Chris Brimmer, South Ryegate, Caledonia County
My full name is John Christopher Brimmer; for reasons I am not entirely clear about, my mother has called me Chris for as long as I can remember. I was a military dependant and then a traveling salesman’s stepson and moved all around the West, Midwest and South, and wound up attending seven different public schools. After an abortive attempt at a UU pre-seminary program, I found myself in the USCG, where I suffered devastating multiple injuries, including damage to my spinal cord. While learning to walk again, I used vocational rehab benefits from the VA to get a degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma and managed to get about halfway through a Masters in city planning before the program ruled I was accumulating too many post graduate credits and pulled the plug. In my working life I have been a dishwasher, porter, busboy, waiter, able bodied seaman, tactical team member, roustabout, store clerk and owner, zoning administrator, town planning consultant, food entrepreneur, and lately a part-time subsistence farmer.
I have lived in Vermont since 2000 and at nearly fourteen years I have lived here longer than any other place. I love the land, culture and people of the NEK, which is my home. Like many rural Vermonters, I have to do several different things to make a living. Currently I am a part-time appointed official for the Town of Fairlee; I write grants and do small town planning and implementation consulting as JC Brimmer Town Consultant; smoke and BBQ meats for events and public sale, and jar a private label BBQ sauce as the New England BBQ Project; and my wife and I are also making a go of a small farm, where we sell produce and make food products for local and internet sale. We are seeking a sustainable living and lifestyle.