Monday, May 15, 2006

Rainy Day Thoughts

Okay, whoever has been praying for rain in New England can stop now. It's like asking for a drink of water then being thrown in the pond, which our neighbor to the east has been. With close to a foot of rain over the last few days there are over 200 schools in New Hampshire closed for flooding. Although Vermont remains relatively well-drained. It is a constant curiosity to me that two states separated by no more than an imaginary line down the west bank of the Connecticut River can be so completely different in politics, weather and geology. I can see New Hampshire from my kitchen window, but as soon as you cross the river you can see and feel the difference. It's made out of solid rock and is not called the Granite State for strictly poetic reasons. Vermont, on the other hand, could appropriately be called the Blue Clay State, at least according to the 400 feet of the stuff holding up my house. They call it the Green Mountain State because we have mountains and they are green.

I admit a grudging admiration for New Hampshire. If you're going to live in a Red State, that's the one you want. "Live Free Or Die" is the coolest in-your-face state motto in the Union. Vermont's bilingually redundant "Green Mountain State" shows a surprising lack of imagination in a state so filled with Yankee independence, creative thinkers and alternative lifestyles. Wouldn't something like, "Vermont - It's all Downhill to New Hampshire" be more fun? Or perhaps a tip of the hat to the fact that Vermont was an independent republic before Texas was even a twinkle in Sam Houston's eye. How about "Vermont - The Original Lone Star State" or "Vermont - Not Just Another Colony"

In any case, it's still raining in the Green Mountain State and it's still overflowing the rocky banks of the Granite State rivers. So, like I said, you can stop praying for rain now. Let's pray for drainage for awhile.


Blogger piglet said...

There's that freaky weather again. Here in the Evergreen State, it's over 90 degrees today. What's up with that?
Washington's state motto should be "The State That You Have To Say State After So People Can Distinguish It From The Capital."
Catchy, no?

4:13 PM  
Blogger Dean said...


My wife and I moved out of New Hampshire about six months ago.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find many Granite Staters who would rather live on your side of the river.

In fact a couple of years ago didn't one Vermont town try to leave Vermont and join New Hampshire.

You wrote "If you're going to live in a Red State, that's the one you want."

Isn't Alaska a Red State too? Which should people choose if they had to pick between the two?

8:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Alaska and New Hampshire are very much alike in many ways. It's probably why I have such a soft spot for the Granite State. Twenty years ago the politics in Alaska very much resembled New Hampshire's libertarian conservatism. The state was far more divided between Anchorage's urban interests and "the bush", than between Demorcrats and Republicans. You could hardly tell one for the other there until the late 80's. The Alaska Constitution -- some of the authors whom are still alive -- was and is a model of personal privacy rights which has been studied and emulated in fledgling constitutions around the world. However, the last two decades have produced a steady and growing movement of far-right politics in Alaska which has taken all the fun and honest debate out of state politics. New Hampshire has kept its wits about itself in a way that Alaska would do well to emulate.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have been enjoying your audio tapes for several years (End of the Road, Last Decent Parking Place in N America, etc). They are showing their age now and hard to find new/good condition ones. Are there any plans to produce them in electronic format (either CD, IPOD, etc)? I have tried unsuccessfully coverting from tape to electronic. They always come out very poor sound quality (probably from the age of the tapes). If anyone has advice on a better way it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


7:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Sorry to say I don't know of any plans to digitalize the old recordings, but that's not to say it won't happen. In the meantime, the titles you mention - "End of the Road, Last Decent Parking Place..." are still available on cassette in a boxed set they call the "Tom Bodett Value Collection". Snappy title. Not my idea, but I'm happy to still have the stuff in circulation.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous FlaSuz said...

I hate to admit this but being a Florida native, I've never had the opportunity to see fall foliage of any magnitude, but it's on my life's list of goals. I was in Vermont for a few days last September and later heard it was one of the worst years for fall foliage because of the weather - too dry or too wet??? I was also in Cape Cod and they had one of the worst cranberry harvests in years, evidently I wreak havoc wherever I go, which is maybe lucky for the country that I've pretty much stayed put around here up until now :)

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Diane Sandvik said...

Too bad there's no "muskeg" out there to absorb all that rain Tom!


p.s. Got to thinking of you, as I'm making reservations at a Motel 6 up in Bellingham, WA. for this weekend. I'm going to visit my son Alex who's a freshman there!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Duncan said...

Hey Tom,

Check out Robert Frost's poem "New Hampshire" from his 1923 collection of the same name (he got a Pulizer for it). It's long, but it will make you smile:


4:52 PM  

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