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Matteson will be Living History Day Honoree on August 28th

August 16, 2011

Bob Matteson
NORTH BENNINGTON - Robert "Bob" Matteson will be this year's celebrated honoree for the sixth annual Living History Day held in North Bennington. The community celebration will be held on Sunday, Aug. 28, from noon to 2 p.m. in front of Powers Market. Matteson will share a treasure trove of history through his stories that will, ultimately, be a valued time capsule for the community. The event is free and open to the public, a time for people of all ages to come together for an afternoon of fun, stories, food, and music.

Matteson is a familiar face in town. His antiques business on South Street and his myriad of public offices have kept him in the limelight for many of his 95 years. He is affectionately referred to as the "Geezer Gazelle" because of his passion for running which earned him many awards and notoriety and taken him all over the globe. He has been quoted as saying, "he likes to exercise his legs as well as his mind."

Matteson was born in Bennington in June 1916. His ancestors moved here from Rhode Island in 1765 and were among the first families to settle nearby Shaftsbury. He attended Middlebury College and went on to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. He later served as an officer in the Navy during WW II.

He married his wife, Mary, in June 1963 and has four children, six grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.

Matteson has a long and diverse list of accomplishments. He served on many state and local boards, including town manager for Bennington from 1977 to 1981 and was planning director for Vermont from 1981to 1984. He drafted town charters for both Bennington and North Bennington and served as director of Bennington Tomorrow, a non-profit organization which formed to enhance the town's cultural and artistic environment and quality of life through a strong economy. He also served on many urban and rural planning commissions beyond the borders of Vermont.

Matteson has found time, despite his busy life, to get involved with civic and community affairs. He was president of the Vermont Antiques Dealers Association, a long-time member of the Bennington Rotary Club, as well as involved with the New England Tropical Conservatory, Oldcastle Theater Company, the Bennington Museum, the Bennington Historical Society, UCS, and a variety of other organizations.

He is a high ranking Masters Runner with six world records under his belt. The local Batten Kill Valley Runners group has named an award after Matteson, which goes to an athlete at Mount Anthony Union High School who shows Matteson's best characteristics: tenacity, dedication, determination, goal orientation, and above all, maintaining a sense of humor in the face of defeat. These attributes earned Matteson an appointment to the Governor's Commission on Healthy Aging.

Author: Banner Staff
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner

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