Money and Community — and More

As Woodbury’s town librarian (population 888), my wages are paid directly by the townspeoples’ property taxes, a few donations, and Woodbury Pie Breakfast. Now the main yearly event in town, nearly 300 people showed up at the town’s little elementary school, trudging up the stairs to the second floor gymnasium, to eat pie yesterday morning.

Friday evening — and this is my most beloved part of pie breakfast — people arrive with covered dishes, explaining this is pumpkin and maple or bacon and sausage with a little dill. 

Late last fall, Vermont’s State Board of Education mandated that Woodbury’s elementary school merge with two other local schools — one school much larger. After a winter of endless adult meetings about how to keep Woodbury’s school and library open, what pleasure — and relief — to fill the school with live music, the redolence of warming quiche, laughing kids — and adults in need of coffee.

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Of all my photos, this is my favorite: the little girl waiting for pie to be served, while adults do adult things….

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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