If you happen to find yourself in Vermont any time soon--and especially the lovely town of Barnard--whatever you do, do not tell the townspeople up there you're from Dallas. You can thank Herbert Hall McAdams III and his wife Letty for that. According to two stories that have appeared in the Burlington Free Press since Sunday, the couple has been involved in a "rancorous dispute" with some 14 Barnard residents for more than four years over the McAdams' decision to "build a dam, pond and bridge across an old town road on their Barnard property without going through the usual legal channels to discontinue the right of way. It was a dirt road that local people had used for hiking and horseback riding."
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After a court hearing, the McAdams won the right to do whatever they wanted--as is the perogative of anyone who lives in a $1.6 million Turtle Creek home, damn it (or, maybe, dam it). But the McAdams then took to court the 14 townsfolk complaining about their construction; the McAdams were "claiming discrimination because they were outsiders," reports the Free Press. As a result of the McAdams' decision to go after their critics, Vermont legislators have created new legislation that disallows folks from trying to restrict someone's...whatchacalit...right to free speech, since apparently the Constitution ain't enough. The new state law's awaiting action in the Vermont House. In the meantime, the McAdams have what I believe the Vermontians call a "damned dam." Oh, has no one seen the movie Funny Farm? To quote Chevy Chase, "We came to Redbud filled with hopes and dreams of a better life. And basically, we've seen those hopes and dreams crushed and battered before our very eyes." --Robert Wilonsky