Editor's note: For more than 15 years now, Burr Morse has been gracing our editorial page nearly every week with his thoughtful whittlin's. Through his folksy voice, we have come to learn volumes about his life as a Vermonter, a businessman, a musician, and a heck of a nice guy. We've even shed a fear tears with him along the way. Sadly, today marks Burr's final weekly contribution to The Times Argus. He is embarking on other adventures in his busy life. We all will struggle a bit as we grapple with the loss of Burr's regular wit and wisdom. He promises to write again occasionally, as proper topics arise. In the meantime ... on behalf of The Times Argus staff, and his loyal readers, we wish Burr well on the next chapter of his whittlin's. He is unique and will be sorely missed.
— Steven M. Pappas, editor
Normally I stay away from politics with my writing but today, well, guess I just can't "help myself". And in my own round-about way, I'll start this narrative off with automobiles. Back in January, Betsy and I bought ourselves a used car. It's a nice car, Honda CRV, and we've grown to really love it.
The only problem we've found with it is that it pulls slightly to the left. After numerous tire pressure checks and a professional alignment, it still pulls to that side and I say, what's going on? I mean left, the direction, is a fine place to go like when heading south from our farm, "leftward ho" would bring us to the Connecticut River Valley and beyond that, the coast of Maine, both places we love to go. And if heading north back toward our farm, "left" opens up a trip to Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, or even a complete cross-country jaunt. Race car drivers, like our Vermont Governor Phil Scott, love left - it's the only way to the checkered flag for them.
I find political "directions", though, much less appealing. For instance the leftward trip that Vermont's Bernie, Massachusetts's Elizabeth and a few others are asking us to join seems a bit extreme to this old Vermonter. I think an alignment right square in the "middle" makes much more sense and provides more safety.
Now back to our car ... I'm determined to get to the bottom of this "leftist" pull it has through the talents of a good mechanic. When I do, he'll make some proper tie rod or tire pressure adjustments, returning us to the middle. Similarly, we can make our own adjustments in November with our votes, you know ... might be as easy as removing a wing nut or two.
Lest you think this is only a one-direction rant, the other day Betsy and I were traveling north, headed for Glover in our truck. Right on Route 14 a bit north of East Calais, all of a sudden there was a loud BANG ... we'd hit a deep Vermont pothole! From that point on through the rest of our trip th'ol truck pulled badly to the right. Now we need that perfect mechanic times two!
Yes, pulling in either direction to the extreme is not safe. All we really want is to get back home in comfort and the best way to do that is straight ahead ... right down the middle.
Burr Morse is an East Montpelier resident and businessman. He has been contributing to The Times Argus for more than 15 years. Today marks his final weekly column.