A win for Orleans County

To the Editor:

My wife and I recently enjoyed our first visit to the beautiful Barton area, and I made a return visit for the Orleans County Fair and the world-record Cadillac parade. I was much impressed by the friendliness of the people, by your industriousness and enthusiasm, and by the quality of life that all seem to value. Your community is one of Vermont's jewels.

August 17 was surely a day to remember for Orleans County and for Vermont. County residents, led by Lorie Seadale - the instigator and organizer of the Cadillac parade and long-time contributor to the annual Fair - showed the community spirit and pride that make the Northeast Kingdom so special. I loved seeing the 298 Cadillacs, ranging from a one-cylinder 1905 model through several 2011 models, make their way through Barton and around the track at the fairgrounds. They came from as far away as Alaska, Florida, and Arizona to celebrate with you. Some Cadillacs were rare and valuable antiques and classics, but many were daily drivers. The spirit of the individuals and families participating in this widely-publicized event was most impressive.

Henry Leland was born and raised in Barton and went on to found Cadillac in 1902 and Lincoln in 1920. His descendant, California resident Doug Leland, played Henry's part with skill and grace on the 17th. His message to all at the Fair was moving, and I hope especially that all school-age children and teenagers will take it to heart. He spoke of his mother's emphasis on the values of hard work, doing what is right, and searching for improvement. These are among the timeless values of Vermonters, and they are especially important today in this challenging era.

Congratulations to all on a marvelous event and celebration!

John Emerson

Middlebury, Vt.

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