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Get to know the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area of New Hampshire.

Winter 2013/2014

Eat at the School House Café

Historical location and great food

Meet Kearsarge Author Betsy Unwrapped • Locally made gifts Woodman • Her Jana Bibi books transport you from NH to India.

• Holiday events • Community cheer

$5.00 U.S. Display until March 1, 2014

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contents FEATURES


Three Local Jewelry Makers Looking to give that special someone in your life a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry? Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, anniversary or no particular occasion at all, you’ll want to keep these three artists and their original, handcrafted work in mind. By Barbra Alan

18 A Rich Masala

Andover, N.H., author Betsy Woodman weaves together the funny and the serious in her books, much the way that many Hindi movies do — into a masala, a mix of Indian spices. By Phyllis Edgerly Ring Las Posadas — ­ a one-act musical play based on a Tomie dePaola book — will be back this December and, in 2014, the bright lights beckon: the Boston Lyric Theatre wants to book the show. By John Walters



Jim Block

38 A Small Christmas Miracle

ON THE COV ER John Sherman

Holiday Dove Photograph by Tom McNeill


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

Photographer Tom McNeill captured this image of a holiday ornament created by Tomie dePaola. A musical play based on one of dePaola’s children’s book is featured on page 38. More of Tom McNeill’s photography work can be seen online at



24 Eat: The School House Café

It’s not the location — a cool historical building and proximity to a huge flea market — that keep the customers coming back to The School House Café. It’s the food. By Laura Jean Whitcomb Finance: The Rise of Exchange Traded Funds Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) may sound intimidating at first, but they are gaining ground with investors. By Gary Paquette

31 Let’s Go Calendar

Nine fun things to do this winter. Compiled by Laura Jean Whitcomb

Douglas K. Hill



34 Music: Dinner and a show


46 Great (Local) Gifts

This holiday season, it will be easy to spend all your dollars locally. We’ve done the research for you. By Laura Jean Whitcomb

60 The Giving Tree

Jim Block

The N.H. Troubadours perform Christmas concerts at Lyon Brook in New London and at Kendal at Hanover and, every so often, put on the Madrigal Feaste. By Laura H. Guion


At the Elm Wood Nursing Home in Claremont, young and old participated in The Giving Tree, an event to demonstrate the true meaning of giving. By Katelyn Turner Toymaker Hal Liberty donates hundreds of wooden toys to children in need. By Laura Jean Whitcomb

66 Deck the Halls

Holiday note cards, picturing decorated mantels, raise funds for the Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H. Text and photography by Ann St. Martin Stout

Ann St. Martin Stout

64 Santa Claus Lives in Bradford, N.H.


71 The Wilmot Express

Paul Howe

All aboard! Three local organizations have made the holidays less hectic by combining their events into one fun afternoon of community celebration: The Wilmot Express. By Laura Jean Whitcomb • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


editor’s letter Ho, ho, ho! I have been in the holiday spirit since July. That’s when I start writing articles and developing the calendar for the winter issue of Kearsarge Magazine. I’ve been giving out gift certificates, bumper stickers and postcards to friends, family and advertisers. I’m starting to think about holiday cards — is it a nice touch to send one to advertisers, freelancers and vendors, or is it too much? (I don’t want to stress anyone out by making them feel like they need to send one back.) Amy Davis and I are planning this year’s holiday subscription offers. I’ve even bought a few things (and set them aside) for holiday gifts. I know, I know, sounds crazy. It’s just my life as an editor — I’m usually thinking winter in the summer and summer in the winter.

We love our fancy paper stock but — in case you don’t — did you know that there’s a digital edition of

Kearsarge Magazine?

I’m not the only one thinking ahead. Sara Parker Cave at the Gourmet Garden in New London, N.H., has two new town ornaments this year: Newport and Springfield. She started this project in 2007, and now offers 12 ornaments: two for New London and one each for Elkins, Wilmot, Andover, Sutton, Newbury, Sunapee, Warner, Bradford, Springfield and Newport. They are great keepsakes for locals or out-of-towners with ties to the area. And Sara gives back: once she recoups her expenses for each ornament, she donates most of the proceeds to the towns. “I decided that it would be a great way to give back to each town, as most of the attractions were nonprofits or historical buildings. As a business we are always asked for donations and this was a win/win,” she says. “I love designing them and wish I could do more a year!” She’s already told me she’s working on a Grantham ornament. And, yes, I will be buying that one, probably during some seasonally inappropriate month! Enjoy the season!

View from your Android, iPhone, iPod, laptop or home computer at any time, and at a low price:

Laura Jean Whitcomb

One year: $8

Editor/Co-publisher/Mrs. Claus

Two years: $12 Three years: $15

Follow us on: Kearsarge Magazine Check out a sample issue at


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •


Rediscover your hometown with Kearsarge Magazine™ You may have lived in the big city, overseas, or maybe you’ve lived here all your life. Either way, you know there’s something special about the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge/Concord area of New Hampshire. And every page of award-winning Kearsarge Magazine will remind you why you love it here.

Join Us For FIRST FRIDAYS This Winter! December 6th Community Caroling on the Porch w the KCBand!…plus January 3 February 7th rd

5-7pm FREE!

The 2013 Award Art Show! at The New London Inn

Dance Performance and Q&A w KCPA at Whipple Hall! Gallery Opening Receptions at the CFA MicroGalleries! www. CenterForTheArtsNH. org

Donations gladly accepted

P.O. Box 1482 Grantham, N.H. 03753 Phone: (603) 863-7048 Fax: (603) 863-1508 E-mail: Web: Editor Art Director Ad Sales Ad Production Circulation Director Bookkeeping Copy Editor

Laura Jean Whitcomb Laura Osborn Laura H. Guion, Amy Davis Sierra Willenburg Amy Davis Heather Grohbrugge Laura Kennedy

Kearsarge Magazine™ is published quarterly in February, May, August and November. © 2013-2014 by Kearsarge Magazine, LLC. All photographs and articles © 2013-2014 by the photographer or writer unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Except for onetime personal use, no part of any online content or issue may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise copied for public or private use without written permission of the copyright owner.

Subscriptions Rediscover your hometown by subscribing to Kearsarge Magazine™. Four issues a year will be delivered right to your door for $15. Subscribe online at www.kearsargemagazine. com or send a check (with your name and mailing address) to P.O. Box 1482, Grantham, NH 03753. Digital subscriptions are also available online. • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


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Three Local Jewelry Makers You’ll find a lovely piece of jewelry, crafted by hand, in your hometown. by Barbra Alan photography by Douglas K. Hill


ooking to give that special someone in your life a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry crafted by a local artisan? Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, anniversary or no particular occasion at all, you’ll want to keep the following artists and their original, handcrafted work in mind.

Moshe Reviczky “I’ve been fascinated with jewelry as far back as I can remember,” says Moshe Reviczky of Springfield, N.H. In fact, one of his earliest memories is of his father showing him a pocket watch and rings that belonged to his grandfather. Looking at the family heirlooms as a child, Reviczky recalls “being filled with wonder.” As a kid growing up in Florida, Reviczky began making his own pieces, including colorful, knotted friendship bracelets and beaded necklaces, which he’d share and wear. “Given the cultural melting pot Florida is, most men wore neck chains, bracelets and rings, so I followed suit,” he says.


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

When Reviczky moved to the Lake Sunapee region to be with his fiancée in 2000, one of his first jobs was in construction, work that required him to leave his jewelry at home for safety’s sake. Still, he never stopped designing and creating jewelry. “I’ve always been a creative person, whether it’s been through drawing, designing or carpentry, so I would dig out my beading box every now and then and experiment with ideas,” he says. One of his ideas was to make pieces that were not only beautiful, but also strong enough to withstand physically demanding work and active lifestyles. As he experimented with different materials and methods, he realized that he didn’t have to sacrifice beauty for durability. “About a year ago, I began experimenting with using metal to connect beads,” he says. “I then discovered the chainmaille method of making jewelry, which led me to a whole new world of wire jewelry.” Chainmaille is the art of › › › › ›

Moshe Reviczky at his Springfield, N.H., studio • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


A few of Moshe Reviczky’s chainmaille creations

Kitty Stoykovich’s pendant and Fairy Tale Ring


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

connecting or weaving small metal rings to make mesh. After seeing the work Reviczky had amassed, a jeweler friend urged him to sell his creations. Intrigued at the idea but unsure about the market appeal of his pieces, Reviczky decided to bring some pieces to Artisan’s on Main Street in New London, N.H., which prides itself on selling high-quality, New Hampshire-made arts and crafts. “I asked Marcy [Vierzen, owner of Artisan’s] if she felt there was a place for my kind of work in the store,” he recalls. “We talked, and that’s how I got my start.” Reviczky works mainly with copper, black steel and brass wire, which he makes into chainmaille or weaves into intricate designs, and then incorporates assorted glass or stone beads. “When I first started making items to sell,” he says, “I had two clients who told me they really liked what I was doing with my metal designs, but they would love more color, so I began mixing metals and integrating beads into my designs.” Reviczky finds design inspiration from working with the materials at hand in his home-based workshop. “A lot of my ideas come from working with the wire,” he says. “I prefer rounded shapes: arcs, curves, curls and swirls.” While he creates everything from hip, sophisticated necklaces and earrings to lovely pins and attractive clips, Reviczky finds making bracelets particularly gratifying. “Often bracelets are the starting point for other work,” he says. “Sometimes I’ll create an element I plan to use in a bracelet and realize that it would be excellent as an earring design. When this happens, I’ll usually make a coordinating set of earrings or necklace or all three in that design. Good ideas are always worth building on.”

Winter has a style

These days, Reviczky divides his time between Kearsarge Concierge ALL ITS — his small business that provides a variety of personal and home services to people in the community — and hisUVLife_Dutilles jewelry making business, March 4C.Q7:1/3 page ad 2/1/13 1:58 PM Page 1 called Wilderness Wireworks, and is constantly working on new pieces, whether they are his own ideas or custom orders. For him, creating AdartPlacement: 4 7/8" X 3 1/8" wearable works of is truly a labor of love, and it shows. “I like making tangible, beautiful things,” he says. “I enjoy the time spent trying out new ideas and collaborating with customers to create jewelry that is made in my style, but still uniquely them.”


Kitty Stoykovich Designs Like Moshe Reviczky, Concord, N.H.-based artisan Kitty Stoykovich has adored jewelry since childhood. “My grandfather would have custom pieces made for my grandmother, and I loved going through her jewelry box and listening to the stories behind the pieces,” she recalls. “It made an impression on me at a young age.” In high school, Stoykovich learned about gemstones from her mother, who belonged to a gem club. It didn’t take long before she, too, was hooked on gemstones. “I learned how to cut them, and how to › › › › ›

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Moshe Reviczky shows and sells his work privately and at Artisan’s in New London. You you can view his work online at wildernesswireworks


do metal work without soldering,” she says. Creating pieces for friends and family quickly evolved into creating pieces to sell at craft shows, which Stoykovich did throughout high school and college. At 19, she moved to Atlanta, GA, to study the art of jewelry design and become a goldsmith and silversmith. “It was a struggle,” recalls Stoykovich, who worked three part-time jobs at the time. But her hard work paid off after graduation, when she was hired to work at a high-end art and jewelry gallery. For the next 11 years, Stoykovich had the opportunity to hone her craft, working on her own projects as well as custom orders. In 2004, Stoykovich and her family relocated to New Hampshire, where her husband grew up, and they settled in Concord. The change in surroundings was a welcome one. “We weren’t interested in raising our kids in the city,” she says. “Concord has a city feel, but it’s not overwhelming. It’s very inviting.” Since putting down roots in New Hampshire, Stoykovich has launched Kitty Stoykovich Designs, an endeavor to which she devotes herself

Concord, N.H.-based artisan Kitty Stoykovich at a craft show in Manchester, N.H. 12

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

Earrings created by Kitty Stoykovich

full time. “I’ve tried working a desk job, and it was painful. Not making jewelry was painful,” she laughs, adding that while there are challenges inherent in running a small business, “you’ll make it work if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.” From her home studio, Stoykovich creates beautiful pieces using mostly silver and copper and adds striking features like iridescent Pau shells, swirling ammonite fossils, and colorful gemstones. Her pieces reflect her love of the outdoors as well as her fun, playful nature. Among her most popular pieces is her Fairy Tale Ring, a large bezel ring featuring four colorful gemstones that can be custom set. Typically, Stoykovich notes, her customers will choose their children’s birthstones for the ring, the name of which was A Kitty Stoykovich Designs necklace with ammonite fossil inspired by her young daughter, who loves to tell Concord Hospital, and Apotheca fairy tales. “It occurred to me that it in Goffstown, N.H. She also has a looks like a ring from a fairy tale,” thriving storefront on and she says. shows her pieces privately. Stoykovich also finds inspiration While her ultimate goal is to in the works of other artists: jewelers, have her own little shop someday, painters, photographers and craftsStoykovich is more than content in people, many of whom she has met the here and now. “I love making through the Concord Arts Market jewelry for people, and making and craft fairs she attends throughout them happy with something that the state. “I have met the most amazI’ve created,” she says. ing artists at these events,” she says. In addition to showing and Quince Cottage Glass Studio selling her creations at arts markets For the past 25 years, Kirk and craft fairs, Stoykovich’s jewMiller has been a high school science elry can also be found in shops and teacher. For the past five years, he stores in the Concord area, including has also been a jewelry artisan, Gondwana & Divine Clothing on creating one-of-a-kind fused Main Street, HeartGifts Boutique at glass jewelry and housewares.

Interestingly, it was his zeal for science that got him into making art. “Each year, my wife and I would take a trip to Aruba, and I’d always buy her a piece of jewelry during the trip,” Miller says. While his wife loved the beautiful pieces, Miller’s scientific brain wanted to know what they were made of; what made them so beautiful. “So I asked the art teacher at my school, who said they were made of glass,” he recalls. “As a science teacher, I wanted to understand how to make glass look like that.” So Miller did what any self-respecting science teacher would do: He conducted experiments. He purchased some sheets of colored glass, a small kiln and glass working tools and conducted experiments on the glass, adjusting the temperature of the kiln — “at 1,600 degrees the glass starts to flow,” he notes — and cooling times to see how it affected the glass, fusing multiple layers of glass together, and tinkering with different techniques of glass working. In the process, › › › › ›

Artist Kirk Miller creates fused glass jewelry. • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


he realized he could create the most wondrous things with heated glass. “I started with a tiny kiln, then moved up to larger and larger kilns — it became addicting,” Miller recalls. From his studio in the basement of his Henniker, N.H., home (known as Quince Cottage because of its English cottage look, complete with a quince bush in the garden), Miller fuses art and science to create pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings and decorative-yet-functional plates and bowls. Most of his jewelry is composed of sterling silver and dichroic

Two examples of Kirk Miller’s work from Quince Cottage Glass Studio

glass, which is glass that contains multiple layers of metals or oxides that make it appear to have an array

of colors when light hits it. Miller notes that while he does custom work on occasion, most of his

Mixed Media Jewelry by Emma Chase Designs

by Laura Jean Whitcomb Emma Chase Designs is truly a husband/wife partnership for Bernard Joly and Ruth Chase. “It was Bernie who got us started. He took some beading classes in Concord and he brought home what he had worked on as well as some extra beads,” says Chase. “I asked him if I could ‘play’ with his extra beads. When I was through, we both agreed that I had more of a flair toward the artistic in stringing up the beads. So right from the get go, Bernie was the technical side of the jewelry — he is technically precise in his closings — and I was the artistic side.” Their combination of skills is apparent in every piece of jewelry. At the Gallery of Gifts at the Library Arts Center, loops of glass, precious metal and clay beads are quickly bought by shoppers. At the Center for the Arts summer art show on the green, a table of $10 necklaces is empty in just a few hours. The necklaces come in many lengths, and they are easy to layer with Chase’s coordinating background beading (long, short, short, long, like Morse


code) and complimentary color schemes. There are even matching earrings for some designs. Chase selects unusual beads and stones, then free forms her design around them. “Everyone can use amethyst or black onyx or picture jasper. But not everyone has heard of dragon veins agate or charoite or crazy horse limestone,” she says. “Patterns in stones are like works of art in themselves. And when you combine stones or beads that are works of art and match them with an artistic design, well, the finished creation can take your breath away.” Chase recently purchased 100 Kazuri pottery beads made in Kenya, Africa and used them to the delight of customers. “I have an idea in my head, but I let it run free,” she says. “If the finished design wows me, I figure it might just wow someone else as well.” And although the materials are unique, the price isn’t outrageous.

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

You can buy a dozen as Christmas presents and not break the bank. You can certainly buy two (or more) to layer and wear yourself. “We try to put out the best product at the most affordable price. Bernie balked at first at my pricing strategy. ‘Too low, too low,’ he said. ‘Everyone will think our jewelry is cheap,’ he said,” says Chase. “But I assured him: the only thing that will make our jewelry cheap is the components and workmanship. So I have strived to make both the very best.” Find Emma Chase Designs at local art shows and at Harbor Gallery in Sunapee, N.H. You can also contact Joly and Chase directly at or (603) 648-6673.

work is inspired by nature, and the finished product is often dictated by the material itself and how it reacts to being heated, shaped and worked. “Sometimes working with these materials takes you somewhere other than where you had planned to go,” he says. “Heated glass has a mind of its own, and it does cool stuff that can surprise you. You’re always wondering, ‘Can I do that again?’” In addition to creating the pieces — some of which can take days to make what with cutting, fusing, firing, cooling, firing again for polish and setting — Miller enjoys showing them off. Last year, he attended 60 craft shows throughout New England. “I’m always making new stuff, so when people like it and buy it, it’s thrilling,” says Miller. Of course, there are times when he falls in love with a piece. “I get attached to some pieces — the plates especially.” While parting with favorite pieces can be a challenge, it pales in comparison to the challenge of being an artist who is red-green colorblind, as Miller is. But his scientific approach to things makes even this challenge surmountable: “I keep accurate records on the glass and the colors it produces when fired,” he says. The extra effort is worth it, Miller notes, when he sees someone wearing his creations or gets compliments on his work. “I never thought I’d be doing this,” he says of jewelry making. “I discovered I like to create art, and making things that people enjoy.” Freelance writer Barbra Alan lives in Alexandria, N.H., with her family. Grantham photographer Douglas K. Hill has worked as a commercial photographer for more than 20 years, specializing in architecture, advertising and professional portraiture. To see a sampling of his work, visit

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A Rich Masala Author Betsy Woodman weaves together the funny and the serious parts in her books, much the way that many Hindi movies do — into a masala, a mix of Indian spices.

by Phyllis Edgerly Ring photography by Jim Block


hen Betsy Woodman returned to the Kearsarge region from India in her teens, she did what many who spend their childhood overseas do. “I pushed India to the back of my mind,” she says of the years spent there when her father served as a U.S. Information Service cultural affairs officer. “When you leave a place that’s become a big part of you, yet is so far from where you go next, it starts to feel like another lifetime — or planet. No matter how much you love it, you begin to believe you can never go back.” When she returned to New Hampshire a second time and settled in Andover, she discovered that


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

India had been with her all along. It came to vivid life in Hamar Nagar, a fictional Indian town near the Himalayas populated with characters who are delighting readers on both continents.

An adventure for over 50 Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes, published last year by Henry Holt, follows the adventures of Janet MacPherson Laird, nicknamed Jana Bibi by her Indian neighbors. Scottish by birth, she has imbibed Indian culture from earliest childhood and feels more a part of it than any other, as evidenced by the Indian citizenship she obtains. When she inherits a local landmark, it launches her into a land››››› scape of quirky characters

Andover, N.H., resident and author Betsy Woodman • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine



Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

and conflict that includes a bullying police chief, disorderly monkeys, and a government plan to flood the town by building a dam. A parrot named Mr. Ganguly provides incisive, observant companionship as he helps Jana Bibi succeed at her new occupation: telling fortunes. Described by reviewers as having the kind of appeal and charm, wrapped in an exotic setting, that pleased fans of writer Alexander McCall Smith, Woodman’s novel also pleases many because its heroine is a “woman over 50 embarking on an adventure.” “It takes a writer of enormous talent and heart, to say nothing of spiritual depth, to give us a lifeaffirming story such as this,” novelist Elizabeth Berg has said. “I am already impatient to get the next Jana Bibi book, because reading this novel put me in such a good mood… I might have a T-shirt made up that says, ‘Fire your therapist. Read Betsy Woodman’.” People repeatedly ask Woodman if Jana’s character is autobiographical (“Really, not in the slightest,” she says) and say the book begs for a series, something she and her editor have on the way. Jana Bibi’s adventures continue in a second book, Love Potion Number 10, and a third is on its way in 2014. Woodman did finally get back to India, 24 years after she’d left. She also lived and studied (languages and anthropology) in France, Zambia and the United States. Though her books have come later in life, she’s worked extensively with the written word — producing nonfiction and several

hundred book reviews; editing history books; and serving as writer and editor for the award-winning documentary series Experiencing War, produced for the Library of Congress and aired on Public Radio International. “No matter how much I tried to forget about India, I never stopped thinking about and remembering it,” she says. Although Andover’s a world away, small-town New Hampshire life reinforces writing about a small town in India. “In either place, everybody knows everybody. It’s that kind of atmosphere.”

over two or three years, no matter what I tried to write, the Indian characters would always show up, almost ready-made, and take the lead. They still come to me that way. Perhaps it’s because I had a childhood with memories so emotionally laden and rich, everything else just sort of lacked color, for me,” Woodman says. In the process of shaping her writing, “I learned it takes many drafts to get things to where you can show it to an editor to throw back at you to do a couple more,” she says. She wrote while continuing a day job and acquired the requisite collection of rejection slips that Although Andover’s a world away, writers do. “Eventually, between rejections and small-town New Hampshire life the demands of being steeped in a fact-checkreinforces writing about a small ing job, I went through town in India. “In either place, a sort of ‘nonverbal’ everybody knows everybody. It’s stage where I didn’t want to read, or write. For a that kind of atmosphere.” while, I didn’t have anything left over to give to Her family’s New England roots working with words.” brought her back to the New London “I have the economic crash of area when she returned from India. 2008 and my sister to thank for “While it was definitely an adjustpropelling me into this life of writment — things like piling on layers ing novels,” she continues. “When I of clothes simply to go check the was at the height of my dry spell, my mail — many things felt like home. sister started to send me letters and There were only 30 kids in my class, little sticky notes to put on the refrigmuch like my class in India, and erator and then she came to visit and people were really nice to me here. insisted, ‘You are going to dictate an They’d tell me things like, ‘I babysat outline to me and get this going.’ This for you when you were a year old’ or is an executive sister! And we sort of ‘Your grandfather took out my dad’s did that, spread papers all over the appendix.’ It helped me feel a part of floor with notes. I was so exhausted the place,” Woodman says. when she left.” By 2010, she had obtained a Creating characters contract at Henry Holt, a publishAbsolutely nothing about the ing company interested in what process of writing — or pubwould become Jana Bibi’s story. “She lishing — a book went as she Learn More was actually not a main character, might have expected. When Learn more about Andover, N.H., initially, but I was advised that she Woodman joined a writers author Betsy Woodman, and her Jana should be. Once the idea for the pargroup and began to get her Bibi series and access her blog by visiting rot and Jana Bibi’s role as a fortune India experience down, she teller came, things really got going.” originally planned to write a After 20 years of rejection › › › › › boarding school novel. “But • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


and long waits, “everything was suddenly moving at lightning speed. The editor asked the agent to give me direction about the book. She called and said, ‘Here’s what I liked. Here’s what I didn’t. Do you want to write a series? Send me a proposal with a couple of chapters.’” “She wanted three books. I gave a proposal for five. If you’re already insane, why try to tamp it down?” Woodman laughs. “Then I was horrified when I got a phone call in March of 2010. She suggested, ‘How about three books for March, March, March?’ referring to successive deadlines over the course of the next three years.” The words sounded like marching orders as she remembers them aloud. “I went for a walk and cried, told myself, ‘I can’t do this.’ My ignorance is possibly the only reason

I did — the same way Eisenhower only wanted green troops for D-Day.” She met the first deadline “with six weeks to spare; the second with perhaps 18 hours.” The third, and last, “was much harder because of the blog I now keep, working with publishers both here and in India, now, the different stages different books are at, simultaneously, and the demands of publicity. I had no clue that once you got a manuscript off to the publisher there was so much more work to come.” The books themselves make it all possible, even with the challenges, Woodman says. “They — the characters — are always with me, and are a wonderful reason to get up in the morning. I’m often asking myself what would this character or that one do, including about things in my

own life. I’ve had instances where I’m not sure where I’m going in the writing and it can feel as though a character steps right in to direct the way.”

Crossing cultures Writing about Indian culture inevitably leads to including a wide assortment of religious faiths — Hindi, Muslim, Jain, Christian and more — and also the complexities of the country’s caste system. In story developments like interfaith cooperation and inter-caste marriages among characters, the author says she’s “gone out on a limb, at times, yet Indian readers themselves, surprisingly, tell me they like this pushing out of edges and old barriers.” Parrot Mr. Ganguly, in particular, delights many readers with his cross-cultural sensitivity (always responding with the appropriate

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The Best Team in Town... Not the Biggest... Simply the Best greeting) and unerring savvy when it comes to sizing up people. He’s such a presence in the book that readers assume Woodman’s a parrot owner, though she’s not. “I read a pile of stuff about parrots, and met a few,” she says. “And I learned that having one is a lot like having a 3 year old for life, in many ways.” In order to construct settings of India in the early 20th century, her research often draws on Bollywood films as a vivid, vital resource. “For getting the appearance of things right, especially, the films help me know what is genuine, authentic to the time period. They transport me back to the kinds of settings I saw — interiors with plain, whitewashed walls; polished cement floors; rooms sparsely furnished. So many settings in India would be different now, both inside and out, with more Euro glitz, and everybody with granite counter tops.” Parts of the series’ story “can get quite goofy, at times,” Woodman notes. “Yet increasingly, there are more serious issues, too. I try to capture the funny parts and the more serious ones and weave them together, much the way that many Hindi movies do — into a masala, a mix of Indian spices. The books are totally ‘masala’.”

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Writer Phyllis Edgerly Ring of Exeter, N.H., is the author of the novel Snow Fence Road, released this year by Black Lyon Publishing. She blogs at Photographer Jim Block lives part time on Great Island in Lake Sunapee. He enjoys photographing almost anything and teaching photography classes. Find out more at • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine



people, places and things


The School House Café by Laura Jean Whitcomb photography by Douglas K. Hill


aleen Fisher jokes that The School House Café kitchen is closer than your own kitchen. Most folks probably wish that The School House Café kitchen was their kitchen because of the great meals. This two-year-old business in Warner is thriving — and extremely busy every weekend.

Location, location, location The Old School House Café is a warm, welcoming place. You do feel like you’re at home — the dining room décor includes wood tables, green plants, cotton placemats, and a hutch. There are a few nods to technology, such as the ATM tucked in the corner and a refrigerator unit with takeout options. Fisher is usually the one to greet you as you enter the dining room, which seats 24. You may recognize her: Fisher worked at The Foothills of Warner for 20-plus years, and owned Mink Hills Catering with her sister, Kathy Shifrin, for 12 years. The talents of two sisters, Kathy Shifrin (left) and Caleen Fisher (right), are behind the success of The School House Café.

They had been looking for a home base for their catering company for six years, and when “the building came available it felt like the right place to be,” says Fisher. The building is Warner’s last one-room school house, built in 1916 and closed in 1936. It was private residences for five or so families before it became the café in August 2011. “It has turned into its own thing.” She’s not kidding. One Sunday, there were 178 people on the wait list. Fisher will provide coffee while they › › › › › 24

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

Just look at the Schoolhouse Chief B Sandwich — a glorified Reuben with beef brisket, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and sauerkraut on pumpernickel bread. This one is served with onion rings.

Good Eats

What we’re eating (and drinking) this season




Brick Oven Pizza

Working Man’s Porter

Crispy Fries with Fresh Garlic Aioli

We can’t get enough of the brick oven pizza at The Farmer’s Table Café in Grantham, N.H. Love barbecue? Try the pulled pork pizza. Like the salty tang of seafood? Try the white clam pizza with parmesan and garlic. Or get Laura Jean’s favorite: chicken pesto with chunks of chicken and tomato, covered with cheese, on a pesto-covered crust.

Henniker Brewing Company’s fourth beer, Working Man’s Porter, comes straight from England’s Industrial Revolution — an age of rough-handed factory workers, an age before the weekend existed. Hearty and soothing, truly robust, this porter should be enjoyed while sitting down after a long day, and can be paired with almost any meat dish.

It’s a drive, but we suggest you take a trip to the Tip Top Café in White River Junction, Vt. The crispy fries with fresh garlic aioli are a real treat. We’d say you could make a meal out of them, but the rest of the menu is spectacular, too.

The Farmer’s Table Café 249 Route 10 North, Grantham, N.H. (603) 863-9355

Henniker Brewing Company 129 Centervale Road, Henniker, N.H. (603) 428-3579

Tip Top Café 85 North Main Street, White River Junction, Vt. (802) 295-3312 • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


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wait, or if they want to check out the Davisville Flea Market next door she’ll call their cell phone when they are two tables away. It’s not like that all the time, but there’s usually a 155-person wait on Sundays. (Don’t worry, everyone gets fed.)

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“The place is full all the time, because the location and the unique homemade meals fit the population perfectly,” says Don Drescher of Contoocook. “Everyone knows everyone around the Hopkinton/ Contoocook area and if you see them all there at different times, it’s easy to tell that it’s good!”

Incredible edibles It’s not the location — a cool historical building and proximity to a huge flea market — that keep the customers coming back to the café. It’s the food. All ingredients are local and fresh. “No canned anything. All sauces are handmade. We even hand patty our own 100 percent Angus beef burgers,” Fisher says. “Soups are made fresh daily.”


Lebanon, New Hampshire 603-442-5970 •


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

The School House Café is located on 787 Route 103 East in Warner. Phone is (603) 7463850 and you can find them on Facebook.

One of Fisher’s favorites is the Southwestern Chicken Chipotle Salad. “It has so many different flavors: Cajun chicken, homemade seasoned tortilla chips and fresh greens,” she says. You can even select a homemade salad dressing, poppy seed or garlic vinaigrette, which are bottled and sold at the café. Or consider the Schoolhouse Chief B Sandwich — a glorified Reuben with beef brisket, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and sauerkraut on pumpernickel — and the popular Jake sandwich, turkey with honey mustard, spinach, red onions and bacon grilled on the bread of your choice. Breakfast is served all day, and the Deep Fried Stuffed French Toast (French toast filled with sweet cream cheese filling, lightly fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with syrup or jam) is a treat you won’t forget. Shifrin, formerly one of the owners of In a Pinch Bakery and Café in Concord, makes each and every meal with the help of one prep cook. It’s amazing how much work this lady does, but she’s a pro. “I’ve been doing it a long time,” she says. If you miss the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. café hours, you could order takeout. Every Tuesday to Friday, you can pick up an oven ready dinner such as roast turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables; chicken tarragon and rice pilaf; or chili with a biscuit. “It’s convenient for people,” says Fisher. “Some people ask us to make meals for the month, as they work long hours or are caring for an elderly parent.” And at $7 each ($7.60 plus tax), it’s a no brainer. “We keep our prices reasonable,” says Fisher. “We want people to go away full and at a fair price.”

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Happy Hours Hub of post-event gatherings • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


New London

people, places and things


The Rise of Exchange Traded Funds ETFs may sound intimidating at first, but they are gaining ground with investors. by Gary Paquette, Stifel


ne of the most interesting developments I have observed in the last 20 years in the investment industry has been the emergence of Exchange Traded Funds (commonly known as ETFs). After debuting on the market in the early 1990s, they have quickly gained ground among investors. However, many outside of the investment industry are relatively mystified by ETFs and have never considered investing in them. ETFs may sound intimidating at first, but they are actually quite easy to understand. An ETF is simply a basket of securities that trades on a public exchange. Now you may be saying, “How is that different from a mutual fund?” The two investments are, in fact, similar in many ways, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

A comparison to mutual funds First, we will look at some similarities between the two products. Since ETFs are a basket of securities, they provide diversification that cannot be achieved by owning a single stock or bond. They also provide the ability for regular investors to get access to asset classes and strategies that were previously designed for institutional investors (international investments, alternative investments, real estate, hedging strategies, etc.). These characteristics make ETFs attractive in much the same way that mutual funds have been attractive for decades: they provide the safety of diversification along with the


potential opportunity provided by previously inaccessible investments. While diversification does not ensure a profit and may not protect against loss, it can play a key role in establishing a sound investment strategy and reducing risk. Just like mutual funds, ETFs come in all different types. You can invest in an ETF that seeks to track the performance of the stock market as a whole, or just one sector of the market, maybe health care or technology. If you want to invest in only bonds with maturities less than 10 years, you can find an ETF that will do so. Or maybe you want some of your money to track the price of gold, without holding the physical

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

asset yourself: there’s an ETF for that too. The possibilities are endless, and ETF providers are constantly looking for new niches to tap into, with new ETFs coming out all the time. However, the similarities between ETFs and mutual funds end there. The first difference between the two is how the products are traded. Since ETFs trade on an exchange, they can be bought and sold throughout the day, just like a stock. This is quite different from mutual funds, which must be bought directly from the fund company at a price determined once per day. This comparison highlights one of the major benefits of ETFs over mutual funds: more trading flexibility.

More ETF benefits Another benefit of ETFs over actively managed mutual funds is that their internal expense ratios are generally lower. All ETFs and mutual funds are either actively managed, meaning a fund manager makes decisions about what to buy and sell in the portfolio, or passively managed, meaning they simply track an index of securities. Active management is generally more expensive than passive management because the fund manager holds more responsibility for the performance of the fund, and thus must be paid more. The majority of mutual funds are actively managed, while most ETFs are passively managed, so the expenses associated with these passively managed ETFs will generally be lower than those of actively managed mutual funds. ETFs also offer the benefit of daily transparency and must disclose their holdings on a daily basis, so investors will always know exactly what they own. Mutual funds, on the other hand, generally report holdings monthly or quarterly, but at minimum twice a year as part of their annual and semi-annual reports. A final benefit of ETFs over mutual funds is tax efficiency. While the details can be confusing, ETFs generally pass on smaller amounts of capital gains taxes to investors than actively managed mutual funds. The reasons for this relate to how shares of ETFs are created and redeemed, which is a topic for another day, but the end result is that ETFs pass on lower or sometimes no capital gains taxes to investors.

traditional actively managed mutual funds, and the recent growth trends seem to point to continued growth. The first ETF was traded on the American Stock Exchange in 1993, and now there are more than 1,000 different ETFs managing more than $1 trillion in assets in the United States. By providing investors with an alternative, ETFs have already accomplished what an investment product should strive to do: provide individuals with new and innovative ways to pursue their investment goals. Gary Paquette, a Stifel financial advisor, can help assess your current financial situation and tailor a plan to help you reach your financial goals. He works in the New London, N.H., Stifel office on Pleasant Street, and can be reached at (603) 526-8130.

Before You Invest Mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are offered by prospectus only. Investors should consider a fund’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other important information, is available from your financial advisor and should be read carefully before investing. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate, so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. ETFs trade like a stock and may trade for less than their net asset value. There will be brokerage commissions associated with buying and selling exchange traded funds unless trading occurs in a fee-based account.

Thousands of ETFs For the short term, mutual funds are well established and do not look like they will be going anywhere, controlling more than $10 trillion in assets in the United States. However, depending on an investor’s needs, ETFs may offer some advantages over




1983 • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


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Kids Cross Country Ski Day Saturday, Jan. 9 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Under age 13? Stop by the Pine Hill Ski Area for a free trail pass. Meet at the trailhead for a free cross country ski lesson.

Let’s Go A seasonal listing of performances, events, outdoor gatherings, fundraisers and other fun activities

>> Pine Hill Ski Area parking is located 1/2 mile east of the junction of Shaker Road and Mountain Road in New London, N.H. >> • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


2013 Holiday House Tour

Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gallery of Gifts

Tour six fabulous residences all decked out for the holidays in the picturesque town of New London and get inspired! The distinctive individuality of each private home, music of the season, the scent of freshly cut pine boughs, and twinkle of lights makes for a most unforgettable tour. Proceeds benefit The Fells gardens.

Nov. 9 to Dec. 21

>> New London Historical Society, 179 Little Sunapee Road, New London, N.H.

Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

>> Advance tickets, $20. Tickets day of tour, $25

Stunning necklaces, colorful felted handbags, delicately carved pottery, handmade soaps and glass ornaments — get your entire holiday list taken care of at The Gallery of Gifts, an annual exhibit at the Library Arts Center. The gallery is turned into an exhibit of unique, handmade crafts during the holiday season. Not only can you support the local creative economy, you will find a great gift for someone you love.


Winter Celebration Saturday, Dec. 7 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter is the traditional time for storytelling in Native American cultures, and this celebration at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum includes several Native storytellers sharing their stories. The day’s events also include crafts, games, traditional Native American foods and a sale at the museum store.

>> Library Arts Center, 58 North Main Street, Newport, N.H. >>

Winter Sing-a-long

>> Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, 18 Highlawn Road, Warner, N.H.

Friday, Dec. 6

>> Members and Native Americans, free. General admission: $5 each, $20 family

5 to 7 p.m.


Come join the winter sing-a-long with the Kearsarge Community Band on the New London Town Green, then enjoy hot chocolate on the porch of the nearby New London Inn. >> New London Town Green, New London, N.H.

Holiday Art Concord Gallery Tour

>> Free and open to all

Saturday, Dec. 7


11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wilmot Community Association’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 7 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Everywhere you look, there is just something you have to have. This fair features 60 varied craft and food vendors all under one roof. Be sure to line up for the renowned Wilmot Ladies Aid Cookie Walk. You’ll be able to select from hundreds of homemade cookies, brownies, tiny tarts and other small baked goods to enjoy yourself or give as gifts. >> New London Outing Club, Cougar Court, New London, N.H. >> 32

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

Mark your calendar for this city-wide open gallery tour to see some of the capital area’s finest artists exhibit their work. Pick up a map at any of the participating galleries and enjoy outstanding artwork and refreshments. >> Participating galleries around Concord >> Free >>

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Sunday, Jan. 26



4 to 6 p.m.

Join friends and neighbors at the Sunshine Diner, a free community meal offered on the last Sunday of each month. The food is donated by the Newport Food Pantry and is free to all who come. Enjoy a delicious warm meal in the stone church at the north end of the Newport Common and start up a conversation with your neighbors!

Skilled Nursing Services Caregiving at Home Hospice & Bereavement


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Danbury Grange Winter Market Sat, Feb. 1

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A great indoor market with two full floors of vendors: meat, baked goods, prepared dinners, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, breads, honey, maple syrup, locally produced wines, quilts, wool clothing items and crafts. >> Grange Hall, 15 North Road, Danbury, N.H. >>

Schedules may change; please call to verify event information. Like us on Facebook to get notified of local events (and see great photos)! • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine



people, places and things


Dinner and a show text and photography by Laura H. Guion


magine being transported back to 14th-century England. The advent of Christmas is at hand. King Henry the VIII and his queen are holding a Madrigal Feaste. Upon arrival, you are announced and escorted by an eager steward, aiming to please. While saying hello at the communal banquet table, there is foretaste of serenading by lords and ladies clad in medieval garb. Upon the arrival of the king and queen, all are silenced until the pageantry begins. A chorus of the Wassail Song gets tankards waving. Once the royals are enthroned, the performance continues with an address from the King. The evening is interspersed with old English songs serving as entertainment and interlude to parts of the meal. The wenches serve the dinner, family style, whilst a chorus of Purcell is crooned. Yes, the wenches get a slight bit bawdy, but not distasteful. The evening is a tapestry of singing and verse, which is egged on by a quick-witted jester. Ye Olde Madrigal Feaste has been performed by the N.H. Troubadours, a local a cappella Madrigal group, under the direction of Sunapee, N.H., resident Susan Cancio-Bello. “The feaste is only performed on request. We offered the feaste idea to S.K.I.T. (Sunapee Kearsarge Intercommunity Theater)

Learn More Contact Susan Cancio-Bello at or (603) 848-8898 to learn more about the N.H. Troubadours.


to benefit their scholarship,” she says. The two groups combined, with local actors of all ages, transform the Lake Sunapee Country Club into King Henry VIII’s banquet hall. In previous years, the feaste was held at ColbySawyer College and raised money to benefit the drama department at Kearsarge Regional Middle School. A few local youngsters performed: Brooke Solomon of Wilmot danced with Arabian flare, complete with scarves flying. Berhan Kidane of Sutton gave a poised angelic solo. Margaux Guion of New London, N.H., and Kaley Farmer of Newbury, N.H., joined their voices and performed a skit with Kearsarge Regional School music teacher Nicole Densmore. It was a showcase of all levels of local talent. The N.H. Troubadours have been in existence for more than 10 years and sing together every Sunday. “Our mission is to raise money to benefit a nonprofit,” Cancio-Bello says. All proceeds are donated to the arts. Their compensation is the ability to don velvet gowns and pantaloons, which have mostly been made by Cancio-Bello. “I just love watching

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

the response of the audience.” Their music is a great cross-section of eras, complexity and themes. “We did some Swedish folk songs which had really challenging language, Randall Thompson’s Allelujah, and now we are working on Adagio For Strings by Samuel Barber, which is the backdrop music for the movie Platoon and other shows. He wrote it for voice,” says Cancio-Bello. The latter piece is multilayered and has a hauntingly beautiful crescendo, which retreats to an ending of soft sustained notes. “We don’t just do Madrigal or Christmas themes, we do playful, too.” Some liberties may be taken with the lyrics, which make it fun. Keep your ear out for the N.H. Troubadours: they perform Christmas concerts at Lyon Brook in New London and at Kendal at Hanover. Throughout the year they perform, upon request, at venues like the Old Home Days in Sutton. “I like the a cappela singing part and Madrigal music,” says CancioBello, who also performs with the local group Folk Fusion. “I enjoyed it in college and I haven’t done it since. I just love it! I love singing!”

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We receive no support from national organizations, and are dependent on the generosity of the people and businesses in the communities we serve. With your support we will remain ever ready to assist abandoned, abused and neglected pets.


With over 20 years of loan-related experience, Leslee Swett is ready to help you every step of the way. Whether you’re buying your first home or looking to refinance, Leslee Swett Assistant Vice President/ Leslee will meet with you Mortgage Loan Officer 486331 at your office NMLS# She can be reached by cell: or any of our Sugar River 603-454-4278 or by email: Bank locations. 196 Newport Road | New London 603.526.2060 | Fax 603.526.2063 | Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender

How can we help you? • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


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Please help to provide for the over 13,000 people in our community who need a helping hand. Thank you!


For Living WeLL Health care with a holistic approach – that’s what Dr. Brian Frenkiewich provides his patients. An osteopathic medicine specialist, Dr. Frenkiewich is Board certified in family medicine, osteopathic manipulative treatment and neuromusculoskeletal medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, ME and completed his residency in family medicine at Eastern Maine Medical Center/UNECOM in Bangor, ME. Call 603-526-5417 for an appointment with Dr. Frenkiewich.

To learn more and to receive our e-newsletter Discover Health, visit • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


A Small Christmas Miracle The one-act musical play, Las Posadas, will be back this December.

Cast members Fred Sprague, Linny Kenney, Scott Sweatt and Cindy Johnson 38

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

by John Walters photography by Jim Block

It’s a humble, everyday kind of December, now lives in Henniker, story. It’s engaging, it’s fun, and it has N.H., where he teaches theater and a deeply emotional turn. And the hint heads up The Alchemist’s Workshop, of mystery. All in less than an hour. a group dedicated to new plays. For In a nutshell, that’s “Las years, he’s wanted to bring The Night Posadas,” a one-act musical play of Las Posadas to the stage, but it based on The Night of Las Posadas, never came together until last year. a children’s book by New London’s The key element: Dunn had found an own Tomie dePaola. The play was ideal collaborator in the 36-year-old created by writer Tom Dunn and Ogmundson, a pianist from North composer Will Ogmundson. It had Sutton, N.H. its debut last December, it’s coming Ogmundson’s training was in back for more this season, and it has performance, but he’d never managed a promising future. In fact, it’s also to make a good living at it. He played inspired plans for a new theatrical in churches, theaters and restaurants, venture dedicated to dePaola’s body and gave piano lessons to make ends of work. meet. He never composed (at least not The book and the play tell the for a paycheck) until 2006, when he story of a Christmas Eve pageant in was hired to write incidental music the American Southwest. “Posada” for a local Shakespeare production. is Spanish for “inn,” and the pageant “I never thought I could, I’d never follows Mary and Joseph as they try taken any sort of lessons in it,” he to find shelter. Everywhere they turn, recalls. “But I said, ‘Sure, I’ll give it they encounter “devils” that chase a shot.’ And that led to three other them away — until they are finally things, which led to a bunch of other welcomed at the last house along the things, and now it’s what I do!” route. DePaola’s story is about one particular pageant, where the actors who portray Mary and Joseph fail to appear. It looks as if the event will have to be called off; but at the last second, two strangers show up, dressed in costume. They play the parts of Mary and Joseph. After the pageant is Writer Tom Dunn and composer Will Ogmundson (right) over, they vanish into thin air, leaving a note of wonder, a sign that something Turns out, Ogmundson has a real miraculous has happened. gift for theatrical composition. He’s also a gifted lyricist, which Dunn A long time coming calls the hardest part of creating Tom Dunn is an accomplished musical theater. Ask Dunn about his creator of original theater. He has musical partner, and he offers the headed companies and written plays highest of praise: “I honestly believe in his native Minnesota as well as that he is a talent like Sondheim. A New York City and the Washington, rare ability to both write the › › › › › D.C., area. Dunn, who turns 63 in • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


Scott Sweatt and Linny Kenney play the roles of Mary and Joseph. 40

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

music, and come up with lyrics that are just perfect.” Over the last several years, Dunn and Ogmundson have worked together on six plays. “Las Posadas,” says Dunn, has been the most successful to date.

Creating a play The Night of Las Posadas is a standard-length children’s book, with big pictures and few words. Dunn and Ogmundson had to find ways to expand the story without distorting its essence. They added some comic business near the beginning, as pageant organizers face a potential disaster; then Ogmundson turned the parade of devils into satirical portraits of political and cultural figures. As he worked, Ogmundson says, “all these devils started popping out.” He laughs. “I had about 50 devils! The tough thing was trimming it down.” He ended up with five devils, including a televangelist and an Elton John impersonator. The devil sequence is funny and sometimes over the top, but there’s an undercurrent of drama building to the key moment of the play: after all those rejections, Mary takes center stage and delivers a heartfelt solo. Finally, Mary and Joseph find a place to stay, and the pageant reaches its triumphant conclusion. And then, the two actors disappear. After that, the mystery: Who were Mary and Joseph? And where did they go? Attention turns to a pair of wooden statues in the center of the stage. They’ve been there throughout the evening, but now they’ve been moistened by falling snow. But the statues are indoors! How did they get wet? The answer, of course, is the miracle: the statues came to life, the wooden Mary and Joseph made real.

A fateful meeting Having decided to stage Las Posadas, Dunn and Ogmundson

began outlining the play. Then, there was one big obstacle to overcome: getting the author’s permission. “I was probably more nervous than I’d ever been, going to Tomie’s house and playing some of the songs for him,” says Ogmundson. “Especially the stuff with the devils and all that.” He needn’t have worried. DePaola loved their presentation, devils and all. “I knew immediately in talking with Will and Tom that they would be faithful to the material,” he says. “My book is all about the possibility of a miracle happening. And they’ve done a great job in translating that to the stage.”

Bringing the story to life Having won dePaola’s blessing, Dunn and Ogmundson had to finish writing the play. And then, of course, they had to find the right actors — two women and two men who could play funny and serious very close together. And they had to be skilled vocalists, since most of the story is told in song. Thankfully, Ogmundson says, “I got all four performers I wanted.” They included Cindy Johnson, Fred Sprague, Scott Sweatt and Linny Kenney, who played the role of Mary and delivered a riveting performance of the climactic solo. (Ogmundson hopes to reunite the 2012 cast this

holiday season.) They also needed two wooden “actors,” the statues of Mary and Joseph. They had to be rough hewn, in folk-art style, but as Dunn puts it, “you’ve got to believe that these statues could come to life.” He found the ideal person in Michael Himmelman, a chainsaw artist from Goffstown, N.H. “The statues became one of the really › › › › › • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


nice surprises of the tour,” says Dunn. “Tomie, who’s a collector, has actually commissioned Michael to do some pieces for him. When he saw the play on opening night, he fell in love with the statues.”

A bright future The Alchemist’s Workshop, has produced 20 original plays. A second season is on tap for this December; and in 2014, the bright lights beckon: the Boston Lyric Theatre wants to book the show, and the Lamb’s Theatre, an off-Broadway showcase in New York City, is interested as well. Beyond that, Dunn is forming a new theater company devoted to dePaola’s work. “He’s written so many stories, and almost all of them would lend themselves to the theater,” he says. That’s not a coincidence, says dePaola. “In a lot of my work, I use the proscenium arch, and I use a theatrical sort of setting.” It’s a lesson he learned as a young man, studying at the Pratt Institute in the 1950s: “My instructor, whose name was Richard Lindner, told me, ‘The most important thing for an illustrator

is to love the theatre. Because every illustration you do is like putting on a play.’” The new company is still in the works, but Dunn is ready to get started. “We’ve got our first season chosen, and we’re looking at performance spaces that might be available.” The first two books on his list: Now One Foot, Now the Other, the story of a boy whose grandfather suffers a stroke, and the boy’s struggle to help him recover; and Oliver Button Is a Sissy, the story of a boy who is bullied because he loves to sing and dance. Given the fact that dePaola has published nearly 250 books, Dunn has a lot of material to choose from. Tomie dePaola, who turns 80 next year, has sold millions of books and won a passel of major literary awards. But Las Posadas and other theatrical productions could give his books a new life. Dunn agrees that dePaola has an incredible body of work, but he’s never had the single breakthrough book that makes him a household name. “That’s part of the reason Will and I are so committed to him. We might get lucky and one

North Sutton resident Will Ogmundson has a real talent for theatrical composition. 42

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2013/2014 •

of these shows might help push him over that edge.” It would, of course, also be a great achievement for Dunn, and it might just catapult Ogmundson into that Sondheim territory. Another Christmas miracle in the making? Maybe, just maybe. “Miracles occur,” says dePaola, “when you least expect them.” But if not — if the “only” result is the creation of a wonderful new holiday play — then that’s a nice little miracle in itself. John Walters (www.johnswalters. com) is a freelance writer, editor, broadcaster, voice artist and author of Roads Less Traveled: Visionary New England Lives. The New Hampshire Writers’ Project gave him the 2009 Donald M. Murray Outstanding Journalism Award for his work in Kearsarge Magazine and Upper Valley Life. Photographer Jim Block lives part time on Great Island in Lake Sunapee. He enjoys photographing almost anything and teaching photography classes. Find out more at

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Exceptional food, relaxed atmosphere We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and food in a comfortable and relaxed Inn atmosphere. Located along the edges of the Connecticut River, between New Hampshire and Vermont, we are a quick 10 minutes from I-89 and 20 minutes from I-91. The stately Federal-style Inn provides cozy and elegant accommodations. Our dining options feature 2 intimate fine dining rooms, our large banquet room, as well as our popular Tavern room. All boast gourmet farm to table cuisine with seasonal boutique wine lists.

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Kearsarge Magazine’s annual holiday shopping guide Winter 2013

Great (Local) Gifts this Holiday Season All Aboard the Wilmot Express! Toymaker Hal Liberty • Winter 2013/2014 • Kearsarge Magazine


2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Great (Local)


by Laura Jean Whitcomb photography by John Sherman

Yes, Virginia, you can spend all your dollars at locally owned, and sometimes family owned, shops. There are some great items, often made miles from your home, maybe even made by someone you know. Or how about a local service, like a massage? We’ve done the research for you — read on for some ideas for local gifts this holiday season.

These beads rock SUNAPEE, NH 03782 NEW LONDON, NH 03257 Nostalgic for home? Now you can wear a piece of the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area as jewelry. Sunapee Graniteworks offers The American Bead Collection and, specifically, a Beads of New Hampshire line. You can purchase a lovely gray granite bead, from the bedrock of Sunapee, or a black bead (the Black Pearl), created from black pearl granite originally mined in Sunapee Harbor in the 1800s. The new Mt. Kearsarge Bead (pictured here) is crafted from plum quartz and available exclusively at Artisan’s in New London. The beads are universal, fitting most sterling add-a-bead bracelets, and Sunapee Graniteworks offers a new bead every month. Learn more at www. or

46 • Winter 2013/2014

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Great grilling WILMOT, NH 03287 Growing up in Queens, N.Y., Brian “Bear” Alexander could often be found on the fire escape with his hibachi. “I’d grab sauces, mix them together, and make my own,” he recalls. Seven years ago, someone gave him a family recipe for barbecue sauce, and it got him thinking…and developing his own sauce recipe. In 2008, Alexander created the perfect test market in his own backyard: Rib Wars, a potluck barbeque competition held in Danbury, N.H. “There were 100 people and 12 competitors,” he says. “I kept working on my sauce, and finally won in 2010.” The first place trophy, topped with a pig, proclaims: The Best Ribs We Know Of. Alexander began bottling his sauce, Bear’s Backwoods Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, in December 2012 with help from former Rib Wars competitor, Rocco Saccento, owner of Red Barn Farm in Newport, N.H. Now you can buy the winning sauce for your own barbecue. Bear’s Backwoods Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce starts with crushed, then slightly pureed, tomatoes and is combined with liquid smoke and spices. The secret ingredient? “I use pineapple juice, because I’m not a big fan of vinegar-based sauces,” says Alexander, owner/creator of Bearoc Bottling Co LLC. “It caramelizes well, and changes the flavor profile.”

Bear’s Backwoods Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce is all natural with no preservatives. There are four versions: mild, medium, hot and “an extra hot for the bold few who think hot isn’t hot enough,” says Alexander. A bottle retails for $8. Contact him at (603) 927-4103 or pick up a bottle at Red Barn Farm.

Winter 2013/2014 •


2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Yum in a bowl WARNER, NH 03278

48 • Winter 2013/2014

Gluten free. Vegan. Eating healthy. Eating local. Great tasting. Each option, on its own, is a challenge. What if you wanted three options? All five? You might think it was impossible…until you sampled the granola from Courser Farm Kitchen in Warner.

Emma Courser Bates started her business by baking gluten-free items for her aunt’s and uncle’s café in Warner. They were a big hit, but it was the granola that people lined up for. Gluten-free oats? Check. Fruit with no sulfates? Check. Vegan chocolate chips? Check. She started selling her granola at farmers’ markets in 2011, and kept customers happy throughout the winter with a granola CSG (instead of community supported agriculture it is community supported granola). Now seven flavors — from maple nut to lavender blueberry — are available online and at 14 retail locations. You may see two more flavors this holiday season: coconut date and the seasonal pumpkin gingerbread. A bag of Courser Farm Kitchen Granola retails for $7.95. Learn more at www.

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Soothers for sensitive skin HENNIKER, NH 03242 Susan Lanphear was a chemist, working in research and development for more than 20 years. Her skin grew more and more sensitive to certain chemicals and various products, so she did her own study and tried many natural ingredients. “Turns out honey was the best ingredient,” she says. “Honey is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It is safe for sensitive skin and will not cause allergies. You can be allergic to bee stings, but no one is allergic to beeswax or honey!” In 2009, she started her company, S Formulators, using honey as the base of her products, such as lotion (in a unique jar candle), hydrating spritzer, soap, lip soothers, shaving bars and sugar scrub. “Honey has natural cell rejuvenation properties that will eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, as well as treat eczema, dry skin and acne,” says Lanphear. “I have one woman who hunted

me down when she ran out of her bee silk cream to buy more because people asked her if she was getting Botox treatments!” Another favorite: the bee cool herbal hydrating spritzer. Keep it in the fridge for an instant refreshing feeling. Find S Formulators products, including a cute travel pack, at Allioops! in New London and other retail shops listed online at A portion of the profits is donated to the Honeybee Research Fund.

Winter 2013/2014 •


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50 • Winter 2013/2014



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2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

A new winter sport ELKINS, NH 03233 If you’ve sat on a sled lately, you know that those plastic toboggans can quickly slide out of control. Just one slight lean to the left, or right, can propel you dangerously off the track. So when Bill Herrick cleaned out his storage shed and found an old surfboard, he had an idea. “I cut off the tip of the surfboard. I fashioned three steel runners from construction strapping material and fastened them on the bottom, and on top I added two handles from sheet rock trowels,” the Elkins, N.H., resident says. “The Sleboggan was born!” How does it work? You lie down on the sled, and place the Sleboggan in front of you. Holding the two handles, you use the device to steer and control your plastic sled. You can also place your feet outside of the sled and drag your boots in the snow for extra control. After many test runs, Herrick improved the design and developed the Link 1 Limited Signature Edition: construction bracing is permanently affixed to the bottom by fiberglass and the entire bottom is coated with fiberglass resin for a slick, smooth surface. This year, he’s introducing the Griffin Sleboggan, “which is lighter, has a more curved tip and the runners on the bottom are attached differently,” Herrick says. “Looking down at the top of the two Sleboggans the changes would not be apparent, except for the design, but those who have had the opportunity to try the prototype Griffin believe it is easier to use.” Both models will be available this winter. Learn more at

Stress relief NEWBURY, N.H. 03255 BRADFORD, N.H. 03221 When Deborah Bermacchia was a nurse, she would give her patients back rubs to help them relax. Now she’s a Usui Shiki Ryoho reiki master therapist and a Kriya massage therapist with a private massage practice, Sunapee Lake Massage, in Newbury, N.H., and co-founder of mobile massage company, Rub a Dubs Mobile Massage, based in Bradford, N.H. Rub a Dubs will come to your home for an individual massage, couples massage, holiday party or

event, like a baby shower or girls’ night out. “Massage reduces stress, improves sleep, reduces pain, lowers blood pressure, improves joint mobility and range of motion, and even improves mood,” says Bermacchia, “and it just feels good.” If you need more than a relaxation massage, perhaps you have chronic pain, Bermacchia is able to provide complex trigger point and deep tissue therapies at her Newbury practice. She believes in the power of massage; in fact, she was part of a group that set up the massage

program at Concord Hospital. “People with chronic pain sometimes feel forgotten by the medical community because it seems all we can offer them is medication,” she says. “The patients I worked with were grateful to have learned about a variety of tools to help ease their pain.” Gift certificates (a great holiday gift) can come in any denomination. Learn more at or

Winter 2013/2014 •


2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Supporting the arts NEWPORT, NH 03773 At the Gallery of Gifts at the Library Arts Center (LAC), you can buy a present and support the arts. Just look for items — like this delicate, knitted dove by Nancy Parssinen of Newport — with purple tags. “Purple Tags is something Fran [Huot, program coordinator] came up with,” says Kate Niboli, executive director. “When artists enter their work they can choose to donate an item or two or more as ‘purple tag’ and, when those items sell, 100 percent of the sale goes to community programming. The purple tag items have become, in a way, a fundraiser of their very own — usually raising around $1,000 or more. It is amazing how those

52 • Winter 2013/2014

donations add up!” Parssinen has served on the boards of the Richards Free Library and the LAC for a number of years, and still volunteers with both. “I knit for pleasure. I donate items to the Library Arts Center so that I have something to knit. They get items to sell, people get fun things to buy, I get credit for the donation on my income taxes,” she says. This year Parssinen will be donating more dove ornaments as well as mice, dogs, cats, mouse Santas, squirrels, alligators and a fox family. Turn to page 32 for the dates of this year’s Gallery of Gifts, or go online at

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

From bunny to you HOPKINTON, NH 03229 It’s not unusual to see a spinning wheel at a craft fair or farmers’ market. What is unusual is seeing a big, fluffy bunny sitting on the lap of the person behind the spinning wheel. But you might just see Mandy Fraser of Fraser Farm Fibers in Hopkinton, N.H., doing just that. Fraser raises angora rabbits and creates hand-knit goods from their fur. Twenty years ago, she brought home her first two rabbits. Now she breeds angoras to be “spinners’ rabbits.” “The various angora breeds (German, French, English and Giant) are crossed to bring out the best qualities of each,” says Fraser. “The ultimate goal is a rabbit with high wool yield and low matting.” When you see one contentedly snuggled on Fraser’s lap, looking a little fluffier than usual, it’s because it is time for the angoras to molt, or

shed, which they typically do every three to four months. “Some people prefer plucking it (pulling it with your fingers), while others shear the fiber off (cut with scissors),” she describes. “I personally prefer plucking for one main reason; when a rabbit is shorn the shorter undercoat is cut also. These short fibers get mixed in with the longer, more desirable fibers. When spun and knit, these short fibers will not stay in the twist and will shed.” And that’s what she does — carefully plucks fur from the rabbit on her lap, and turn the fiber into hats, mittens, stuffed animals and baby jackets. Learn more at

The fragrance of New England FRANKLIN, NH 03235 Do you have 20 family gifts to buy? Or 30 employee gifts? Or how about 100 customer gifts? Three Rivers Wreath Company can help, by creating, packaging and shipping a fresh-cut balsam fir wreath to everyone on your list. With 30-plus years of wreath making experience, Kirk Weyant selects the freshest greens daily for use by Three Rivers wreath makers. The wreaths are fashioned with double-needled balsam tips, and includes pine cone clusters, holly berry bunches and a large, six-loop, red velvet bow. Special quantity pricing is available; learn more at

Winter 2013/2014 •


2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Woven in winter SALISBURY, NH 03268 Alice Ogden has been making baskets of all sizes for more than 30 years. Every year, for the past 16 years, she creates a collection of basket ornaments, called “From My Tree to Yours.” This year one of her tiny baskets was chosen as the League of NH Craftsmen’s annual ornament. Woven in Winter is a miniature, woven black ash basket with a white oak handle. It is embellished with a shimmery sage-colored ribbon on the front, and has a golden thread for hanging on a tree or wreath. The open weave allows the decorative lights of a Christmas tree to shine through it. Woven in Winter ornaments are sold exclusively by the League of NH Craftsmen’s Retail Galleries and on the League’s online store ( Each ornament is numbered as one of a limited edition, and sells for $24.50.

Sweet treats CLAREMONT, NH 03743 Timing is everything. Susan Sadonsky was waiting to pay for a gift in a New Hampshire gift shop when the owner hung up the phone and said, “I cannot believe I just lost my fudge person. That is a great seller here. I don’t know what I am going to do.” Sadonsky and her husband, Mike, used to own a candy store, Pleasant Sweet Shoppe in Claremont, N.H., so Susan introduced herself and offered their expertise. “We supplied the gift shop with what we thought was an adequate supply, only to find they needed more in a short amount of time,” she recalls. They founded Mountain View Fudge in 2001, and soon they had

54 • Winter 2013/2014

wholesale accounts throughout New England. Locally you can find Mountain View Fudge at farmers’ markets in New London, Claremont and Newport; The Naughty Vine in Claremont; and Ben’s Sugar Shack in Newbury. They also offer a fundraising program to any group, organization or individual that has a need to raise money. “We even personalize their orders by using their own tins, mugs, baskets, etc.,” she says. Mountain View Fudge can make 63 different flavors, and usually offers 12 to 28, including the best selling peanut butter and chocolate; chocolate walnut; chocolate; and penuche. Contact Mountain View Fudge at (603) 542-2051 or email

Monday Night is Local’s Night!



11:15 AM

Page 1

Dorr Mill Store

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amerIcan craFt GaLLery carrying a unique array of whimsical hand crafted works of art from 100 artists; a respite from the busyness of everyday life. Visit us: 207 main Street new London, nH 03257 to schedule an art workshop, please call the gallery directly. 603.526.8902 open Daily monday – Saturday 10-5 Sunday 10-3

BLANKETS & FINE CLOTHING FOR MEN AND WOMEN Located on Routes 11 & 103, halfway between Newport and Sunapee, NH 603-863-1197 800-846-DORR Open M-Sat. 9-5 Winter 2013/2014 •


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2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

The Giving Tree

Claremont, N.H., residents demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas. by Katelyn Turner photography by Jesse Baker


t was a meeting of different generations that would prove to be the start of something special. Anthony Baker, 6, and Marjorie Overman, 96, met during Christmas in 2012. The two were introduced when Anthony’s mother, Jesse, created and organized The Giving Tree, an event to demonstrate to her children the true meaning of giving during the holiday season. Residents at Elm Wood Center, a nursing home in Claremont, N.H., were asked to write down one present they would like to receive and their requests were then hung on a Christmas tree hosted at Claremont restaurant The Java Cup. Area residents chose names from the tree and bought the corresponding gifts. In a week, all 70 names were chosen and presents had already begun to pile up under the tree. On Christmas Eve, Anthony, his family and other volunteers delivered the gifts to Elm Wood residents. Overman recalls how Anthony walked up to her with her gift. “He came right over and talked to me… and brought his sister and mother, and I met the whole family. It was so wonderful. I didn’t expect anything like that,” she says. Jesse says the event demonstrated to her kids the importance of community, especially during the holidays. “We’ve always participated in a lot of community events,” the 31-year-old mother says. “This year, we were driving by Elm Wood, and I thought, ‘This is one place that you 60 • Winter 2013/2014

Elm Wood resident Marjorie Overman holds a picture drawn by Anthony Baker just for her.

never really hear about.’” Jesse spoke to the recreation director, Andrea Beattie, and asked her if there was a need. Beattie told her how many of her residents did not have families anymore, and how the feeling of being alone can be amplified for them during the holiday season. Beattie, who has been the recreation director at Elm Wood for

five years, says she has never been approached with this type of request before. “I was a little shocked,” she says. “Each year we have a Christmas party and every resident gets a present, but this time, they were able to request something they really wanted.” “It was humbling to have the community come together like this and it did our hearts a world of good.

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide A lot of times, people forget about us. But some of the presents — such as a bird feeder and a CD player — were things residents wouldn’t typically get unless it was from a family member,” says Beattie, adding that some of her residents don’t have children or grandchildren, and to have children in the nursing home makes it a more meaningful experience. “Just watching the residents’ faces — children bring a calmness that you can’t change,” she says. “It’s just so innocent and joyful and fills the entire building.” Phyllis Muzeroll, 57, participated in The Giving Tree because Christmas is a sad time for her. She’s lost most of her family and helping others allows her to focus on the true meaning of the season. “This really proves the old adage, ’Tis better to give than to receive,” she says. Muzeroll says that when she received the invitation to participate she was impressed that the idea was born out of Jesse Baker wanting to show her children the value of doing nice things for others. “That’s not a message being taught by a lot of parents these days, sadly, so I wanted to support her project and help give her children an invaluable lesson.” Muzeroll lost her mother five years ago, and says that Christmas was her favorite time of the year. “Participating in this event let me realize that the giver gets so much more in return,” she says. In addition to Muzeroll, Linda and Steve Floyd, owners of The Java Cup, stepped up to help with The Giving Tree. The Floyds have owned the coffee shop for four years, and have always raised money for community causes. They’ve fundraised for the Claremont Animal Rescue and Treats for Troops, and, one year, bought gifts for two families who were down on their luck during the holiday season. “It was the best Christmas Eve

I’ve had in years,” says Linda. “It was just the most amazing experience I’ve had in a long, long time. The residents were all thrilled with the presents; the kids were delightful. It was one of the best experiences we could have had on Christmas.” Jesse Baker says that the whole event comes down to Claremont and the surrounding communities that provide for one another. “When you say, ‘I need something’ in Claremont, somebody always steps up and fills that need,” she says. “In my family, Christmas has never been remarkable, but my family always finds a way to make it special every

year, no matter what. And this year, this was the way we made it special. I think that’s a step in the right direction.” Katelyn Turner moved back to New Hampshire after spending a couple years in our nation’s capital. She has a master’s degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College and enjoys interviewing people and immersing herself in their stories. In addition to writing, the newlywed spends her time running road races and taking advantage of living back in the beautiful Upper Valley.

Ho, ho, ho! Presents galore underneath the Christmas tree at The Java Cup in Claremont.

Winter 2013/2014 •


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2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Santa Claus Lives in Bradford, N.H. Toymaker Hal Liberty donates hundreds of wood toys to children in need. by Laura Jean Whitcomb photography by Paul Howe


here’s a steady stream of families visiting the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, a tiny stone church tucked into a corner of the Newport, N.H., town green. It’s not Sunday, and it’s not quite lunch time, so it must be something pretty special to draw a crowd. It is, in fact, someone special: toymaker Hal Liberty of Bradford, N.H., is offering a November toy workshop. Liberty, a member of the Guild of NH Woodworkers and founder of Toys for Needy Children LLC, has been making toys since the mid-1980s. “I joined the Triangle Woodworkers Association in Raleigh, N.C., a group that made about 2,000 toys annually for the U.S. Marines

64 • Winter 2013/2014

Hal Liberty (right) lends a helping hand to a young participant at a toy workshop last year.

Toys for Tots program. I made toys until I moved to Bradford in 2005,” he says. His new workshop was up and running in 2007, and delivered his first batch of toys to the Toys for Tots program. “I started making toys as a form of occupational therapy. I really got into it by designing new toys and building as many as I could,” he says. “I had a good life and want to help others.” In 2012, he made 800 allwood toys — cars, boats, planes and trucks designed for small children — and 400 wooden crosses. And his creations found a home with organizations that work with kids, such as Toys for Tots, the Red Cross, and Lake

Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice. The toys went to children with incarcerated parents, shelters in weatherravaged towns, in Christmas baskets in Bradford and South Newbury, and a Christmas party at the Sullivan County Jail. Liberty doesn’t make all those toys by himself. He has help from volunteers from the Parker Academy in Concord, the First Baptist Church of Bradford, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and 4H, to name a few. And the toy workshop and luncheon at the Epiphany Church in Newport brought out a new group of volunteers. Liberty taught adults and children how to build a toy from scratch during the November Toy Workshop. Open the heavy wooden door and walk down the steps, and you’ve

entered a toy workshop. There are no elves to be seen, unless you count the children deciding which “station” they wanted to work at: sanding the car bodies, putting together axels with wheels, or using a nontoxic finish to completed vehicles. After completing a task (or switching to various stations, depending on mood and woodworking skills), children could pick out a completed toy to take home and parents could treat the family to a $5 buffet lunch of soup, sandwiches, drinks and dessert. “The host of the toy making party, Hal Liberty, is a valued member of our congregation,” says Alice Roberts, rector. “He has an impressive toy building workshop at his home in Bradford, and he invites a variety of people into his workshop to help build: seniors, scout groups, the disabled, school children. We wanted to hold this event for several reasons: we wanted to put the spotlight on Hal, and we wanted people to see Epiphany Church.” Paul Howe is a professional photographer based in Sunapee. See his work at

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Volunteer or Donate Although Hal Liberty pays for most of the cost for the toys, he does get some wood donated from local lumber companies and one furniture company. You can donate, too. Just email Liberty at for information about donating to Toys for Needy Children LLC.

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2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

Deck the Halls

Holiday note cards, picturing decorated mantels, raise funds for the Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H. text and photography by Ann St. Martin Stout


he holidays are often a time for fundraisers. The Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H., has come up with an idea to combine holidays with raising money — and the result is a great gift idea: note cards. The library is housed in the historic and beautiful mansion once belonging to the Richards Family. The house, built in 1898, boasts eight unique fireplaces — four on the first floor and four on the second floor. The Friends of the Richards Free Library, an organization that has

been raising funds and supporting the library’s endeavors since 1955, came up with a plan to decorate and photograph the fireplaces. Eight Newport residents, known for their creative design skills, were asked to adorn the mantels, hearths and areas surrounding the now unused fireplaces. On a weekend in mid-May, the library was unusually busy after hours. Boxes of Christmas décor, boughs, wreaths and other non-holiday items, such as carved birds and fly fishing rods, were carried in and

The Children’s Lobby, which was the foyer of the former mansion, was decorated by Ted Niboli and his daughter Kate. 66 • Winter 2013/2014

arranged to please the eye. Although the decorations were removed soon after, local photographer and Friends volunteer Paula Johnson photographed the results. The photos were made into note cards, sold in sets of eight with envelopes, as a fundraiser for the Richards Free Library. Here’s what you will see: The grand carved wood fireplace in the Children’s Lobby, the foyer of the former mansion, was decorated by Ted Niboli, a retired teacher, and

A wreath in the Oval Room was created by curling book pages.

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide his daughter, Kate Niboli, director of the Library Arts Center. The mantel is covered with boughs of evergreen with red beads and miniature lights woven throughout. Ornate candelabras, each holding four white candles, grace each end of the mantel. The Children’s Room, formerly the front parlor on the south side of the home, was designed by members of Friends of the Library: Dottie Collins, Elaine Frank, Mary Lou McGuire and Library Director Andrea Thorpe. The arrangement is a collection of historic documents, artwork and artifacts from the life of Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), author of Mary’s Little Lamb and editor of Godey’s Ladies Book. The Sarah Hale fireplace screen was painted by Susan Brown in 1997. The fireplace in the Young Adult Room, once the game room, was designed by Glo Stetson, designer of window displays at the Newport Thrift Shoppe. The fireplace façade is marble and carved woodwork. An antique balance scale is joined by other antiques, including a wooden clock, candles and a school teacher’s hand bell, accented with pine cones and other natural items. The fireplace of the Oval Room (once the dining room of the home) was designed and decorated by Fran Huot, program director at the Library Arts Center. Books, and items created from old book pages, complement library’s book-filled interior. The wreath on the mirror was created by curling individual book pages into a cone shape and assembling in layers. Upstairs, you’ll find the first of the four fireplaces in the Andler Room, where the collection of noncirculating historic books as well as the books of the late Kenneth Andler are kept. Neal Boucher, former owner of a local inn, decorated the fireplace with ornaments from his personal collection of birds. Carved

The Yeomans Room in the Richards Library is featured on a fundraising note card.

The fireplace in the Tomie dePaola Room has glazed ceramic tiles. Winter 2013/2014 •


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water birds, game and nongame species, sit on the mantel; a stuffed pheasant is on the hearth. A classic bamboo fly rod and reel in the background giving it a sportsman touch, which is fitting as Mr. Andler was an outdoorsman and surveyor prior to becoming a lawyer and painter. The fish, a carved Northern Pike, hangs over the mantel. The master bedroom is directly above the oval dining room. It is now called the Tomie dePaola Room in honor of the local author and illustrator. The delicately colored white tiles of the fireplace are glazed ceramic, and the hearth is bordered with a row of tiles bearing a medallion motif. The Dickens village design, paired with stockings and other seasonal appointments, was decorated by Arthur Walsh, his daughter Victoria, and Margo Needham. A smaller bedroom on the north side of the house is now called the Yeomans Room in honor of David Yeomans and Barbara Holden Yeomans, longtime benefactors of the Richards Library. The decoration of the fireplace in this room was done by Russell Currier. White snowflake ornaments and white candles fill the tree; the tree skirt and mantel scarf are embroidered linens. The cat figurines dressed in vintage attire add a touch of whimsy to the mantel. Currier created the wreath of evergreens with dried orange slices as well. The final fireplace, located in what used to be called The Blue Room, used to be a bedroom. When renovations were done around 2006, the room was divided into a restroom, elevator and a hallway which still contains the fireplace of white, blue and green interlocking design. The décor for this fireplace was designed by Connie Frappiea, a jewelry designer and home décor enthusiast.

It is an airy scene of white branches and eucalyptus in a clear vase, with birds among the branches nesting in silver ladles. Balls of natural material and reflective glass are placed along the mantel. The note cards are available for $10 at Richards Library at 58 North Main Street in Newport, as well as the Library Arts Center Gallery of Gifts next door. For information, call the Richards Library at (603) 863-3430. Ann St. Martin Stout and her family take in as many library programs and other events as possible around their hometown of Newport. Ann’s other interests include three C’s: crafts, camping and conversation on the patio.

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2013 Holiday Shopping Guide

The Wilmot Express

Three local organizations bring Santa Claus to town.


he holidays can feel stressful and rushed. You’d like to hear some Christmas Carols, but you have hours worth of gift wrapping to do. You’d love to take the kids to see Santa, but the time that Santa is in town is the only time you have to get the family’s haircuts scheduled. In Wilmot, N.H., three local organizations have made the holidays less hectic by combining their events into one fun afternoon of community celebration: The Wilmot Express. “Various organizations in Wilmot have always held festive, well-loved holiday events,” says Rosanna Eubank Dude, director of the Wilmot Public Library. “But it seemed like many increasingly busy families were forced to pick and choose which events to attend. So we thought it would be a wonderful chance to do one holiday evening that wove all of our individual organizations’ events together.” The First Annual Wilmot Express started with a crafts and

by Laura Jean Whitcomb photography by Paul Howe coloring contest at the Wilmot Fire Department on Firehouse Lane. Many families stayed for the spaghetti dinner ($7 for adults and $3 for children) and a tree lighting ceremony. Then it was time for pictures with Santa, taken by John Swindell of Kearsarge Studios, at the Wilmot Community Association (WCA) Red Barn on Village Road. “The WCA entertained more than 120 folks. We decorated cookies, crafted letters to send to our deployed troops, and many sat for their photo with Santa,” says Patty McGoldrick, executive director of the Wilmot Community Association. “It was a delight to see the faces of all who attended brighten and smile with each turn of events — Santa on the fire truck, stories with St. Nick, cookies and a jingle bell to have as a keepsake. In an environment where technology and flash are so prevalent, it was a heartwarming night steeped in the traditional meaning of holiday fun — family, friends, community wishing each other well and extending their kind words to the troops and, for some, making a donation to the Wilmot Food Bank.” The last stop on the Express was

the Wilmot Public Library, where Pete Hilpl (also known as Santa) read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to kids snuggled up to their parents. For the 85 or so people who settled in at the library for story time, it was the perfect way to remember what the holiday season is all about. “Wilmot is a special place to live. This was evident as all ages, from grandparents to newborns, spent an entire evening in some of the most special town buildings — the fire department, the community center and the public library,” says Dude. “We ate together, we sang carols together, we decorated cards and cookies together, and we read together. What better way to spend a holiday evening.” The Second Annual Wilmot Express — sponsored by the Wilmot Community Association, Wilmot Public Library and Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department — will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, starting at 4 p.m. Winter 2013/2014 •


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Kearsarge Magazine Winter 2013  

The winter 2013 issue of Kearsarge Magazine includes features on author Betsy Woodman, composer Will Ogmundson and the annual holiday gift g...

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