Life & Times

Virginia "Ginnie" Davenport, looks over a wall of family photographs at her home in Thetford, Vt. on Feb. 24, 2015. The painted portrait of Davenport on the left was made by an Italian artist from a photograph Davenport's  husband carried with him during World War II, when the couple was secretly engaged.   (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)
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Deep, Clear Memories : Writing Courses Spur Thetford Woman’s Memoir

Friday, February 27, 2015

While assembling the first volume of her memoirs in 2013, Thetford Center resident Virginia “Ginnie” Davenport ventured several times through the countryside of Middlesex, Vt., …

Norwich Illustrator’s Book Wins a Prestigious International Prize

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Norwich resident has won the internationally acclaimed Bologna Ragazzi Children’s book award for fiction. Lizi Boyd’s The Flashlight was chosen as the top fiction …

On Poetry: The Moral Force of Jean Connor’s Poems

Friday, February 27, 2015

It has been almost two years since I celebrated one of Vermont’s literary treasures, Jean Connor, a poet who, after a long career as a …

When the Railroads Rolled In

Saturday, February 21, 2015

In 1854, Henry David Thoreau wrote “the whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter.” By then, Bradford-area residents were quite familiar with that sound. The first train arrived at Bradford’s Calcutty location (Piermont Crossing) on …

A Saw-Whet Owl Stops By for Breakfast

Friday, February 20, 2015

One morning last week, after preparing our usual breakfast with tea, I started for the basement door and my walk down the driveway to fetch the Valley News for me and my wife, Kathleen. But as I reached …

‘Birth of a Nation’ Debate Endures

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New York — One hundred years ago this spring, Hollywood came of age in a blaze of wonder and fury. D.W. Griffith’s three-hour Civil War epic, The Birth of a Nation, was released in April 1915 after a …

Romance Writers Get Some Love

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Washington — Who among us, even in the dyspeptic climate of Capitol Hill, does not yearn for the HEA? For the cool of heart and the calculating of temperament, the Happily Ever After is the delicious denouement expected …

Lawmakers: Allow Pets To Ride Amtrak Too

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Washington — It all began with Lily, a 15-pound snowball of a French bulldog with the face of a tough guy and the personality of a princess. She and her owner, Rep. Jeff Denham of California, take the …

Shelby Lyman on Chess: A New Chess Queen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hint and Explanation: Win the Queen There is a new queen of chess. With a third-place finish (after tie-breaks) in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in Caleta, England, 20-year-old Hou Yifan has made a giant step forward. A prodigy of rare talent who learned to play the game …

Idaho’s Sun Valley Is the Birthplace of Heliskiing

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ketchum, Idaho — If you want to see grown men giggle with joy like sugar-addled schoolgirls, you could go to the Super Bowl, a Home Depot clearance sale or a movie theater showing an early Jim Carrey marathon. …

On Fashion: Why Are Designers Afraid of Women’s Sex Appeal?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New York — Making a woman look and feel sexy is one of fashion’s enduring pursuits. The most reliable and straightforward way to achieve this goal is by revealing some skin — but not too much. Everyone knows that part of what makes for a sexy entrance is …

Miss Manners: Don’t Discourage Children From Showing Respect

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Miss Manners: My son is a polite, respectful and kind-hearted child. As my mother before me, we only use the terms “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” to much older ladies and gentlemen. A simple “yes” or “no” spoken in kindness was always sufficient. In my nephew’s home …

Pawscars Honor Top Animal Actors

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Los Angeles — Honoring actors brings out red carpets, couture and — sometimes — creatures. A monkey who’s starred in 25 movies over two decades was top dog at the sixth annual Pawscars, the animal version of the Oscars. Waving a statue over her head in triumph, a …