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

Spring 2014

Ice Sailing on

Lake Sunapee, N.H. No, this guy isn’t on a mountain. He’s on a lake!

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Fun Things To Do This Spring, Page 32

The Amazingly Detailed Work of Artist John Kendall Female Athletes: Bobsledding, Swimming, Biking

$5.00 U.S. www.kearsargemagazine.com Display until June 1, 2014


page One

Frost Heaves Ahead illustration by Adam Whittier

I

t’s fun to drive along a snowy road, gazing at out the window at the white scenery. It’s not so fun to drive along a grey, semi-muddy road with frost heaves, pot holes and surprise bumps. What’s the worst stretch of road? Below is a Facebook exchange that will give you a head’s up on the area’s worst roads — and make you laugh. Drive safely! Kearsarge Magazine I think the frost heave on Route 10 North in Grantham will eventually take out the rear axle. M.a. Ricci Route 120 from Cornish to Lebanon! Joanne Rutledge-Davis Route 114 from Grantham to New London Linda Rice Route 31 Goshen to Washington Roger Andrew Shattuck Center/East Washington Road from downtown Hillsboro to East Washington. Guaranteed to break an axle or unseat a tire! Mary Beth Westward NEVER drink coffee on the dirt and gravel section of Old Main Street in New London...it’s ba-ya-ya-ya-ad. Feels like frost heaves all year round! Juliet Bodenmiller Valela 114 Malaika Sidmore 114 New London to Sutton. Followed closely by 103 New London to Newbury. Jr Kaye Let me know when you’re playing the Mud Season Pot Holes game. We’ll win that one. Erica Walker Route 114 North Sutton - New London Kearsarge Magazine I’ll accept pot hole entries! Kelsie Lee 4A from Wilmot to Enfield. And for a pot hole the one that used to be at the King Hill Road and Stoney Brook Road intersection!

Jason Lajoie I remember driving that in my Frito Lay truck 5 miles an hour when you guys had the store. Worst frost heaves I’ve driven on. Steve Simon All I know is that a few years ago when my son was a high school senior we visited Dartmouth and he wanted to see their ski hill in February. I needed dental work AND a chiropractor after that little jaunt. Laura Heath Prospect Hill Road in Sunapee! Jr Kaye Pot holes in Danbury on Dean Road between Waukeena Lake Road and Lajoie Road in Wilmot. Kathleen Hurley 103A in Newbury deserves honorable mention. But Sutton Road (also called Newbury Road) in Sutton Mills deserves the award, especially if you’re on a school bus at 7 a.m. every morning, sitting in the back. Connie Sims Red Water Brook Road Rachel Nelson Gifford Bradford Road in Newport/ Sunapee!! Caroline Kittredge 114 Sutton, Old Bradford Road — Sunapee to Newport!!! Caroline Kittredge The HUGE new speed bumps at Kearsarge Regional Elementary School at New London!!!!! Doh!!!!! I need new shocks and studs!!!!! Byron’s Septic Service, LLC We are with Kelsie Lee on this one...4A from Wilmot to Enfield. Jim Allen Route 114 from Sutton to New London 603 Media Group Bradford Road from Newport to Sunapee!

kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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contents

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FEATURES

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Sailing on Ice If you want to watch some of the best ice sailors in the world in action, look no further than Lake Sunapee on a clear, cold and windy winter’s day. By Barbra Alan

38 The Eye of an Artist

Artist John Kendall loves detail, whether he’s reproducing a street scene or rendering a Tall Ship with all the sails and riggings. Despite three corneal transplants and four eye surgeries, he’s still creating original works. By John Walters

45 I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar The days of women cheering on the men from the sideline are over. Female athletes are heating up the sports arena around the world, and right here in New Hampshire. By Merry Armentrout

62 Real Life Stories

Douglas K. Hill

The Center for the Arts Memoir Contest inspires local writers to get personal. Here are the two winning memoirs by BA Abbott of Gilmanton Ironworks and L.B. Chase of Andover, and a third by Grantham/Sunapee resident Helen Bridge. Introduction by Laura Jean Whitcomb

ON THE COV ER

Ice Sailing on Lake Sunapee Photograph by Paul Howe

6 2

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

Kimberly Tuthill

Paul Howe captured this image of ice sailing on Lake Sunapee. Howe is a professional photographer based in Sunapee. See his work at www.paulhowephotography.com


PEOPLE, PL ACE AND THINGS

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16 At Home: A Bench With a View

You admire an Adirondack-style bench you see at a resort. You’d like it at your Sunapee, N.H., home. So you look for it at stores, Google it online, and come up empty handed. Now what do you do? If you are Paul Rheingold, you build it with the help of neighbor and carpenter, Kaino Mattila. By Laura Jean Whitcomb

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Jim Block

Page One: Frost Heaves Ahead It’s fun to drive along a snowy road, gazing out the window at the white scenery. It’s not so fun to drive along a grey, semi-muddy road with frost heaves, pot holes and surprise bumps.

20 Music: The Band that Boogies

24 People: The Sugar Man

Eric Johnson can talk sap gallons, syrup ratios, tap numbers, and dark and light percentages like any sugar man. But with a diagnosis of ALS, he lives by other numbers that transcend syrup. By Amy Makechnie

24

Heide Johnson

It’s just a band practice, on spare equipment, but these guys are pretty darn good. Turns out these Newport, N.H., natives are members of UFB, a band on the local circuit in 1990. Now they are back, 20 years later. By Laura Jean Whitcomb

It’s not easy being an independent pharmacy nowadays. But for people who are looking for true customer care and attention, chain pharmacies just can’t compete with the likes of Colonial Pharmacy and Glenn Perreault. By Barbra Alan

32 Let’s Go Calendar

Ten fun things to do this spring. Compiled by Laura Jean Whitcomb

courtesy of the Wilmot Historical Society

28 Health: Meet the Pharmacist

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54 History: A Second Chance for Old Curtains Wilmot restores two 1908 painted stage curtains with help from Curtains Without Borders. By Barbra Alan

58 Art: Weaving History

72 Pen’s End: The Forgotten Season

By Sue Janericco. Illustration by J. Moria Stephens

58

Paul Howe

When you purchase a basket from Western Abenaki Baskets in Warner, N.H., it is more than just a beautiful piece of art. The spirit of the maker is there as well. By Dana Benner

kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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I'm using materials around the house to make 3D collages. You can use them as a combo gift/card (some are Valentine's Day, Christmas, congratulations, birthday, etc.). If I sell any, the money will be donated to autism (organization to be determined). Right now I like them for myself, but I do have 18 of them...

editor’s letter Hello friends, As a mother of two small children, I’m late to the philanthropy party. (It’s hard to think of others when it’s all you can do to get your own family up and running each day.) But we had Halloween leftovers (candy and toys) from our annual party, so I packaged them up and brought them to the Upper Valley Haven in White River Junction, Vt. A volunteer told me that they had a party for the children

Giving Tree. We bought gifts for a 5-year-old girl

staying in the shelter so my timing was perfect. I left

interested in fashion/style and a 10-month-old boy.

feeling pleased with myself — 16 little Halloween bags of

I picked up two more tags (girl, age 7, interested in

treats would make 16 little people happy.

crafts and girl, age 6, who likes Monster High). I

In November, I read on Facebook that the Haven was running out of food, so I scoured the cupboards. If we had two of something, the Haven got one. I ended up with a large cardboard box of random items, most of it soup, cereal and fruit snacks (which I think my kids will eat but never do). As I juggled my box (and plastic bags) to the donation door, a mom said, “K, don’t look!” I could barely see around my box — don’t look at what?

probably won’t get feedback, like I did for my Haven donations, but I’m hoping that we were on the mark with our gifts. (I can close my eyes and imagine the 5-year-old opening her sparkly tulle skirt with matching sparkle bracelets and a purse with $5 in it. Years later, she’ll be one of the designers competing on Project Runway and tell Tim Gunn that her career in fashion all started with that one perfect Christmas present.)

I wondered — and the mom caught my eye and said, “She

Although the holiday season is over, I’m hoping that I

loves Smartfood. It’s her favorite.” There was a bag of the

can continue to find small ways to help others. It might

cheesy popcorn sitting on top of the box, a last-minute

be something small, like having a bag of Lindt chocolate

item thrown in because no one in my household really

to share at a meeting, or something big, like donating an

needs to eat a bag of Smartfood. I said, “Please take it. It

ad to a local nonprofit organization. But, I’m telling you,

would make me happy if you did.” She scooped it up for

once you feel that philanthropy high, you’ll be hooked,

her 4- or 5-year-old daughter, who squealed with delight. So, of course, now I’m hooked. I went down to the Center at Eastman with my kids and we picked two tags off the

too. Find a way to give back this spring, and let me know who you’re helping at info@kearsargemagazine.com or on Facebook. Maybe others will want to help, too.

Laura Jean Whitcomb

Follow us on: Kearsarge Magazine @KearsargeMag 4

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

Editor


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.

P.O. Box 1482 Grantham, N.H. 03753 Phone: (603) 863-7048 Fax: (603) 863-1508 E-mail: info@kearsargemagazine.com Web: www.kearsargemagazine.com 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. © 2014 by Kearsarge Magazine, LLC. All photographs and articles © 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.

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Photo by Kimberly Tuthill

Sailing on Ice

Annie Tuthill, age 18 at the time, is lifted by the wind as she sails along the east shore of Lake Sunapee. 6

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


Winter turns Lake Sunapee into an ice sailor’s mecca. A by Barbra Alan photography by

Kimberly Tuthill and Paul Howe

clear day with cold temperatures; a large, thick sheet of ice; and a strong, steady wind. These are the ingredients for the perfect ice sailing day. “Ice sailing?” you may be thinking. “What’s that?” Ice sailing is a sport where you leverage wind power to propel yourself across ice and snow. Simply put, it’s gliding on ice. Some ice sailors favor sails attached to sleds or boats, others use large kites while wearing skis, skates or snowboards on their feet.

Practical beginnings

Photo by Paul Howe

While ice sailing has yet to have the kind of following that skiing and snowboarding boasts, it’s not a new activity by any means. Some argue that as long as there have been snow, ice and people, there has been ice sailing, however rudimentary the tools and technique. We do know that it has been around since at least the 17th century when Dutch › › › › ›

Charlie Meding of Wilmot, N.H., uses a Concept Air kite to glide across the snowcovered lake. kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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States, where Lake Sunapee is considered “home ice” adventurous for the New England contingent of the adrenaline junkies of old raced ISSWC’s Team USA and has become a each other along valuable training ground for novice and the Hudson experienced sailors all over New England. River. In the Association (WISSA) in Worthsee, 1980s, the sport increased its global Germany, in 1987. Originally, WISSA profile with the debut of the Ice and focused solely on windsurfing on ice Snow Sailing World Championships and snow with various sleds powered (ISSWC) in Helsinki, Finland, by windsurfing rigs. But eventually, in 1980, and the formation of the organization embraced other the World Ice and Snow Sailing

Photo by Kimberly Tuthill

sailors experimented with ice sailing for transporting goods across frozen bodies of water during the winter. By placing metal runners on the bottom of their traditional boat hulls, the sailors found they could travel across ice and maintain their livelihoods over the long, hard winters. In the centuries since, ice sailing has evolved from its practical beginnings to become an exhilarating winter sport. In the mid-19th century, ice sailing found its way to the United

Father-and-daughter team Will and Annie Tuthill train on Lake Sunapee for the WISSA Ice & Snow Sailing World Championships. 8

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


tethered with lines.

Sailing on Sunapee With ice sailors gliding across frozen ponds, lakes, rivers and bays throughout Northern Europe, Russia and North America, ice sailing is truly an international sport. And in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee region, it’s also a local sport. That’s right: From early January through late March (depending on how cold the winter is), an ever-growing number of people are flocking to Lake Sunapee each year to

ice sail, and to watch ice sailors in action. In fact, Lake Sunapee is considered “home ice” for the New England contingent of the ISSWC’s Team USA and has become a valuable training ground for novice and experienced sailors all over New England. It’s even being considered as the site of a future world championship. What makes Lake Sunapee a destination for ice sailors? According to William Tuthill, a lifelong ice sailor and the president of › › › › ›

Photo by Paul Howe

Photo by Kimberly Tuthill

forms of ice sailing. In 1991’s Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships in Estonia saw the first hand-held sail, and 1993’s championships in Poland marked the debut for kites. Today, WISSA creates an international racing venue for three classes of ice sailing: Open Class, which includes any sled powered by a windsurfing rig; Hand Held, which includes any hand-held sail such as a kite wing or skate sail; and Kite Class, which includes all sails

(Top) It’s not unusual for Will Tuthill to sail at a speed of 50 miles per hour. (Bottom) Participants try out wings during a demo on Lake Sunapee. kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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WISSA, it’s location, location, location. “Lake Sunapee is 90 minutes from the largest city in New England, and it’s situated at 1,100 feet above sea level, which means it freezes earlier than many lakes — even ones much farther north — and it stays frozen longer,” he says, noting that ice sailors from all over New England, as well as New York and New Jersey, come to Lake Sunapee. “Plus, there is plenty of room for sailing, and the scenery is beautiful.”

And just how fast can Meding go? “My all-time high was 64.9 miles per hour,” he says. That’s 64.9 miles an hour — no motor, no wheels; just a kite, skis and wind. Charlie Meding, a native of the Sunapee area who has been ice sailing for two decades, says, “Lake Sunapee is perfect for ice sailing because it runs north to south. Most of the wind comes from the west, so we have nice long rides up and down the lake.”

Love of the sport If anyone could be said to have been born to ice sail, it’s William Tuthill. He was born and raised on Quantuck Bay, Eastern Long Island, where his family settled back in 1620. Winter sports were a way of life. “I was put in an ice boat before I was able to walk,” Tuthill says. “When windsurfing became popular, I started sailing on snow with a ski sled and a windsurfing rig. That morphed into participating in international competitions, which then morphed into me becoming president of WISSA.” Tuthill shares his love of and enthusiasm for ice sailing with his family, particularly his daughter Annie, who regularly competes, and places, in WISSA championships. She started competing at the ripe 10

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


old age of 15, earned third place in the women’s division at the 2011 world championships held in Oravi, Finland, and earned second place at the 2012 world championships in St. Ignace, Michigan. Tuthill says they take every opportunity they can to practice and train, not just for competitions but for the sheer love of the sport and the outdoors. “We sail as much as possible,” he says. “It would be a dream to follow winter around the world, practicing, competing, meeting new people, and sailing cool places like the New Zealand Highlands, Greenland and Antarctica, but that isn’t reality for us, so we sail when and where we can — including land. Golf courses, parks, snow-covered beaches, it’s all fair game.” Meding wasn’t necessarily born to kite sail, but he picked it up fast and never looked back. He grew up in the Sunapee area and returned after attending college in Vermont. A downhill skier since age 3, he has worked in the ski industry for the past 18 years and currently manages Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport in Newbury, N.H. Meding discovered kite sailing back in 1994, when he met a local man who started a business making an early version of traction kites called parawings. “He brought me out on Otter Pond one January day and taught me how to sail,” recalls Meding. “After a few tries, I picked it right up. Soon after, I bought one from him and started learning on my own.” Within a year, Meding felt ready to compete, and even placed at 1995’s World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships, in Madison, Wisconsin. “I think I came in third, but there were only six or so kites back then!” he says. In the years since, he’s been up against more and more kite sailors at two other championships in Canada and at Kitestorm, an event that has

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go? “My all-time high was 64.9 miles per hour,” he says. That’s 64.9 miles an hour — no motor, no wheels; just a kite, skis and wind. “I love the ability to harness the wind for movement.”

Control your feet Tuthill is quick to point out that ice sailing doesn’t always have to be competitive. “Ice sailing can be about cruising and relaxation. It’s just as much a family activity as it is a competitive activity,” he says.

Meding agrees. “There is something incredibly peaceful about it,” he says. As an internationally recognized competitive kite sailor, Meding says that one of the keys to success for any kite sailor is control over his or her feet. “If you can unconsciously control the skis, skates or snowboard, flying the kite becomes easy,” he says. “Strength and agility come later as you progress.” Stamina is also critical, says

Photo by Paul Howe

drawn kite sailors, skiers, snowboarders and skaters to Vermont since 2004. While he acknowledges the intense level of competition among the sailors, Meding is quick to point out there’s much more to these events than winning or placing. “These events are mostly about getting together and sailing,” he says. “I have never worried about where I place. My biggest concern is how fast I can go.” And just how fast can Meding

Expert Charlie Meding uses a kite. Kites take a long time to learn; wings, on the other and, are easier to master. 12

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


and hope to see that continue. “Bring Barbra Alan is a freelance writer your friends, bring a picnic, and from Alexandria, N.H. make a day of it,” says Tuthill. Paul Howe is a professional “Hanging out at the beach in the photographer based in Sunapee. winter is just as much fun as it is in See his work at www.paulhowethe summer, especially if you’re sailphotography.com ing on your skis or ice skates.” Kimberly Tuthill has photographed And if you want to watch some her family ice sailing for almost 34 of the best ice sailors in the world in years. That is a lot of time out on action, including Charlie Meding and cold, windy lakes! Tuthill earned William and Annie Tuthill, look no her BFA degree in photography from further than Lake Sunapee on a clear, cold and windy winter’s day. KM KM KMCornell University.

Photo by Kimberly Tuthill

Photo by Kimberly Tuthill

Tuthill. “We lay more miles under our skis than most skiers do in a season, because we don’t have to wait in line or ride a lift,” he says. “We are out there carving off the gusts, riding rivers of wind, and skiing all day long. Fifty-mile days are not uncommon.” “I shoot for 1,000 miles a season, but I usually get in between 700 to 800 miles,” says Meding. Meding and Tuthill are excited to see ice sailing gaining popularity,

(Top) Black ice on Sunapee is rare, but Meding takes advantage of it. (Bottom) Charlie Meding is lifted by his kite. (The moon sails overhead.) kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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There is no fee to enter the contest. The contest There no 1, fee2014, to enter the contest. Theends contest begins isJan. at 12:01 a.m. and April 1, begins Jan. 1, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. and ends April 1, 2014, at 9 a.m. 2014, at 9 a.m.

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1. Visit our website (kearsargemagazine.com) for rules. 1. Visit our website (kearsargemagazine.com) for rules. 2. Email your entry to photo@kearsargemagazine.com. 2. Email entry to photo@kearsargemagazine.com. Be sureyour to include your name, city and state, and information Be surethe to photograph include your(see name, city state, and information about rules forand details). about the photograph (see rules for details). 3. The contest begins Jan. 1, 2014, at12:01 a.m. 3. and The ends contest begins Jan. 1, April 1, 2014, at 2014, 9 a.m.at12:01 a.m. and ends April 1, 2014, at 9 a.m.

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Sunapee

people, places and things

AT HOME

A Bench With a View by Laura Jean Whitcomb photography by Jim Block

Y

ou admire an Adirondack-style bench you see at a resort. You’d like it at your Sunapee, N.H., home, which has a gorgeous, one-mile view across the lake. So you look for it at stores, Google it online, and come up empty handed. Now what do you do? If you are Paul Rheingold, you build it with the help of neighbor and carpenter, Kaino Mattila. “We had a natural place for it right above some boulders on the water, where one can look a mile or so across the lake,” says Rheingold, a 35-year resident of Sunapee. But, with no pictures or plans, “we needed a skilled carpenter/woodworker to carry out the concept. We had one readymade in Kaino, who lived on our street and had done some building for us before.” Rheingold wanted the bench to fit the surroundings, so he used timber from his Lake Avenue property. “All of the logs were cut on our back lot, almost all from hemlocks, which grew tall and straight to get up to the sunlight. It took about six trees to get the main logs,” he says. “For roofing and the seatback we used slabs, pieces of trees cut lengthwise with bark on them, cut by a local sawmill. The only nontimber used was the planking for the seat.” The boulders on the shore of Lake Sunapee dictated the dimensions of the bench. “Post holds could only be made in certain spots,” says Rheingold. Ultimately the four posts were spaced 64 inches wide and 29 inches deep. The posts were, on average, 72 inches above

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ground. They were debarked at the base and set in concrete. Then the beams were joined by bolts or screws. The bench needed eight cross

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

beam logs — two to support the bench seat, with the rear lower; one in the rear to support the seat back; four across the top; and one as the


board,” says Rheingold. More for design than for support, eight small logs, were used to make 45-degree strut supports from the top crossbars to the uprights. When the bench was finished, Rheingold and his wife, Joyce, took the first seat. This summer, their four children, spouses and five grandchildren will be enjoying the view of the lake from the bench as well. “Others can build a bench like this, too, following some advice and illustrations,” says Rheingold. You can ask him by emailing prheingold@aol.com KM KM KM Laura Jean Whitcomb is the editor of Kearsarge Magazine, Upper Valley Life and Kid Stuff magazines. 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 www.jimblockphoto.com

roof beam (supported by cross beams). Thirteen slabs of wood, with varying widths, were used on each side of the roof, and held together with weather proof construction glue. A piece of lead flashing was used across the ridge line. The roof ended up 78 inches long, and the peak was 91 inches above ground level. The bench seat, 56 inches wide and 22 inches high in the back, is made of broad planking. The

backer, which rests on the seat, was more difficult to make. It was made of 15 slabs, 3 ½ inches wide, smooth side forward and bark side rear. These were joined by making little biscuit joints board to board, plus glue. Then four logs were used to make armrests and supports. The final touches called for some woodworking skill. “When logs met logs end on, Kaino cupped each end to round it. For large logs he used the chain saw; for small ones the biscuit saw mounted on a kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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Upper Valley Life


Newport

people, places and things

Music

The Band that Boogies: UFB by Laura Jean Whitcomb

t’s a scene that will bring you back to the good old days when your evenings were spent partying with friends. Five guys are jamming in their garage in Newport, N.H. Lawn chairs are set up for the audience, and people are eating pretzels or drinking a beer (or a nonalcoholic O’Douls). The sun is setting, the smell of green grass gets deeper, and you can almost picture how much you’d be drinking and dancing if you were a few years younger. It’s just a band practice, on spare equipment, but these guys are pretty darn good. Tunes range from John Cougar Mellencamp (“Little Pink Houses”) to The Spencer Davis Group (“Gimme Some Lovin’”) to The Doobie Brothers (“China Grove”) to Elvis Presley (“Little Sister”). Turns out these Newport natives are members of UFB, a band that started out in the local circuit in 1990. Now they are back, 20 years later, and on their “Geezer Tour 2013.” Don’t

photos courtesy of UFB

I

UFB, from left to right: David Partridge, Mike Wentzell, Richard Geschwindner, Terry Taylor and Albie Fraser

laugh — when they end the practice around 8 p.m. you realize that it’s not the good old days, and you’re ready to call it a night, too.

Helping harmonies

UFB is practicing for a gig in November, a fundraiser at the Moose Lodge for a Newport man diagnosed with cancer. It’s their second fundraiser in 2013; three more are scheduled for early 2014. “We started practicing in February 2013,” says Mike Wentzell, drummer by night and postal employee in Grantham, N.H., by day. “My wife said, ‘You’ve been on the couch for two years. Go play.’” Back in the good old days of Impulse: Geschwinder, Fraser and Wentzell had been a Taylor playing at the Barn. 20

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

band member of Impulse, Driver and Bumpin Uglies, to name a few. He and David Partridge, guitarist and vocalist, played in the band, Under Pressure, in the late 1980s. When that band dissolved, musicians from a couple different bands joined together to form UFB in 1990. “I was country-ed out,” says Wentzell. “I wanted a rock ‘n’ roll band. We were a four-piece band for a year, then Impulse flamed out, and Richard Geschwindner joined. We’ve been a five piece ever since.” “With a 20-year absence,” interjects Geschwindner, keyboard and guitar player by night and Sturm Ruger employee by day. You may recognize him from one of these bands: Hot & Bothered, The Western Union Band, Prentice Hill Band and, of course, Impulse. A lot has changed since their


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glory days, and UFB isn’t looking to make a living as a band or win a recording contract (although it would be nice). So they offer the band’s services for benefit concerts. “We find a charity or common concern and vote on it,” says Wentzell. “Then we book the venue, host the benefit, and the proceeds after expenses go to the person in need. We don’t care about the money; we really want to help people having a hard time.” And, for some cancer patients, that means finding the funds for treatments that can run thousands of dollars. They practiced in the Geschwindner’s living room for four months, then held their first concert at Northstar Campground last June. Now they’ve graduated to Albie Fraser’s garage in Newport. You can see photos and videos on their Facebook page but, be warned. “People joke that it is more of a food group. Most photos are of the band eating,” says Robin Geschwindner, a nurse practitioner, Richard’s wife, and “mother of the band.” Or, as one fan posted, an eating group with a musical problem.

Family style The band plays music for all ages. “Classic rock ‘n’ roll, ballads,” says Wentzell. “You’ve got to play everything if you play on the Newport Common.” “We’re working our way to the 1990s,” jokes Geschwindner. The band is pretty cohesive for a two-decade hiatus. One guitar starts, the next one kicks in, then the drums. Fraser — formerly a member of bands BlackWater, Roctober, Impulse, Prentice Hill and Renegade — is on lead vocals, and Terry Taylor sings back up. At the end of the song, Wentzell says, “I don’t remember playing that song. Ever.” “Sure — in 1994,” says Taylor, a retiree who plays lead guitar. Robin Geschwindner laughs. “They don’t even know their set list. Sometimes they’ll go right into a Brady Bunch tune,” she says. It doesn’t matter. “I’ve listened to Uncle Richard make music for 42 years and love every minute,” says James Geschwindner, nephew. KM KM KM kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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Andover

people, places and things

People

The Sugar Man text and photography by Amy Makechnie

E

ric Johnson knows his numbers like they’re tattooed on his arm. An Andover, N.H., maple sugar producer, he can tell you that in 2005 he sugared 24 gallons of syrup. In 2013, after more than 400 hours of gathering, boiling and filtering, 640 gallons were filled. Seventy five percent sold from the sugarhouse and at farmers’ markets, 10 percent went to a large Vermont manufacturer due to its dark grade, and 15 percent sold to local businesses at wholesale. Johnson can talk sap gallons, syrup ratios, tap numbers, and dark and light percentages like any sugar man. These numbers bring joy to Johnson’s life. “I love it,” he says. “I’ll do it for the rest of my life.” This is a complex statement. Johnson lives by other numbers that transcend merely syrup.

The outdoorsman Growing up, Johnson swam, skied and hiked. His employment at Proctor Academy began by leading

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eight-week, wilderness expeditions. He built his own timber frame home, a tree house for his two girls, and, just for fun, a sugarhouse. He founded Tucker Mountain Maple, LLC, an award-winning maple syrup business. Johnson chopped wood, worked as a logger, and spent countless hours fixing heavy-duty machinery. Eventually he became the program director for New Hampshire Timberland Owner’s Association, a position he still holds, running the professional logger and education program. He was fit, young and almost alEric Johnson of Tucker Mountain Maple ways healthy. past, Johnson was given more numBut in 2011, Johnson thought he bers — mortality statistics. must be out of shape. While playing Johnson says that progression is a summer soccer game, he noticed an different for every person living with uncommon fatigue. He felt a little off ALS. “Mine seems to be affecting my balance. Later that fall he noticed his upper body strength and balance. In hands were sometimes numb; daily my neurologist’s opinion, I seem to tasks a little troublesome. Medical be progressing on the slow side,” he tests, however, were inconclusive. says, optimistically tapping the maple In November 2012, a conclusive counter top. diagnosis came: amyotrophic lateral But he is always looking to what sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neucomes next. That includes the sugar rodegenerative disease that affects business. nerve cells responsible for voluntary muscle movement. Commonly Sugar shack known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS It started as a hobby. But the has no cure. Though patients are first time his family had his homeliving better and longer than in the made syrup at breakfast Johnson

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


The family “Every person with ALS needs to have a spouse as a biology teacher — it’s great!” Johnson says. Heide Johnson, a biology instructor at Proctor Academy, has not only been his support, but helps break down the overwhelming medical jargon.

experiences. We’ve always loved “Epigenetics, stem cells, all the meditraveling, but there’s a sense of ‘Let’s cal options and medical trials to decido it while I can still do it.’” pher; it’s huge,” Eric Johnson says. Sometimes it’s hard to see any “There’s so much frustration,” upside, but Heide and Eric are quick Heide says. “The ALS community is certainly active, but because we know so little it feels like there is an institutional helplessness. Why is it that neurons just curl up on themselves and die? Then the muscles atrophy when they are no longer stimulated. Why?” Initially, Johnson did ask, “Why me? Why now?” But he doesn’t ask anymore, the questions not yet answerable. And the symptoms continue to manifest. Johnson feels more muscle loss. He has a harder time holding a (Top) Johnson explains sugaring to a group of young people. phone to his ear. (Bottom) The sugarhouse that Johnson built. His daughters take down the cereal boxes from the top to point to it. “Right after the diagshelf, and steady him when he walks nosis,” Heide says, “we were reeluneven terrain. Life as he knew it ing. But what I felt about Eric was altered, but he’s still Dad. this overwhelming feeling of love. “I try to emphasize that I’m still To think about all the things that the same,” Johnson says. “I still bug we had to do, the direction we were them to clean their rooms and unheading…it was like falling in love load the dishwasher.” Though ALS is with him all over again.” always at the forefront, sometimes, Johnson smiles at her words. they forget, “and that’s kind of nice, “I’m pretty lucky,” he says. And so too.” the sugar man moves forward, using Neighbors, friends and coltime the best he knows how. “We’ll leagues have helped in so many unexgo as long as we can go.” KM KM KM pected ways. A network in the forest products industry raised funds for Learn More the family to travel to New Zealand Visit Tucker Mountain Maple on over Christmas. “Now, it’s not about 224 Tucker Mountain Road, or things,” Johnson says. “It’s about online at www.tuckermtn.com doing things together, having shared Photos courtesy of Heide Johnson

realized he had made a product that had value, something people liked. “I thought if I can make a profit doing something I love, why not?” he recalls. Johnson puts all profit back into the business by constantly upgrading equipment. “We’re probably middle of the spectrum for technology,” he says. “We still use buckets and tubing systems, but we also have systems like reverse osmosis,” a process that removes water from the sap before boiling. “It saves electricity and time, and the carbon footprint is much lower — though some people think it’s cheating.” Due to his health, however, upgrades are essential. “I’m realistic about the eventual outcome,” he says, “but if I can do things to improve my quality of life, I’ll do it.” Used to doing the physical labor, Johnson had to ask for more help and learn to delegate. In 2013, while Johnson boiled and filtered in the sugarhouse, business partner Mark Cowdrey picked up the heavy lifting. Johnson relied on his two daughters as well, ages 14 and 12, to collect buckets of sap. Modifications will be made so Johnson can access the sugarhouse when he is no longer able to walk. A neighbor has already built a railing for the stairs, and in October 2013, a silo was installed to store wood pellets, a more efficient burning system for the sugarhouse, saving Johnson from cutting and stacking cords of wood. How long can he sustain even this system? “We’re not there yet,” he says, “but realistically, if I can get three more seasons, I’ll be happy.”

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New London

people, places and things

Health

Meet the Pharmacist

A small, independently owned pharmacy, like Colonial Pharmacy in New London, offers personal service to each and every customer. by Barbra Alan photography by Lee Merrill

O

ur nation boasts more than 7,400 CVS Pharmacies, 4,600 Rite Aids, and 8,300 Walgreens. Each of these chains does billions of dollars in sales each year and serves millions of customers. Their success shows that medicine is big business. At New London, N.H.’s Colonial Pharmacy, which has been independently owned and operated since 1945, medicine is more personal. Just ask Glenn Perreault, who has been head pharmacist at Colonial for two decades. After Perreault graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, his first job as a professional pharmacist was with a big chain pharmacy. “They throw a bunch of dollars at you when you’re first out of school, but your free time suffers,” he says. “The hours were long. I was working open to close, and every other weekend, with little flexibility. And because only one pharmacist was working at a time, I didn’t have a lot of patient interaction because I had my nose to the grindstone.” Perreault longed to work for an independent pharmacy, the kind he trained at while in college. When he and his wife moved to New London

Learn More Colonial Pharmacy is located at 247 Newport Road in New London. Visit them online at www.colonialpharmacy.com 28

Glenn Perreault, head pharmacist at Colonial Pharmacy in New London

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


in the early 1990s, he was urged by a neighbor who worked at Colonial Pharmacy to apply for a job there. He did, and has been working at Colonial since 1993.

Time to say hello Over the years, Perreault has enjoyed the numerous benefits an independently owned and operated pharmacy affords. The biggest advantage, he says, is “I have more time to interact with our customers.” Typically there are two pharmacists working at a time, giving customers greater access to a pharmacist. And he loves working in the community in which he lives. “You get to know your customers, you see them around town…they’re your neighbors.” Perreault notes that, with four full-time pharmacists and one parttime pharmacist on staff, his work hours are far more humane than what they were when he was working for a chain pharmacy. He puts his free time to good use giving back to the community. “Because the schedule is more flexible, I’ve been able to volunteer in the community,” he says. An avid outdoorsman who is certified in wilderness first aid, Perreault served for five years on the board of the New London Outing Club, and he volunteers with a high school mountaineering club. Another benefit of working at Colonial Pharmacy is that Perreault is encouraged to be a little creative in his position; to find new and better ways to serve customers. He has helped develop and launch programs, and guided the pharmacy through the durable medical equipment accreditation process so it could continue to offer products like nebulizers, walkers and diabetic testing supplies to its customers.

Robot technology Perreault initiated the acquisition of the pharmacy’s robotic dispenser, which he says has been a boon to

customers and pharmacy staff alike. “First and foremost, the robot is accurate,” he says, noting that on an average day, Colonial Pharmacy fills more than 250 prescriptions. “It’s also dependable; it runs in the background, filling prescriptions while the pharmacists fill other prescriptions such as oral contraceptives, creams and ointments, and interact with customers. It makes the pharmacy more efficient.” The robotic dispenser also gives Perreault and the rest of the staff more time to attend to the increasing bureaucratic red tape of the health care industry. For example, if a physician prescribes a certain medication that is outside of the patient’s insurance company’s prescription drug formulary (list of covered medications), the insurance company will reject it. When this happens, the

Community Care New London isn’t the only community with an independent pharmacy. The following community pharmacies offer everything you’d expect in a pharmacy, along with a caring staff.

Warner Pharmacy, Warner Owner/pharmacist Cindy Snay did her homework before opening Warner Pharmacy in March 2010. “People agreed that there was a need for an independent pharmacy in this area,” she says. Warner Pharmacy blends old-fashioned service with modern health care, offering prescription and overthe-counter medications as well as durable medical equipment, first aid products and locally made products. www.warnerpharmacy.com Sugar River Pharmacy, Newport According to co-owner Tom Wilmot, Sugar River Pharmacy’s policies “revolve around people, not

pharmacist must contact the physician’s office to see if an alternate medication on the formulary can be prescribed; if not, the pharmacist must get special approval from the insurance company to fill the prescription. These situations occur “dozens of times a day, with all different types of medications,” says Perreault. And while these situations may sideline the pharmacist, the robotic dispenser continues filling prescriptions, helping to keep customer wait times to a minimum. A more recent initiative Perreault has launched at Colonial Pharmacy is creating an efficient way to deliver medication to older patients who take multiple prescriptions each day. Medications are grouped into what’s referred to as bingo cards that are labeled so customers take the right ›››››

money.” The pharmacists consider themselves partners in their customer’s health, and pride themselves on offering personalized service, whether it’s regarding prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins or medical equipment. www.sugarriverpharmacy.com

Z Pharmacy, Newport If you’re looking for a pharmacy with more, look no further than Z Pharmacy. Recognizing the squeeze the large chain pharmacies and mail order prescription drug services are putting on independent pharmacies, owner Tony Zullo “decided to diversify and offer much more than what customers may expect in a pharmacy.” That includes unique and fun gifts, sandwiches, lattes and a comfortable waiting area with a view. www.Zpharmacynewport.com

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Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


medicines at the right time. Each square on the bingo card is a blister pack containing a group of medications to be taken at the same time of day. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been using this system for years; Colonial Pharmacy and other pharmacies across the country are now using them to help their customers live independently as long as possible. “The easier we can make the medication-taking process, the more independent our customers can be,” says Perreault, who fills each blister pack by hand.

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It’s not easy being an independently owned and operated pharmacy nowadays. Large retail chain pharmacies and mail order prescription drug companies are providing stiff competition. But for customers who are looking for true customer care and attention, chain pharmacies just can’t compete with the likes of Colonial Pharmacy and Glenn Perreault. KM KM KM Barbra Alan is a freelance writer in Alexandria, N.H., whose first job was in her local pharmacy. Lee Morrill of On Track Design has lived and worked in the New London area for 24 years as a graphic designer. He enjoys working with small business and nonprofits create a unique branding and advertising strategy.

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Calendar

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

Mac n’ Cheese Festival Saturday, Feb. 22 12 p.m.

Do you have a tried and true macaroni and cheese recipe that you want to share? Or maybe you just love to eat mac and cheese? Either way, this Grantham, N.H., event is for you. Sign up in advance to attend; call Eastman Recreation for entry details. Sponsored by Cabot. >> The Center at Eastman, Grantham, N.H. >> Cost: Adults, $8; children 12 and younger, $5 >> www.eastmannh.org or (603) 863-6772

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Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


Barbecue at Pine Hill Ski Area

CFA’s First Friday: A Celebration of Poetry

12 to 1:30 p.m.

5 to 7 p.m.

Join the Pine Hill Cross Country Ski Club for a barbecue at the Trail Head. The club provides the fire, picnic table and the hot chocolate — you bring the hotdogs and the fixings. Then enjoy skiing on 15 miles of trails.

Join the Center For The Art’s First Friday event titled “A Celebration of Poetry Month: Transforming Life Experience Into Art.” Guest speaker, to be announced, will be part of a multimedia program that incorporates words, music and visual art.

>> Pine Hill Ski Area, 20 Mountain Road, New London, N.H.

>> www.centerfortheartsnh.org

Saturday, March 1

Friday, April 4

>> LSPA Knowlton House, 63 Main Street, Sunapee, N.H.

>> $12 for trail use

photo by Paul Howe

>> www.pinehillskiclub.com

Maple Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, March 22 and 23 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Celebrate the sweetest season of the year with maple producers in New Hampshire. Even if you know how maple syrup is made — from tapping the sugar maples to boiling sap in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire — it is still a treat to visit working sugarhouses and learn more about the families who continue the tradition of making syrup. More than 100 sugar houses open their doors to visitors. >> Harding Hill Farm, 131 Route 103, Sunapee, N.H., and Valley View Maple Farm on Route 114 in Springfield, N.H., are two local options

photo courtesy of the NH Maple Producers

>> www.nhmapleproducers.com/mapleweekend/index.html

Annual Intragalactic Cardboard Sled Race Sunday, April 6

Registration: 9 to 12 p.m. Race: 1:30 p.m.

The best racing west of Loudon! Intricate and professionally designed cardboard sleds vie for bragging rights as winner of this race on Mount Sunapee. All sled riders must be over the age of 18, and all competitors must wear a helmet while the sled is on course. Proceeds benefit David’s House in Lebanon, N.H. >> Mount Sunapee, 1398 Route 103, Newbury, N.H. >> Cost: $30 entry fee >> www.mountsunapee.com

›››››

Like us on Facebook to get notifications of more local events (and see great photos)! Please note: Schedules may change; call to verify event information.

kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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Saving the Mountains: NH & the Creation of the National Forests Thursday, April 10 7 to 9 p.m.

New Hampshire’s White Mountains played a leading role in events leading to the Weeks Act, the law that created the eastern National Forests. Focusing on Concord’s Joseph B. Walker and the Forest Society’s Philip Ayres, Marcia Schmidt Blaine explores the relationship between our mountains and the economic, environmental and aesthetic questions posed by the individuals involved in the creation of the National Forest. >> Springfield Town Meetinghouse, 23 Four Corners Road, Springfield, N.H. >> Free >> www.historicalspringfieldnh.org

Market on the Green Saturday, April 26 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Bring your friends and family and shop local at the Market on the Green’s indoor market. Plan to spend a couple hours visiting with your neighbors, learning new things from the vendors, and having a tasty snack or lunch at the market. There will be produce, preserves, baked goods, and craft items and art created by local artisans.

Spring Concert Sunday, May 11 3 p.m.

The Kearsarge Chorale — a nondenominational local group of dedicated singers and musicians who bring the best of classical and contemporary choral artistry to the New London area — invite you to this year’s spring concert, “Music of the Spirit.” Music to include the following: “Heilig” by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, “Mass in G” by Franz Schubert, “Cantique” de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré, “Three Spirituals” by William L. Dawson, and premiere of a new work by Kearsarge Chorale Music Director David L. Almond. >> First Baptist Church, 461 Main Street, New London, N.H. >> www.kearsargechorale.org

>> Whipple Memorial Hall, corner of Seamans Road and Main Street, New London, N.H. >> www.marketonthegreen.com

Black Fly Open Golf Tournament

Newport Sunshine 5K Run/Walk

Thursday, May 15

Sunday, May 11

9 a.m.: Registration and Driving Range Open 10 a.m.: Shotgun Start, Putting Contest, Crazy Drive Contest After Golf: Awards, Consolation Drawing, Raffle

In the early 1980s, Larry Flint and the Newport Parks & Recreation Department started a 5K race called the Newport Road Race. The race grew and became known as the Sunshine 5K. After a 13-year hiatus, the Newport Rec. and Lori Richer at the Newport Montessori School brought the popular annual race back in May 2009, with the addition of a 1K Kids Run. Food, sports drinks and water available for race participants. Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs available for purchase after the race.

photo courtesy of LSRCOC

8:30 a.m.: Registration 9:30 a.m.: Kids Run 10 a.m.: 5K Race

Enjoy a beautiful day of golf, food, fun, prizes and plenty of black flies! This annual fundraiser for the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce welcomes teams of up to four people, and singles who will be matched up to a team upon arrival. Bug spray available!

>> Corbin Covered Bridge (airport side), Newport, N.H.

>> Country Club of New Hampshire, 187 Kearsarge Mountain Valley Road, North Sutton, N.H.

>> Cost: 5K Run/Walk, $15 ($20 on race day), under 14 run for free

>> www.lakesunapeenh.org/black-fly-open-golf-tournament

>> www.newportsunshinerun.org 34

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


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The Eye of an Artist by John Walters

Y

ou could understand if John Kendall were angry, upset, embittered. His art is painstakingly realistic; he carefully renders every bit of detail in a scene. It’s close, demanding work, and a keen eye is essential. But for almost 30 years, Kendall has had serious eye trouble. He’s been through seven major surgeries, with more likely on the way. At best, he works much more slowly than he otherwise would. At times he hasn’t been able to work at all. And yet, Kendall is an amazingly cheerful man who’s determined to get the most out of life. He › › › › › John Kendall’s drawing of street scene from the French Quarter in New Orleans, “Time Warp on St. Peter,” and a photo (inset) of Kendall working on it using a large magnifying glass with a light to see. 38

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can talk almost endlessly about the places he’s been, the people he’s met, and the things he’s gotten to do. “I guess I’ve always been positive about stuff,” he says. “I could get real bummed out about it, you know, ‘poor me.’ But that’s the hand I’m dealt.” And if worst came to worst? “I was talking to my oldest son, Chris, and he said, ‘Dad, I’ll teach you how to play bass guitar!’ And I thought, ‘Sure, if I can’t keep on being an artist, I’m going to stay creative doing something.’” Not a bad outlook for someone who just turned 70. Sort of: “Technically, I’m 16 and a half, because my birthday is February 29,” he says. And in a very real way, he’s both: his full white beard says “70,” but his attitude is eternally youthful.

Orleans, and points out where he inserted his two sons, his brother James, one of his dearest friends, his two cats — and himself, the shaggy fellow driving a horse and buggy. “I used to call it my Alfred Hitchcock touch,” he says with a smile. “But when I told that to school kids, they’d say, ‘Don’t you mean Where’s Waldo?’” There are imagined elements, but the details are resolutely true to life. Kendall works from photographs blown up to 8 by 12, employing a lighted magnifying lamp to closely examine the images. “I’m spending an average of 200 hours and up on an original work,” he says. His style has remained much the same through the years. He’s gotten a lot of mileage out of a simple style, which he calls “sepia pen and ink wash drawings.” He has a small kit for an artist: one pencil, one pen, two small brushes and a bottle of sepia ink. “That’s it,” he confirms. He uses pen and ink for the lines, and a mix of ink and water for texture and shading.

Kendall removes all traces of modern technology: power lines, cars, trucks, motorboats. And he often adds friends and relatives to his work.

An eye for detail Ever since he was a kid, Kendall has focused on the little things. He recalls a childhood sketch of his school building, which had exactly the right number of bricks in the exterior wall. He loves detail, whether he’s reproducing a street scene or rendering a Tall Ship with all the sails and riggings. All faithful to the original. Well, almost faithful. Kendall, a resident of George’s Mills, N.H., calls his works “timeless scenes” because he removes all traces of modern technology: power lines, cars, trucks, motorboats. And he often adds friends and relatives to his work. As he shows “Time Warp on St. Peter,” a street scene from the French Quarter in New photo by Larry White

Hitting the road and coming back home

Artist John Kendall in front of his gallery in George's Mill, N.H.

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Kendall was born in Nashua, N.H., and grew up in Litchfield, N.H. After studying at the University of New Hampshire, he became an art teacher in the Sunapee and New London schools. “When they built Kearsarge Regional High School in 1970, I was offered the art position. It would have been comfortable, but I was starting to get itchy feet. I needed to see if I could prove myself as an artist.” And so he moved to San Francisco, pursued a master’s degree in art, and almost by chance wound


Kendall’s drawing “A View from the A-Frame” captures the waterfront of Sausalito, Calif. (Right) A photo taken in 1975 of Kendall working on the drawing.

up in Sausalito, Calif. At the time, it was a run-down backwater, not the trendy suburb it is today. “To me, it was like entering an abandoned movie set,” with a lot of old houseboats populated by, well, a bunch of hippies. “I saw this fellow sitting on an overturned boat, wearing a captain’s hat,” he recalls. “It was [writer and musician] Shel Silverstein! He introduced me around. I ended up moving onto an abandoned boat with my brother, James, and a buddy from school. I lived there for six years.” He credits Sausalito with ››››› kearsargemagazine.com • Spring 2014 • Kearsarge Magazine

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inspiring the ink-wash element of his a transatlantic cruise ship, taking bus and made good money doing style: “Everything had a sort of sepia “one suitcase with my clothes, and sketches of rich people’s yachts. tone. I loved it so much.” one with my work for sale.” He sold After some 15 years of travel, he He worked as a street wound up right back where he In the middle of the gallery is artist. Which, when he started. In 1983 he followed something that looks very much started out, was illegal; he the Tall Ships to Boston. and a bunch of fellow artists like a booth at a diner: two wooden (His exacting depictions of circulated a petition seeking the ships became his most bench seats with a table in to overturn the law. They popular works.) While he was were successful, and Kendall between. A large magnifying lamp in New England he fell in lined up for a license on day love with the sister of an old is attached to the table. This is one of street-art legality. He friend, and that spelled the where Kendall makes his art. took home “license number end of his traveling days. He 30,” he says proudly. took a job with the Henniker Happy times, but the road school district. He got married and enough on board that he actually continued to call. Kendall moved to had two children, but the marriage made a profit on the trip: “I made my New Orleans for a while. “Really ended in divorce after about seven expenses and still had $150 in my enjoyed it,” he says, but then he met years. The kids, Cody and Chris, are pocket.” an American who had been living now in their 20s. On to Ibiza, where he spent five on Ibiza, a Spanish island in the years; and then to the French Riviera, The artist’s eye is clouded Mediterranean. He got passage on where he lived in a Volkswagen He first noticed it when he was

The wooden diner bench is where Kendall makes his art. Above right: The back of the gallery has an open recording studio that records professional quality sound. 42

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living on Ibiza in the early 1980s. “Little by little, I just could not focus my right eye,” he says. “I went to eye specialists on the island. They did all sorts of tests and said, ‘We don’t know what’s wrong. You just can’t see.’ Well, that doesn’t tell me much!” The diagnosis came soon after he resettled in New Hampshire: keratoconus in his right eye. Put simply, keratoconus is a weak spot in the cornea. If it’s severe enough, the cornea can burst — which, yes, has happened to Kendall, and it’s just as unpleasant as you can imagine. Over the years he’s had at least three corneal transplants, plus four other eye surgeries. Kendall retired from teaching in 2010, only to find himself sidelined by another ailment — this time in his right shoulder. (And yes, he is right handed.) “It was like somebody stuck a knife in me.” The diagnosis: a torn bicep caused by the strain of hours upon hours of artwork. “I never thought drawing was hazardous to my health, but I ended up getting shoulder surgery,” he says. “Then it was months of rehab, and I couldn’t draw.” After that, his right eye took another turn for the worse. That led to a pair of major surgeries in the spring of 2013 which, finally, were

successful. That summer, his right eye got a clean bill of health. But that’s not the end of the story. Not long after that, signs of cataracts and keratoconus appeared in his left eye. His “good” eye. Which probably means another round of surgeries in his future. Still, through it all, Kendall has maintained a positive outlook and a determination to keep on working. Even if he someday has to put down his beloved pen and take up the bass guitar.

At home in the studio Which wouldn’t be as strange as it sounds. His sons are both musicians, and his brother James is a songwriter and recording engineer. Kendall’s studio and gallery, on the ground floor of his home in Georges Mills, is a haven for art and music. The walls of the gallery display his framed prints. The back of the gallery is an open recording studio where Cody and Chris can play and James can record professional quality sound. (They’ve recorded five albums in Kendall’s studio, including two with Maine-based blues singer Charlene Thornton.) Kendall bought the house in 2000, and the music started almost immediately: “Before we even had the tile on the floor or the walls up, Cody

had a drum set and Chris had a bass, and kids from Sunapee and Henniker would come over and jam out.” In the middle of the gallery is something that looks very much like a booth at a diner: two wooden bench seats with a table in between. A large magnifying lamp is attached to the table. This is where Kendall makes his art. The setup was built by one of his former art students from Henniker, and a diner booth was exactly what Kendall had in mind. “I like the feel that, if somebody comes to my gallery, I could bring down tea or coffee, and they can sit and be comfortable like in a diner,” he says. Kendall’s art demands close attention and precision, but he doesn’t mind a little ruckus in his workspace. Indeed, he says it helps: “I’m just surrounded by this intense creative energy.” And, he adds, “just watching my kids progress, it blows me away.” In spite of all his eye and shoulder troubles, Kendall still has a lot to be happy about. And he chooses to accentuate the positive, keeping his eye on a future full of creative possibilities. KM KM KM 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.

Learn More Information about John Kendall’s artwork, and his sons’ music, can be found at www.kendallink. com. His studio and gallery are on Main Street in Georges Mills, just off Route 11.

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I am Woman, Hear Me Roar by Merry Armentrout photography by Douglas K. Hill

T

he days of women cheering on the men from the sideline are over. Nowadays you’re more likely to find the husband waiting at the finish line with the kids while his wife races. Women aren’t just taking on athletics at a new level, but are emerging in sports that historically were dominated by men, such as NASCAR. (What man can’t tip his hat to Danica Patrick?) Yes, female athletes are heating up the sports arena around the world, and right here in New Hampshire.

Bridget Crowley-Brown Cyclist and Runner Grantham, N.H. In high school, Bridget CrowleyBrown was the only girl › › › › ›

Bridget Crowley-Brown

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on the boy’s soccer team. So, yes, you could say she was athletic. But, like so many people, her interests in sports weaned after high school and it wasn’t until four years ago at a dinner party that she was inspired to get moving again. “We were sitting around the table and they all wanted to talk about

wanted to do something fun and different,” explains Crowley-Brown. She now teaches a number of strength and conditioning classes and is also a spinning instructor. In addition to her job that keeps her moving plenty, Crowley-Brown runs half marathons, participates in relay triathlons, and goes on century rides for fun. She says her biggest athletic challenge came in the form of an intense obstacle course, called the Spartan Race. “I knew there would be things that would scare me in the race and I wanted to try it. We went 200 yards under 12 and 18 inches of barbed wire so we were really crawling. But to get out of it there’s a wall in front of you and you have to dive underneath in mud. You can’t see and I really struggled with that obstacle. My team really encouraged me and I did it,” says Crowley-Brown. “I Bridget Crowley-Brown leads a spinning class at Keelin Studio in look at it like doNewbury, N.H. ing that thing you their recent athletic events. We went don’t think you can do to give you around the table and I was sweating some more confidence to do other because I didn’t do anything. That things in your life.” night I decided I would get back into Crowley-Brown may seem it,” says Crowley-Brown. fearless, but there’s one thing that She wasn’t kidding around. does scare her — swimming. She’s Crowley-Brown switched careers a member of a triathlete group, but from being the principal at Ledyard admits she only participates in the Charter School in Lebanon, N.H., to running or cycling portion of the a personal trainer at Keelin Studio in race. A long-term goal for her would Newbury, N.H. be to do a full triathlon. “So I think “I was getting close to 50 and I I’m going to have to pick up some 46

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swimming. It scares me but that’s okay because it can only make me stronger,” she says. Crowley-Brown wants to emphasize it doesn’t matter at what age you jump into sports; the important thing is that you take the leap. At 48 years old, she says she feels stronger and healthier than she has in years. “You can start at 70. I work with a woman who is 92 who is my inspiration,” says Crowley-Brown. “She just keeps going and moving.”

Heather Rogers Open Water Swimmer East Andover, N.H. Heather Rogers lives a stone’s throw away from her gym — her gym being Highland Lake in East Andover in the summer. Rogers is an open water swimmer who competed in the Kingdom Swim, a race in Newport, Vt., last summer. It’s an annual race that is a 1-, 3-, 6-, or 10-mile swim. Rogers completed the 6-mile swim in four hours and seven minutes, finishing second. “The 10-mile is like a world championship race so there are some really great swimmers who participate,” says Rogers. Rogers took to the water early, swimming competitively when she was 6 on a swim team. In her 20s, while living in Boston, she would swim in Walden Pond. Currently she swims with the Master Group at Hogan Sports Center in New London, N.H., during the winter, and as soon as it warms up she heads to the lake. “What I really love is when I’m swimming in the lake and I can see the sun shining through the water and seeing the bubbles as I pull my hand through the water. It makes me feel like an otter, playing in the water,” says Rogers. To train for the Kingdom Swim, Rogers swam three days a week in the winter and four to five › › › › ›


Heather Rogers at the Hogan Sports Center Pool in New London, N.H.

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days a week in the spring and summer. She typically swam two miles each time. Additionally, she runs and bikes. Rogers swam the 6-mile distance three times before the actual race, but when race day came, she got more than she bargained for. “I think the course ended up being closer to seven miles and it got really choppy, so that was challenging. When the wind and waves pick up it kind of feels like you’re swimming in a washing machine,” explains Rogers. Rogers says when her momentum is right, she gets what runners call a “runners high” while in the water. “I love feeling the power of the stroke through the water. When your stroke is really efficient it all kind of clicks,” says Rogers. Rogers wants to continue to do 6-mile races and, one day, take on the 10-miler. “I feel at home and relaxed in the water. I focus on that and nothing else,” says Rogers. When not in the water, you can find Rogers in the classroom. She teaches learning skills at Proctor Academy in Andover. She would love to get an open water swimming group together in the Kearsarge area.

Sineaid Corley Bobsledder Elkins, N.H.

The top echelons of athletes all strive for one common goal — the Olympics. One Elkins native is doing just that, dedicating her life to the sport of women’s bobsledding. Sineaid Corley found herself being recruited for the sport right out of college. She did the hammer throw at the University of Albany in New York, and although she didn’t know it at the time, the sport set her up perfectly for women’s bobsledding. “The hammer throw is a very strong and explosive sport. You have to be fast and explosive in bobsledding so it puts the best together,” explains Corley. Since being recruited, Corley has trained six days a week in Long Island and at the Olympic Training Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. She has two coaches and trains with a group of about 20 other female bobsledders — all who have the same dream as Corley’s, making the Olympic team. Only seven of the girls will get the chance Sineaid Corley training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

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photo courtesy of Sineaid Corley

Heather Rogers swims with a master group indoors during the winter.

to make that dream a reality, and the group won’t know who will head to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, until two weeks before the Opening Ceremony. Although each girl is fighting for a spot, Corley says they all have each other’s backs. “At that level, you are all very, very competitive, but you’re also a team and we’re very well bonded and take care of each other,” she says. “At the end of the day we’re still Team USA.” Bobsledding is still a fairly new sport for U.S. women; they didn’t compete in the sport until 2002. Currently the women only complete in the twoperson bobsled whereas the men compete in both the two- and fourperson bobsled at the Olympic level. For Corley to make the team, she has spent the last few years training for


Service, Storage & Repair photo courtesy of Sineaid Corley

Accessories and Boat Parts hours a day, working with nutrition coaches, speed and conditioning coaches, and rehabbing her muscles every day after practice to get into peak shape. Sineaid Corley (right) with a “Your bobsled teammate whole day becomes training. It becomes your life. It truly is a full-time job,” explains Corley. When asked what it would mean to her to make the Olympic team, you can hear the excitement in Corley’s voice. She has the drive and the dedication, and now it’s just a matter of time before she finds out whether the hard work has paid off, whether she will pack her bags and head for Sochi. And, yes, making the team would be pretty awesome. “I would have reached my lifetime goal by the time I was 26,” she says. “It would be amazing for sure.” KM KM KM

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Merry Armentrout is a freelance writer who lives in New London, N.H., with her husband and son. She is an adjunct writing professor at Colby-Sawyer College and editor of the Intertown Record in Sutton, N.H. 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 www.doughillphoto.com

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Wilmot

people, places and things

History

A Second Chance for Old Curtains

Wilmot restores two 1908 painted stage curtains with help from Curtains Without Borders. by Barbra Alan photography by Ed Weaver

I

t’s curtains for the Wilmot Historical Society — stage curtains, that is. Last October, the historical society proudly unveiled the town’s century-old painted stage curtains, which were carefully preserved by Curtains Without Borders, a nonprofit organization that locates, documents and preserves historic painted theater curtains.

It all began in 2012, when the historical society contacted Chris Hadsel, project director with the Vermont-based Curtains Without Borders, shortly after she had visited the town to photograph and document the stage curtains. “Documenting and photographing a town’s theatrical curtains often inspires towns to look into conserving

them,” Hadsel says, noting that there are about 150 curtains in towns throughout New Hampshire.

The curtains Wilmot had two painted muslin curtains, made around 1908, that were in need of some tender loving care. The fact that they were by two different artists, says Hadsel, “was a surprise. Usually curtains at the

The front curtain dates back to 1908. The painting features the Rhine River and the Alps in the background. 54

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


The back curtain, has a street scene created by Charles Henry of Boston. Stage curtains by Henry are rare.

same location are done by the same person.” The Charles Huiest Company in Troy, N.Y., did the front curtain, also known as the grand curtain. “Charles Huiest had quite a fancy studio that created beautiful painted curtains for opera houses and theatres in New York and New England,” says Hadsel. Wilmot’s curtain features a painting of a bank along the Rhine River with the Alps in the background. This would have been a familiar scene to Huiest, who was born and raised in Austria and immigrated to the United States as a young man. “There’s an almost identical scene on a curtain in South Londonderry, Vt.” In the 1970s, someone attempted to restore the grand curtain to its former splendor by repainting the scene and adding foam rubber padding to the roller. While the intentions were noble, the paint was shinier than what the Huiest Company used and the foam rubber on the roller had deteriorated, causing some damage to the muslin. “It needed work,” says Hadsel. “We used paints that were much closer to the matte level of the original paint and rescued the material from foam rubber padding

and replaced it with archival quality material.” The back curtain — which the Wilmot Historical Society didn’t even know it had until Hadsel’s initial visit, when it was discovered rolled up atop the crossbeams backstage — was made by Charles Henry of Boston. “He was more of a regional artist and had a much more modest studio than Charles Huiest,” Hadsel says. “We’ve only seen two other curtains by him in Vermont and two or three others in Maine.” The curtain features a street scene with some houses and a brick wall covered with posters advertising transatlantic fares to Liverpool. “It’s very different from the other street scenes on stage curtains I’ve seen,” says Hadsel. “Most of the street scenes are urban; they look like European towns with tall buildings and church spires. The one on the Wilmot curtain looks more like Cape Cod, very New England.” As it turned out, the back curtain needed even more work than the grand curtain. For starters, it had water damage. “There were some nasty water stains on the painting that were particularly visible in the

sky,” says Hadsel. There were also tears, which were mended with a conservation material called Beva. “Conservators use it for mending fabric and tears in paintings,” says Hadsel. Beva is a clear, water-based adhesive film that, when heated with an iron, bonds a patch of material to a larger piece of the same material, creating a seamless bond. “The beauty of Beva is that with more heat, you can undo the patch, so 50 or 100 years from now, when Beva is outdated, future conservators will be able to remove what we’ve done and use whatever is being used then.” The work was done onsite at the Wilmot Town Hall over a period of three days in November 2012. They were on view during Town Meeting in March 2013, then some › › › › ›

Learn More Visit the Wilmot Historical Society online at www.wilmothistoricalsociety.org For more information on Curtains Without Borders, visit www.curtainswithoutborders.org

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touch-up work was done just prior to the October 2013 unveiling, where Hadsel spoke about the conservation process, the history of the town’s curtains, and where they fit within the larger context of theatrical stage curtains.

History of stage curtains

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How can we help you?

Painted stage curtains were all the rage from 1890-1940, when people packed their local town halls to socialize and enjoy live performances. “By 1940, people stopped looking to their town halls and grange halls for their entertainment,” says Hadsel. “They started going to movie theaters and in the 1950s, when televisions came onto the scene, they stayed home.” In the decades since, some towns have continued to use their stage curtains while others have stored them with varying degrees of care. “Towns didn’t know what to do with their curtains,” says Hadsel. “They’re huge — 20 feet long by 10 feet high. What do you do when they get filthy and torn? Most New Englanders just bundled them up and put them away, but a number of them ended up at the dump. Our mission is to find these curtains, document them, and educate people about them so they never, ever go to the dump again.” This mission began 15 years ago, when Hadsel, then-executive director of the Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance, and her colleague Mary Jo Davis, a paper conservator, started Curtains Without Borders after working together to document, photograph and restore stage curtains throughout Vermont for the VMGA. “We conserved all 185 curtains in Vermont,” Hadsel says. “And along the way, people were calling from New Hampshire and Maine, asking when we were coming to help them.” Of the 150 curtains in New Hampshire, Curtains Without Borders has conserved 25. That number is steadily growing, as more


towns are becoming interested in conserving their historical artifacts. “We try to make this as affordable as possible for the towns,” says Hadsel. “We are very much a nonprofit conservation team. With have three conservators, a helper and me. I fill my car with the materials we need and off we go.” To help underwrite the cost of restoring their curtains, towns can apply for a Moose Plate Grant. Established in 1998, the Moose Plate program supplements the preservation and restoration of publicly owned historic resources. Each time a New Hampshire moose license plate is purchased or renewed, a portion of the proceeds go toward the grant. Since the town of Wilmot owns its stage curtains, it qualified for the Moose Plate Grant, which covered the entire project. Because no fundraising on the historical society’s part was required, it was a true win-win situation for the town and 140115 KAH Kearsarge Mag Ad_0713.indd 1 its residents, who are delighted with their restored curtains. One resident who is particularly pleased with the end result is Lindy Heim, vice president of the Wilmot Historical Society. “They are spectacular treasures,” she says. “Curtains Without Borders is a wonderful resource for towns like ours that want to preserve some of its history.” For Hadsel and her colleagues at Curtains Without Borders, it’s the opportunity to give these majestic old curtains a second chance and a new Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law, audience that they find most rewardTrust Administration & Professional ing. “Witnessing the transformation Trustee Services of the curtains — especially the ones that are almost beyond repair — is Real Estate Transactions the best part of what I do,” says Development & Zoning Hadsel. KM KM KM Divorce Litigation and Mediation

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Warner

people, places and things

ART

Weaving History

When you purchase a basket from Western Abenaki Baskets, it is more than just a beautiful piece of art. The spirit of the maker is there as well. by Dana Benner photography by Paul Howe

I

f you have lived in New Hampshire for any length of time, you probably can remember wooden toboggans, large woven ash baskets and wooden snowshoes laced with leather strapping. These are all direct links to the Native American past of New Hampshire. The early settlers were quick to realize the importance of these items, and quick to adopt them for their own use.

But in our modern age of massproduced synthetic items, we have forgotten our roots. It is good to know that there are those who strive to keep the old traditions alive. Bill and Sherry Gould of Warner, N.H., are two of these people. The Goulds live and operate Western Abenaki Baskets in a nondescript farmhouse along Route 114. If you are driving too fast, you are liable to miss the

hand-carved sign that denotes their presence.

Spiritual plants Bill and Sherry, who are both enrolled members of The Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, specialize in brown ash and sweet grass baskets. Sherry studied for two years with master basket maker Jeanie Brink in Barre, Vt., and Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket making

Sherry and Bill Gould of Western Abenaki Baskets weave baskets from ash and sweet grass gathered in a sacred and traditional way. 58

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


with Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, N.H. Sherry and Bill are also juried members of The League of NH Craftsmen. The baskets created here use the same traditions that Abenaki people have used through time immortal. Both the ash and the sweet grass used in the baskets are gathered from local wild habitats in a sacred and traditional way. “Native people are very connected to the world around them. All things are part of a greater circle,” Sherry says. “When anything is harvested, prayers are said to give thanks.” From their modest workshop on Bradford Road, Bill and Sherry are busy making baskets, collecting supplies, and teaching basket making classes. Basket weaving among the Abenaki started out strictly for utility purposes. It wasn’t until the arrival of the Europeans that Abenaki baskets took on the form as art and something that was bought and sold. In the 1800s baskets of all sorts were being made and sold to tourists and local residents alike. Tourists visiting New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine were drawn to the style known as Fancy Baskets, while local farmers readily bought the large ash pack baskets as they were perfect for lugging potatoes and other crops from the fields. While baskets of all shapes and sizes are being made today, with most of the smaller ones being made and sold as pieces of art, ash pack baskets are made to be used, just as they were hundreds of years ago.

Basket beginnings The art of traditional basket making is once again gaining interest among many people. If you take a basket weaving class you will quickly learn that there is more to the process than one may think. Not to worry though, as Sherry and Bill are patient teachers and more than willing to spend the time to make sure their students understand each step and are able to do it correctly.

(Top) Splints of wood are bundled and stored after the strip is pulled from the log. (Bottom) Later, the splint is scraped with a knife to smooth it out. Bill Gould demonstrates.

Before any basket can be made, the material needs to be gathered. Bill explains that the real work of basket making is in the collecting of the material; the actual weaving

of the basket is the easiest part of the entire process. Here in New England, black ash is the wood of choice, though some sources reference the use of oak as well. › › › › ›

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Gould explains that while oak can be used, and is, black ash is the top choice. Getting the strips of wood, or splints, from oak is much more labor intensive and oak is harder to work with. When he selects trees to harvest, he looks for trees that measure 12 to 14 inches in diameter, or larger, and have at least an 8-foot section that is free of knots. The smaller the tree, the more natural defects it will have and the lower amount of useable wood the tree will Sherry Gould works on the base of a basket. The vase is temporary, helping her guide the splints. yield. As the harvest is made in the most sacred of use. Before the splints are cut to size something spiritual about it. Native manner, it would be disrespectful to and made into baskets, they need to people knew this and it is something harvest a tree you could not use. be soaked in water for a few minthat many people today are startOnce the tree is harvested, utes. The water, which is absorbed ing to realize. Making that special debranched and debarked, it is time into the wood, makes the splints something, whether it be for a gift for the real work to begin. Bill starts easier to work with. Once ready, the or to display in your own home, by pounding the tree to loosen the thicker splints are split one more has a much greater meaning than growth rings. Traditionally this time to the size the basket maker something that you can pick up at pounding would have been done usrequires. Each basket is different, any store.” KM KM KM ing a large rock, but today it is done so splints of many different sizes Dana Benner, a lifelong New using hammers. Even with the best need to be made. After this process, Hampshire resident, has been writtools, this job is time consuming. the splint is scraped with a knife to ing about history and the outdoors Once the wood is separated from smooth it out. At Western Abenaki for close to 30 years with his work the rings, wood strips are pulled Baskets you are liable to find a appearing in regional and national from the log, along the grain. These variety of splints that range in size publications. He holds a master’s strips of wood run the length of the from one inch to a ¼ inch in width, in education in heritage studies log and their thickness is governed each having its own purpose. Wide from Plymouth State University and by the size of the growth ring. splints are often used in utilitarian teaches history and political science After the splints are removed baskets, where smaller splints would at Granite State College. they are bundled and stored for later be used in more delicate and decorative baskets. Paul Howe is a professional “It is important to keep the old photographer based in Sunapee. Learn How traditions alive. The art of basket See his work at www.paulhoweClasses are sporadic, but if anymaking is just one of them,” says photography.com one is interested they can email Sherry. “When you make someBill at billgould@tds.net thing with your own hands there is

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Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


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Real Life Stories The Center for the Arts memoir contest inspires local writers to get personal. introduction by Laura Jean Whitcomb photographs by Maureen Rosen

=' riting about yourself isn’t easy. W But writers across the Kearsarge area and beyond put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and submitted their memoirs in the New Londonbased Center for the Arts (CFA) memoir contest last fall. “We chose that genre because we thought it was a personal kind of self-expression that was appropriate for our overall theme of ‘Falling Into Folk Art’, and many people have become interested in both writing and reading memoirs,” says Joan T. Doran, chair of the CFA Literary Arts Guild. BA Abbott of Gilmanton Ironworks, N.H. and L.B. Chase of

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Andover, N.H. were selected as winners. They read their memoirs as part of a CFA monthly First Friday program, which also featured fiddler Dudley Laufman, a National Heritage Fellowship Award winner; a presentation by memoirist Helen Bridge of Grantham, N.H.; and a display of artist Loa Winter’s Dummy Boards. Contest judge Katharine Britton, a teacher and writer who has just published her second novel, Little Island, shared these comments: “…it takes courage to look back and examine one’s life so closely that you can recreate it for another in a way that informs From left to right: L.B. Chase of Andover, the crowd and entertains. All those who at the First Friday program, and BA Abbott of submit their work for publication Gilmanton Ironworks or into a contest show this courage.” She notes that the winning Learn More entries “had moments of greatness, The CFA’s Literary Arts Guild of pathos, or humor, of beauty. produces two First Friday events Each conveyed a deeper meaning, a each year to promote literary universal truth.” arts and showcase the work of So make a cup of tea, find a established and emerging writers quiet spot to read, and enjoy these and poets in the Lake Sunapee three memoirs. It might inspire you Region. For more information, to write your own. visit www.centerfortheartsnh.org

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com


Lessons Learned by L.B. Chase illustration by Peter Noonan

='

was July of 1957. The boy was about Itot become a high school senior, set on

earning a letter as a cross country runner and making the grades to get into college. Shortly before summer vacation, his grandfather — a robust old guy who each summer had led the family charges up New Hampshire’s Mount Kearsarge — had suffered a severe heart attack. Afterward, he took a leave from his job at the blanket mill over in Troy, where he and the boy’s grandmother lived, and was recovering at the old family summer camp on Bradley Lake in Andover. The boy’s grandmother at the time

was worse off than her husband in many ways. So their daughter, the boy’s mother, offered her son’s services that summer as a live-in helper. (“Just keep him quiet,” she told the boy.) His grandfather didn’t think he needed the boy’s help (or anyone else’s for that matter), but he was mostly polite in his disdain.

. The old man was sitting quietly on the camp porch one morning as the boy came in from a long training run. A brewing thunderstorm was sweeping across the lake toward them. “You a decent runner?” he asked. › › › › ›

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“So-so,” the boy said, for the jury was still out on that. “I was a runner once,” the grandfather said. “Cross country too, before they threw me out of Proctor.” An upscale private school now, Proctor Academy had once served as the town high school for boys in Andover, where the old man had grown up. The boy knew enough to keep quiet because there was a story brewing. “Yup. Except coach had me pegged as a sprinter, not a distance runner. So he wanted to make me the rabbit. You know what a rabbit is?” The boy nodded. A rabbit is a runner who goes out as fast as he can at the start of a race in order to lure the opposing team into exhaustion, then fades before the finish while his teammates, who had maintained a steadier pace, pass their tired opponents. “Well, come our first race, just like they told me, I got out in front, down on the old trail along the train tracks, and at first it was easy. Then the other guys come up behind me and were about to pass, and I knew I was supposed to go only a mile or so, pull them along, and then drop out.” “But it felt so goddamn good to be out there in front. So I just kept on going. Damn near died, but after two, three miles, I surprised ’em all. Came in first.”

. After lunch and the rain, the boy asked his grandfather if he’d be taking his usual nap. The boy’s job was to bring the blanket and pillow out to the screened porch. “Looks like it’s clearing up, boy,” the old man said. “Thought we might take a little walk.” “You be careful, Ernest,” the boy’s grandmother said. She knew better than to say more.

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“I said a little walk, mother,” he said. “We’ll be good.”

. After an easy mile along an old logging road around the lake, the boy wondered aloud whether the two should turn back so as not to worry his grandmother. “We’ll go on a bit,” the old man said. The next half mile was a steady uphill climb, and the pace picked up. The old man told the boy that the trail they were now on had been made by men from West Salisbury employed by the Boston Lead Mine (actually a graphite mine) on the side of Mount Kearsarge back around the turn of the century. The boy said he wanted to stop and catch his breath. “You tired already, boy? It’ll do you some good to push yourself.” The boy couldn’t say that the proposed rest was for his grandfather’s sake, not his own. They walked on. As they crested the flank of Beech Hill, the boy asked again about turning back. “Might as well go on to West Salisbury,” the old man said. “It’ll just be another mile or so — all downhill from here. You too wore out to go on?” “I guess not.” Now the old man picked up the pace, actually jumping occasionally from rock to slippery rock in spots where years of rain had washed out the old trail. “You be careful,” he told the boy. The boy tried to develop a plan of action in case of another heart attack or a major fall, but all he could remember from Boy Scouts was how to try to save someone from drowning. An hour and a half after leaving the camp, they came to a back road that led into the little village of West Salisbury, and the boy had some

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

idea of where they were. He sat on a rock and pretended his shoelaces needed attention. “Hold on a minute,” he said, but his grandfather kept walking. When the boy caught up, he asked the old man if he was ready to return. “I guess we’ll go back a different way,” he said. “It’s a mite longer, but you won’t have to go up over Beech Hill again.” They found the old carriage road out of West Salisbury with some difficulty. It led back to Beech Hill Road in Andover. The old man was correct about it being a longer return route, but incorrect about it being easier. There was no resting along the way, though the boy believed they might have slowed down the pace some. At one point, the old man paused briefly, took the boy by the shoulder, pointed to their left, and said simply, “Cellar hole.” “What?” “The old Scribner place, I believe. One of the early settlers. Some kind of relative of yours.” “What happened?” “Places go if they’re not kept up. Kids leave home, old folks die off, place sits empty. Likely the barn goes first, and somebody borrows the lumber. When the house sits awhile, neighbors come after the windows and doors. Then the weather and the critters and the squatters move in. Maybe fire. And about a hundred years.” “You knew these people?” “I knew some great grandkids, shirttail cousins. Town took the land for back taxes. Likely owns it yet. Ain’t worth shit.” They walked on in silence.

. When they returned to the camp, they found the boy’s grandmother in near hysterics. “Do you know you’ve


been gone for over four hours?” she cried. “Where in heaven’s name have you two been, Ernest?” “I’d have been back an hour ago but for the boy,” he replied, looking at the boy in what the boy took to be real disdain. Then he brightened. “But it felt so goddamn good, mother. I felt so goddamn good again.”

. The boy’s grandfather lived vigorously for another 16 years after that summer, remarrying six months after his wife’s death and moving to Florida. Whenever they met afterward, the old man would ask, “Remember the time I run that poor cross country kid ragged back in ’57?,” and they’d both have a good laugh. The boy wanted to believe that somehow he had made some small contribution to the old man’s later life, perhaps even as much as his grandfather had contributed to his own. KM KM KM L.B. Chase is a recovering corporate American and former New Jersey resident who now, thankfully, lives in Andover. He’s the seventh consecutive generation of his family to own property in Andover. Manchester, N.H., artist Peter Noonan, whose artwork and political cartoons are admired by all (except for certain New Hampshire politicians), has been illustrating magazines for years. You can see more of his work at www.noonanarts.com

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Gifts of My Mother by BA Abbott illustration by Peter Noonan

=' ill had called me early Thursday B morning. He is the oldest of the four children and he is a doctor, so his words to me were measured, carefully considered, gentle. As he spoke I envisioned him on the other end of the line, head tilted to one side, eyes lowered, lids heavy, a sweet sympathetic smile just creasing his cheek on one side. Our mother, after nearly 86 years, seemed to have given up her struggle to overcome the ravages of dementia and bodily decline. She was no longer taking food or water. We were nearing the end for her physical body and I wanted to be with her when that end came. When I entered her room Friday evening, bending to give her a kiss, I momentarily thought I had entered the wrong room. She was so altered since my last visit just two months before. The fullness of cheek that we MacDonald women are so famous for was gone, as was the soft lip. Her skin was thin as a lady’s hankie, her jawbone and teeth insinuating themselves through the delicate fabric.

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I started to pull back, but then saw her eyes. Her small eyes that used to crinkle in the corners and leak with laughter and with sorrow. Yes, this was my mother and she had been waiting for us to come. I told her we were there, that we all loved her and that if she was tired and was ready to go, she should go, that we would take good care of Dad, that we would all be alright, that she would be with us all, always.

. It was Sunday morning and my mother was dying. The night before,

I had told her that we would understand if she needed to leave us during the night, but if she could wait, we would be back in the morning. I wanted to be with her when she

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

passed. And there she was, waiting, lying on her side, eyes open, unfocused, mouth wide as she gasped her last breaths, each one farther from the last. Bill quietly intoned what in our hearts we knew: “This is it.” I held one hand, my sister the other. I was curious about this process of dying, such a part of living, but so alien to me, despite my having worked in an emergency room for a time. People had died under my hands as I performed CPR, but I had never had the experience of sitting quietly with a loved one and just being there for them, for comfort, for assurance. During brief interludes when I was able to set aside the anxiety and pain of losing my mother, I was consumed with curiosity about this mirror-side of life. I had been inspecting her fingers, curious at their tenuous grasp, feeling the nearly undetectable pulse as blood cells continued their attempt to support what little life was left there. I had been obsessed with the thought that there were cells, all the way down in the very tips of those


frail fingers, which were screaming for oxygen, for water, for nourishment. Screaming for life to continue. Screaming, I tell you, I thought I could hear them screaming. Her hands were dark blue as blood pooled, now unable to make the return trip to lungs for oxygen. Her skin was so fragile, so thin that I thought it might tear if I was not gentle. Yet I was curious enough to move it about and pull it up, where it stayed peaked on the back of her hand, like whipped cream is supposed to stay peaked when it is perfect. I was amazed and I wept bitterly. This was not perfection. This was death. Under that skin, there was no flesh left. The feel of that skin to me was like the delicate skin over a fine pudding. Soft, pliant, a mere membrane, and yielding, yielding. So soft to the lips as I planted a kiss wet with tears. As her single breaths became farther and farther apart, I found myself holding my breath in between. I called out my brother’s name, “Bill!” when the interval was particularly long one time, but then she took another gasping breath…and then another, before giving in and passing on. She was still. It was over. It was 8:26 a.m. on the day before her 86th birthday. We sat with her a while longer. Finally, having watched so many bad westerns, I felt compelled to reach up and close her eyes, which had been open during the last, but unfocused. I was not sure they would stay closed like they do in the movies, but they did. And I was able to close her mouth a bit, so that after the nurses came in and cleaned her up, she looked peaceful and calm, lying now on her back, head on a soft white pillow, as though taking one of her quick naps. In truth, it was a gentle passing, with no pain. For this I am so grateful; also for being able to be by her

side, holding her hands and stroking her cheek with her husband and her children, kissing her goodbye while her skin was still warm to the touch. I knew, we all knew, it was our last chance to feel her warmth in a physical sense.

. Her rings dangled loosely on her finger. Someone told me to take her rings. Without thinking, I slipped them from her limp finger directly onto my own, a plump pink finger in stark contrast. It was just a place to store them until decisions were made, but even then I did not know if I would ever be able to remove them. The connection was so strong with the passing of rings she had worn for more than 60 years. They represented so much to me about who she was and how she led her life. I look at my mother’s rings now, only days later, and recognize that it is so strange that I would want to wear them, for I was not happy about the life she had led. She was a product of her time, caught by a culture and a husband who conspired to make this remarkable woman, with brains enough and opportunity enough to attend college in the 1930s, suppress that intelligence and submit to the conventions of the day. She was to be a housewife and a mother. She was to answer unquestioningly to her husband and to look to him for all of her needs: financial, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. She was stifled. I was angry for the life she did not lead, the freedom of thought and spirit which she did not have. When her children had reached out to extricate her from what we thought to be a cruel captivity, she had declined, choosing instead to continue the dance she had started in her early 20s with our father. It was a dance she knew so well. The

steps were familiar. One forward, one back. Two forward, two back. As she lay there on her deathbed, spent and empty, I wept for the experiences she would never have, the exotic places she would never see, the kind of love that she deserved but would never have. I clenched my fist in anger for her and in resolve for myself, my daughter and my granddaughters to follow, that we should seek fulfillment and self-expression, that we should not ask for, but assume the freedom to set our own paths, make our own rules. Angry as I was, I also understood that it was because of my mother’s experiences that I became so willful and independent, hell-bent on happiness. However unintended, she and my father molded me into the woman I am today and I am grateful for that. I will send the rings to my sister on my mother’s birthday, which will be one day after the first anniversary of her passing. Or maybe sooner. My sister may need to ponder her mother’s rings for a while, looking there among the diamonds and gold for the source of her own strength, for some meaning in her life, for the gifts our mother gave us without our knowing. KM KM KM BA Abbott grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and now lives in Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H., with her husband Nate. She raised her two children in Connecticut, and then after earning her MBA at Simmons Graduate School of Business, had a career in banking and business management at the Bank of Boston and Fidelity Investments. More recently, she served a term as selectman for the Town of Gilmanton, where she involves herself with her community, grandchildren, gardening, knitting, dogs, a cat, goats and, occasionally, writing.

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Brother, Can You Spare a Mouse? by Helen Bridge illustration by Peter Noonan

=' umb me. I thought having five D kids was sufficient animal life for one household. Growing up on a farm, we always had animals: the usual barn cats, the obligatory herding dogs, and the other assorted creatures you find on any farm. House pets were a luxury we couldn’t afford. My children, however, wanted a pet. Luckily, a friend was breeding her miniature poodle and offered us one of her litter. We named our adorable little puppy, Robespierre, or Roby for short, and the kids now had their pet. Our one and only I hoped, but it was not to be. Our next acquisition was a box turtle the kids found by the side of the road. It wasn’t nearly as cute and cuddly as Roby, but we kept it. Next, we got a rabbit. Thank goodness, they both lived in the garage. A few months later, our daughter, Debby, came home from school and announced she wanted a gerbil. “Oh, Mom, Julie has a gerbil, and it is the cutest thing you ever saw. Please, please, can I get one? I’ll just die if I can’t.” Not wanting her death on my conscience, I yielded. Off to the to the pet store we went to acquire the gerbil, the cage, the running wheel, the water bottle, the food, and all the other accoutrements a gerbil seemed to need for his or her station in life. I think I furnished my first apartment for less. All went well for several weeks. That little rodent just ran and ran on

its wheel, ate its food, and drank its water. I cleaned its cage. Then, one of Debby’s brothers took the gerbil out of its cage without permission and it disappeared. Debby was devastated. Back we trudged to the pet store for another one.

I lost count of the number of gerbils and hamsters we acquired. Some expired, but most of them escaped. One managed to nest in our desk and chew up our insurance policies. We left hamster No. 4 or 5 with friends while we went on vacation. Their kids promptly took it out of its cage before we even backed out of their driveway and lost it. They found it a year later in their freezer.

We never understood how it got in there. Another one nearly caused a major explosion. On New Year’s Eve, the current hamster or gerbil in residence was uncaged and it fled behind the stove. Trying to retrieve it, the babysitter pulled out the stove, disconnecting the gas line. We arrived home to find police and firemen congregated in our kitchen. That spelled the end of those pets. We retired the cage, but not for long. One of the boys was given a guinea pig. It expired within days, so of course we had to replace it. Another son brought home a chameleon he had purchased at the county fair. The chameleon happily took up residence in the flora and fauna in our family room. He did startle several guests by suddenly jumping out of hiding to land on them. With the demise of these last two creatures, we held a family conference. Our little cemetery behind the garage had almost reached capacity, and I wanted no more pets to roam the house. After much discussion, we compromised on an aquarium. We would get tropical fish. Off to the pet store once more. We got the aquarium, the bubbler, the lamp, the coral, the plants, the sea chest and finally the very expensive fish. The total came to more than our food budget for a month. But the children were happy, and that’s what counted, I muttered to myself. It took a month for the first fish ››››› to die. I replaced it. Then,

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two more succumbed. I sought the advice of the pet store. We needed warmer water for those fragile little tropical fish. We added a heater. But the death rate climbed. When the last one floated to the surface, I said, “Kids, that’s it. No more pets except for Roby.” Despite their pleading, I remained adamant. The moratorium lasted for a few years, at least until my youngest came to me pleading, “Mom, please, please, can I get a mouse?” Being five years younger than the last of my first four kids, Doug had missed most of the Sturm und Drang of our previous pet ownership. “A mouse! Mice are pests. Why in heaven’s name would you want a mouse?” “Oh,” he said, “they have the cutest little white mice at the pet store, and I really want one. Please, pl..eee..ase, can I get one?” I was beginning to abhor that pet store. I couldn’t find it in my heart to say “no.” Doug ran to the store to purchase his white mouse. We put it in the resurrected hamster cage, and he or she seemed to adjust well to its new home. Doug loved that mouse. He would play with it, carry it around in his shirt pocket, but he always returned it to the cage when playtime ended. A few weeks later, he dropped the bombshell. “Mom, could I get another mouse? This one is lonely.” “Honey, I don’t think so. If you don’t get the same sex, then we will have a lot more mice.” Doug replied, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll get the same sex.” Idiot that I am, I believed a 6 year old. He rushed to relieve the pet store of yet another white mouse. Eight weeks later, we had our first litter of nine more white mice. After another litter, the mice had quickly outgrown their cage. We retrieved the old aquarium and 70

set up another home. With two cages of mice, the reproduction cycle increased dramatically. Such overcrowding turned the mice cannibalistic. This was not quite the family planning model I wanted my children to observe. To add to the problem, Doug and his friend, Chuck, would take some of the mice out of the cages to play. They would build tunnels, fortresses, and mazes with Legos and watch the mice wend their way through them. It was one thing to keep count when they had two, three or four mice out of the cage so they knew how many were loose. It was quite another thing with a larger number. Now, there were white mice running all over our house. You would open a closet door and find a little white mouse peering at you. One jumped out when I dumped the laundry basket. I would lie awake at night listening to them chew and nest God only knew where. Something had to be done. Thinking I might recoup some of my losses, I suggested, “Let’s sell as many as we can back to the pet store for the boa constrictor.” Doug was traumatized at the thought. Figuring Doug had lost count, I began to lose one accidentally outside each day. “Slow attrition,” I called it. When my neighbor said to me, “Helen, have you ever seen any white mice in your house?” I was afraid the neighborhood would soon discover our house was the supply source for their infestation. I had to reduce the mice population. But how? Inspiration struck. Planning a trip east to visit one of my sons at school, I decided many white mice would accompany me for at least part of the journey. I would stop en route and free them in an open field far away from any houses. That seemed the humane thing to do. Survival of the fittest and all that. We would take care of the few remaining mice when I got home.

Kearsarge Magazine • Spring 2014 • kearsargemagazine.com

I found a large coffee can, punched holes in the lid, and stuffed in as many mice as the can would hold. With the can sitting on the floor of the passenger side of our trusty old station wagon, I jumped in and headed for New Hampshire. As I was barreling down the thruway, a car suddenly swerved in my lane. I slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision. The coffee can fell over, the lid came off, and now all of those mice were scampering around in my car. When I stepped on the gas pedal, a mouse would squeak. They ran over my feet. Every time I braked I would almost squash one. This was getting dangerous. Turning my right-turn signal on, I eased the car over to the berm while cars whizzed by me on the interstate. Shutting off the engine, I moved to the passenger side and opened both doors. Then, I watched and I waited. Whenever a mouse dared to come out in the open, I dove in, grabbed it if I could, and tossed it over my shoulder into the nearby field. Again, I would stand motionless, arms akimbo, stare into the car, and repeat the performance when another mouse appeared. Suddenly, I had the feeling of being watched. Glancing up, I saw a highway patrolman staring at me with an incredulous look that clearly telegraphed, “Oh boy, have I got a wacko.” With his right hand carefully placed by his gun holster, he inquired, “Ma’am, do you have a problem?” “Oh, it’s just these damned mice,” I replied. Eyebrows raised, he asked, “Do you always travel with mice?” With a long-suffering sigh, I politely told him the story. When he finally understood my problem, he said, “Look, it is very dangerous for you to be doing this on the side of a busy highway. Since it’s almost lunchtime, why don’t you pull off at


the next rest stop and try to retrieve your mice there?” Politely, I agreed to do so. Getting back in my car, I drove carefully to the rest stop with the cruiser following me the entire way.Fall After4C.Q7:1/3 a UVLife_Dutilles page ad 8/1/13 10:35 PM Page 1 fruitless hour of catching very few mice, I thought, “This is ridiculous. I’ve got to get moving.” While grabbing some lunch, I pondered how to Ad Placement: 4 7/8" X 3 1/8" capture those stupid mice. Seeing the sugar packets on the table gave me an idea. Perhaps I could lure the mice into the can with sugar. Grabbing a handful of packets, I headed to the car, placed the coffee can on the passenger seat and sprinkled in some sugar. Back on the highway, I drove with one hand on the wheel, one eye on the can, and my window wide open. When a mouse ventured in, I would grab the can and with one swift motion toss that critter out the window. Then, I sprinkled in more sugar, replaced the can, and continued the process. I don’t think this was any safer than parking along the highway, but it saved me precious time. It took all of Ohio and half of Pennsylvania to get rid of those mice, risking life and limb to do so. Before falling asleep in my hotel that night, I suddenly thought, “Oh my, how many startled motorists do you suppose reported seeing flying mice to the police?” Now, that’s an explanation I would love to have heard. KM KM KM

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Escaping from a farm life in rural Ohio, Helen Bridge managed to have a career that included jobs at Dartmouth College, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She also managed to rear five children. Currently working on her memoirs, Helen winters with her husband, John Trethaway, in Grantham and summers on Lake Sunapee.

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Newbury

people, places and things

Pen’s End

The Forgotten Season by Sue Janericco illustration by J. Moria Stephens

S

pring is the forgotten season here, snow melting into muddy rivulets, disconsolate skiers avoiding rocks peering up through the white. Tree branches draped forlornly. Winter is still hovering in the air, chill winds belie what the calendar says. A few brave crocuses poke through the ground, wistfully stretching toward the sun. The lake’s icy blanket begins to shrink, warmer days are hiding just beyond our reach. Here and there, birds collaborate on nests and chatter among themselves about the winter. Stuck between two spectacular seasons, winter scenes etched in white, black and gray, and summer with rich greens and pastels, spring is the forgotten season here. KM KM KM Sue Janericco is an assistant activity director at the Clough Center where she has worked for nine years. She loves exercising and has walked the Boston Marathon route three times.

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Kearsarge Spring 2014  

The spring 2014 issue of Kearsarge Magazine includes a feature on ice sailing, artist John Kendall, female athletes (including bobsledding)...

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