July, 2008

Melissa Etheridge: Rockin' On with the Revival Tour

"Fearless, committed, compassionate, and grounded: Melissa Etheridge embodies my idea of strong women," declares 35-year old Sherry Hutto, a registered nurse in Burlington.

The inspirational qualities that Hutto points to, as do so many of her fellow Etheridge fans, are what make the singer so much more than just a pop rock star.


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Melissa Etheridge

After the Diagnosis: Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My first reaction was relief. It was a beautiful, sunny October day in Vermont. I arrived in the parking lot of the neurologist's office, expecting little. This was just another in a long series of medical appointments I had shown up for over the previous four years.

None of my doctors had been able to explain my puzzling symptoms. The fingers in my right hand were tingly and numb. So was the bottom of my left foot. I had repeated bladder infections, bright flashes in my eyes, thumping noises in my ears, dizziness, sudden and incapacitating fatigue, foot pain, leg cramps, unrelenting constipation, depression. I was 52.


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Michele Patenaude

Mary Cassatt: Her Brilliant Career, a Retrospective

Forever obscured to our contemporary eyes - by the array of serene mothers with their cherubic children, or images of refined Victorian-era young ladies replete in their formal wear sipping tea - is the extent to which the artist Mary Cassatt was a rebel in her own time. Personally, politically, artistically, and as a feminist - in all these ways this late nineteenth-century artist was among the cultural vanguard.

Vermonters have the opportunity to enjoy a major retrospective of this extraordinary artist's work at the Shelburne Museum's Webb Gallery between now and October 26. The exhibit, Mary Cassatt: Friends and Family, features more than 60 works - by Cassatt, as well as several pieces by Cassatt's colleague and (on-again, off-again) friend Edgar Degas, and a Monet from the museum's collection. The inclusion of paintings, pastels, drawings, and prints by Cassatt reveal the scope of her artistic talents, which extended beyond Impressionism. And one of the "friends" referred to in the exhibit's title is Louisine Elder Havemeyer, a major figure in the history of art collecting and patronage in the United States. The close personal and professional relationship between these two women is a key dimension to the exhibition.


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Louisine Havemeyer

The Art of Aging in Style

My Grandmother the Waitress

"Life is no brief candle for me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations."

- George Bernard Shaw


My paternal grandmother Blanche was abandoned in Petersham, Massachusetts by my grandfather during the Great Depression.

She was left pregnant and with two small children. She had no health or life insurance. No Social Security. No money.

She lived in a small farmhouse, with water pump, wood cooking stove, ice box, outhouse… but with no central heat.


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Publisher Sue Gillis