“I ended up in Bellows Falls, Vermont in 1971 while visiting friends. One of them had discovered photography, and he was spending a lot of time down at the railroad station. In the station was the Depot Lunch and News, and the sole proprietor, Margarite Williams. She had come down to work at the age of sixteen from St. Johnsbury. Years later, the place was threatened with closing due to railroad business being way down. A local businessman, who liked having breakfast there, bought the place and sold it to Margarite for one dollar under the condition she would stay. She was installed in the Bellows Falls Train Station with a little room in the back. There was a paper company still working, and the railroad workers, and then hippies like us. ‘Young people’. There was a wave of young people who overwhelmed Vermont in the 70’s. I had just gotten out of the Navy. I never went home, I’ve been here ever since.
Margarite Williams was a sweet wonderful woman, probably in her sixties. We would come in and sit on these old, art deco style stools that spun around and had red plastic seats. The Formica countertop was worn away from so many elbows. My friend, Gregory, was down there a lot and would come back and give slide shows at the house, which was slowly becoming a commune. It was the three of them when I moved in. At most, I think we got up to about thirteen people living in the old farm house.
Every May 11th, we celebrated her birthday, which we have continued to do even years after her death. We’ve gathered down at the station decades after she passed away. She had a very nurturing way, and she really listened. She just had a wonderful way of speaking. She had a cat whose name was Tig and geraniums in the windows. It was an endearing scene. We were sort of her ‘lost boys.’”
To read more stories from William B. Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here – Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.
Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.
You can also view his entire show on-line at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.
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