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Welcome to Quarry Hill's Blog!

Quarry Hill Creative Center in Rochester, VT, founded 1946 by Barbara and Irving Fiske, is Vermont's oldest alternative community and at one time was probably also its largest. In the 60s -80s, as many as 90 people lived here.
It was and is visited each year, often in summer (but in every season, really) by visitors from all over the world.
We welcome interesting and creative people who are peaceful, bring no weapons, don't believe in hitting children or killing animals, and enjoy the beauty of Vermont and of themselves.

Most of us do not adhere to any particular dogma or religion, though many do find Eastern philosophy closest to our own thought (some of us are also members of the Quakers/Society of Friends).
We value the individual, particularly people who are energetic and have a sense of humor.
Visitors are welcome-- and prospective residents, too. There are some places for rent, others for sale. If interested, get in touch!
And, please follow the Blog and comment whenever you like!

"The symbol is the enemy of the reality, and the reality is ever one's true guide, true friend, true companion, and true self." Irving Fiske, 1908-1990

Friday, August 24, 2012


Prior to his somewhat less disapproving take on that "Vermont Commune" in METAMAUS (2011), Art, who seems to be embarrassed at times by his younger and to me, cheerier self, gave this interview to an online magazine with an apt title.

Though it was a while ago and I see in MetaMaus a slightly less unfriendly and unbending attitude towards Irving, me, and QH, I'd like to answer what he has to say here.
<You spent some time on a Vermont commune around then. Were you doing much drawing there?
What was I doing? A lot of fornication and a lot of drugs. I was drawing, but unlike certain cartoon peers, I couldn't control what meager talents I have while I was stoned. So there were occasional walks outside the decaying farmhouse, and occasional scribblings on pieces of paper and making very ornate, speedlike drawings, but it wasn't the work I'd really want to pass on to posterity.<

1. Art was not doing a lot of drugs, unless he wasn't telling me, the person he was closest to at that time, At a certain point he decided drugs just made him paranoid and interfered with his work, and gave up even smoking pot-- as far as I know,
As for "fornication," as Art knows this will hurt my feelings, for a good deal of this, he had with me-- and it was not just fornication but true and profound love... I have letters attesting to his love for me.
As for the other women on the place, some of them seemed to find Art rather amusing, others were fond of him, but all knew I loved and worshipped him, and I think that if they made love with him it was often because they knew how much I wanted him to be with us all.
2. The "decaying" farmhouse was over 200 years old and we had no money with which to fix it. Nonetheless, to my mind, it was a building of beauty and history and patterns of beauty, It was my home.
3.HIs work at the time was juvenilia, but it was good juvenilia. I loved some of it. Some contains my name, secretly hidden in the "speed" -like squiggles.

Our relationship was not a casual one. He and I also lived together in Binghamton, NY., Brooklyn, NY., New York, NY, and had plans to go to California together-- indeed, one day, perhaps, to have a child, or children, together. I am at work on a memoir in which I hope to tell some of these stories in more detail,
But though he says things that are far nastier about us than would seem to be called for considering all the years that have gone by (and our friendship, and that of Françoise Mouly and ourselves), until the 1990s, I want to say that I am still very proud of Art's success and genius-- which I saw in him when he was, I believe, 18 and I, 16 (1966) and more so in 1968 when we became lovers (we were already "Water Brothers."
That is the truth. He and Irving, too, had a competitive but respectful relationship, with many interests in common, such as beautiful young women--and as Art has admitted (MetaMaus pp 24-25), we were never short on those.
I would like to be friendly with Art and his family again, and still, ever the optimist--"the most gullible person I've ever met," Art called me at the age of 16 when I kept a vow to my own detriment-- I hope one day we will meet again.

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