St. Johnsbury


Spring 2020

St. Johnsbury, VermontThursdays at 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Catamount Arts, 115 Eastern Avenue
St. Johnsbury, VT

Inaugural Luncheon at 12:30 PM

Thursday, March 12, 2020 1:30 PM

Peeling the Onion: Bobolink Research and Conservation Across the Hemisphere
Dr. Rosalind Renfrew, Conservation Biologist

The effervescent song of the Bobolink fills our summer hayfields, but where are they the rest of the year, and why is it important for us to find out? Roz will take you on her decade-long journey to piece together clues about the life of Bobolinks during the eight months of the year when they are a lingering memory here in Vermont.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 1:30 PM

Fraud, Scams, and Con Artists: Coming to a Computer Near You
William April, AARP/Fraudwatch Volunteer

The why, the how, and basic defense regarding scams perpetrated over the internet. This presentation addresses how to recognize malicious e-mails and pop-ups as well as Wi-Fi issues arising from the increased use of tablets and smart phones.

Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:30 PM

Weighing the Fairbanks Legacy
Dan Swainbank, Author

In his talk, Dan will describe and measure the Fairbanks family’s contributions to the town of St. Johnsbury, to the region, and to the state. Topics will include: the invention of the platform scale and the growth of the family business to become a world-wide enterprise; the contributions of the three generations of men and women to the growth and governance of the town; the creation and sustaining of the Fairbanks institutional endowments; and the political and social issues that they confronted. He will also discuss the delicate process of separating fact from legend, 21st Century values as applied to 19th Century events, and objective sources versus family sources. The Fairbanks legacy is a family story – with triumphs and losses – as well as an historical record.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 1:30 PM

Log Drives in the Connecticut River Valley
Helen Pike, Author

Helen Pike combines new research and archival images from the works of her late logging-historian father, Robert E. Pike. Robert was born in Hamden, CT but was raised by an uncle in Waterford, VT and was enchanted by the tales of the imposing, spike-booted loggers who swaggered down the Connecticut River and camped on his uncle’s farm. He is the author of the 1967 Tall Trees, Tough Men (widely regarded as the definitive history of the New England logging industry), and Spiked Boots, a self-published 1956 compilation of the legends and lore handed down for generations by those who lived and worked in the woods and along the rivers of New England.

Thursday, April 9, 2020 1:30 PM

The Counterculture’s Impact on Vermont and Vice-Versa
Ms. Yvonne Daley

Based on her book (Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks, and Radicals Moved to Vermont) and 80 events around the state when the book was discussed, Yvonne will give a talk about the blending of old and new that has resulted in the Vermont of today. Her talk will look at the counterculture’s impact in relation to Vermont’s long history of respect for differences, independence, tolerance, and a way of life lived in harmony with the land and weather.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 1:30 PM

Truth, Propaganda and Media in the Age of Trump
David Goodman, Journalist, Author, and host of The Vermont Conversation on WDEV (Waterbury)

Are you frustrated when you read or listen to the news? Do you wonder whether the information is accurate or a spin from the reporter’s viewpoint? Mr. Goodman will discuss the state of journalism under the president and his current assaults on freedom of the press. He will also present a short history of official propaganda. Who do you believe? CNN? FOX News? Politico? Consider: “How do we, as consumers, know who to trust and what to believe?”

Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:30 PM

Gershwin, By George!
Robert Wyatt, Lecturer/Pianist

Although the music of George Gershwin is known universally, many people are less aware of the circumstances surrounding his brief but fascinating life. Robert Wyatt, a Steinway Artist and author of The George Gershwin Reader, released by Oxford University Press in 2004, connects the disciplines of biography and musical performance in an entertaining and enjoyable potpourri of sound and anecdote. Included on the program are early rags, a lullaby, 6 preludes for piano, improvisations on hit songs, unpublished works and the ever-popular solo version Rhapsody in Blue.

Thursday, April 30, 2020 1:30 PM

BESSIE’S STORY – Watching the Lights Go Out
Thomas Farmen, Retired Educator, Non-profit Volunteer, Avid Sportsman, Dog Lover, Greeter at Mount Sunapee Ski Area

An inspiring story about a charming, brave, unpretentious chocolate Lab who gradually loses her eyesight. The author chronologically leads the reader from the original diagnosis of terminal blindness for his beloved four-year-old pet through the two-and-a-half-year transition to sightlessness. In the process, Bessie unwittingly becomes an expert mentor and teacher for the high-wire act of growing older with grace and optimism. With videos and slides, Bessie’s Story comes to life. Bessie is alive and well and participates in the program.

Membership Information

Become a member today!

Membership dues entitle subscribers to attend all sessions and bring a guest to one of them.
Non-members may attend any single session for $6. Membership Dues are $30.00, mailed with the form or paid at the first session.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or this form and send with fees to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Make checks payable to The University of Vermont.

For more information contact: Sue Montague, 802-748-4262, or Catamount Arts, 802-748-2600 after 1pm

Membership in your local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) entitles you to attend programs at any of the other 7 OLLI sites throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI programs on the UVM campus. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

Thanks to these generous sponsors:

Catamount Film & Arts
Northeastern VT Regional Hospital
St. Johnsbury Academy
Union Bank
Fairbanks Scales
The White Market