A Valley News Publication

Throwback to Listen’s Lebanon Thanksgiving in 1988; plus, free Upper Valley meals on Thursday

We’re off on Thursday, so I’m posting this #valleynewsthrowback here on UV INDEX one day early.

This year, there are at least three free and public Thanksgiving meals happening in the Upper Valley on Thursday: Listen is hosting one at Sacred Heart Church in Lebanon (starting at noon), and there are also meals at Vermont Law School in South Royalton 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) and the White River Junction VFW (noon-3 p.m.).

Full details on free meals and local turkey trots in this recent Out & About column.

And on to the #tbt!

Listen, a social-service organization based in Lebanon, N.H., held its first community Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 24, 1988, at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Lebanon volunteers Susan Truman, left, and Pam Bennett join others in saying grace before the dinner begins. Seventy-five people ended up taking advantage of the dinner. Listen was prepared to serve up to 150 people, so the abundant leftovers will be distributed to area social service agencies for their weekly community dinners. (Valley News – Bill Conradt) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Listen, a social-service organization based in Lebanon, N.H., held its first community Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 24, 1988, at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Volunteers Alan Emery and Friddie Labrecque, 8, of Enfield, N.H., carve up turkey in preparation for the feast. Seventy-five people ended up taking advantage of the dinner. Listen was prepared to serve up to 150 people, so the abundant leftovers will be distributed to area social service agencies for their weekly community dinners. (Valley News – Bill Conradt) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

 

Phnom Penh is opening in the former Polka Dot building in WRJ on Monday

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 permission@vnews.com.

Via an email from property manager Tim Sidore:

Phnom Penh Sandwich Station and Execusuite, LLC are thrilled to announce the restaurant is ready to open this coming Monday, Nov. 5. Sarin Tin, the proprietor of Phnom Penh, looks forward to meeting the WRJ community. Located at the historic Polka Dot building, Phnom Penh will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Stop in and enjoy delicious Cambodian food and local craft beers.

 

Redeveloper/owner Mike Davidson said:

 

“It has been gratifying to see the collaboration between Sarin and our Execusuite manager Tim Sidore in the effort to restore this landmark. It was a lot of hard work, but they got it done! We are excited to see this corner add life to the downtown streetscape.”

Unfortunately I don’t have a more recent photo just yet (if you got one that we can use, sent it our way at uvindex@vnews.com!) but here’s some video of the old sign coming down and the new sign going up in August:

Lounging around the Hotel Coolidge in 1971

As always, there’s more on the #valleynewsthrowback hashtag on the @vnewsuv Instagram.

Photographed on Feb. 17, 1971, the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, Vt., reopened its lounge, located where the coffee shop used to be and the dining room has been expanded into the old Barn Lounge area. (Valley News – Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Georgia-born, Nashville-based rock artist Ron Pope croons about White River Junction

White River Blumption earlier this year. Photo by yours truly.

Thanks to my colleague Matt Hongoltz-Hetling for the heads up on this: It seems we’re both way behind the curve, but did YOU know that since 2016, there’s been a country-ish pop-rock song by a touring artist about the Upper Valley’s favorite comeback kid? Because we did not.

Here is a snippet from Ron Pope’s description of the song “White River Junction,” via his YouTube:

“White River Junction” is the first song I wrote for this album and in my mind, it is the quickest route on the road to explaining “What does the new album sound like?” It’s a pretty vivid narrative; I saw a sign that said White River Junction when we were on tour in Vermont. I was sick and exhausted from months of non-stop traveling and anxious to get off the freezing bus at the next stop to get back on stage (which is the only place I ever want to be when we’re on tour). Every once in a while, on the road, I’ll look up how far we are from Atlanta even though I haven’t lived there in years; all I could think was, “Damn, we’re far from home.”

It also deals with drug use quite a bit (see the refrain, “Cocaine / cocaine / cocaine”), so there’s that. The song was posted in March 2016 and has more than 11,600 views on YouTube as of today.

Ron Pope was raised in Marietta, Georgia, and founded the record label Brooklyn Basement Records with his wife, Blair, in Nashville, according to his website and Wikipedia page. (And if it makes me sound old to cite a rock-and-roll artist’s Wikipedia page in describing him because of a song that came out more than two years ago, then that’s just how it’s gonna have to be.)

RELATED:

WRJ’s newest grocery store … in 1964

Find more Upper Valley throwbacks at the #valleynewsthrowback hashtag on the @vnewsuv Instagram. !!!!!

During A&P Supermarket’s grand opening, shoppers take advantage of the many sale specials and to get a first hand look at its up-to-date facilities at the corner of Gates and Main Streets in White River Junction, Vt., on Sept. 23, 1964. (Valley News – Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.