my Local - Brad Searles
"When people ask where I grew up, I knee-jerk with 'Burlington, Vermont'. It's not technically true, and while I did do a lot of growing up on those small-city streets, I only answer that because there's a chance you might've actually heard of the place.
That's probably not the case with my real hometown, Essex Junction, a couple towns and a 30 minute bus ride away. So named for the intersecting railroad lines, and the main roads that come together in the center to form the Five Corners, it was a kind of transitionary place; It started with small-town suburbia on the western side, where I lived just a block from Mr. Wood, and ended with a few farms on the eastern side, where my grandfather raised cows and tended his gardens before being bought out by IBM.
My neighborhood was just a mile from the massive (well, for a Vermont kid)
Champlain Valley Fair, a week-long once-a-year gathering of shaky rides,
crazy carnies, farm animals, and tents full of video games. So many
memories made on that midway. Oh, and the music. The place is responsible
for my first ever concert, The Charlie Daniels Band, when I was 11 years
old. I'd blame my parents, but I'm sure I wanted to go. Coincidentally,
this year's fair kicks off this weekend, on August 27th. I may live in
Boston now, but I'm tempted to drive back up just for the one-two punch of
The Village People with K.C. & the Sunshine Band. Ok, maybe not that
I love the Fair's new slogan at www.cvfair.com: "Redefining Awesome!". Of
that, I have no doubt."
- Brad Searles, Essex Jct, VT born and bred.