Home Commentary Letter to the Editor: August 17, 2022

Letter to the Editor: August 17, 2022


Laughing Over the Legislature 

To the Editor:

I thank Andrew Brewer for his tribute to Warren Kitzmiller. It is so sad. Warren should have been able to enjoy a long retirement. 

I last saw him several weeks before his untimely passing at Waterbury Center State Park, where I work during the warm months. Warren and his family were regulars there. Warren was sitting in the shade in his chair with a Kitzmiller campaign sticker on it, and we joked with each other about politics like we always did when he was at the park. 

I did not know the Warren Kitzmiller of the bicycle and ski shop. I emigrated to Montpelier in 1995 as Warren was beginning the transition out of the shop and handing it over to Andrew. I met the Warren Kitzmiller that I would joke about politics with at the park when I went inside the Statehouse in 2010–2011 as an activist for universal health care. The perverse U.S. health care madness nearly killed me in 2005–2006 and I was, as I still am, fighting to change it. 

There I saw the affable Warren that Andrew Brewer wrote about. He would sit me down in the Statehouse cafeteria and teach me about the legislature in his gentle and talkative way. You could almost call it Legislative 101 by legislator and professor Kitzmiller. He was not doing this merely to placate an activist constituent. He was genuine and sincere about his intentions. Warren graciously helped me with the often inscrutable ways of party politics and legislative maneuvering so that I would not get rolled by what is called “the legislative process,” or more accurately “the meat grinder.” 

I will miss those impromptu legislative lessons in the Statehouse cafeteria and laughing about them later at the park. 

Farewell Warren. 

Walter Carpenter, Montpelier