The magic of Harriet Potter

Known to her close friends as "Hattie", Harriet fondly recalls her student days at both the Meldon Elementary School (which stood at the site of today's Rutland Fire Station) and Rutland High School.

A member of RHS' Class of 1937, Harriet still maintains contact with a few of her surviving classmates-Edna Connor, Peg Johnson, Mary Riordon, and cousins Olive Smith and June Soine. As a high school student, "Hattie" was attractive, well liked, and an accomplished musician; she played the violin in the school orchestra every year during her attendance. And in a photo caption appearing in her 1937 RHS Talisman Yearbook, the editor had this to say: "Hattie is the dignified girl who comes forth with the right answer."

A year after high school graduation, Harriet met and married Arthur "Art" Potter. They had five children and together, for the next 44 years, they made beautiful music together.

Thanks to the discipline of mastering the violin at a young age, Harriet went on to become one of the Rutland area's most accomplished fiddlers.

With a knack for making clothing, she was also a 4-H leader involved with the Ira Grange.

With her husband Art, who was employed as a carpenter with Howe Scale and Vermont Marble and passed away in 1982, she enjoyed playing country-western music at local gatherings including many an old-fashioned country hoedown. One of her favorite CW stars is still Johnny Cash. She also enjoys public television reruns of "The Lawrence Welk Show" from the 1960s and '70s which include renditions of the old standards she grew up enjoying-and playing.

During a recent interview, Harriet paged through her family's lovingly handcrafted birthday gift-an album including memories and photographs of youthful days spent at family farms, the Eggleston-Smith Farm in Shrewsbury and the Will Potter Farm in Chippenhook-and also images of the couple's later years in Florida.

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