Talk about the Weather
Vermonters love weather. They love bragging about it, complaining about it, hiding inside from it, and playing outside in it. It’s a topic of conversation across the state. One expert believes that’s due to Vermont’s constantly changing conditions.
This Episode’s Featured Object:
Weather Station Briefcase
The weather station belonged to a man named John Keefer.
Amanda Gustin: John realized and understood, as pretty much no one else in Vermont did at that time — and by that time we’re talking about the mid to late 1960s — that the weather actually changed the way Bobby’s car was racing.
Basically, John would take this kit to a racetrack at the exact day and time when they were racing, and he would take out these tools and he would start to measure things. And what information he got back determined what adjustments he would make to the engine.
Images: During the Blizzard of 1888, the wind averaged 62 miles per hour in Brattleboro. The snow piled into drifts up to twenty feet high, and buried entire houses.
The Hurricane of 1938 remains one of the deadliest and most destructive storms in American history. It blew down trees across the state.
(Bottom) Bradford historian Larry Coffin discussed the trials Vermonters faced in 1816, the “Year without a Summer,” caused by a volcano eruption in Indonesia.
Roger Hill: If you live in Vermont, you have a license to complain. Sometimes the weather stays too long and we have endless days of precipitation or gray skies. But it’s interesting. It’s the yin and the yang.
Mark Twain once said “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait five minutes.”
Roger Hill: I can look out every day and see a gorgeous view one day, and, of course, a gray sky the next, and maybe in six hours the weather will change.
Vermonters love weather. They love bragging about it, complaining about it, hiding inside from it, and playing outside in it. It’s a topic of conversation almost anywhere you go.
Roger Hill: People like to compare notes. How much snow did you get? Well, I got 16 inches on the hill and only 10 inches fell in the valley. You get a lot of that. It’s a matter of pride.
Before Your Time is presented by the Vermont Historical Society, the Vermont Humanities Council, and VTDigger. This episode was produced by Mike Dougherty, Amanda Gustin, and Eileen Corcoran. Thanks to our guests, Roger Hill, Steve Long, and Larry Coffin. Grace Olney and Josh Muse read the diaries of Lucy West and Erastus Hebard. Additional audio courtesy WDEV Radio. Music by Michael Chapman and the Woodpiles, Blue Dot Sessions, Lee Rosevere, and Chris Zabriskie.