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Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Yankee is...


To anyone outside the US a "Yankee" is someone from the U.S.
To anyone from the U.S. a "Yankee" is someone from a northeastern state.
To anyone from the northeast, a "Yankee" is someone from New England.
To anyone from New England, a "Yankee" is someone from Vermont.
To anyone from Vermont, a "Yankee" is someone who eats apple pie for breakfast.

This post is inspired by Fr. John Boyle's detailed post re: his visit to Vermont. Seems he's having a grand time up there seeing the USA in his Chevrolet... unwittingly following the dictum of a fairly famous ad campaign back in 50s and into the 60s, which you can see here. This clip is about 1:32 and features the lovely, talented, and gracious all-American gal, Dinah Shore.

Father Boyle casually writes the phrase "Ethan Allen, who I believed lived in the 1770s..." Perhaps he is just being tongue in cheek. Ethan Allen, along with his Green Mountain boys and Benedict "Phooey on him" Arnold captured many cannons at Ft. Ticonderoga in May of 1775. In ONE NIGHT in March of 1776 Washington's men put up 59 cannons plus prefabricated breastworks on the Dorchester Heights, south of Boston which overlooked the harbor, thereby breaking the siege and hastening Howe's us colonials our first major victory.

From the summer of '67 until the summer of '69 my family lived in neighboring New Hampshire. We also went up to Lake Champlain in '67, and it was one of the neatest family vacations ever. It was where I got my first chance to ride a horse:

And here I'm holding the "tail trophy" of the first fish I ever caught...the chef cooked up the fish and served it to me that same evening.

Note the "Go to hell" shorts, even then! The hat has Charlie Brown's Snoopy lying on top of it.

In the next picture Lake Champlain is right behind me. We stayed at Marble Head Island, by Colchester, Vt. - not far from Burlington. (I'm standing to the left of a family friend, and I wasn't quite 11 when this was taken.)

Note the spiffy swim caps we were required to wear.

While in Vermont, I saw my first "wholesome trottin' race" rather than the kind "where they sit down right on the horse" - thereby heading off making my parent's blood boil. I still have the race program somewhere around the house, but I'm not going to destroy the house looking for it. But here's a little music to go with the thought. (Serendipity does it again, how does Amazon know the exact 30 second clip I need?! Amazing!)

We later went across to Quebec that week, my first time outside the country, to see Expo '67. My first and only visit to Canada. Saw my first mountie too, no piccie though, 'cuz it was dark by the time we left and we didn't have flash! But I did bring home this nifty program. It's seen better days, but if any historians need to know each and every little detail about where every exhibit hall from every country was situated, I can tell them! Someone's thesis may be riding on it.

Amazingly it was sitting about 15 feet from where I'm blogging. And I almost NEVER can put my hands on anything this obscure that quickly.

I always feel a little sorry for people who "can't remember anything" about their childhood. All it takes is someone to say "Vermont" and all these memories instantly come to mind. Thanks for the triggering the trip down memory lane, Fr. John.


Phil said...

Nothing wrong with apple pie for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

He does get about doesn't he?

gemoftheocean said...

"Apple pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

-- some ad, somewhere. Sounds good to me!

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