In Vermont: Mind over Mud

"I remember a few years back, over on Tadmere Hill," recalls John Mach, patriarch of Pawlet, a town in southwest Vermont. "I was going along and I saw a hat in the road. I bent over and picked it up, and there was my old friend Henry Wheeler up to his neck in mud. So I said, 'Henry! Can I help you in any way?' And he said, 'No, that's all right, John. I've still got a horse under me.' "

This tale, oft told, always with a perfectly straight face, moves north each...

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