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Oliver 'Ollie' The Camel Has Died. Do You Have A Favorite Memory?

A camel looking into a camera.
Teena Perkins Betourney
Oliver "Ollie" the camel has died. Brave Little State is asking for you to share your favorite memories of Ollie.

A camel named Oliver, who has delighted travelers along Route 7 in Ferrisburgh for nearly two decades, has died. Do you have a favorite memory? Share it with Brave Little State.

Oliver, or Ollie, was a two-humped camel living at Round Barn Merinos, a sheep farm in Ferrisburgh. His owner, fiber artist Judith Giusto, frequently explained to curious reporters how she collected his molted fur and had it spun into yarn.

Giusto confirmed Ollie’s death in an email this week, though she declined an interview. The Addison Independent broke the story.

At Brave Little State, VPR's people-powered journalism project, you ask the questions, you decide what we investigate — and you even help us find the answers. As it turns out, Julie Corwin of South Burlington submitted a question about Ollie the camel which won a recent Brave Little State voting round, but we weren't able to report that episode before he died.

"My heart goes out to the owners," said Corwin, who is not related to his reporter.

Corwin didn't miss the flurry of excitement on social media from listeners wanting to learn more about his story. "He was really sort of an icon in Vermont," she said. 

Now, we're asking for your help to produce a remembrance. In honor of Ollie's prominent place in the Vermont landscape and psyche, we want to hear from you: Tell us your favorite memory of Ollie the camel.

To do so, follow the instructions below to leave us a voicemail or record yourself at home. We may include your submission in an upcoming story. Thanks!

Here’s how to share your experience:

  • By phone | Call us at 802-552-4880 and leave a short message. One minute max, please! Be sure to include your name, where you live and your phone number, so we can get back in touch with you.
  • By smartphone | If you have a smartphone, use the voice memo feature to record yourself. Sit in a quiet room with lots of soft surfaces (furniture, carpeting), or venture into your closet. Listen back to your recording to make sure it sounds OK, and then email it to us at share@vpr.net. We'll reply to let you know we got it.

Update 4:35 p.m. 2/28/20: This story has been updated to note the Addison Independent broke the story of Ollie's death.

Update 1:21 p.m. 3/2/2020: This story has been updated to include comments from question-asker Julie Corwin.

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