Monday, January 23, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Changing Times

In 1789 Samuel Williams moved to Rutland,Vermont, very near where I live.  He was known as a clever fellow who graduated from Harvard at the age of 18 and became  a Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at his alma mater.  He left this job for what could possibly be unethical reasons and brought his talents to Vermont.  He left his mark in significant ways.  He bought the newspaper and named it the Herald, which is still its title.  Recently there was a big change to the newspaper.  It has been sold again, and has reduced paper publishing to 4 days, with online publishing every day.  It is a sign of the times I guess.  They do publish a special suppliment on Thursdays that is delivered locally for free.  It features articles about local people and things happening here.  It is a worthwhile read and I like that they cover the arts pretty thoroughly.  Back to Samuel.....a possibly more significant impact that he had on Vermont is that he is considered Vermont's first naturalist as he did experiments and published articles about the forests and our impact on them.  He rallied against clear cutting of the forests because among other things, it dried up the land and streams and warmed up the land.  He was an early voice about climate change.  Today, there are record numbers of forests in Vermont which is part of its beauty and popularity although there are still issues concerning developments on the mountains and flat farmland.  If you have stuck with me this far, I am sure you are wondering what the point is to all this.  No point really, it is just that this week marks the historic women's walk across the nation and over seas and it made me think about what influence we have in this life.  228 years ago a young man came here and changed things including highlighting the importance of conservation.  I wonder what effect the march will have.  I also wonder what effect this administration is going to have on the issues that concerned Samuel Williams.  Not sure how my artwork fits in to all of this.....I just keep trying...go figure!

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