It’s “maniGOTT…”

Hey,

I love your site.

I used to live in South Derry back in the early 70s. I taught skiing at Stratton, and Bromley, and I know exactly where your business is. One of your employees is named Smith. I’m wondering if he’s related to Tink Smith who was one of the principals in starting Stratton Mountain (of Tink’s Link fame)? On the other hand, if he’s related to ME, I wonder how he found OUT!

Also, there used to be a small sawmill up 30 toward B’ville from you. I can’t remember the man’s name, but he dug a cellar hole for me on spec, owned a lot of Cat equipment outright, and, though he was quite well-off, could be found riding a backhoe in the pouring rain.

When I was there, Lanny West owned the market in Bondville, and Pete — damn I hate senior moments — owned the Mobil Station. I understand one of his sons does now. I was Chief of Champion Fire Company No. 5 in South Derry — COBB!! — Pete Cobb was the president, and his brother owned the Mobil station in Bondville.

I still have the tools I bought at Landman’s hardware in S. Derry. Have you heard about the night two Air Force F-111 bombers collided over our neck of the woods? I had just come back from Bellows Falls on a trip to thaw some pipes in an apartment building I owned, and had crawled into bed in my apartment at The Creamery — just this side of –DAMN — I can’t remember his name either — anyway, the gas station/mechanic along the river.

Just as I was getting comfortable and starting to sip on a generous dose of very fine Scotch, my Fire Phone rang (I was the Chief). A local resident said she had a chimney fire. So, I pushed the button to start the siren on the firehouse, and started to get dressed — again. The fire phone rang again. Same woman. She said it WASN’T her chimney, it was planes coming down. (she had heard a noise, and seen the snow outside her window glowing red. She had drawn the logical conclusion that it was her chimney on fire.)

So, I jumped in my truck, and hustled down to the So. Derry firehouse. By the time I’d driven the 200 yards or so, several pieces of the bombers had landed right in the crossroads in front of Landman’s hardware, and were on fire. Fortunately, though the porch roof of the house across the street had been flattened by a piece of wing which skidded into the street, there was no significant damage.

We put the fires out, and washed the jet fuel off the road, and into the river. (Horrors!!)

A local resident was quoted in the Brat Reformer as saying that the South Derry Fire Department was really on the ball, because that siren was blowing before the wing ever hit the ground!

Indeed, he was right, thanks to an alert old lady who thought she had a chimney fire.

BTW, I never did get to bed that night. There were Air Force people parachuting in to “secure” the two crash sites, and news people the next morning. I put quotes around the “secure” because I personally saw local people browsing around the wreckage, picking up pretty circuit boards, while guys with M-16s slung stood by and watched.

The Air Force finally put an ad in the local papers asking for their circuit boards back.

Anyway, enough history.

I really admire what you’re doing. You’ve created a business starting from less than nothing. And, you are using local resources, and local people.

When I lived in Vermont — about eight years — my preppy relatives and friends always used to ask me what do you DO up there? Like all there was to do was tossing cow chips.

Well, as I’m sure you know, EVERY night is full. Full of rescue squad meetings, planning and zoning meetings, school board meetings, and all that stuff. If I ever have a heart attack I hope it will be in Brattleboro (Rescue, Inc. ), or South Londonderry, and not NYC. I’ll trust them first.

Ahhh! John Wiley. He’s the man who owned the garage in South Derry. He used to work on my trucks. I remember coming to him with my first Datsun (now Nissan). He didn’t like it, at first, but later said it was a pretty good product.

I always enjoyed walking  into his shop along the river. He’d usually be under a car, or whatever. I’d wait, and pretty soon he’d scoot out from under, and we’d exchange a few pleasantries. He’d ask what I wanted, and if it wasn’t some time consuming job, he’d tell me to just pull it in the other bay.

I learned a lot about business from John Wiley. I learned how to be a customer, and I learned how to be provider.

Well, I’ve gone far afield reminiscing about Vermont. But, hey, what else is there worth reminiscing about?

I love banging nails. I’m not applying for a job, but if you’re ever short a guy, I’d love to come up and do whatever. I’m a competent framing carpenter, with all my own tools. I understand working with green wood having built houses for H.O.M.E. in Maine for several summers. I supply my own Bostitch nail gun and compressor.

My real business is being a professional photographer. I really can’t fault the images on your website, they’re great. But, should you need one who understands building, and tools, and wood — and Women!! — I do.

Anyway, that commercial was not the reason for the email. It just came out.

I really am impressed with what you’ve done. There is so much talent, and work ethic in Vermont, I’m glad some Guinea from Mass. finally realized it!!

BTW, I loved your Italian link on your website. I  — WASP — grew up with Italian kids and that’s how I know how to pronounce “manigott!”

You got a problem with that??

I’m serious. If you have a crunch this summer, I’ll drive up, and pitch a tent. I have five Hart hammers, and two of them are framing hammers. I can sink a 16 in two licks. I use an old  Porter Cable Sidewinder, and a Skill Worm Drive. I have a DeWalt 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw, though I didn’t notice too much Crown in your sheds!

I also  have a Nikon D1x,  numerous other Nikon digital and film backs, and numerous studio/location strobe units, and stands, and all of that stuff.

Not to mention two Hasselblad’s. Plus the whole range of lenses.

I’m a really good photographer, and a really good carpenter.

If any of this resonates with you, let’s talk. Mostly, I just want to say I’m impressed with what you’ve done.

 

Cheers and God bless,

 

Bill Smith