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Tuesday March 10, 2009 Edition
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Letter To The Editor

Tuesday March 10, 2009

The Haunting of the Villa

   I am saddened at the fact that Shard Villa will close their doors on May 31, 2009. As an employee of the Columbus Smith Estate as a caregiver to the elderly residents, I have grown to love them. I returned to work there for the fourth time with the first being at the age of 16 while Mr. and Mrs. Brilyea took a vacation. I was young, and must say a bit petrified of this spooky place. Over the years, I would return to work there over and over. The fourth time beginning in mid summer of 2008.

    Somehow, I knew I would return there again because I had a dream of Columbus Smith himself. In the dream, Columbus stood in front of me. While telling my son of the dream the following day, I relayed to him that I would be returing to the Villa to work, and that I felt there was a reason. I was hired to return a few days later. It didn’t seem I had a reason until one night I would dream of Columbus’s son. He was peeking through the laundry room window while I folded clothes. When I awoke, I could not remember his name. It was not until the following morning that I recalled his name was William, in which I also remembered that they called him “Will”. Putting two and two together, I now had a reason.

    Can I do anything to change the minds of the Board of Trustees? Probably not. However, I’ve always had trouble keeping my mouth shut and I feel that I should give my opinion on the subject considering my dreams. I don’t care what the reasons are and why you wan to close the doors to the Villa. Whether it is high oil prices, not enough money being made, etc, there are not enough reasons to close those doors.

    The Villa was not intended to be a resort or bed and breakfast. Nor was it intended to be a restaurant or what have you. It wasn’t even intended to be a museum, however it would be included considering it is historical. I think Mr. Smith might agree there.

    Let me also say here that Shard Villa does not have a swimming pool or a golf course, or any things of this nature. It is a home to those who reside there.

    I agree that it needs repairs and that takes money. There are ways, however, to make money. The first and most important being that you stay open and that Board allow the present director to do her job in the manner she sees fit without interference. Second, when this is accomplished, improvements can be made in the residence quarters. Remembering here, that some times you need to spend money, to make money. After, the residence quarters of Mr. Smith could be tended to.

    It is my opinion that closing the doors of Shard Villa is a mistake that you will regret in the future. I am also aware that there are those who would like to make an argument to support their reasons to close the doors. You need not make an argument with me. Instead argue with Columbus and his will. You, meaning the Trustees, have a lot of explaining to do. Not to me, but to the court.

Susan Pominville
Salisbury, Vt


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