Bulletin for the Week of November 2, 2020

I feel a little less like an exile now that we have a lovely temporary home at the Vergennes Opera House. By the end of the year, I might even figure out where all the light switches are! I will be arriving at 6:30 to open up, and starting class promptly at 7. You can arrive any time during that half hour. If you need to arrive late, just turn the temperature scanner on yourself (it's very easy, just push the button). Don't forget to sign in every time you come, use hand sanitizer after touching things other people might touch, and stay home if in doubt about your health (thank you to all those who were abundantly cautious last week). For parents waiting for kids during practice - the balcony is closed off, but there are seats in the foyer, at the back of the stage, or in the dressing room.

I can not predict how the covid situation will develop, but barring another lockdown (or, in better news, a complete reopening of Mary Hogan and Charlotte Central Schools), my vision for this season is roughly:
Monday and Thursday classes through Nov 19
2 week break for Thanksgiving and also a show at VOH
4 evenings (2 foil and 2 epee) of fun, informal in-house competition December 7, 10, 14, 17 (tba which weapon which nights)
Break through the holidays and a little after (to allow travelers to quarantine)
Similar Mon/Thurs classes at VOH from mid-January through late February
Break of 1 or 2 weeks to coincide with school vacations (which are different weeks in Addison and Chittenden counties), possibly including another in-house competition
Another session at VOH from early March through late April
Break of 1 or 2 weeks to coincide with school vacation (again, with a possible tournament of some kind, maybe outdoors if it has warmed up sufficiently)
Return to outdoor classes for May and June

There will be new sign ups for each chunk of classes (Jan-Feb and March-April), giving an opportunity for different fencers to move in and out of participating, and reconfiguring the groups to give you at least a few new fencers to practice with. Nothing is set in stone, we will all need to remain flexible if we want to fence, keep your eye on your weekly bulletin for updates.

To Zorro (Viveka), the scurvy pirate (Karen), the mysterious highwayman (Adam), the fierce Viking (Torrey), the gallant musketeer (Isidora), the honorable samurai (Grace), the friendly modern fencer (Don), and the indomitable Black Knight from Monty Python (Torrey's mom Emily). Better Middlebury Partnership estimates that approximately 600 children participated in the drive-through trick or treat event (not to mention a lot of parents getting in the Halloween spirit with costumes, and even a few decorated vehicles). We had a lot of fun, even if we were all thoroughly frozen by the end. I have a small amount of candy left over, so say "trick or treat" when you come to class tonight!

My friend Sandra Marchant, a wonderful coach and epee fencer from Connecticut, is cohosting (with Mark Wheeler, a coach from Chicago) a virtual clinic this coming Sunday Nov. 8, 1-2:30 pm. Although it says "veterans" it is actually open to all adults from age 25 up. I would love to see a few VFA fencers trying this out!

Cost is $15 (they say satisfaction guaranteed or your money back)

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