The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on December 22, 1991 · 43
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 43

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 22, 1991
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4 to .iLNIjJLAW d 1 i I W I i tm l III THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE DECEMBER 22, 1991 Walmart may bridge gap between N.H., Vt : Off the road Settling in in Vermont MANCHESTER, VT.-1 like to hear how people come to a place. A long time ago, a man told me he had started out in New York as an actor but, tir ing of that strugggle, be- came a minister. His wife had followed him into the religion business, and they came to preach in the same church in Sear-sport, Maine. Church was also part of the reason Ray Purdy, his wife and children left California for this Vermont town. The church they attended was losing members, and their friends in the Scottish dancing group were moving away. Besides, there were knife fights in the public school. They came east to look and liked the looks of Vermont Western Massachusetts might have been just as attractive, but they had friends in Bennington where they could stay while getting settled. Ray and Lesley furdy sold their house in California and started east 12 years ago, a drive he remembers because of the feeling of being free, weightless, the possibility of changing plans tod going north or south. (If I ever get to feeling that free, can sell the crackerbox house and stop worrying about our kids, I will have no trouble deciding what direction to go, toward the sun, and hope my companion follows.) ' Vermont looked tidy to Ray Purdy, like the British Isles, and was 3,000 miles closer to his wife's people in Scotland. Topographically, southwest Vermont even looked like parts of Scotland to him. He bought a kitch-eri'design business, though he had no real kriowledge of how to run it A salesman stayed on to help him, and he struggled, he learned and was in business when the ski condominium building boom crested. In 1987 his small shop came within $6,000 of doing $1 million worth of business. I think he is proud of that figure because he was born in 1932 and grew up in a time when a million was a million. , In the meantime he and his wife were becoming part of the town. It was a marvelous place for his children. They did well in school, the daughter is now a senior at Princeton, the son a senior at the high School. He is moderator of a committee of the First Congregational Church, his wife is a deacon, they both sing in the choir. They are part of Manchester. . ' , If they are part of Manchester, they and their children will never be considered natives. It has taken Ray Purdy time to become friends with native Vermonters, and he is careful not to overstep the line. He does not make Vermont jokes. Because they really live in Manchester and are not just moving through, they are more accepted than some others. However, he says: "I still think of myself as a privileged guest" After 21 Augusts, that's how I feel about Summer Island, Maine. The condominium boom has crested and waned and he is still in business. He would like to make more money, maybe have a house on a lake, a boat But he says those things are not necessary, perhaps because he was born in 1932. Yet he realizes he might be out of tune with the 1980s. Without wanting to be, he might be right in tune for the 1990s. He sings and acts and directs and produces plays for an amateur group, four productions a winter, and is writing a play about Robert Burns. He thinks theater is a way to elevate the spirit that it should be nourishment for the soul, and wonders at the point of some movies he sees. I could have told him the point is noise and bad language but did not want to sound like a crank. .' Manchester is changing with the rest of New England, people coming in summer to shop the outlet stores and in autumn to view the foliage and in winter to ski. Traffic clogs the town, and in those moments Manchester is no longer a small town. -, Regardless of traffic, he has his church, his drama group, and he and Lesley are going to start teaching Scottish country dancing again. It sounds like a good life, and surely is. But all that traffic in his little town. Sometimes Ray Purdy wishes the tourists would go away, even if they might bring some business to him. He expressed this ambivalence in a joke I had not heard before. He said it was like watching a mother-in-law drive off a cliff in your new Cadillac. By Royal Ford GLOBE STAFF BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - It is an ironic twist in the mercantile wars that sales-tax-free New Hampshire wages with its neighbors. A giant department store is planned across the river from here in Hinsdale, N.H., yet rather than try to compete, the best defense for this economically vibrant "Sri IK) - GLOBE STAFF PHOTO SUZANNE KREITEHi Victor Paquette, with a photo of his mother, Rena, said It was Inevitable that the New Hampshire medical examiner would change finding of cause of his mother's death. ;5 . . ' ij y Searching for truth about a mother's death By Laura A Kiernan CONTRIBUTING REPORTER MANCHESTER, N.H. - On an icy cold afternoon in February 1964, the smoldering body of Rena Paquette was found in a pigsty about a mile from the farmhouse where she lived with her husband, Arthur, and two of their five children. The medical examiner concluded that A season for giving in Vermont By Yvonne Daley SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE RUTLAND,Vt-Snow crunched under Marshall Squier's rubber boots. It was bitter cold and Squier's hands were chapped raw as he repositioned balsam and spruce trees, snaking off the light snow that had fallen during the night. There were pressing needs at home in the mountain town of Tin-mouth 10 miles away, where Squier should have been cutting wood to heat the newly completed cabin where he, his wife and two young children live without electricity, television, telephone or central heat. But Squier was in high spirits, flush with the gift of giving. He had just given away his umpteenth Christmas tree, this one to an elderly woman who had purchased two GIVING, Page 44 city may be to help Vermonters leave town to shop. That's because, in a variation on a classic bit of Downeast humor, you can barely get there from here. "There" is an 11.7-acre slab of land that hangs like a shelf off the base of Hinsdale's Mount Wantastiguet. It can only be reached from Vermont by passing through a treacherous X-shaped intersection in Brattleboro and crossing the Connecticut River on one narrow bridge to an island and a second Family rejects 27-year-old Paquette, 54, had committed suicide by pouring a highly flammable liquid over her body and setting it on fire. But Paquette's family, who knew her as a loving, church-going woman, could not accept it Last month, 27 years after she was laid to rest at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Bedford, Paquette's body was exhumed at her chil- ,"1?' GLOBE STAFF PHOTO 5 : - -I y . '"X .A , f i - " ". -"" I !-..." 1 v - - ;- - Marshall Squier spruces up a Christmas tree at his lot in Rutland, Vt, where he has been giving trees to the needy. narrow bridge to New Hampshire. The closest alternative crossing is about 25 miles south, in Northfield, Mass. When shoppers pour through town to shop at the new Walmart - as seems to happen wherever the burgeoning retail giant goes these days - the hilly, narrow streets of Brattleboro could go into traffic gridlock. And that merchants and officials agreed last week, would not be good for business. "It will bring an awful volume of traffic to the community and I just don't think v5 finding of suicide drens' request. Relying on newly uncovered records of the 1964 investigation, including the original autopsy report, and a re-examination of Paquette's remains, the chief state medical examiner, Dr. Roger M. Fossum, changed the cause of death in the case from "suicide" to "undetermined." Maine state workers get help with cutback stress By Denise Goodman SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AUGUSTA, Maine - While Maine legislators debated yet another deficit-trimming measure last week - the third in the last year - an employee of a state unit facing severe cutbacks spent Thursday in a daylong workshop learning how to deal with the stress brought on by Turbulent legislative year shows decline of Conn, parties' power By Peggy McCarthy SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE HARTFORD - For years, a balding man with eyeglasses perched on his forehead held court at a pillar in the Capitol. From that spot he dispensed state jobs, forged state budgets and reminded legislators that they were beholden to the party for their political positions. WENDY MAEDA Brattleboro's prepared for it" said Stanley Borofsky, owner of Sam's Department Store on Main Street, just a stone's throw from the hazardous intersection, where two streets that come down steep hills join a third road that leads to the Vermont YanT kee nuclear plant and a fourth that crossed the aging bridges. J Yet Borofsky also said that there are obf vious gains if the intersection can be imj proved or a new bridge is built ' ROAD, Page 45 ft i3U "I honestly felt that it was inevitable,.? said a son, Victor Paquette, 44, about Fos-J sum's opinion that circumstances surround ing the death made suicide an unlikely posJ sibility. "With all the facts looked at clearljj by competent individuals there is no other J way to view 't." i ' The Paquette family has always believeijj that Rena Paquette's death was linked t$ rA(jUiTTi, rage 44 J continuing budget cuts. ' During last summer's temporary' state shutdown, the woman said, sh started smoking again after a twoj year hiatus. : A woman next to her said ten- sions are mounting in her office as j staffers fall as much as four months i behind in their workload. ! Another transferred to an unfa- STRESS, Page 45 The nearly four-decade reign of John M. Bailey as state Democratic Party chairman ended with his death in 1975. At that time, the clout of political parties had begun to diminish. State laws and government policies opened up the election process to make it easier for people to run for office and reduced the power of parties in such areas as patronage and . CONNECTICUT, Page 45

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