By Tonya L. Poutry
The Champlain Islands, The Islander, and Vermont lost a unique treasure when long-time journalist Lynville “Lyn” Jarvis of South Hero died Dec. 29, 2018.
For more years than I can remember, Lyn has shared his journeys across all seven continents with readers of The Islander and viewers of WCAX-TV’s “Across the Fence” and “In the Kitchen with Across the Fence”.
His travels ,“Globe Trottin’ Travels with Lyn”, brought us to exotic locations such as Iceland where he stood on a wind swept beach and watched the Aurora Borealis dance overhead; Obidos in Portugal – where when 13th century Queen Isabel marveled at its beauty, her husband King Denis, simply gave it to her. For centuries after, the Kings of Portugal followed suit, presenting the picturesque little town to their queen as a wedding gift and Montserrat in Spain, a mountain top monastery, home to some 80 Benedictine monks
In 2015, Lyn shared his journey to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico with Islander readers. While there, he visited Chiapa de Corzo, the oldest colonial town in the state of Chiapas, to help celebrate the “Fiesta de los Parachicos.” This ancient festival honors the healing of a child by an Indian medicine man. Dancers parade around the entire town wearing elaborate hats made from ixtle, a fiber obtained from the yucca plant and carry tin rattles called chincnins. The girl’s dresses are all hand-made, embroidered with multicolored flowers decorated with lace.
Lyn said, “the celebration embraces all aspects of local life promoting mutual respect among communities, groups, and individuals including strangers like us who came all the way from Vermont to walk beside them, something we will never forget.”
Lyn lived a life full of mutual respect for everyone he met. His genuine pure heart and kindness made him the gentle voice that has filled our living rooms at 12:10 p.m. on “Across the Fence” and his written words in the pages of The Islander gave us all the chance to travel the globe alongside him.
You can only imagine the delight of this newspaper when Lyn came into the office to announce “The Islander” would make it to all seven continents. He was leaving for a trip to Antarctica with the latest issue of the newspaper. I remember asking him to snap his photo with penguins for our feature, “And The Islander Goes To…”. He certainly did not disappoint.
Other places Lyn has visited and shared with us include Quebec, Cuba, Buenos Aires, Rio De Janiero, Albania and Montenegro, Holland, Croatia, Italy, Vietnam, Portugal, Ireland, Cambodia, Spain, India, Rome, Peru and Turkey.
In 2017, Lyn completed his quest to visit all 50 states by visiting Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
Even when traveling to neighboring states, Lyn would share the stories with us. In April of 2016, he covered the World Figure Skating Championship in Boston for us.
In January of 2017, Lyn visited Times Square in New York City and brought stories of the Big Apple home to us.
These are just a sampling of the incredible experiences Lyn has shared over the last ten or more years.
He also shared his love for delicious food in his “In the Kitchen with Lyn” feature. Recipes such as Cherry Cobbler and Green Bean Casserole are just a couple of the dishes contributed.
Although he loved to travel, there was no place like home in The Islands.
From reporting on butterfly migration, the history of morning glories, recording breaking attendance on Vermont Day at the “Big E” in Springfield, Mass. to photographs of his neighbor’s cat, Irving - - Lyn filled our pages with knowledge, love and laughter.
Throughout the years, Lyn has covered the South Hero 4th of July parade, the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Hackett’s Orchard, culinary competitions at the Champlain Valley Fair - taking home a few blue ribbons himself, and countless concerts hosted by Island Arts for The Islander.
Island Arts was a very near and dear organization for Lyn’s. Early February, he would stop in to announce the St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage meal at McKee’s to support the scholarship program of Island Arts. Always early in hopes for a big turnout.
He joined Island Arts in 2004 and became Vice-President of the board shortly after. His tireless work has helped so many children further their interest in the arts.
The 2017 Island Arts’ program was dedicated to Lyn reading, “Thank you Lyn for being our long time marketing wizard and putting Island Arts on the map”.
We are all very lucky that the voice that has filled many living rooms for many years will never be lost. “Across the Fence” videos documenting Lyn’s travels are available on Youtube.com.
In one of Lyn’s “Across the Fence” adventures, he visited Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep temple, one of Thailand’s most sacred temples. Upon exiting, Lyn stopped at the Flame of Eternal happiness where you can add oil to the flame and receive a sacred and unique blessing.
Lyn’s blessing “I will be happy forever and ever and always be supported by angels.”