NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 12, 2013

The yin and yang of New England

It wasn’t enough that NBC Nightly News left New Hampshire off the map when reporting on the deadly train accident in Quebec.

Adding insult to injury, their graphics wizards replaced it with Vermont.

Anchor Brian Williams was forced to issue an apology to the entire state.

Any resident of either the Green Mountain State or White Mountain State knows there’s a measure of disdain for the other that simmers deep beneath the surface of the Connecticut River, New England’s longest and largest, that divides the two.

Topographically speaking, New Hampshire is Vermont turned upside down — or vice versa. Even that is subject for debate.

Both states have long laid claim to prolific poet Robert Frost. He lived and farmed in both states, though longer in Vermont.

Frost won the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes in 1924 for “New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes.”

If New Hampshire disappeared, the two states could stop squabbling over longtime Red Sox catcher Carlton “Pudge” Fisk. He was born across the river in Bellows Falls, Vt., but lived and went to school in Charlestown, N.H.

He crossed the river again to play Legion ball with Post 37 in Vermont, but went to school at the University of New Hampshire. Maybe after his DWI arrest in an Illinois cornfield last year, no one cares to claim him.

Both states declare spring the sweetest season, when maple trees are tapped and steam rises from sugarhouses around the clock. But New Hampshire’s production is a drop in Vermont’s bucket. This year, Vermont produced 1,320,000 gallons of maple syrup, New Hampshire just 124,000 gallons.

To be fair, Vermont’s state tree is the sugar maple. New Hampshire honors the white birch.

They are almost identical in land mass — Vermont’s 9,614 square miles puts it 45th in size. New Hampshire is right behind it in 46th place and 9,349 square miles.

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