The snow was falling, each unique paisley crystalline pattern spiraling gently earthward. It had started just after 8:30 pm and was increasing its rate of descent, by morning Essex Vermont would be snuggled under a cold white blanket. This was not an unusual scene in Essex. Annually Essex receives almost 90 inches of snow fall, but this was only the end of October. That was a little out of character. Why, Alder Brook hadn’t even frozen over yet! Diligently, burnt umber and fiery red leaves were still clinging to the towering sugar maple and yellow birch trees that surrounded Vermont’s largest town. They stood, like silent sentinels guarding the sleepy ville from the ever encroaching outside and modern world. Yet despite the best efforts of the dominant hemlock forest, Essex had been changing. A huge Price Chopper grocery store, complete with a Little Caesars Pizzeria and a new Tattoo parlor were evidence of that. But for some, some like Jed Coleman, Essex would forever be a cozy little backwater where one could live their life as it used to be. Where a man could still be a man, where he could earn nine hours pay for an honest nine hours work and return home to rule his castle. Where a man could run his household as he saw fit, without all the bleeding heart liberal bull pucky that seemed to have ingrained itself in “modern society.” Yes, to some, Essex Vermont was a step back in time.