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ABK

writer & photographer

Open Letter to Emma, Housekeeper at the Columbia Inn, Pine Tree Vermont

You’re Emma Allen. You’re the best housekeeper in Vermont. You’re smart, you’re quick, and you’ve got an answer for everything.

I’m not sure how you first came to be employed by General Waverly, but it’s been years and despite your grousing about old Tom, you’re loyal as fuck. He wanted to remodel a grist mill and a barn into an inn? Well, you thought that idea was just crazy and he was plumb stupid for sinking his pension into it, but by god you are going to stand by that mistake until it kills you, and in the meantime you’ll run the best inn in Vermont for him.

The General couldn’t get by without you. Sure, he managed without you in the army…with 15,000 men working together to do half the job you do with just his granddaughter Susan to back you up. (Between us girls: You raised Susan, didn’t you?)

When the snow doesn’t come and business is bad, you hang the washing on the ski tow. It’s there, it isn’t doing anything else right now, and Tom is getting a little long in the tooth to re-hang the laundry line every year.

You’re the Inn’s first line of defense, and you’re not afraid to tell a fancy floor show that you can’t afford to pay them. And when Tom intervenes and lets them stay, with those Broadway producers? Well, you’re not going to let those highfalutin New Yorkers take advantage of their history with the General. You’re there to take care of things.

You know how to listen in on phone calls, intercept and read telegrams, and interfere when someone’s business needs interference. Those showmen may have been in the army with the General, but you’re here in the trenches with him now.

You’re not afraid to pass judgment on someone based on one partial overheard conversation, but when you learn you were mistaken you’ll go right on like you were in on the surprise the whole time. That’s just how things work around here.

You’re Emma fucking Allen. You founded the New England Chapter of Busybodies Anonymous. And you are an unstoppable force.

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