A Visual Journey: Retiring Justice's Boar Head Gets A Parade In Montpelier

Jul 5, 2019
Originally published on July 5, 2019 4:42 pm

Emmett is a mounted boar head. For 22 years, Emmett has hung on the wall in Vermont Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Skoglund's Montpelier office, where he went to live after Skoglund received him as a gift from an ex.

"He's not one of those ugly ferocious looking wild boars," Skoglund said. "He's pleasant."

This past spring, however, Skoglund announced she would retire in September. This meant that Emmett, her beloved "amanuensis" (her secretary), needed a new home.

"He's going to go live in a nice new place: the law offices of Michael Donofrio," Skoglund said. Donofrio, a Montpelier attorney, used to clerk for Skoglund. 

And so on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at 2 p.m. on the dot, Skoglund made her way down the courthouse's stone steps and brought Emmett, new caretaker Donofrio, a gaggle of former and current interns and clerks, plus a few media members, along on a parade. 

"I'm wearing dark glasses in case I cry," Skoglund said. 

There were kazoos. 

There was a procession down State Street in downtown Montpelier. 

"Is someone blowing bubbles back there?" Skoglund asked. 

There were pinwheels... 

...and there were sparklers. 

The procession ended at Donofrio's office on Elm Street.

"Oh, Emmett," Skoglund said. "I got a little teary the other day. I was sitting in my TV room at home and was thinking, maybe he could go on the wall next to my collection of dog portraits. But then I said no."

"He's going to be happy here," Skoglund said. "I know it." 

She thanked Donofrio one last time. 

"I gotta tell you, it's not my natural inclination to mount a boar's head on the wall of any space I occupy," Donofrio said. "The things we do for love, right?"

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