I Could Hardly Keep from Laughing: Don Hooper and Bill Mares (Signed Copy)

I Could Hardly Keep from Laughing: Don Hooper and Bill Mares (Signed Copy)

$29.99

With brand new cartoons by Don Hooper, and a foreword by Jeff Danziger, I Could Hardly Keep from Laughing is a potpourri of art and words documenting how Vermont humor has evolved over 150 years. While re-telling some stories from previous collections, the authors gather together more than a dozen modern humorists in this exuberant, charming, and affectionate history of Vermont humor.

In kindergarten, Don Hooper was the last to master coloring inside the lines. But with an undergrad degree and a master’s from Harvard, even on Hooper’s screwiest days, people surmised erroneously that he must be smarter than he seems. Hooper is or has been: a Peace Corps teacher in Botswana; a back-to-land Vermont invader; goat milker; farmers’ marketeer; dirt worshiper; tree hugger; legislator; Secretary of State. With his partner Allison (co-founder of Vermont Creamery), the Hoopers have produced three, side-hill, entrepreneurial lads, Miles, Sam, and Jay, who perpetuate revered Vermont traditions of thinking outside the box, earnest tinkering, and trying not to make things worse. Grandkids Olcott and Weston call Hoops “Mothusi,” which means “helper,” the generous nickname his students gave him in Botswana.

Raised in Texas, educated at Harvard, Bill Mares is a former journalist, state representative, and high school teacher. He has authored or co-authored 18 books on subjects ranging from the US Marines to desert travel, from war memorials to economic democracy, from brewing beer to beekeeping. Among Mares' books were four volumes of Vermont humor with University of Vermont professor Frank Bryan, one of which , Out of Order was illustrated by Don Hooper. From 2007 to 2018, Mares wrote over 200 commentaries for Vermont Public Radio. He serves on the boards of VTDigger, the Vermont Beekeepers Association, the Vermont Brewers Association and Food4Farmers. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife of 50 years, Chris Hadsel. They have two sons, Timothy and Nicholas.