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Francis Colburn: A Vermont voice for art and humor

When I first heard Francis Colburn, I did not know he was an artist.

To me, at 14 years old, he was the reedy-voiced raconteur with the old-time Vermont accent who made funny records. When my sisterís boyfriend brought one into our living room on a winterís afternoon, the whole family gathered around the console-style record player to laugh at a vanishing breed, the old-fashioned Yankee, with linguistic idiosyncrasies that would be virtually gone in 50 years.

The humor was comically barbed, quaint but with a hard edge, borne of subzero blizzards and the daily tragedies of rural life.

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