Fireside Chat features sugarmaking film

SAXTONS RIVER — Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society continue the Fireside Chats series Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in the dining room of the Saxtons River Inn with a showing of the film "The Flavor of Vermont," which Robert Campbell wrote, produced and directed about 1970 for his Campbell Films business based in Saxtons River.

The film deals with the production of maple syrup and features the late Bob Hitchcock of Rockingham sugaring with horses against a backdrop of local vistas and views.

The late Milton Bellows also worked on the film.

A 1937 graduate of Vermont Academy and its first development director, the long-time 98-year-old Saxtons River resident founded his film company in 1958 and operated it into the 1980s. He will relate the story of how he started the business — officially named Campbell Films and Guidance Information Center — which produced some 100 promotional films for schools, colleges and other organizations, including an award-winning film for the Perkins School for the Blind and one for the United Negro College Fund. He often employed some of his 11 children as characters in them.

His daughter Sarah recalled being pulled out of grade school to play the role of a litterer in a film about Vermont's Green-Up Day.

This chat replaces the one scheduled with timber framer Jason Snell, who is unavailable.

The Fireside Chats conclude Jan. 21 with a topic close to home when Mike DeBonis, executive director of the Green Mountain Club, talks about James Taylor's dream of founding a trail through Vermont for his Vermont Academy students.

Attendees are always invited to share their own experiences, photos, artifacts and stories related to the topic of the evening.

The series is offered at no charge, with donations accepted. Those attending are invited to bring their own memories and memorabilia to share in this informal setting.

The inn's dining room will be open for dinner after the presentation for further socializing. Reservation are appreciated by calling the Inn at 802-869-2110.

In case of inclement weather, cancellation information will be available by contacting Main Street Arts at 802-869-2960.


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