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Date

All hands back on board

EARL BESSETT OF Addison stands on the deck of the historic Ticonderoga passenger steamship on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum. Bessett, 83, served as first mate on the ship, which cruised Lake Champlain for almost 50 years, in the early 1940s.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell



October 15, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

SHELBURNE — Earl Bessett one day last week joined the dozens of people who eagerly scoped out the legendary steamboat Ticonderoga, which sits on the lawn at the Shelburne Museum.

But while most of the visitors marveled at the architectural splendor of the vessel and could only imagine what it must have been like to take her on a cruise in Lake Champlain, the Ticonderoga held no mysteries for Bessett.

That’s because the Addison resident, now 83, became intimately familiar with the boat as its first mate during two eventful summers back in the early 1940s. On Thursday, Bessett returned to the vessel to renew acquaintances and share some of his memories as a crew member in 1941 and 1942.

The Ticonderoga is the world’s only preserved side-paddlewheel passenger steamboat endowed with a walking beam engine. She was built in Shelburne in 1906 and operated as a day boat on Lake Champlain, serving ports along the New York and Vermont shores until 1953. She was the last commercially operating steamer on the lake.

In a what was a truly remarkable feat of engineering, the Ticonderoga in 1955 was moved two miles overland to the Shelburne Museum grounds, where it was painstakingly restored at its unlikely dry dock.

Bessett, who moved to Addison 12 years ago, still remembers the big move via specially-laid railroad tracks from Shelburne Bay to the museum grounds.

“I never thought they could do it,” he said. “I though it would tip over. It’s nice to see it preserved.”

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VUHS seniors and juniors spared new grading scale

October 15, 2007

By ANDY KIRKALDY

VERGENNES — Vergennes Union High School administrators decided last week to base the class rank and grade-point averages (GPAs) of their junior and senior classes on the school’s previous grading system, not the new grading system VUHS adopted for the current school year.

Grades for freshman and juniors will still be reported under the new system.

VUHS Co-Principal Edwin Webbley said last Wednesday that decision was made after “further conversations with board members, parents and the guidance department.” Those conversations included an Oct. 3 meeting with four dozen parents.

“We’re exactly and absolutely going to keep what we have as far as their GPA and class rank for this year and next year,” Webbley said.

Administrators also reversed course on VUHS honor roll standards, which now will be based on underlying numerical grades, not on letter grades. On Oct. 4 they had decided to retain the existing letter-grade based system, but now Webbley said the honor roll will be based strictly on the numbers.

To earn high honors, students will need to maintain an average of at least 90 in all their courses, and to earn a spot on the honor roll a student must achieve at least an 80 on all his or her courses and a 90 in a least one course.

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Architecture viewed with an artist's eye

October 15, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

BRANDON — When Anthony Albarello was in junior high school in Harlem, he took a picture of a single typewriter key for his first photography assignment. It was an awful photo, he said. But for some reason, he couldn’t stop tinkering with it.

“I thought, I can make that better,” he said. “I can make that stupid typewriter key a work of art.”

The answer, he soon found, was in the lighting: With the right light, he could make anything beautiful.  

Albarello is 62 now, living in Brandon and a seasoned photographer, having spent the last 40 years shooting high-end fashion, commercial and finally, his passion, architecture photography around the world. Through it all, his keen sense of light — and his patience to wait for it — has almost singularly defined his work.

A selection of Albarello’s architecture and interior photographs is on display through Oct. 22 at the Watershed Tavern in Brandon. The photos, chosen primarily from his work in New York City, create an architectural landscape with the lines and details “that make a room a piece of art,” he said.

full story

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