little bit to get there so bring something other than flip flops for footwear. There also isn’t that much beach to lay on due to the danger of falling rocks, but the red beach is beautiful and worth going to see. I’d also recommend renting a moped to cruise around the island. It’s only 15 to 25 euros to rent per day. To rent them legally you have to be 21 with a valid driver’s license. It is a quiet and peaceful island. It is a great place to relax, go swimming, and get a tan. It was one of the few places in Europe that I felt was like a vacation. My day wasn’t pack trying to see as many historical places or tourist attractions like every other place. I could just relax and that was nice.


By: Katrina Floranza

One of the many worries that come with going to college is weight management.  Many people are worried that they will get caught up in the “Freshman 15” fad.  Some of us end up binge-eating, which goes hand in hand with stress-eating.  Yet, we still stress over the way our bodies look and wonder if our bodies are meeting the standards we hold it to.


But, who’s to say what our body standards should be? After all, there are different body types. “There’s wicked skinny, skinny, average, chubby, fat… It’s just the different stages of body fat,” says Kelly O’Brien, LSC Senior.


If it’s natural to be categorized in one of those “stages of body fat,” how easily accepted is that concept to us individuals? “It depends with one’s body. Some are just meant to be fat and other’s skinny. I think as long as you’re healthy and taking care of you, I don’t mind one’s size,” LSC Sophomore, Victor Mwangi says. How hard is it to love yourself? “Well, I mean, every girl has some warped image of themselves,” O’Brien says.


There’s definitely some type of image that one carries for themselves. One trend that hit social media recently is the “#thinspo” hashtag, where women posted a picture of their “thinspiration” which were pictures of bone skinny super models or actresses. Is this really the type of role models that we should look up to, in hopes to become?


“I personally don’t think that stick skinny is good for girls. It’s unhealthy looking and every girl should have some curves on them. Dieting is okay, but only if it’s done the right way,” Ashley Degree, LSC Senior, says.


How does anyone know when being skinny has gone too far? A group of five LSC males were asked, “when is a girl too skinny?” The answer was, “when you can see: collarbone, shoulder blades, or their rib cage.”


If guys can tell what “too skinny” is, how far would females go to get close to that image?


When asked a group of five random LSC females how important their body is to them, every answer was “very important.” And when asked how far would you go to get the body you want, most answered by explaining a change in their diet—some even admitted to eating less meals a day. However, if losing weight is desired—there are other steps to get there. “Eat really healthy, stop eating junk and stay away from carbs and sugary foods. Eat six little meals a day, never binge eat,” says Taylor Young, LSC Senior.


Eating right sounds easy, but how many college students are willing to follow through with Young’s advice? LSC Senior, Arabia Miller, says, “I think that people sometimes get too lazy and don’t want to work out, so they find the ‘easy’ way out. Other people sometimes feel they can’t lose weight on their own, so they want a little help.”


While being active and staying in shape is great, many feel as though you should also embrace what you’ve been given as well. Miller says, “I think a girl who loves herself is sexy no matter what, despite weight.” O’Brien adds, “Chicken thighs are better than thigh gaps.”


After all, was Meghan Trainor right? Do boys really like a little more booty to hold at night?

Being the Tornado Outbreak- Not as Fun as You would Think…- A Video Game Review

By: Seth Vandenburg

One would think that playing as anything that causes nothing but widespread chaos, mayhem and destruction would be nothing but fun. And it can be with games like “God of War,” “Destroy All Humans!,” or even the rather strange “Katamari Damacy.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Konami’s “Tornado Outbreak.”

Released in 2009 for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, “Tornado Outbreak” tells the story of Zephyr, a Wind Warrior whose duty is to create atmospheres on lifeless planets, becoming captain of his squad after his predecessor, Captain Nimubs, decides to step down. But then Zephyr comes across a large being known as Omegaton, the greatest hero from a backwards anti-matter dimension, who has lost his six orbs of power to his enemies, the Fire Flyers. So it’s up to Zephyr and the Wind Warriors to find Omegaton’s orbs so he can return home, and that search brings them down to Earth.

“Tornado Outbreak” has very similar gameplay mechanics to the aforementioned “Katamari Damacy.” You first start out as a small tornado, but as you suck up small things into said tornado, you become larger and larger, able to suck in and destroy larger objects around you. But destroying everything isn’t the only objective; you also have to look for Fire Flyers and absorb them in order to increase the score you need to beat a level, pass through a cloud maze and avoid the sunlight when your tornado is large enough, and ultimately end it with a Totem Battle that’s pretty much just a one-sided fight since you’re obviously a tornado. There is also co-op, but gameplay hardly changes there.

It’s obviously meant to look cartoonish, so the graphics on all the consoles look like they could’ve passed for a sixth-generation game. However, in comparison to the fairy tale world of “Shrek 2” and the Chinese-inspired lands of “Jade Empire,” the landscape of “Tornado Outbreak” isn’t that interesting, especially since you spend most of the time destroying everything in sight. Thus, the graphics are sadly forgettable, much like the gameplay and the story’s execution told in picture stills like the first three “Sly Cooper” games and with a bored narrator who sounds like he’s just doing this job for a paycheck.

“Tornado Outbreak” had the potential to be an interesting game with an interesting concept: be a tornado and destroy all that you see. But unfortunately it fails to even make that interesting and just becomes an average game that people pass by on the shelf. Trust me, the box art may look cool, but that’s pretty much the only thing going for the game. It’s been forgotten by people for a reason. It’s not worth the money spent.

Remembering the Manor

By: Andrew Baughn

It is truly amazing how the Vail Museum on the Lyndon State College campus contains so many original artifacts from the original building, Vail Manor. Leave it to Theodore Vail to not only be the first president of AT&T and turn the telephone into to a successful business, but to also turn a simple farmhouse into a huge Mansion to soon house students of Lyndon State College.

Recently a new addition was added to the museum collection as the railings from T.N Vail’s personal library, which was located in the North Tower of Vail Mansion. The Manor Vail Society installed the railings and the exhibit will open September 27th and remain on display through the end of August 2015.

Reporter Julie Kelly and Photographer Darin Boutet from WCAX Channel 3 News in Burlington interviewed Lyndon Alumni Shirley Jenks Kent ’56 and Michael Thurston ‘74 for a television broadcast produced by the University of Vermont’s Extension Service. The episode aired on WCAX Channel 3 September 22nd at 12:15p.m.

After the Channel 3 was done, I was able to sit down with Thurston who is a member of the Manor Vail Society and not only talked about the new exhibit but shared information about the museum and about what life was like as a student in the manor.

“I’m a member of the Vail manor society and I am also a committee member, which is like a board of directors,” says Thurston.

Q: “How often do you guys meet?”

“We meet once a month.”

Q: “Can you explain this Across the Fence thing a little more?

“Sure um, two years ago two members of our committee went on Across the Fence which is the UVM extension service communities broadcast which is broadcasted by WCAX TV channel 3 in Burlington and we went on as we were in the run up to the opening of this museum, the Vail museum, and we wanted to promote it, to let people know it was happening. The other thing that we did while we were on the broadcast, and the two people that were on the broadcast were Dick Collins, class of ’53, and Joyce Selby Jacobs, I believe she is the class of ‘55, and they were guests on the show that day and part of what they did was out reach, looking for artifacts, looking for documents or whatever viewers might have to get in touch with the college. And there was a architectural salvage guy in east Corinth Vermont and he has got a business called Tiltons Trading Company and he was watching Across the Fence and thought he had just purchased some artifacts from agricultural salvage that might possibly be from Vail Mansion in Lyndonville a month or so before. And so he called the Alumni Office and got a hold of Hannah Manley and then got a hold of us, the committee, and we sent someone over to his place of business and examined the railings sure enough there were the balcony railings from the north tower lobby library from Vail mansion, the original Vail mansion. So we took a vote, negotiated a deal, bought the railings and they have been in storage ever since, and we have installed small portion of those railings in the museum for this years homecoming. That exhibit officially opens Saturday the 27th.”

Q: How old would you say those railings are?

“The tower was built in 1900 to 1901 and those railings, the story that I have heard and I can’t verify this but those railings were made off premises in a woodworking shop on Lebanon, New Hampshire, and then brought to the mansion, and then installed. So it would have been at the end of the construction process, because the finished work is the last thing you do, so I would say roughly 1901 so they are 113 years old. In the museum right now, most of the wood work, any place you see wood work, it is from the mansion. Most of this wood work is from the main lobby. This was in the main lobby of the mansion, the ceiling and the wall panels. If you look at it carefully you will see that it isn’t all original we had to use cleats to counsel scenes and things like that. Professor Darrel Castillo, he was the guy who started the campaign to save a lot of this stuff at a time when it was just going to be given away or thrown away or sold. If it wasn’t for Darrel Castillo there are a lot of things that we wouldn’t have, I don’t think we would have the chairs, I don’t think we would have Vail’s trophy case.”

Q: I understand the manor was destroyed due to safety violations?

“Well really, I think it was cost. It came down to money and just bad timing and the bad timing is the first oil, gas and energy crisis which was in the mid 70’s. People were cruising around with extra cans of gas in the trunk of their car because they were not sure when they would stop and there wouldn’t be a gas station around. And Americans weren’t just used to that and everyone panicked, including the state that looked at this old building which obviously needed some restitution and retooling. And all the students mostly saw was this beautiful building. But what the state saw was a beautiful building, but also a money pit, it was just going to cost so much money to renovate it, and so much money to heat it, so much money to bring it up to the codes. A lot of building codes were just coming into play and the whole rest of the mansion would have to be retooled to accommodate the codes and it would cost a lot of money. Finally it was decided it would just be cheaper to tear it all down and start again. It is really unfortunate. There was even a group of us that really lobbied hard to save a portion of the mansion. And of course the element that we really wanted to save more than ever was the towers because the towers were signature and here we are 40 years after those towers came down and you look at the alumni magazine it is called Twin Tower Topics. So even the college admits those towers were the iconic symbol of the college. So we fought to the nail to try and get them to integrate the towers into the new building and they didn’t hear us.”

Q; I know that the Alumni House is the only remaining piece of original building from around the time when the manor was around, what was that originally, was it always the alumni house?

“When I went to school here it was the infirmary, if you got sick that’s where you would go.”

Q: What about the original Alumni House?

“There is a restoration plan in the books to restore what was the Alumni House and I don’t know if that will succeed because we are in a tight budget climate today, as we were 40 years ago. But I think maybe we learned something 40 years ago and that being pretty much the only original building from the Vail estate.”

Q: “Any memories you can share about your time at Lyndon as a student?”

“I was Program Director, Music Director, and General Manager of the college radio station, it wasn’t WWLR in those days it was WVM. It was a big room over what was called Bole Hall, at the time which was a small theater and in one end of the hall there was a separate room with access to the upper floors, and the room had a pool table which, was also called the game room, and the other room above it was the room with all the radio transmitters, and the room above it we called the Crows Nest, which was the actual studio, where we did the broadcasts. I spent hours and hours in this part of the mansion at the beginning of my broadcast career. When I left the college I had a friend who was heavily involved in the radio station at that next few years I came back a couple of times and helped him do some fundraising and that was when it became WWLR, an open air broadcast FM station.”

Q: What about the Meteorology Major, what was that like in the manor days?”

“Meteorology was brand new and it actually wasn’t part of Lyndon, when I was a sophomore there was a college in Center Harbor, New Hampshire called Belknap College, and it was going belly up and failing and then Lyndon decided to adopt that school and buy out whatever was left. And the students all came from NH to Lyndon and became Lyndon college students of meteorology. So the meteorology department was imported from Center Harbor, New Hampshire. Part of that class was Altitude Lou, or Lou McNally, who was a meteorologist and he broadcasted from many places including from Mount Washington and he was known through the northeast kingdom.”

If you have ever read Cujo, by Stephen King, one of the characters in Cujo is cruising up the interstate on his way home from home coming from the airport in Boston and it is the husband who comes home to find his wife, kid and dog all in trouble, he is listening to Altitude Lou on the Radio.