Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Latest from Middlebury

The big news in town was last Tuesday’s train derailment . A single track runs directly through the center of town, and, most days, a pair of freight trains run up to Burlington. The one cargo they always carry is gasoline -- this one was carrying 200,000 gallons, plus a few cars full of road salt. The train derailed and a small fire broke out. Things were a bit troubling, to say the least. Yvonne was working in the pottery studio at Frog Hollow at the time. She and everyone else within the center of town were told to evacuate. All traffic was rerouted around town. Things were a mess! Fortunately for us our apartment building was beyond the evacuation zone. Folks who live in the center of town ended up quartered at the VFW hall for the night.

Fortunately the HazMat team response was outstanding. Some gasoline spilled onto the ground and thence into Otter Creek, but most of it was contained. And most fortunately, none of the petrol caught fire. A specialized HazMat team from Pennsylvania arrived on Wednesday to help drain the gasoline and set the cars back on the rails. It wasn’t until Thursday that traffic was back to near normal conditions. The last of the street closings ended yesterday, though you can still smell gasoline as you walk through town.

In other news, we met the fellow who played Officer Friendly on the Mr. Rogers Show. He is Francois Clemmons and is on staff here at Middlebury College . We met him at church a few weeks ago! All this and celebrities too!

Next week we’re going back out to the Finger Lakes to look over some more properties. We have half a dozen places to review, and we’re going to reexamine three that we’ve seen before. It feels like things are beginning to come into focus for us. Here’s hoping! It will be great to have all our things in one place again.

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