Active bears, Woodstock Mountain Bike Race, and new staff at Coolidge Foundation~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard

10/11/20


It just seems impossible to know what to wear these days!  I have had my winter jacket on for an early morning walk, enjoyed bike rides with only minimal layers, and then reveled in a summer skirt, blouse, and sandals – all in the matter of one week.  Most of us have been busy putting gardens to bed and I took advantage of the 70+ degree weather on Saturday to plant some bulbs.


It doesn’t seem unusual these days to hear bear stories.  They are trying to pack on weight to carry them through winter hibernation, so they are diligently seeking any food they can find.  Even though my feeder hangs from a window high off the ground, one fellow apparently thought it was worth a try to raid it.  Around 7:15 PM last Wed I heard noise outside my dining room and decided to see what was going on.  I flipped on the spotlight to look out my bow window and came practically face-to-face with a huge bear.  He had climbed a tree about 10 feet from the house and was eye level with me!  We looked at each other, but by the time I regained my wits and grabbed my phone to take a picture, he had ascended further up the tree and peeked at me over a branch.  I opened the far window to gain a better angle, but he quickly clamored down the back side of the tree and then lumbered up our sugarhouse road.  I was amazed at how quickly this large creature could move up and down the tree.  It would have been an amazing picture.


Congratulation to Schyler Hagge on taking first place in last Thursday’s Woodstock Mountain Bike race that included grades 7 through 12!
I understand that the Coolidge Foundation has recently announced some staff updates. Jared Rhoads, who has led the Coolidge 5K race is at the Notch will be on site several days per week and is the person to contact (jrhoads@coolidgefoundation.org) if you would like to be a debate judge or volunteer with the high school debate program. John Ferrell, longtime office manager and archivist is often on hand as well.


The Foundation has recently hired Dean Ball as the new executive director, reporting directly to Chairman and CEO, Amity Shlaes.  Although based at the Foundation’s office in Washington, D.C, he will spend significant time at the Notch overseeing the Foundation’s many programs in Vermont. Planning will include working on the Coolidge centennial in 2023. 


Beginning next year, Matt Denhart, who has served as executive director and then president since late 2013, will be shifting his role to focus on development and administration of the Coolidge Scholarship.  Although COVID-19 has forced many events and programs to be online this year, it is hoped that in-person programs can return in the future, including 4th of July fireworks. 

Bear crossing sign on the road
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