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Bill Toomey is The Old Tavern’s resident renaissance man. He is the longest running staff member employed at the inn.

For those of you stumbling across this blog, The Old Tavern at Grafton is a Vermont country inn located in the southern section of Vermont, in Grafton. It is one of the nation’s oldest operating inns. Quite lovely. 45 rooms, including four guest houses, an award-winning restaurant. It is an escape from the everyday. Visit us.

Back to Bill. Here are some general and fun facts about Bill, since he won’t tell you about them himself.

  • He is originally from Bellows Falls, Vermont.
  • Is a 45 year resident of Grafton.
  • Attended Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. After graduation, he was drafted into the Army and served one tour in Vietnam.
  • After his call of duty, Bill returned to the US and married his wife Diana. They then up and moved to Holland for a year.
  • After another brief stint back to the US, he and Diane lived in Switzerland for four years, while Bill attended a conservatory school studying the lute.
  • After school, the young couple, with their two children, returned to southern Vermont and Bill became a founding member of The Music School in Brattleboro where he taught classical guitar for 14 years. During that period, he started working at The Old Tavern as a part-time bartender.
  • After three years, he was promoted to Assistant Innkeeper. Bill continued to teach classical guitar at The Music School and also at the Putney School for 10 years on a part time basis. He ceased teaching in 1990.
  • Bill is a music man. He plays the Lute and the Vihuela; sometimes during dinner at The Old Tavern or in Phelps Barn, he will sit and play for guests.
    • He was the founder of The Old Tavern music series.
  • Bill speaks fourlanguages in addition to English: Dutch, German, Spanish & French.
  • Bill has bonded with Old Tavern guests in a variety of ways, including his wood carving and, in his words, has found kindred souls with several of the inn’s regular guests. The same can be said for finding common ground in poetry.
  • Bill’s favorite poet of all time is Pablo Neruda, the 20th century Chilean poet & Nobel prize winner.
  • And the best fun fact about Bill: he was Vermont’s Masters Bodybuilding Champion for two years running in the 1980s (and now we have the  photo to prove it!).
Bill Toomey…Mr. Vermont. Back in the Day. Who knew??
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anneke Toomey permalink
    May 9, 2011 4:37 pm

    He also speaks French! You’re not allowed to publish any bodybuilding shots of my Dad either without first getting clearance from my Mom (Diana) —
    Other fun & little known facts – he bakes his own multigrain bread, several times a week, using his own special recipe.
    His classmates at the Swiss Conservatory include world renowned lutenists and luthiers Paul O’Dette and Hopkinson Smith.
    He’s a DIY fan – building and staining his own furniture, doing what he whimsically calls ‘Fred Flintstone’ style remodeling projects on his early 19th century farmhouse, and even rebuilding the stone terrace behind the house when it was knocked down by an earthquake in the early ’80s.

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