"A Rock and a Hard Place" 2023 Spring Program Series

Quick Links to Presenters, Biographies, and Additional Information

Vermont's Changing Landscape, From the Ice Age to the 21st Century, with Ted Levin

Thursday, April 6, 2023 7:00 pm, MJR Theater @ Thetford Academy, 304 Academy Road, Thetford, VT

Ted Levin's syndicated column, "Naturally" appeared in the "Valley News" for 11 years, and for 24 years he was a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His writings have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Audubon, Sierra, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsday, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph. His books include Backtracking: The Way of a Naturalist, Blood Brook: A Naturalist's Home Ground, and Liquid Land: A Journey Through the Florida Everglades, which won the Burroughs Medal in 2004, the highest literary honor awarded to an American nature writer. E. O. Wilson called America's Snake, Ted's most recent book, "beautifully written, [demonstrating] just how good nature literature can be." A thirty-year resident of Thetford, Ted now lives on Hurricane Hill above the White River, where he watches the season from his deck.

Discovering New England's Stone Walls, with Kevin Gardner

Thursday, April 13, 2023, 7 pm, NEFOC Center (former United Church of North Thetford), 5470 US 5, Thetford, VT

Kevin Gardner is a lifelong resident of Hopkinton, NH. Like a lot of independent rural Yankees, he's been a jack of many trades, a builder, logger, writer, teacher, radio voice, even an actor and director. For more than forty years he has been a stone wall builder in a family business widely known for traditional New England stonework, particularly for historic restoration of antique structures. In 2001 Kevin published The Granite Kiss: Traditions and Techniques of Building New England Stone Walls. His second book, Stone Building: How To Make New England Style Walls and Other Structures the Old Way, was published in May of 2017. He has also published poetry, songs, and essays, including "Land of Stone", an examination of several historic sites in the Monadnock Region, in the 2006 anthology Where The Mountain Stands Alone.


Kevin Gardner

Owen Associates

580 Brockway Road

Hopkinton, NH 03229


Owen Associates

So I've Been Told... Traditional Folktales of Vermont and New England, with Tim Jennings

Thursday, April 20, 2023 7:00 pm, Thetford Hill Church, 2596 VT 113, Thetford, VT

Tim Jennings is recognized in Vermont and internationally as one of today's most compelling interpreters of ageless oral folktales, especially the kind sometimes called fairy tales. Reviewers have called him "mesmerizing," "rollicking," "charming," and "irresistible." Starting in 1980, for ten years he toured full time as a solo performer, then for 30 years in a duo with his late wife Leanne Ponder. They performed widely in festivals across the country, on Vermont Public Television, and repeat visits to resorts, schools, colleges, libraries and summer camps around New England, and on Vermont Public Television. They released seven well-received albums of music and storytelling, winning several national awards. Tim's print publications include articles in Voices: the Journal of the New York Folklore Society, Fact and Fiction (UK,) Yarnspinners, Storytelling, Best of Storytelling Magazine, Learning, Whole Earth Review, CoEvolution Quarterly, and Bag of Yarns (Australia.)

The History of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Vermont, with Marty Podskoch

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 7:00 pm, Thetford Center Community Building, 3923 VT 113, Thetford, VT

Marty Podskoch is a retired teacher from Delhi (Catskills, NY) and the author of eleven books: Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: Their History, Memories and Legacy of the CCC; Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore, Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts; Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Northern Districts; Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches; 101 More Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches; and The Adirondack 102 Club: Your Passport & Guide to the North Country. He also writes a weekly column called "Adirondack Stories," in five Adirondack newspapers. Marty is presently gathering information for future books on the 30 CCC camps in Vermont and the 70 camps in Massachusetts, and is keenly interested in meeting individuals who may have CCC stories and photos to contribute to these books.


Marty Podskoch

43 O'Neill Lane

East Hampton, CT 06424

(860) 267-2442

Martin Podskoch website

Murder in the Vermont Woods - A Story About Race, Class, and Gender in the 19th Century, with Jill Mudgett

Thursday, May 4, 2023, 7:00 pm, NEFOC Center (former United Church of North Thetford), 5470 US 5, Thetford, VT

Jill Mudgett is a historian who works on topics of history, identity, and place. She was born and raised in central Vermont and has a strong interest in what connects people to the lands they call home. She serves on the boards of the Morristown Historical Society and the Vermont Historical Society, and enjoys speaking to community groups about their history.

Have additional related links or information that you'd like us to share?  Drop us a line and send us the information and we'll add it here.