VA, Part 10

Under attack

I’ve mentioned that I’d been flirting like crazy with Meg Petronius – The Most Perfect Girl in the World – from my first day at VA, but with dismal results. At one point I’d gotten so desperate I even flirted once with her older sister, Terry, who job-shared with Meg. read more »

VA,, Part 9

I had left the repair of the Trombley barn’s floor for last because it seemed like it would be the simplest part of the job. I was way wrong. More of the joists were rotten than I had anticipated and the work mostly had to be done while standing in the barn’s disgusting basement. read more »

VA, Part 8

The VA kids and I had returned to the Trombley barn to finish painting it, except that the first coat we’d put on two weeks earlier had completely disappeared, soaking into the old wood like it’d never been applied. read more »

VA, Part 7

The charm offensive

As I’ve mentioned, pretty much everyone in the Northeast Kingdom hated VA. But according to Rich Bolotin, who ran VA, this was no more than a minor misunderstanding – a little re-education would turn these folks around in no time. read more »

VA, Part 6

More of my experiences at my summer job at VA, a halfway house for juvenile delinquents in Stilton, Vermont. read more »

VA, Part 5

Although Meg Petronius had warned me that working at VA was no walk in the park, I found it pretty much to be a walk in the park. Maybe that was because I was a teenager myself. I was nineteen and not much older than the kids, and most of the things that interested them interested me, too. read more »

VA, Part 4

I’d just come face-to-face with The Most Perfect Girl in the World and I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh, sure, The Most Perfect Girl in the World just happened to be hanging out in Stilton, Vermont, population 124.” read more »

VA, Part 3

The lady at the artists’ colony had told me, just before slamming the door in my face, that Vermont Academy was the “next house.” I looked up that way but didn’t see a next house. read more »

VA, Part 2

In those days the protocol was that you let a phone ring ten times. If your party hadn’t picked up by then he was either on the can or he didn’t want to talk to you. read more »


It was May, near the end of my freshman year in college, and I was wallowing in the bottom five percent of my class. A lot of people would probably be embarrassed about that, but not me. I’d gone to a lousy high school, had never studied, and didn’t even know how to study. Yet, somehow, almost twenty guys in my class had worse grades than me! read more »

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