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A Deep Look at a Small Town: Marlboro, Vermont.  John and Margaret MacArthur 1999. Photographs and Interviews by Forrest Holtzapfel

The Hale Street Gang:
Portraits in Writing

A Photographic Exhibit with Sound

Vermont Folklife Center
Vision & Voice Documentary Workspace
88 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4964
September 10, 2010 – December 18, 2010

Gala Writers’ Reception
October, 2 2010
2:00pm – 4:00pm

Meet the Hale Street Gang, twelve senior citizens who gather once a week to read aloud from their memoirs-in-progress. Their clubhouse is the Greater Randolph Senior Center, an elderly mansion in a neighborhood south of the railroad tracks. Together they weave a “collective memoir” of life in twentieth-century America, with the village of Randolph, Vermont as its nexus.

The Greater Randolph Senior Center and the Vermont Folklife Center have teamed up to develop The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing. The exhibit shows the work—in photographs, written text, and recorded voices—of a dozen Randolph-area seniors who have been writing down their life stories for an ongoing pilot project directed by Randolph native Sara Tucker.

The project originated in October 2008, when the Senior Center offered a six-week memoir writing class. Almost two years later, the twelve members of the Hale Street Gang are still gathering in the Senior Center “craft room” to read aloud what they have written during the week. Most of the writers are in their eighties (the eldest is 99). They write about everything: learning to fish, skate, drive, and kiss. Falling in love. Getting old. They write about their lives as teachers, nurses, farmers, soldiers, and social workers. They write about their memories of World Wars I and II, the “Roaring Twenties,” the Depression. The towns they grew up in, the games they played as children, the regrets they still live with after many decades. They wonder, on paper, how they are supposed to conduct their lives at the age of ninety-something. They are scouting the territory for the next generation.

Please join us on October 2, 2010 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm for a Gala Writers' Reception featuring readings and refreshments.

Sara Tucker is a writer and editor who quit a not-so-glamorous job with Condé Nast Traveler magazine, after some thirty years in the publishing biz, to move back to her hometown. She now teaches writing and lives with her mother, Idora, and her husband, Patrick Texier, a safari guide turned cartoonist. Her blog is The Hale Street Gang and Me,

Jack Rowell was born and raised in central Vermont; his work has been published in People Weekly, the London Independent, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, The Economist, and the Times of London, among other publications. Rowell has had one-man exhibitions at Hopkins Center, the Governor’s Reception Area, and the Main Street Museum of Art in White River Junction. Since 1992 he has worked as associate producer on the feature films Man with a Plan and Nosey Parker.


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