Friday, July 6, 2007


I remember clearly, the moment I learned about the VSO coming to Okemo. I was talking with Coleman Brook Tavern Manager (and Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series "Producer") Marc Miller and he was so excited about the news. "We're getting the VSO," he shouted. Being relatively new to Vermont and knowing that Marc is also in charge of Coleman Brook Tavern's Lobby Bar, I thought he was getting all pumped up about selling cognac and forgetting to add the "P" to V.S.O.P. I was trying to react to the news with an equal amount of enthusiasm while thinking to myself, what the heck is the big deal about serving congnac at a nice restaurant? My mother always warned me against playing poker because everyone can see what I'm thinking by the look on my face. It didn't take Marc long to pick up on my bewilderment and, as he looked at me over the eyeglasses slipped down on his nose said, "you DO know what the VSO is ... right?"
"Sure," I said. "I've been in the hospitality field for years. I know about champagne cognac. So what's it going to be - Remy Martin?"

Now, for the benefit of you non-Vermonters who are not currently rolling your eyes and having a good chuckle at my expense, the VSO is the Vermont Symphony Orchestra ... and apparently, everyone knows that!

So the point of this diatribe is that tonight is the night ... the night that the Vermont Symphony Orchestra will make an appearance at Okemo Mountain Resort as part of their summer tour. The highlight of the show will be the symphony's traditional playing of the 1812 Overture accompanied by fireworks. Tickets are still available and may be purchased at the gate.

Hope to see you there. I'll be the one enjoying the VSO with a fine V.S.O.P. in my snifter.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Independence Day Eve

With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday, it seems like the celebrations and patriotic hooplah are lasting all week long this year. I have friends for whom July Fourth is the biggest holiday of the year - more important than Christmas, the big one with my family. For me, Independence Day is a placemarker - reminding me that summer is fully underway and that it will be gone in a blink if I don't make a point of enjoying the season. In my line of work, I'm always looking a couple of seasons ahead and it's so easy to let summer slip through my fingers with my work-life focus on winter and the ski season ahead. My friends like to rib me about my "list," but it's the one thing I do every year to ensure that there will be no regrets come Labor Day Weekend. My list contains all sorts of seasonal goals and I make a point of checking things off as I progress through the summer. Some to-do items make the list annually, like the line that reads, "go to the ocean." For me, it just isn't summer without the salty spay of seawater in my face and wet sand between my toes. I usually combine that with, "eat a lobster" or "take a ferry ride to an island." Some items on my list are more task oriented: "read three books" or "teach Nelson (my Airedale) to swim" or "beat Judy at golf" (that one took all summer last year, but I finally checked it off the list in September - take that, Judy!). Being relatively new to the Okemo Valley area, I'm finding that this summer's list is taking on a local theme. There are so many Green Mountain activities and events I haven't had a chance to enjoy yet. If I put them on my list, I may just get to know Vermont a little better. Some of the items on this summer's list are: "try a new Okemo Valley restaurant," "see a production at the Weston Playhouse," "hike to the Okemo Mountain fire tower," "attend a local fine art and crafts show (we're not talking crocheted toilet paper covers that look like poodles, here)," go swimming at Buttermilk Falls," spend a rainy day shopping in Ludlow," "play a round of golf at Okemo Valley and Tater Hill (ordinarily not a tall order, but with an on-the-mend broken thumb, I might be able to check those items off by September)," see the Vermont Symphony Orchestra at Jackson Gore on July 6."

So what's on your list? How about a long weekend at the Jackson Gore Inn or a Jackson Gore Friday night Outdoor Music Series concert or Lobster Night at Coleman Brook Tavern?

In closing, here's a holiday-appropriate quote, written on July 3, 1776, for you to consider ...

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. "
-John Adams

This prophetic statement was included in a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, just after the Continental Congress proclaimed the American colonies independent of England, and before the final approval of the amended Declaration on the fourth.