LIVING UPCOUNTRY: A Pilgrim's Progress by Don Mitchell

LIVING UPCOUNTRY: A Pilgrim's Progress

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Another set of I-packed-in-the-rat-race-and-headed-for-Vermont essays, this one follows up Mitchell's Moving Up Country. These are mostly short pieces that previously appeared in Mitchell's ""R.F.D."" column in Boston Magazine. Mitchell covers such subjects as what Vermonters do for entertainment (mud-fighting, lawn sales, or meetings of the League of Vermont Writers--""completely undiscriminating. . .anyone could join""); the art of shepherding (including a catalog of gadgets sold for the purpose of de-testicling male sheep so that their meat doesn't grow too tough); the practicality required of a farmer (""Higher education had taught us certain skills, like getting high and talking about logical positivism, but nothing very practical. I had never been given cause to examine a rafter square in my life""). The essays here are somewhat more concerned with things and less with people than, say, Noel Perrin's First Person Rural and Second Person Rural. Neither is Mitchell much taken with the beauties of nature, except in a satirical way, as compared, for example, with Lee Pennock Huntington's Hillsong. For these reasons, the reader comes away slightly less than satisfied. Good for a few laughs, but one can imagine the smirks of true Vermonters as they mutter about the ""Flatlander!

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Yankee