Pack up
and move on

Editor of the Reformer:

I was very pleased to learn that the owner of Santa’s Land has been denied a permit for a campground.

Maybe it’s time for her to pack up and go away. Santa’s Land is part of a bygone era, and in the 10 years of living in the Putney area, I’ve never seen more that a handful of cars in the lot, winter or summer.

I’d like to see the land put toward a more "modern" use. Maybe a community farm, a solar farm, a vineyard? The possibilities are endless.

Sharon Hart,

Dummerston, July 17

A love song

Editor of the Reformer:

Loved the article about the Mary Shiminski sign on the bridge ("A 36-year mystery solved," July 16). Congrats to Ron and his cohorts for pulling it off, and for sharing.

Early on, my mother, Margaret MacArthur, the famous folk singer from Marlboro, heard the story and wrote the song "Mary Shiminski, I Love You," which she and our family recorded in 1980 on our album "Make The Wildwood Ring." This song tells the story well, and has been much loved over the years.

In the early 80s, after the re-painting of the sign had once again been covered over with graffiti, Margaret was going to be interviewed regarding the song, and the sign, and decided that it really needed to appear for a third time on the bridge. She bought paint, and beer for once the project was completed, and some young talents spent the dark hours of the night re-creating what had originally been painted in 1974, and then again in 1978.


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And so a new mystery is born.

Megan MacArthur Littlehales

Marlboro, July 17

Guitar hero dies

Editor of the Reformer:

Texas Blues legend Johnny Winter has died.

Many locals may remember that early in 2008, Johnny played the Latchis on a double bill with the James Montgomery Blues Band in a fundraiser to help defray the cost of sending the Brattleboro Union High School marching band to Washington to perform at the first Obama inaugural celebration. The house was rocking way past my normal adult bedtime.

The news of his impending Brattleboro appearance sent me scrambling for my old Fillmore East program, for I had seen him in his first New York appearance many years ago and wanted to get it signed this time.

Can you believe it? There it was: January 1969, second on the bill to B.B. King. However to my astonishment I found about another Fillmore East program indicating that in March, 1969 I’d gone back for more, when he was again second on the bill, this time to the guitarist Jeff Beck. Incontrovertible proof that if you can remember the 60s you probably weren’t really there.

Peace be unto, Johnny.

David Clark,

Westminster West, July 17