Beverly Chapin, née Way, sent us this scan of a clipping from the Valley News. The caption reads: “AT THE KEYBOARD in the perforating room of the Valley News yesterday was Pvt. Beverly Way, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neil M. Way of North Hartland. Private Way, who was employed by the News at the start of publication in June, is now stationed at the leadership school, Fort Lee, Va. She visited the plant yesterday while home on Christmas leave. (News photo—Carroll)”
Remember a little while back, when local history buff Art Pease shared an article from the Hanover (N.H.) Gazette announcing the impending debut of the Valley News in June 1952? If you don’t remember, you can check it out here.
That post led to something really special: Beverly Chapin, née Way, one of the people mentioned in the Hanover Gazette clipping, recently reached out to us and shared some of her memories from the Valley News’ beginnings and her life in the Upper Valley.
Beverly Way was born in Burlington in 1931, during the Great Depression, and grew up in North Hartland during World War II. She was one of 35 graduates with the Hartford High School Class of 1949. In 1952, she was 20 years old and had been working as a stenographer at the VA in White River Junction before she was referred to a teletypesetter operator job at this new newspaper that was about to start up, the Valley News.
She worked at the paper for a couple months before enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps. Her beau, Paul, had joined the Navy and proposed; when they wed, she became Beverly Chapin. After their time in the service, she and Paul eventually settled in Enfield and raised three children there.
Now 66 years after the Valley News’ founding, Beverly is about to celebrate her 64th wedding anniversary and 87th birthday. She and Paul have retired to North Carolina, about an hour outside Charlotte. Beverly’s sister lives next door.
“It was a very friendly atmosphere, there wasn’t a large staff at the time, and we just kind of all knew each other — by name, at least — and it was very sociable,” she said, recalling the Valley News’ original offices on Route 10 in West Lebanon. “Everything has totally changed, you’re not using linotype any longer. It’s all computerized.”
She joked: “I’m not as old as the aardvark, but technology changes quickly.”
She recalled how her father winterized a camp house on Lake Champlain, all the family could afford during the Depression, by tacking cardboard cartons on the wall. “You did what you had to do. We ate a lot of fish,” she said.
And when the family moved to North Hartland, they bought a home on a farmer’s land right in the village, but it didn’t have a telephone, so her mother would walk up to the farmer’s house if she needed to make a call.
“I learned to type on a manual typewriter; now I have a whole computer setup, laptop, tablet,” Beverly said. “It’s nice to be able to share some of these things and to remind people that times have changed so drastically.”
It was so great to hear from someone who worked at the same business and lived in the same area as me during a very different time, especially now as our business continues to change, adapt and evolve (just look at this website!). Beverly first reached out by email, just to say she appreciated seeing the Gazette article, and I asked her what life was like back then; she responded by sharing memories and reflections from that time period. When we talked on the phone, she graciously agreed to allow those memories to be shared with all of you, as well.
Thanks so much, Beverly. It is much appreciated. You can read what she wrote below, along with some of the scans she sent of Valley News clippings from the time. (And another big thanks to Art Pease for sharing the clipping in the first place. You never know what you’re going to find when you share something like that!)
Memories of the Valley News’ earliest days and life in the Upper Valley, shared by Beverly Way
Shared by Beverly Chapin, née Way. The caption says: “Pvt. Beverly J. Way (left), who recently received a loan from the Red Cross, makes the first contribution in the Ft. Lee, Va., WAC Training Center’s Red Cross drive to Maj. Agnes Mashidlausky, chairman of the Center’s Drive. The Red Cross loan enabled Pvt. Way to fly home for a family emergency. The drive started on March 1 and will continue throughout the end of the month. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neil M. Way of Hartland, Pvt. Way was graduated from Hartford High School and prior to her enlistment in the WAC was employed by the Veterans Administration in White River Junction.”
(From an email on Aug. 6, 2018)
Thinking about “time” and how did I manage to raise 4 children, garden, can, cook & bake from scratch and also sew when I had to teach myself most of those last 3, along with housework, etc., I realize not only was I younger but there was not much TV and no computer to distract. How life has changed!
I have been musing a great deal recently on days long gone, not just because I am old but because there have been reminders such as your article, searching family genealogy, the inevitable demise of individuals from my past, and talking with a 17-year younger sibling about our parents when they were younger, our brother who died in an accident when she was only 2, and life in our family that she missed since she was not yet born. Thankfully my memory so far has held up quite well and I can share much.
When the building was being erected on Route 10 in West Lebanon to house all operations of the Valley News and a staff being gathered I was a stenographer at the VA Center in White River in the Adjudication Division. This was post WW II when a surge of veterans were returning to a civilian life that had undergone major changes as a result of the war. Many went away as boys, came back men after horrific experiences and found “home” and “family” life was very different than they remembered. Many needed help and/or education to make the transition as well as medical and surgical treatment. I worked in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Division at the VA but eventually it was downsized so I was transferred to Adjudication, the legal branch charged with deciding disability levels and benefits for individuals with service-connected disabilities. That work load also became lighter over time. The attorney for the Rating Board knew I was thinking seriously of moving on and referred me to his friend Allen Butler, driving force behind establishing the Valley News.
I was hired and we started work weeks early to be trained on an entirely new technology, the teletypesetter, with a factory rep teaching us. Then we had some time to practice before first publication day. We worked on a keyboard much like the typewriter but with more functions as it punched a paper tape coded for the linotype machines which had also been modernized. In case you’re not familiar with the history, linotypes were originally set by hand with the blocks of letters, numbers, etc., that made up a line for printing. They were modified so that the tape was read and molten lead flowed onto a sort of tray and that formed the print a whole line at a time. If the tape had not been justified properly it could cause an overflow of the melted metal that really gummed up the huge linotype and had to be all cleaned out before continuing.
We worked in a small side room beside the main printing room. A young man named “Lindy” was in charge of the linotypes – as I remember there were 3 monster machines, one of which was for advertising only because of the graphics – and Lindy gave me a tour and full explanation when I goofed. That room was very noisy with machines that held the type faces, inked them and then did the actual print onto paper that came on huge rolls of newsprint (the unprinted paper) and it was cut into pages as it went. National and international news came in by wire and was converted to the lintotype function automatically. What we were doing was to set up all the local items back in the day when most towns and villages had a correspondent who sent in periodic columns of who was visiting from out of town to a town resident, local club doings and anything else that might be of interest. Or – how to be the village gossip and get paid for it. We also typed up the local news written up by the paper’s reporters and their feature articles and anything else such as editorials, local school news and events when most towns still had local schools.
The first clip reads: “North Hartland Girl Gets Promoted in WAC / FORT LEE, Va. — Private First Class Beverly J. Way, North Hartland, has been promoted to her present rank at the Women’s Army Corps Training Center. / She enlisted in the WAC in July of last year and came to the Training Center for basic training. Upon completion of basic she was selected to attend the Leaders’ Course to develop the leadership qualities which she displayed in earlier training. / Following graduation from Leaders’ she received her present duty with the Leaders’ Company L, as instructor. / A 1949 graduate of Hartford High School, White River Junction, she was employed in White River Junction as a clerk-stenographer at the Veterans’ Administration.” The second clip reads: “July 6, 1953 / PERSONALS / Visitor last week — Pfc Beverly Way of Fort Lee, Virginia. Bev said she was an instructor in Leadership, liked it very much, and, to judge from her ship-shape appearance, Army life is certainly agreeing with her!”
At that time there was a weekly paper, The Landmark, published in White River but the Rutland Herald and the Boston Globe were the main news sources available. Local radio was yet to come and TV news still years in the future.
The Valley News did well in a short time if memory serves. The delivery vehicles, usually private, picked up at the plant in the afternoon to get the papers into stores in time for evening homecoming and into roadside indvidual boxes along the way.
All through school years we learned state and national history, patriotism was part of life and honorable and encouraged. My father was a Navy veteran of WW I and followed the news of the world more than many, we had a “grade school” (now elementary school) teacher who included following the news of WW II as part of class work, and as a member of the marching town and school bands I was in countless Memorial Day and Armistice Day observances, and knew what they truly were about. My father worked at the VA hospital from the time it was getting ready to open in 1938, we heard President Franklin Roosevelt’s announcement of Pearl Harbor on the radio and father explained what it was about as much as a 10-year old could comprehend. In the following years a favorite uncle and a favorite cousin were drafted as were several others I knew less well because of distances. My father joined the neighbors in becoming Air Raid Wardens who did regular shifts staying up at night to monitor blackout curtains and watch for planes. They needed to be able to identify planes by outline both day and night and make reports by telephone so I studied the material also. My mother took me along to gatherings of village women In North Hartland where we all folded bandages at tables in the library as women were doing all over the country. The gauze came in precut to size but with raw edges, we folded in all four sides and had special metal blades to press the folded sections flat to be stacked and then they were returned to be sterilized and then sent to the war fronts and hospitals. There were no machines yet invented to do the cut, fold, count & stack automatically.
This was also a time of rationing of many items when we shopped with ration stamps as well as money, and gasoline was rationed. We had to use a special letter form to write to military so it could all be censored going both ways to prevent any spying or inadvertent disclosures that might be used by the enemies (such as the numbers of various military vehicles being shipped on open flat cars by rail from Canada and the Great Lakes region manufacturing plants through places like White River Jct. in our area to Atlantic coast ports to be shipped to Africa and Europe. As kids we used to watch the trains go by from the bank at top of our garden). All ages helped with the scrap metal drives. This country was very involved beyond the military.
It was the beginning of so-called women’s liberation because women were needed in the defense manufacturing industries, farming, food production to be shipped to troops and to our allies, all types of office jobs including those connected to anything to do with military or war efforts, and it impacted even child care for all those women who had children AND a regular job. The allies prevailed, war ended (sort of) and the troops returned to wives who had grown and changed as had the whole economic world. The men had changed in ways no one understood and we’re still learning.
It reads: “North Hartland Girl Promoted to Corporal / WAC TRAINING CENTER, Fort Lee, Va. — Cpl. Beverly Jean Way, daughter of Mr. and Mr.s Neil M. Way, North Hartland, has received a promotion to her present rank at the Women’s Army Corps Training Center, Fort Lee, Va. / A graduate of Hartford High School and a former employe (sic) of the VALLEY NEWS, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps in July, 1952, and, upon completion of the basic training course, she was assigned to the Leaders’s Company, where she classified as a clerk-typist and instructor. / The WAC Training Center at Fort Lee, Va., is the nucleus of the Women’s Army Corps. Here all new members of the corps are received, processed, interviewed, and trained for Army life.”
By the time the Valley News was born the US was involved in the Cold War against primarily Stalin, dictator of the USSR, to keep communism from overtaking the world and Korea was the battleground, a police action but never declared a war. The draft still existed to supply the military and the high school classmate I was seriously dating by then enlisted in the Navy. Months later I enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps after giving notice to Mr. Butler that he needed to find a new trainee for my job.
Army enlistments were shorter than Navy and Paul proposed just before I left the Army. We married back in Vermont, drove to California before the interstate systems were built and got to travel the old original Route 66 Chicago to California where Long Beach was home port for his ship. We’d settled into married life, I found a job with the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant headquartered then right in Long Beach at the oceanside Civic Auditorium, then the Navy started cutting back and decommissioned Paul’s ship. He was ordered to Japan shore duty his last 6 months on active duty and I stayed in Long Beach where he returned just one week before the birth of his first son.
As soon as the baby was cleared to travel we boarded at LAX and flew home to Vermont. To find an affordable place to live we settled in Enfield in Currier’s Mobile Home Park, later when the 3 offspring had all outgrown the length of their beds we found a large old farm house to buy in Etna. Years later we sold that large house because children will grow and leave home. We bought our “retirement home” back in Enfield Center with a small piece of beach on Mascoma although we were still working and years from retirement.
Housing prices were rising rapidly along with taxes, Paul was declared 100% disabled before retirement age and could no longer do our own upkeep on the house so we eventually sold, got a truck and RV and spent a while traveling and living in RV parks except when we returned to park in our son’s yard in Cornish for the summer. After travel lost its appeal we looked for a place to settle and ended in the Carolina’s where we had some family already living and where there is no snow to shovel, housing could be found that was affordable and taxes much lower. At 86 and 87 years old now and about 3 weeks from a 64th anniversary, we live where nature is a bit easier to cope with in the Piedmont region between mountains and coast and 3 family members live right next door and down the same street along with one in the next town. Paul likes it fine here but I shall always miss northern New England, things like spring lilacs, rhubarb and horseradish in the spring, the northern birds, birch trees, and even the snow and cold so I do get homesick at times. The RV is still in Mike’s yard but we are no longer able to make such trips. I’m just a displaced Yankee who still follows the news from “back home” and most thankful for the internet.
In an email Monday morning, property manager Tim Sidore said that the Polka Dot sign will be displayed inside the new Phnom Penh. And he said that “things are shaping up inside!” (No word on a target date for Phnom Penh opening.)
(This section about the fate of the Polka Dot sign was added to this post on Monday morning.)
Customers drink their coffee on Jan. 19, 2018, at Lucky’s Coffee Garage in Lebanon, N.H. Mike Davidson, who renovated the former Gulf gas station, said that the old Gulf sign displayed at the coffee shop is a template for how the old Polka Dot sign will be displayed at the new Phnom Penh restaurant in White River Junction, another project of his. (Valley News – Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
Of course, this scene played out against the backdrop of new construction.
The Polka Dot building in White River Junction, Vt., on May 8, 2018, is one of the properties owned by developer Mike Davidson’s Execusuite. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tara Wray, of Barnard, Vt., sits at her kitchen table with her dog, Nighthawk, and some of her photos laid out on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at her home. Wray has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund pre-sales for her hardcover photobook, “Too Tired for Sunshine.” (Valley News – Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
An Upper Valley photographer has worked with an independent photobook publisher to create a space for folks struggling with depression to share their photography.
Wray wrote that the goal of the project was “inspired by the outpouring of people” who contacted her since the release of her photobook, Too Tired for Sunshine, which the Valley News wrote about last November:
There’s a nice-sounding folk theory that assumes a relationship between creativity and mental illness — Van Gogh’s ear seems to be the favored paradigm — but the truth is, this claim is unproven from a medical standpoint, and probably dangerous from a social one.
It might be more accurate to say that people with mental illness tend to see the world differently than the neurotypical. A person who is depressed, for example, might be more likely to notice the irony in a Rite Aid display of Mother’s Day bouquets that’s conveniently located next to the cleaning supplies, or how a bit of glazed doughnut got pinched off under the lip of its protective glass cover. They might find themselves inexplicably drawn to dogs looking out car windows, especially on damp or overcast days.
Tara Wray, the Barnard photographer and former filmmaker who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of her forthcoming* photo book, Too Tired for Sunshine, captures the world through just this lens. Wray has dealt with depression on and off for most of her life, she said, and both she and her book are matter-of-fact about the vicissitudes of living with the condition.
“Three hundred and fifty million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said during an interview at Jake’s, in Quechee, on a recent Thursday morning that surprised with snow. But she also doesn’t want to give the impression that she’s in a darker place than she really is, though she was experiencing depression when taking most of the photographs that appear in the book.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! We’re partnering with Amplified Arts to bring the Queer Film Series to Claremont! Join us the second Friday of September, October, & November at AMP — more information coming soon! 💜🎥
Please, please, please, read the whole Valley News editorial; not just the headline, not just the tweet and not just the first three grafs, which I have copied and pasted below:
For many years it has been the general practice here at the Valley News not to respond in kind to critics of our coverage, even when the paper’s motives and good faith are questioned. The working theory is that journalists are not and should not be in the business of getting into public arguments; that we expect public figures to have a thick hide, and it is unbecoming to display a thin skin when they push back; and, most of all, that our coverage rises or falls on its own merits, as determined by the readers we serve, not on the opinion of those whom we cover.
And while the Valley News publishes the work of other news organizations, it does not assist in the planning or preparation of those stories and generally avoids coordinating its efforts in any way with other media outlets, except occasionally in sharing the costs of mounting expensive court challenges. The reasoning is that the public interest is best served when independent news organizations pursue their own priorities, projects and interests, thus providing a wide range of news and opinion.
Today, we depart from these customary stances, albeit reluctantly, to answer The Boston Globe’s call for newspapers across the country to respond to President Donald Trump’s scurrilous attacks on journalists and journalism.
(Full disclosure: I am a member of the Valley News editorial board.)
You can read the editorial from The Boston Globe, who led the call for editorials, at this link. That page also includes a collection of editorials from around the country; the list is being updated throughout the day.
You can also check out the #FreePress hashtag on Twitter.
Not everybody is participating. The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that their decision to abstain “is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions.”
But, the board said, it “decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.”
An undated photo of Aretha Franklin, who has died at the age of 76. (SMP/Globe Photos/Zuma Press/TNS)
Via the Associated Press: Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer. Read her full news obituary here.
Listen Community Services on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News – Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to colleague Matt Clary for dropping these off at the Valley News (!!!). Super glad to have cemented my role as workplace seltzer nut (see: Exhibits A, B, C and D). I’m gonna see how many coworkers I can get to do a fizzeo (… a seltzer review video, OBVIOUSLY). And for my fellow devotees, apparently these are from the Co-op Food Stores (again!).
Ella Dahlstrom,8, of Hartford, Vt., and Becca Girrell, of Lebanon, N.H. view the solar eclispe at the Montshire Museum of Science, in Norwich, Vt., on Aug. 21, 2017. About 1,300 people came to the museum to see the eclispe. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
Were you one of the estimated 216 million American adults who watched the solar eclipse last August?
According to a new survey from the University of Michigan, a stunning 88 percent of American adults — some 216 million people — watched the “Great American Eclipse” in person or electronically. This estimated audience, based on a national probability sample of 2,915 people over 18, was greater than that for the 1969 Apollo 11 landing and each Super Bowl since the contest began. (A 1999 poll found that 7 out of 10 Americans who were age five or older on the day of the moon landing recalled watching the event on television. The most-watched Super Bowl, in 2015, had about 114 million viewers.)
WHO’S RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR: Here’s a rundown of candidates in the governor’s race: four Democrats (James Ehlers, Christine Hallquist, Brenda Siegel and Ethan Sonneborn) plus two Republicans (Keith Stern and incumbent Phil Scott).
WHO’S RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: For U.S. Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch, both incumbents, are expected to get through the Democratic primary rather easily and retain their seats in November. Sanders is an independent and being challenged in the Democratic primary by Folasade Adeluola, who just moved to the state in September. Dan Freilich is now alone in taking on Welch following the abrupt withdrawal by Ben Mitchell during a radio debate on Thursday.
WHAT IS GOING ON: Take a step back: What the heck is a primary, anyway? The Burlington Free Press has put together a helpful beginner’s guide on what today is all about.
Erick Krauss, of Hartford, Vt., exits the pulling booth after voting in the primary election at the Hartford High School Gymnasium in Hartford, Vt., on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Valley News – August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continue on to the quiz below! (Note: There’s a scrolly bar.)
LAST WEEK’S WINNERS
ANOTHER TOUGH WEEK WITH NO ACES Y’ALL. But I really like that a bunch of you chose Dr. Stripes and Squigglebutt as the caterpillar name, bc those are definitely what I would call my caterpillars if ever given the chance.
So for the second ace-less week in a row, we chose two random winners!
Shop all day and party all night (or, at least, until about 10 p.m.):
The White River Junction shopping event of the season: Revolution’s Annual Radical Sale Weekend, their famous tent sale where you can make finds for $1, $5 and $10 (and sometimes, they literally pay you to take stuff away).
The contents of two time capsules that had just been opened on the Royalton Green, in South Royalton, Vt., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (Valley News – August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to email@example.com.
It took place on one of Royalton’s two gazebos.
(RELATED: Does Royalton have the highest gazebo-per-capita rating in the country or what?)