I just read that VPR's southern Vermont correspondent, Susan Keese, passed away.
I've known Susan for many years, after first meeting her to talk about things going on at the Estey Organ Museum. Being a radio producer, her medium was sound, and stories that had interesting sounds or music being played were often of interest to her and her listeners.
She got very interested in the 2005 EsteyFest, a gathering of reed organ enthusiasts, many of whom brought instruments with them.
Over the years, whenever I had a potential story that included good sounds, I'd make sure she knew about it.
Susan would always have her equipment with her. Her headphones, mic, and digital recorder were a portable suite that allowed her to make all of southern Vermont her office. She seemed to cherish it.
Most recently, Susan got in touch regarding Representative Town Meeting. She dropped by our house a couple of months ago, nursing a cold, and interviewed me about the history of town meeting. She had questions about whether there was any movement to return to a regular town meeting. She asked great, tough questions.
I told her it was a topic of discussion from time to time, but there wasn't any movement, as far as I knew, to vote to return to regular town meeting. We both agreed there might be a bigger story in coming years, but there wasn't much in that regard at the moment.
And so she left.
And then she came back. Susan was often juggling many things at a time, and after reaching her car, came back to the door to see if she had dropped something. We looked around. It wasn't here.
And then she really left.
I assumed I'd be seeing her often in the coming years, and hearing her on the radio for some time to come.