“365 Days of Christmas Spirit”
Frank Teagle didn’t wait for a special day to practice kindness and goodwill toward others. Every day presented an opportunity, and every day, Frank found that opportunity and took it.
Frank was well-known in the field of print. Following college, he worked for several printing offices. Then, during WWII, he served in a topographic unit where his responsibilities included the preparation of maps for the invasion of Normandy. After the war, in January of 1946, Frank moved to Woodstock and worked with celebrated printer William Edwin Rudge III, who had previously acquired the Elm Tree Press in Woodstock.
While he remained interested in printing for the rest of his life, his interests went much further. He was engaged in large causes - like saving the environment and supporting peace and anti-nuclear initiatives - as well as small acts of kindness, such as helping people find a place to stay for the night.
Frank was a boundless source of energy, and perhaps the only person in town who could keep up with him was Rhoda Walker French. In 1955, the two were married. Together they became a civic-minded power couple. While Rhoda championed education and a broad array of children’s causes, Frank co-founded the Ottauquechee Health Center and the Mellishwood Houses, led the charge in numerous environmental and recycling initiatives, served as the “Town Crier” (by posting upcoming events and snow conditions on the chalkboard on Elm Street), and helped to rally for peace and numerous other causes. Frank was not one to sit on a committee and talk about what others should do; like Rhoda, he led by example.
Many who lived in Woodstock during the second half of the 20th century will remember seeing Frank, decade after decade, picking recyclable items from the trash, delivering “recyclopes” (used envelopes) to area non-profits so that they could be used again, and collecting the soap that guests at the Woodstock Inn left behind so that it could be sent to missionaries in Africa. He also was an ardent collector of ephemera, realizing the importance of posters, circulars, and other items in capturing our history.
According to one story, Frank collected so many items for his recycling projects and his ephemera collections that his wife, Rhoda, placed a dividing line in the house beyond which his collections were not allowed to extend. A clock marked the dividing line. However, Frank supposedly was caught moving the clock.