Life begins at 40

You may have heard that Woodstock Times is 40 years old this year. I know, it says volume 39 on the front, and I’m not sure I can explain that, but we’re surely 40, with the first issue hitting the streets in February, 1972. For the first couple of months it was published every other week, then went weekly around April.

What with the way newspapers are going these days, we’re pretty happy to still be around. We intend to keep on publishing. It’s still fascinating to see the way life goes around here; there’s still curiosity about the people we live with and among, and we’re still enjoying chronicling our times. Sure, we struggle with the ideal of journalism, marveling in its perfection, ecstatic when we manage to live up to it, sighing when we fall short, but aware, always of its true demands.

To celebrate, we won’t do too much. Perhaps later this year we’ll publish a commemorative section.

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But Geddy, who has been the mainstay here since day one, and I, now nearly eleven years down the road as editor, will greet you and talk about anything that has to do with us, you, our community, journalism and any other topics at the Woodstock Library Forum, 5 p.m. Saturday, February 25. Come and say hello.

 

I hit a deer the other night. I wasn’t thinking about writing about it until I read Michael Perkins’ Walking Woodstock piece that’s on the back page this week, but somehow it falls into place as one more piece, one more reason to take up what he calls the subversive art of walking.

I was driving home from work (that’s what we call it here) on a Wednesday night, content that the paper was done after a long deadline day, watching, paying attention, moderately so, not texting, not speeding, riding along Route 28. I passed the Hickory Barbecue on my left and after the turn, the middle divider resumes for another couple of hundred yards until it ends as the road dips down into a hollow before it rises again and curves around to the brace of shops where the Hobo Deli and Bistro to Go are located.

I was in the far right lane, right around the speed limit as the divider ended, when, like a bolt of lightning the deer appeared in front of my car. He, or she, had come from the far side of the road, crossed three lanes of traffic, but in the dark I couldn’t see her. She was moving, really booking. I believe I caught the brake before impact, perhaps mitigating the hit, which she took maybe in the ribs with the nose of the car. Time slowed dramatically as I managed to hold the car steady in my lane, and in the dark the headlights caught her as she tumbled over once, did another summersault. I lost track of her as I pulled the car over to the side. I was ok, and the car had less damage than I expected.

A woman who was behind me and saw it happen, pulled over and told me that the deer had gotten up and sprinted up the hill and disappeared. My car worked and I was able to get home, amazingly with no mechanical damage, no lights broken, just the hood pushed in, a crack in the grille, maybe something broken underneath, but no leaks, a minor hit, only about $2500 worth of damage. The Ford guys took a little over a week to fix me up and the insurance company paid all but $500 of it, though I’m sure in the long run they’ll get it back.

It’s a typical story for around here. Most people have one like it. I was lucky not to be hurt, not to total my car. The deer? Maybe she was lucky, too, maybe just a few bruised ribs, some soreness of limbs from tumbling about. I hope so. ++

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