Road trip!

BARRE TOWN — Kevin Avery may never cast another ballot in Barre Town, but he went out of his way to exercise his franchise there on Tuesday.

Waaaaaay out of his way.

Seems Avery who works out of state as an admissions coordinator for Norwich University in Northfield was in the process of settling in Philadelphia early last month when he requested an absentee ballot from back home in Barre Town.

It arrived in a “shredded envelope” the week before the election. Avery said he called to request a second ballot to replace the one that was destroyed in the mail and was told the chances of getting it to him in Philadelphia in time for him to get it back to Barre Town in time to be counted were remote.

What to do?

Faced with the prospect of sitting out an election he viewed as “incredibly important” or hopping in his car for an eight-hour drive, Avery said he opted for the latter on Monday.

“It was kind of a whim,” he said of a decision he made in bed Monday morning.

“It was the only way I was going to be able to vote,” he added.

Avery was on the road by 3:30 Monday afternoon, arrived at his mother’s Phelps Road home a little before midnight and cast his ballot at the school he attended as a child Tuesday afternoon.

Though word was he was headed straight back to Pennsylvania Avery said he decided to spend a few days with his family before making the return trip to Philadelphia on Friday.

Avery is taking the train and leaving his car, which has some suspension issues, for a friend to work on. He’s just grateful that it got him here.

“I think it’s important for anybody to recognize that it’s important to be involved in these kind of decisions no matter how small it is or how large it is,” Avery said, suggested that belief was amplified in the current political climate.

“You need to vote,” he said.

Assuming his new home in Philadelphia works out, Avery said he’ll be registered there when the 2020 elections roll around and voting won’t require a road trip.

Me2/ concert

BARRE — Long before “MeToo” became a trending hashtag as part of an important movement the Me2/Orchestra was making music – first in Burlington, then in Boston and this weekend in Barre.

Me2/, the world’s only classical music organization created for musicians living with mental illness and addiction as well as individuals who support them, will be performing a benefit concert at the Barre Opera House at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The folks at Washington County Mental Health Services assure us you’re invited and they’re hoping you’ll attend because proceeds from the concert will benefit their “Zero Suicide” initiative. It’s something they’ve been working on for awhile and will make their agency better equipped to support central Vermonters at risk of suicide.

Enter the Me2/Orchestra – a group of more than 50 musicians who will do more than perform works by Handel, Leroy Anderson and Tchaikovsky during what should be an inspiring afternoon. Orchestra members will share their personal stories of overcoming stigma and the audience is invited to pepper them with questions during an hour-long event that will be a mix of great music and stigma-free conversation.

It should be worth the price of admission, which, if you’re curious, is $15.

In addition to the concert and the conversation, the event will feature artwork made those who rely on Washington County Mental Health’s varied services.

Prize pies

BARRE — If the thought of baking all those pies for the holidays gets you down, the Friends of The Aldrich have the solution, courtesy of their consummate baker Marilyn Blake.

Seems Blake is once again raffling off two of her homemade pies of (winner’s choice) just in time for Thanksgiving.

Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available at the library or from one of “The Friends.”

The drawing will be on Friday, Nov. 16 and the freshly baked pies will be ready for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

If you don’t need pies for Thanksgiving we’re told Blake will bake them when you want them.

Cooking as Medicine

MONTPELIER — Montpelier High School is offering students an 8-week afterschool series called Cooking as Medicine, with Lisa Mase.

Students will cook together, practice mindful eating for stress reduction and explore the health benefits of ingredients used.

All are welcome to the free, hands-on, fun and delicious wellness series, organizers tell us.

The series began Wednesday but there’s still time for students to sign up. Students should look for a sign-up link in their email or stop in at the guidance office.

Staged horror

EAST MONTPELIER — U-32 Middle & High School’s award-winning theater program, Stage 32, will present the hit musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” beginning Friday night.

The blurb for the show invites you to “enjoy an evening of macabre laughs and doo-wop songs with this wonderfully funny and horribly horrific musical, good for the whole family.”

Performances are Friday, at 7 p.m., Saturday, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door or online at and cost $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.

Confluence Park meet

MONTPELIER — A meeting to discuss a proposal for a Confluence Park in the Capital City will be held at City Hall on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m.

The Confluence Park will be part of the Taylor Street transit center and housing complex, at the confluence of the North Branch and Winooski rivers.

Representatives of the Vermont River Conservancy and Milone & McBroom, a Waterbury civil engineering and landscape architecture firm, will be on hand to discuss various aspects of the riverside park.

Financial support for research into potential use of the site is funded in part by a $125,000 grant from Canaday Family Charitable Trust.

Swing time!

MONTPELIER – International folk dancing instruction resumes at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on Friday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The dance program will continue through the winter on the second Friday evening of the month. New this year, refreshments will be served.

Patrons are asked to enter the building via the side door and head upstairs to the activity room.

All adults are welcome. No prior experience is necessary and no partner is required. Participants are asked to bring clean, dry footwear.

The entrance charge id $5, collected at the door and used to support programming at the senior center.

Girls on the Run

MONTPELIER – The Girls on the Run team is looking for coaches to work with the Montpelier Rec Department program.

It’s a great opportunity to coach at team of 15 girls in grades 3-6 as they work their way through a curriculum that teaches healthy development, teamwork and self-confidence, leading up to the successful completion of a 5K run.

Teams will form in January and February but outreach for coaches has already begun.

For more information and to sign up, contact Becky at

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