March 1st, 2012
GRAFTON — The Middlebury Union High School girls’ Nordic ski team dominated the Division II field in both Friday’s freestyle competitions in Jericho and Tuesday’s classic races in Grafton and won the school’s first state championship in the sport since 1989.
In the midst of news surrounding Town Meeting, the presidential primaries, the Dow cruising over 13,000, North Korea agreeing to cut back on its testing of nuclear weapons, and the continuing threat of war with Iran by the same neoconservatives that pushed us unnecessarily into a war with Iraq, let’s pause for a moment to applaud a local milestone: the MUHS Nordic girls’ ski team won the D-II state championship this week.
It was the first state championship of any MUHS Nordic ski team since 1989.
It’s a special achievement for several reasons:
When my roommate, Nikhil, announced he was going to Mauritius for three months and asked if I could take care of his dog, I thought immediately of body heat. A 70-pound German shepherd throws off a lot of warmth, and I sleep in a poorly insulated room.
“Can he sleep in the bed?” I asked.
“He’s not really supposed to, but…”
“Done,” I said. “When do you leave?”
To New Haven sculptor Dennis Sparling, “art is about the mystery of things.”
Sparling, 67, fabricates sheet copper and wire into dynamic sculpture. Last year, Sparling finished work on his 9-foot-tall, 600-pound representation of Leonardo daVinci. The sculpture integrates daVinci’s drawings and paintings with his feats of engineering, architecture, and anatomy – all ranged around the standing patriarch.
My 22-year-old nephew Michael is both philosophical and artistic in nature. I describe him as contemplative and creative. He has also spent essentially his whole life within a short drive of mountains and trout streams. He has lived with his family in Colorado, Maine, western North Carolina and Alaska. He spent three years in Addison County at Middlebury College and another year studying abroad in mountainous Chile.
This week may bring the largest snowstorm of the winter to Addison County, but it will pale in comparison to the storms of last year - and to the forecasts many made last fall of a snowy winter. As winter nears its end, it is a good time to look back at these winter forecasts and see how they fared against actual conditions.
In this political era in which the leading Republicans of the land stumble over themselves to reject the wisdom of separating church in state in a political context; in which cutting taxes to corporations is the panacea for all that ails us; in which cow-towing to the fanatical wing of the party is the only path to the nomination; it is instructive and nostalgic, perhaps, to want to revisit President Abraham Lincoln’s speech on slavery made in the Cooper Union, New York City on Feb. 27, 1860 – 152 years ago.