By Isabel Pedersen
When you first meet Lorna Hard, do not be deceived. This gentle, soft-spoken woman is the winner of a bitter bureaucratic war. As the Board Chairman of the Council on Aging of Southeastern Vermont, she became convinced that the clients would be better served by an independent 501 (c)(3) agency.
Founded under Lyndon Johnson’s Older Americans Act of 1965, the council in Wardsboro, Vermont, had always been under the supervision of Vermont’s Windham Regional Planning Commission. Her local group was funded by the government, by state and local grants and some private fundraising. The Windham “umbrella” group put up stiff resistance to the breakup. Before the years-long fight was settled, Lorna was threatened with a personal liability suit and hate mail. It was “very horrible” but, as she said, “the good guys won.”
Lorna, a graduate of Smith College, spent an early and life-altering year wandering around the world. After tasting life, and sometimes working, in far-flung places, she settled in for 22 years at the United Nations as an International Civil Servant. Most of her career was in Conference Services, helping with planning and day to day meeting servicing.
Cleveland, Ohio was home for her earliest years, then Basking Ridge, New Jersey. But she soon fell in love with New York City and never looked back.
In 1982, she married Fred Hard, whose career was in finance. When Fred went to Bermuda in 1986, she retired, keeping an apartment in New York as she would for about 20 more years. Upon Fred’s retirement in 1989, they moved to Wardsboro, where they stayed until coming to Pelican Cove and then to Glenridge for four and a half years. Sadly, she lost Fred just two months before moving to Plymouth Harbor, a change they had been anticipating eagerly.
During their 20 years in Vermont, they traveled widely and were especially fond of our Southwest, as evidenced by the big collection of Indian fetishes in her apartment. Whether you want to talk about the Zunis, horrible bureaucracies you have known, or exchange travel stories with one more inveterate traveler, you will enjoy meeting Lorna.