Barnard

by Susan Abbott
You here in Vermont have a priceless heritage-old houses that must not be torn down, and beauty that must not be defiled, roads that must not be cluttered with billboards and hot-dog stands. You are guardians of this priceless heritage...Charles Edward Crane quoting Sinclair Lewis's address to the Barnard rotary club


From Bethel I drove up and down North Road's hills to the center of Barnard, two graceful churches and a forthright general store. I perused these appreciatively from the Route 12 intersection, and then continued south down the Stage Road towards Woodstock.


I didn't know it at the time, but my dirt-covered Toyota had driven past the pristine 300 acres of Twin Farms, a luxury resort that must cater to that 10% of our population holding 70% of our national wealth, since accommodations range up to $3,000. a night. What tickles my fancy is that this property used to belong to leftist critic of the bourgeoisie (remember those novels "Babbitt", "Dodsworth", "Main Street", and "It Can't Happen Here"?) Sinclair Lewis, and his wife, anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson--and you can sleep in "Red's Room" (Nobel Laureate Sinclair's bedroom) for $1,300. a night. The irony is gratis.


I'm glad I didn't find out about Twin Farms until later, as my populist rant would have distracted from enjoying the beauty of Stage Road in twilight.

Barnard facts and figures