Friday, July 8, 2011

Cavendish Update 7/8/11 News/Gage/Staycationing

The 7/8/11 Cavendish Update Contains
1. Cavendish Related News
2. Vermont State Park Pass at Cavendish Library
3. Cavendish Calendar Winners!
4. Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Phineas Gage
5. Cavendish Staycationing: Parks/Historic Sites/7/8-1/17 Activities

1. Cavendish Related News
Chester and Ludlow Funeral Homes Higher Cost Than Other parts of the state: The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Vermont, (FCA-VT) has announced the completion of its biennial general price survey of all Vermont funeral home prices. “We congratulate Vermont’s locally owned funeral homes in keeping the rise in funeral costs to a minimum during these challenging economic times”, said Board President, Mary Alice Bisbee of Montpelier. “However, we also noted that the very highest prices in the State are to be found in Southern Vermont where 4 homes are now owned by one of the largest Wall Street conglomerates, Service Corporation International (SCI).” The survey shows that for full funeral services, the Chester and Ludlow funeral homes, Adams-Kenny, charges $5,950 while Davis Funeral Home in Springfield charges $3,680 for similar services. The survey is available on-line

Vermonters are Getting Fatter, but not as Fast as Other States: In the past 20 years, the number of obese Vermonters increased from 10.7 percent of the population to 23.5 percent. Vermont had 625,741 residents in 2010, according to the U.S. census, meaning 147,049 are obese -- nearly 1 in 4, according to the findings of a new study. Vermont has a smaller percentage of obese adults than all but four states and the District of Columbia, according to a study released Thursday. Burlington Free Press

Windsor County Fair Returns after a Year’s Absence: The Windsor County Agricultural Fair is back with new programs, entertainment and competitions, according to new fair president Eric Johnson. The fair, which opens Saturday and runs until Sunday, is held at Barlow’s Field in Springfield. Johnson said that new this year is a NASCAR simulator on Sunday, and a country karaoke tent and an all-terrain vehicle obstacle course and a demonstration by chainsaw artist Barre Pinske of Chester. FMI:

Beware of E-mail Pretending to be a Ticket: New York State Police say an email hoax has been circulating across the country, primarily through Yahoo email accounts. The email pretends to be a Uniform Traffic Ticket from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, issued by the State Police. It contains an attached zip file that supposedly is a copy of the ticket that must be filled out and sent to a town court. Police believe the zip file contains an unknown virus. The State Police computer forensics lab is analyzing it Troopers say neither they nor motor vehicles sent the email and people who receive it should not open it or the attachment. Police say the email should be deleted. WCAX

2. Vermont State Park Pass at Cavendish Library
Come to the library, check out the pass. For the third year in a row patrons at the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library may check out a Vermont State Parks or Vermont Historical Sites Pass from the library. Each pass allows a carload of people free entry to the State Park or Historical Site of their choice. There is no charge to check out the pass and it circulates for four days. FMI: Kata at 226-7503 for more information. See article 5 below for more ideas about Staycationing locally.

3. Cavendish Calendar Winners!
The Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA) has compiled the results and the winners of this year’s Calendar Contest. The judges awarded Stacia Spaulding 1st prize in the adult category for her photo - Doe re mi fa sol la ti doe. Runner-ups to 1st prize were Jillian Palmer's Winter Morning and Mary McCallum's Summer Greens. 1st prize in age category 13-18 goes to Chris Palmer for his photo of Cat Tails. 1st prize in age category 5 to 12 goes to Emery Benoit for her photo Red White and Blue. The following are the winners of the 2012 Calendar Contest:
• Main St - by James Burt_
• Spring Deer - by Paula Felt
• Seeds of Love - by Martha Mott
• Milkweed - by Svetlana Phillips
• Winter Morning - by Jillian Palmer
• Black River Valley - by Winston Churchill
• Purple Beauties - by Cindy Fitzgibbons
• Stop and Smell the Flowers - by Tim O'Donoghue
• Glad to be Back - by Hans Schrag
• Doe re mi fa sol la ti doe - by Stacia Spaulding
• Apple Blossoms - by Ellen Parrish
• Cat Tails - by Chris Palmer_

• Best in show - Spring Deer, by Paula Felt with runner ups by Stacia Spaulding's Doe Re Mi and Jean Burt's Playground Pug.

Congratulations to all!

4. Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Phineas Gage These posts are made possible by the Cavendish Historical Society and are archived at the CHS blog.

On Sunday, July 17, there will be a presentation about Phineas Gage at the Cavendish Historical Society Museum starting at 2 pm. The presenter will be Margo Caulfield, Co-Director of Chronic Conditions Information Network as well as Coordinator of the Cavendish Historical Society. Caulfield has worked in the field of traumatic brain injury for over 20 years. Topics covered will include: Gage’s importance to the understanding of traumatic brain injury; his distant relative Fred Gage, a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity, which may explain why Gage was able to function in society again; and why Gage continues to be of interest. The presentation will be followed by a walking tour of historic spots associated with Gage. FMI: 226-7807 or

On September 13, 1848 Phineas Gage, a foreman, was working with his crew excavating rocks in preparing the bed for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad in Cavendish. An accidental explosion of a charge he had set blew his tamping iron through his head. It entered under the left cheekbone and exited through the top of the head. The rod, covered with brains and blood, was found approximately 30 yards from the site of the accident.

Sitting on the back of an ox cart, Gage was brought to the boarding house where he was staying on Main Street in Cavendish. Dr. John Harlow treated his wounds, along with Dr. Edward H. Williams. The large wound at the top of his head was closed with adhesive straps and a wet compress covered the opening. No surgery was involved.

Within days of the accident, an infection developed and Gage lapsed into a semi comatose state. Fearing that he was about to die, a local carpenter prepared a coffin for him. Two weeks after the accident, Harlow released 8 fluid ounces of pus from an abscess under Gage’s scalp. By January 1, 1849 (approximately 4 months) Gage was functional.

It is remarkable that Gage survived this accident, let alone lived for almost 12 more years. Fortunately Dr. Harlow and Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, a professor of surgery at Harvard University, tracked Gage as much possible, thereby documenting one of the first cases of traumatic brain injury in medical science. It was also the first understanding that different parts of the brain have different functions. With this knowledge, the first brain tumor removal operation became possible in 1885.

According to Gage’s family and friends, his behavior was significantly altered by the accident. In 1868, Harlow wrote in the “Bulletin of the Massachusetts Medical Society” His contractors, who regarded him as the most efficient and capable foreman in their employ previous to his injury, considered the change in his mind so marked that they could not give him his place again. He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicts with his desires, at times pertinaciously obstinent, yet capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of future operation, which are no sooner arranged than they are abandoned in turn for others appearing more feasible. In this regard, his mind was radically changed, so decidedly that his friends and acquaintances said he was “no longer Gage.”

Not able to work as a foreman, Gage held a variety of jobs. He worked in the livery stable at what is now known as the Hanover Inn in New Hampshire. He drove coaches and cared for horses in Valparaiso, Chile. Around 1859, after his health began to fail he went to San Francisco to live with his mother. While there, he worked on a farm in Santa Clara County. In February 1860, he began to have epileptic seizures and ultimately died May 21, 1860.

Rumors circulated that Gage appeared at Barnum’s American Museum in New York. It would take another Cavendish doctor, Dr. Gene Bont, almost 160 years later to find proof that Gage did in fact promote himself as a curiosity. Bont found a poster advertising Gage’s appearance at Rumford Hall.

One of the least talked about people connected with the Gage accident is Dr. Williams. He was an engineer, who went to medical school when ill health kept him from working outside. Since he did not have a busy medical practice, Williams spent considerable time in various forms of engineering. In fact, he knew Gage prior to his accident. He was the first doctor on the scene but would have differed to Dr. Harlow as he was a surgeon. Not long after the incident, Williams returned to engineering full time and started the oldest engineering society in the United States, Tau Beta Pi.

5. Cavendish Staycationing: Parks/Historic Sites/7/8-1/17 Activities
Having the free pass from the Cavendish Library (see article 3) to explore Vermont state parks and historical sites is a wonderful way to spend a few days in the coming weeks. The parks closest to Cavendish are Plymouth State and Mt. Ascutney. Just a little farther and there is Wilgus and Coolidge. To check out Vermont State Parks go to The closest Vermont Historic site is President Calvin Coolidge’s home in Plymouth. Go to to learn about various Vermont historic sites and stop by the Cavendish Historical Society Museum on Sundays 2-4 pm and pick up historic walking tours for both Cavendish and Proctorsville Villages.

Activities for the Coming Week
July 8 (Friday): Ludlow Farmer’s Market. On the campus of Okemo Mountain School, 53 Main Street, 4-7 pm FMI:

July 11 (Monday): Select Board Meeting, 6:30 pm at the Cavendish Town Office. Agenda posted to blog as soon as it is received. LPC-TV tapes meetings and makes them available on-line and Comcast Cable TV. Check the website for more information.

July 12 (Tuesday): Bone Builders Class at the Cavendish Baptist-- Class from 10:15-11:45. FMI: Linda at Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center of Windsor County at (802) 885-2083, or Anne Oakes or Andrew Ohotnicky at (802) 228-5236 or Charlotte Snyder (802) 226-7343
• Story Time for Preschool and Young Children 10 am at the Cavendish Library.

July 13 (Wednesday): Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce Mixer 5:30-7:30 pm at Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts, 611 Route 103. FMI and to RSVP: 802-228-5830.
• Chris Kleeman is the featured concert artist at 6 pm at the Proctorsville Green. The concert is free.

July 14 (Thursday): Bone Builders Class at the Cavendish Baptist-- Class from 10:15-11:45. FMI: Linda at Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center of Windsor County at (802) 885-2083, or Anne Oakes or Andrew Ohotnicky at (802) 228-5236 or Charlotte Snyder (802) 226-7343
• Tie Dye Day at the Cavendish Library.
• Sit & Knit" at the Six Loose Ladies yarn shop, Pollard Building, Proctorsville Green, 2:00 -9:00 PM. Open to knitters, spinners, crocheters, hookers. Free. FMI: 226-7373

July 15 (Friday): Ludlow Farmer’s Market. On the campus of Okemo Mountain School, 53 Main Street, 4-7 pm FMI:

July 17 (Sunday): Phineas Gage-His Importance Then and Now, includes a walking tour of sites pertaining to the accident with Margo Caulfield, Co-Director of Chronic Conditions Information Network, who has worked in traumatic brain injury (TBI) for over 25 years. For more information call 226-7807.

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