Carp says…

Ron Patch is a Chester native, Chester Historical Society president, and a lifelong antiques dealer. He can be reached at 802-374-0119 or email

Carpenter’s was a clothing store where Meditrina is today. Here is an article from the April 1934 Carpenter’s Store News.


Carp's sketch with the bank story. Photo provided Chester Historical Society
Carp’s sketch with the bank story. Photo provided Chester Historical Society

“Moderator: We will now take up Art. 15. The question is – shall we pay all of our taxes another year? If so, how much, when and how?

“Si Prime: Mr. Moderator. I move we pay what we can, when we can, less 4%, same as last year.

“Mod. Will the Town Clerk inform us if that was the method used last year?

“T.C. Yes. Practically speaking.

“Leading citizen. Fellow citizens and Countrymen: These are hard times and we must make it as easy as possible for the tax-payer. I would amend the motion so that taxes could be paid in installments, [one-third] Sept. 1 less 4%, [one-third] Nov. 1 less 3%, [one-third] Jan. 1 less 2%.

“Si Prime. That’s what I said, pay just as we did last year, less 4%.

“Hen Higgins and three others, red in the face and all out of breath: Mr. Moderator!!!

“Mod. Mr. Higgins has the floor. Go ahead Hen.

“Hen Higgins: I want to amend the motion so to relieve the tax-payer as was intended by the legislature, That is, allow Sep.1, Nov.1, Dec.1. That’s the way the law reads and the way it was construed by the Tax Commissioner. We have got to have more relief!

“Voice from back of hall: I seen by the town report, them that didn’t pay got relief to the tune of $6400; them that did got relieved of $37,000. What’s the matter with that for relief?

“Mod. (banging table with length of gas pipe) GENTLEMEN: COME TO ORDER!!!

“S.P. I insist on my original motion, less 4%.

“Mod. As I understand it the motion is: to pay taxes Sep.1, Nov.1. Jan1, or when, as and if possible, less 4% on what is paid and 100% discount on what is not. Is that perfectly clear to all?

“S.P. O.K. Just as it was last year.

“Mod. Anything more to be said? Are you ready for the question? All in favor say, AYE. The AYEs have it.

“A quartette made up of the Town Clerk and Three Selectmen then sang the following dirge to the tune of John Brown’s Body, after which Town Meeting was adjourned.

“The lives of poor men oft remind us,/ Hard working men don’t stand a chance;/ The more we work there grows behind us,/ Bigger patches on our pants./ On our pants, once new and glossy,/ Now are stripes of different hue,/ All because our workers linger,/ And don’t pay taxes what others due./ Let us all be up and doing,/ Pay your tax, however small,/ Or, when next winter’s snow shall smite us,/ We shall have no pants at all.”

Undated Carpenter’s Store News

It would date to the 1930s.

“Ye bankers of olden time loved their soft raiment and fine linen even as today took great pride in their personal appearance, including the chic boutonniere, during business hours.

“However, styles change for conservative folks like bankers, though much against their will, for they must meet new conditions with modern and appropriate apparel. Daylight holdup and robbery of two Vermont banks now make these precautions imperative.

“We have just taken an order from one of the most progressive banks in this locality for a complete wardrobe of protective clothing for the entire force.

“The men will wear headgear of the steel visored helmet type, fitted at the forehead with a small but powerful bulb from which may be shot a death-dealing red ray, with which to permanently quiet a stick-up man or a would be borrower. This ray is released by simply gnashing the teeth. It may be done involuntarily as when a spasm of fear passes through the system upon looking into the business end of a gun or when sad news is received that the overdue interest cannot be paid until next week.

“The chain vest is a beautiful creation, being carefully made to measure of many bright colored metal rings and is worn as an outer garment. This is bullet proof and, though rather heavy, is quite pliable when kept dry inside and out. On damp cold days the room temperature must be kept up to 70, otherwise these chain vests may freeze solid and render the bank officials more rigid than ever. This seems to be the only weak point in the new deal…”

  This week’s old saying: “Keep a thing seven years and it will sort of do.”

Back To Top