by Bethany M. Dunbar, March 5, 2010

This week I have the death of a horse to report and one big change at the Chronicle.

On Saturday, we woke up to discover that Music had died in the night.  On Friday she seemed fine.  She was 24 years old, a little on the skinny side, but she seemed essentially healthy and happy and the next day she was gone.

It was a shock, but I am telling myself that’s the way to go when it’s your time.  I have written about Music before on this blog — she was a retired standardbred racehorse and what a sweetheart.  I kept thinking of all the kids who had their first experience with a horse riding Music.  She was so calm, cool, and collected, she was also a great influence on my other mare, Daisy, who is a Morgan and a bit on the nervous side.

Music, last fall. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

I want to say thanks here to my neighbors who helped me get her buried right away.  I could not handle the thought of what would happen to her body if she didn’t get buried that day.  There are coyotes all around, I love to hear their crazy yips at night and in the early morning.  But I wanted to protect her body from them.

My neighbors Bill Wilber, David Young, and Dennis Gibson came to the rescue and brought up some heavy equipment to get her buried.  In the spring I will plant a whole lot of hardy flowers on her grave.  My friend Terry came over and we whipped up three candy apple pies for those guys.

Meanwhile my one remaining horse, Daisy, is pacing the fence.  I am hoping to not get another horse right away because times are tight.  It would save me a lot of money if Daisy is not too lonely.  We’ll see how it goes.

Jen and Bethany in proper mudminton outfits. Photo by Joseph Gresser

The big change at the Chronicle is that Jen Hersey Cleveland, my co-editor for ten years, is leaving.  She is taking a job at the Newport Daily Express that will offer her more hours and more experience reporting.  She will work with my old buddy Steve Blake who also used to work for the Chronicle and is now the editor at the Express.

I am going to miss Jen so much and have been thinking back on all the good times we had together.  April Fool’s is our one day of the year to get crazy and make stuff up, and Jen and I always had some good laughs over our jokes.  One year we decided Vermont needed a sport for mud season to bring the tourists here, so we invented mudminton.  One year we did a diorama of peeps and called our newspaper Peeple Magazine.

Jen, you’ll always be my peeps!  Good luck and we will see you out there on the beat.

The good news is that Tena Starr is coming back to the Chronicle.  Tena and I were co-editors years ago, and it’s wonderful to have her back with the paper again.  She is one of the most talented journalists I have ever known, and I’m so excited to be working with Tena again.

Working together in such an intense environment brings you very, very close to your coworkers.  To say that these two women are good friends of mine is a huge understatement of what they both are in my life.

Change is hard, but change can make us stronger.  As journalists, change is our lifeblood.  We would be nothing without it.

Wish us, all three, good luck.


13 responses to “Changes

  1. Bethany,
    I amso sorry about yout horse, a very tough thing indeed. And what awesome neighbors you have….the event brought out the good in them..

    She was a beauty and I know you will miss her.


  2. I will really miss Music. Saturday was really rough, but I’m not looking forward to coming home to a half-empty pasture. I know the sight of Daisy pacing is just going to make me loose it again. What a noble thing.

    And I’ll also miss Jen, as I still miss Blakey. I always loved manipulating them into buying veggies that they really didn’t need, and cookies that they certainly did. But I’m sure she’ll do well at the Daily. And I’m really glad for Tena since she’s been going through such a rough time. Thanks for a lovely, thought-provoking blog, as always.

  3. Bethany–Sorry to hear about Music but happy you had her in your life for so long! Daisy probably wants a Himalayan cat for a pet. Low cost, and I’ll deliver! I’d have applied for that Chronicle job, but you gals move fast! Hope the changes are all good.

  4. Well it is a blessing to have gotten Tena to work for us. It will be nice to have her back in our daily lives and I know she will bring lots to the paper.
    As for Stevie & Jen..they are going to have a ball together. I can’t wait to have Friday lunches and here all the great stories.
    I take it that Lana has a cat to get rid of? That was sly, I love it!

  5. I no! I saw a typo I meant to say hear not here. See, that is why I do not work in editorial

  6. vermontfeature

    That’s okay Tracy, just keep writing our paychecks!!!!!

  7. Ok. Numbers is my thing, letters is yours!

  8. Bethany,

    Music was a gift in your life. Her spirit will live on in you.


    The animals bring their gifts —
    wolf howl of the wolf,
    sweet song of the songbird,
    sonar boom of the humpback,
    horse whinny of the untamed equus.

    These roamers of plains,
    nesters of forest,
    deep water divers,
    traversers of valley and hill,

    live off instinct —
    as prey,
    as predators,
    in balance —
    take what is vital,
    return the same.

    These special creatures,
    higher beings,
    are living symbols
    of what we once were,
    can again become —
    if, in silence,
    we watch
    and listen.


  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope time will help heal your pain a bit.

  10. Gail Robitaille

    So sorry to of Music. I know she meant the world to you and those lives she touched. I came to know her (a little!) thru your articles and I miss her too! She was a beautiful beautiful horse. Love to you, Gail and Robin

  11. I miss you already, Bethany! My new co-workers are wicked nice, and they’ve been really supportive my first few days here. I hope I do well and make Stevie proud!

  12. vermontfeature

    Oh you will! Miss you too. Nice sap bucket photo! I definitely didn’t do enough with the unsharp mask this week so things are kinda muddy. But I will get better and try to live up to your Photoshop prowess.

  13. Hello there, Happy April Fool’s Day!!!

    My wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to our six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
    “I wouldn’t know what to say,” she replied.
    “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” my wife said.
    Our daughter bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

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