Letter: Was Pence visit worth the inconvenience?
Last weekend my partner and I went to Lake Hortonia to visit a friend's island camp. When we arrived we were told that we were sharing the lake with Vice President Pence. We brushed it off as a rumor, but the next two days we encountered uniformed officers of all type. There were state police, overzealous game wardens, secret police and men in blue. There were speed boats, surveillance boats, a cavalcade of saluting police followed by SWAT and bomb squads.
Pence was here and it was evident for us, but little did anyone else in America know. We stayed the evening watching the sun set on the hills across the lake. Slowly the lake quieted down after the hubbub of the day. We made a fire, sat back and cooked over wood coals. Out of the south with a ripping sound came a fast speed boat. By the time I looked up the boat arced into a tight turn in front of the island with three standing officers and headed back in the direction from where it had come from. It dipped near the Pence compound as if to acknowledge the vice president then continued its trajectory down the lake. It might be safe to say that it was one of the fastest boats I had ever seen.
As dark descended we watched another boat with an odd periscope type light that changed colors every 200 yards, hug the opposite shore, turned slowly and slid by our island. I'm sure with all the latest technology on night vision we were very visible and exposed. We would have to say we felt uneasy. That uneasiness continued the next day when police blocked the road ahead. When an officer was asked what was going on we received an evasive reply. In a long line of cars, Pence passed by headed for the airport, the bomb squad in tow.
The evening before we rowed into the placid lake to leave the island. The island stood dark and still in the water. The night was warm and the stars glittered and sparkled in the sky that stretched into eternity. Down the lake on the far left shore was the lit-up Pence compound, bathed in a steel cocoon of electronic protection.
Why did Pence come to Vermont? Did he come to find peace? Or to encounter something the rest of the country did not have? Did he come to encounter nature and the space to allow one to reflect upon himself. Did Pence order everyone at the compound to be silent, turn the lights off and walk to the edge of the lake to stare up at the sky alone? Did he look at the stars to witness the sky as we saw it at that moment? If he didn't go out and look at the sky as such, he missed a great opportunity and his trip would merely be a vacation. If by chance he had taken that walk, looked at the milky way, let the quiet of the night and the magic of Vermont and Lake Hortonia to settle and sink in, then there is a possibility that this troubled world would benefit greatly from his trip.
Starksboro, Sept. 8
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