on Jul 27th 2008
by Stuart Strothman, August 2002, at Angie Wood’s apartment at 91 Main Street
When Angie Wood was three years old, a woman who had been involved in the founding of Northfield Mount Hermon came to New York City, and came to know Angie’s mother, who was young with many children, and little Angie, the fifth, was sick with the flu that took so many lives during World War I. This woman, Mrs. Dunklee, brought Angie to live in the healthier climate of Vernon, Vermont, where she stayed until first grade. Mrs. Dunklee also helped Angie’s mother and her new baby to come as well for a time, and they stayed together in Vernon, until her father called and said she needed to come home and do the books, because “I can’t get along with this woman down here,” meaning his current bookkeeper. Angie came back to New York, but came again not long after, as a Fresh Air kid.
As a young woman she came again looking for work, as the union was making the climate of work difficult in the hat factory where she was working. She visited Mrs. Dunklee, and settled in Putney, where she waited tables for a time. During this period, she met the handsome Cecil Wood, who would later be a fire chief in the town, among other things. But family obligations brought her back to New York City for a short time. One summer she came back with her sisters to visit. It was Old Home Days, and she saw Cecil there, working on the grandstand, and just thought to herself, “I’m taking these girls home, coming back, and I’m marrying that man.” She had fallen deeply in love. And after sixty years, talking with her, she clearly shows how strong that love still is, though Cecil has passed on ahead.
So she came to live here. For a while, her sisters owned the restaurant called the Putney Villager, but that did not last. But Angie has, attending Our Lady of Mercy church regularly since 1942, around when her children were born, and she has helped the community in very many ways, for which we are grateful. She says of Putney, “You don’t know people now…they are from all over. People who went to Windham College came and loved it here, and stayed…many in art businesses–they write, and paint, and these are the people I don’t know. Before it felt like a small town–it was only a thousand people, and I knew everyone. And every year there was a proper observance of Memorial Day.”
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