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To the editor: I’m a close neighbor to Tristan Roberts in Halifax. Living in the woods in Vermont, that’s not saying much. I can’t see his house from mine, but his family has a strong presence in our family’s life that makes the distance feel short.

We moved here about three years ago and I kept hearing about Tristan before I met him. When we encountered the lack of Internet here, I was told, “Tristan’s working on that on the broadband committee. Ask him how it’s coming along.”

Being new in town I had questions about where to buy firewood, and who I might ask to put my hens in at night when we were away for work. Whatever the question, Tristan’s named seemed to be mentioned as a person who would help, or know where to find help. I formed a mental image of him as this old man who must have been living up the road for decades.

When I finally met Tristan, I was surprised to encounter an energetic, curious, open-hearted young man. We still laugh about it. And the other neighbors were right. Tristan is consistent, reliable, and approachable, in more ways than I would have imagined. He does help with my beloved hens. He’s also equally comfortable dishing out advice on how to prevent ice dams, and chatting over tea about our challenges in balancing career with raising kids, and how they are doing in school. He listens attentively and I feel that he is there for me.

Part of what makes Tristan approachable is that he’s vulnerable enough to ask when he needs a hand. Tristan isn’t afraid to call and ask on for half a dozen on a Sunday morning. It’s a good reason to say “hi” and share the surplus eggs from our hens. He and Alison accepted our help with meals and pharmacy runs when he had surgery on his shoulder a couple winters back. We car-pool when one of us needs it, which turns into a valuable time to catch up. We’re stronger as a community because Tristan nurtures both giving and receiving.

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The word “politician” doesn’t fit Tristan, and that’s why I’m excited to vote for him for state representative for Windham-6. He’s just a real, good human being. But don’t take my word for it. Talk to him for yourself, like I have. You’ll see.

Sincerely,

Jennie Strowe

Halifax, Sept. 19