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NYT sportswriter’s book about Norwich Olympians continues to generate discussion

Tonight at 7: Karen Crouse discusses her book about Norwich and Olympians. In Norwich, no less! It’s happening at the Norwich Bookstore.

The book has continued to generate discussion, including on the radio program On Point.* (In addition to listening to the audio, you can also see a small bit of back-and-forth in the comments section.)

A local writer, Brianne Goodspeed, wrote a very good review for the Valley News earlier this month, highlighting the role that Norwich’s wealth has played in its successes and how that was perhaps downplayed in the book.

There’s also these observations (and an excellent cow pun) about Norwich’s latest debates around the Town Plan and affordable housing. The “glowing NYT profile” refers to an excerpt of the book that appeared in the Times. Featuring former Kimball Union Academy history teacher Dean Barker and Rutland Herald journalist (and fan of UV INDEX) Roger Carroll:

*Also worth noting, the excerpt of the book published on the On Point website appears to play up the limitations of “the power of Norwich as a model” more vigorously than the prologue that was printed in the book. For example, the printed version of the book describes Norwich has having a “median household income of eight-nine thousand dollars,” while the On Point version describes that income as “upwards of $90,000.”

Book review: Norwich’s resources nurture Olympians

Simon & Schuster is promoting a new book by New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse about the town of Norwich and its preponderance of Olympians. Below, see the video for Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence.

“You can create Norwich anywhere,” Crouse says, around the 1:05 mark. “It involves really a shift in values in some cases, from a very bottom-line results oriented model to developing the whole person.”

Hm. That is one take. Here is another, in the form of a book review by Brianne Goodspeed, who lives one town south in Hartford and considers some of the other factors that give Norwich a leg up in creating and nurturing world-class athletes. (Hint: It’s money.)

A very sweet pair of museum guests made cookies for the Montshire after their pipes burst

“I am sorry that the pipe burst. Anyway, here are some cookies!”

Aww, so good! I wish I could enlist these folks to write all of my cards from here on out.

Sweet Monday morning surprise with heart-warming note 💕

A post shared by Montshire Museum of Science (@montshire) on

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Thursday: A “service of solace” in Norwich for people who are struggling this holiday season

The text in the flyer above reads:

Norwich Congregational Church, UCC
December 21, 7 p.m.
A quiet reflective service.

For some, this season, with the constant refrain of family, of gathering, of celebration, giving, affluence and happiness is a source of more pain than gladness. Even in the Christmas season, or maybe especially in the Christmas season, we may need space to name loss, insecurity, fear of violence, or estrangement.

The Solstice, when the night stretches before us, may be a time when we need community and solace. At this service, we will have an opportunity to share and hear prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that divine presence is also for those who mourn or struggle in other ways: that we all need Holy Light to shine in our darkness.

All are welcome, regardless of church affiliation, or lack of it.