VERMONT: A Love Story – Bill Schubart

Years ago, I was speeding along on the highway, going to a meeting at Vermont Castings Stoves in Randolph, VT. On the side of the road sat a trembling Beagle, painfully covered in long and short and tiny, hard-to-see porcupine quills.

I was late to the meeting, I was tense. But I stopped and gingerly coaxed the hurting Beagle into the car. He was so traumatized, he didn’t balk. I inquired in Randolph, found a veterinarian, and as luck (and it being a small town) would have it, the (only) vet knew the dog, part of a group of hunting dogs. I left him in those experienced hands and sped off to the meeting. It was my first up-close exposure to a porcupine’s defense mechanism.

Of course, at the meeting, they all understood why I was late. That’s Vermont!

—Margot Mayor

When I first met him, Bill Schubart had two aristocratic, elegant Borzois (Russian Wolfhounds). I pulled up to the huge barn in rural North Ferrisburg. They looked up with Vogue-like faces, and then, in a blasé fashion, went back to nosing about in the snow. The vision of them was startling. This was Vermont, not Paris. More recently, Bill and I spoke about dogs. “It’s a statement, like the kind of car you buy,” Bill said. “Yes, the kind of dog you get. Yes, the kind of shirt you buy. It’s a way of making a statement about yourself. Or the kind of motorcycle you buy. In Vermont, it is Golden Retrievers. Black labs, maybe? Beagles. When I was a kid, it was mostly hounds. There are not many Yorkshire Terriers in Vermont.” Or Borzois, I noted.

There is that consistent foot-in-two-worlds sense to Bill Schubart. The Borzois embody that. Of an urban New York family, education, and worldliness, he is, on the other hand, of Vermont, down to earth, with no pretenses.

This is an excerpt of an article written for Vermont Magazine by Margot Mayor.

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