Horace Greeley:  Dauntless Crusader

The Village Green of Destiny

By Ann Rich Duncan

The birds flew and chirped above my head. A ghostly glimmer of a silvery moon was slowly making its appearance high in the bright blue sky behind wispy clouds that ambled above the East Poultney Village Green.

And here I was, sprinting past the most photographed church in the region when reality suddenly hit, stopping me as if I’d hit a brick. But it didn’t hurt—my pursed lips flipped into a smile.  I was on my way to the Horace Greeley House! Right where that awkward boy got his start as a world-renown journalist!

He must have walked—right here!—across this lawn, just as I now was . . . tons of times. He must have noticed the beautiful Vermont sky! He must have heard the birds chirping! His eyes, like mine, must have rested upon the architectural grandeur of the pristine white church with so many 40-pane windows, its arches, its arrow-thin tower that stretches toward heaven. And the clock . . . the big round clock that seems to have just struck ten.

I stopped racing. Marveled at the sound of Rusty Westcott’s talented band as the trumpets, flutes and trombones hummed and tuned up, getting ready for their Sunday night Concert on the Green. I must admit, the moment brought a fleeting sadness for memories of band concerts gone by, when my Grampa Powell joined other military musicians to perform for hundreds of American families who gathered to enjoy a truly peaceful, happy, healthy evening of camaraderie, music, munchies and dare I say patriotic pride.

I was here today to help sell pizza and cookies to raise money for the Horace Greeley Foundation’s scholarship fund; but this nudgy obligation suddenly became one more cherished memory.

If you feel sad about the overwhelming bad news that pummels us each day, perhaps you should plan to attend the next Sunday Night in July Concert on the Green in East Poultney. You just might see a child dance, a dog at play, a cloud meandering past the majestic steeple. And then your frown might flip to a smile as fast as a blink. And perhaps your mind’s eye, too, might capture a vision of a young man ambling across the very same green on his way toward an amazing destiny.

Ann Rich Duncan is a local artist and author of six books as well as a member of the board for the Horace Greeley Foundation. Watch for news about the Foundation’s 20th Annual Writers’ Syposium . . . featuring a special contingent of nationally renown authors/speakers this year!