Letter: Bridge Lessons From the Hoyts

To the Editor:

Regarding Jim Kenyon’s Aug. 11 column (“A Happy Warrior,”) Norris Hoyt, in addition to his other accomplishments, should also be remembered for being — along with his wife Kathy — a key figure in preventing the aesthetic disfigurement of the Connecticut River by the replacement of the old Ledyard Bridge with an inhumane, off-the-shelf interstate design. Back then in the ’90s, when the Hanover Selectboard (save Jack Nelson) was morally absent, the Hoyts stepped forward, got Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont involved, and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation was forced to hire — can you believe it? — an architect.

Of course if you are new to the story you might wonder why Hanover or the college (for heaven’s sake) was ready to accept what the New Hampshire DOT commissioner said was best for truckers, but space does not allow for the full, embarrassing story. Let’s just say that story involves a funding earmark by a forgettable one-term Democratic congressman.

Given that another new bridge is to be built over the Connecticut, this time in West Lebanon, the lesson of the Hoyts still resonates. A few years ago Enfield demanded a bridge of character in its village center, and got one. Will the City of Lebanon do the same?

Dick Mackay



Jim Kenyon: A Happy Warrior; Remembering Norrie Hoyt

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Norrie Hoyt was a guy I found easy to admire. He wasn’t afraid to spar with rich people, and he enjoyed throwing an occasional jab at the state of New Hampshire. That’s my idea of a one-two punch. When Hoyt died of congestive heart failure at his home in Norwich last Sunday at age 78, the Upper Valley lost a …