May 19th, 2010

Shots From The Trail: A Special One-Year Anniversary Edition From Richmond

by Philip Baruth

Everyone knows that Vermont is the last best place in America, and pretty much every few days here you get the feeling, skirting the lake or dropping out of a mountain pass on 89, that you’re exactly, precisely where you should be. But every once in a while, during this State Senate campaign, I also simultaneously get the sense that I’m in the exact right part of the County for that particular moment in time. It was like that last night, in Richmond. A certain magic to things.

All photos by Kathy FitzGerald.

The idea was to read from The Brothers Boswell, which just came out in paperback, at the excellent Richmond Free Library. There’s a public space there as high and holy as a chapel, and it makes whatever you read seem more noble somehow. Of course, it helps if people actually turn out, which they did and for which you have to love them.

But there was another reason to celebrate: it was the one-year anniversary of this State Senate campaign. That’s right. Believe it or not, I filed last year on May 18, 2009. And so a party was in order.

And it happens that Richmond has the coolest bakery on the contemporary American scene: On The Rise.

Now, is it fair to say that one bakery is in fact “cooler” than another bakery, when in fact all bakeries are magical and cool by definition, producing food, as they do, out of non-food?

Yes, it is.

Key thing about a bakery is that they have cakes there, and if you give the owners some money, you can eat these cakes. It should be noted that Erik Filkorn, who helped organize the night and is ordinarily right in every circumstance, initially argued against a cake. It would be too late for cake, he maintained.

But in this Erik Filkorn was Wrong. We needed that cake, because the frosting was some sort of maple sour cream, and it all but called out our names when we hit the door.

And a good portion of the crew from the reading flowed over to the bakery, as well as a chunk of folks who joined us there. Some people who’ve worked on the campaign since the beginning, and some we were meeting for the first time.

Great people, the kind of people who, if you give them a beer and some good music and company, will start talking about mass transit and health insurance reform and forget about time altogether.

Until we closed out the place, and they started banging on mixing bowls in the back to let us know, in the polite semaphor of bakers, that it was time to leave. But a wonderful night, in the right town, in the right County, in the right state and country.

And with exactly the right cake. Take another look at the photo below. We destroyed that thing, and licked the platter.

Literally. A delicious end to a very good year, and thank you again to all of those of you out there who have helped this campaign along, if only by wishing us well.