Page 1

Local designers will warm you up

mindful meditation on ice

“The Explorers” take the plunge and go deep on Powder Mill Pond

december 2020

Black

b l a c k l i v es

Lıves

win t er fashi o n

The Granite State’s Agents of Change Gingerbread Houses: A Builder’s Guide Fat Bikes for Big Fun

me d i tat i o n o n i c e

Special Guides to Holiday Gifts & Cocktails

h o l i d ay pr o j e c t s , d rin k s & G i f t s

December 2020

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© 2020 McLean Communications, LLC New Hampshire Magazine® is published by McLean Communications, Inc., 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, LLC.: New Hampshire Magazine disclaims all responsibility for omissions and errors. New Hampshire Magazine is published monthly, with the exception of February and April. USPS permit number 022-604. Periodical postage paid at Manchester 03103-9651. Postmaster send address changes to: New Hampshire Magazine, P.O. Box 433273, Palm Coast, FL 32143 Printed in New Hampshire


Contents top from left: photos by jared charney, bob packert and joe klementovich; inset clockwise from top left: courtesy of rob adair, courtesy, by john w. hession, courtesy and by kendal j. bush

52

62

December 2020

70

First Things

603 Navigator

603 Informer

603 Living

6 Editor’s Note 8 Contributors Page 10 Feedback

12 Winter fat biking by Marty Basch

26 “new hampshire 2020”

78 gingerbread houses

by Anders Morley

28 Blips

by Bill Burke photos by John W. Hession

nh in the news

Features

by Casey McDermott

34 Transcript

Meet Richard Starkey, a major in the Salvation Army. by David Mendelsohn

52 Black Lives

Until this year’s events, many had never heard of the Black Lives Matter movement. But it isn’t new, and, in fact, Black agents of change have always existed in New Hampshire.

16 Our Town franconia

by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

30 What Do You Know?

by Anthony Poore photos by Jared Charney

20 Top Events

by Marshall Hudson

62 Baby, It’s Cold Outside

by Emily Heidt

32 Politics

22 Food & Drink

by James Pindell

With these winter styles, you’ll be the most fashionable person on the trails (or by the fire). styled by Chloe Barcelou photos by Bob Packert

70 Winter Zen

holiday fun

Madear’s Southern Eatery & Bakery

by Michael Hauptly-Pierce photos by Kendal J. Bush

Newington Meetinghouse

102 Health

digital therapeutics

by Karen A. Jamrog

Amee Sweet-McNamara

by Susan Laughlin

The Explorers take a journey of discovery, which leads to icy waters, a yoga class and, ultimately, a deeper connection with friends. by Jay Atkinson photos by Joe Klementovich

ON THE COVER Learn more about Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas in the feature story “Black Lives” starting on page 52. Photo by Jared Charney

dealing with holiday blues

by Lynne Snierson

Libertarians in NH

33 Artisan

82 Seniority

104 Ayuh

what’s in the box?

by Bill Burke

Special Sections 36 Faces of New Hampshire 85 New Hamphire Gift Guide 95 Holiday Cocktails

Volume 34, Number 12 ISSN 1560-4949 nhmagazine.com | December 2020

5


EDITOR’S NOTE

My mom’s mother was always “Grandmother” to my siblings and me, but to her friends she was known as Monoo. She was a world traveler, interior decorator, storyteller and collector of curiosities.

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nhmagazine.com | December 2020

I think of that attic often when looking back ur Christmas visits to her house were full of unusual (for us) formal- on the quarter-century of holidays that have been covered by this magazine. When I scan ities, like enforced table manners through the bound editions in my office, I and a basic dress code, but the holiday’s wonders were somehow intensified by these get a similarly fragmented (but enlightening) glimpse of our state and its odd affections. alterations in our behavior. The trip down Attics have given way to less interesting, the stairs on Christmas morning by my though better lit, storage units in the modern brother and me was delayed until every member of the extended family was present world, and among the accumulations of my life with a cup of fresh coffee or juice and a slice is a collection of old copies of New Hampshire Profiles magazine. During its 40-or-so years of nut bread at hand. Of course, my dad of publication, Profiles became a significant would be set up with whatever recording depository for the passions and puzzles of life device was popular at the time: A Super 8 in the Granite State, and flipping through those movie camera chronicled our dashes for back issues reveals much about the personality the heaps of presents. and character of our state. But for all the excitement (and sometimes I suppose in some ways that my job as edidisappointment) of discovering what was tor of New Hampshire Magazine is just filling in those gaily wrapped boxes under the tree downstairs, it was trip up the stairs to a secret an attic with memorabilia. Along with the classic keepsakes of our recent past, each year door near our bedroom that I remember. has its cast-off items, its fads and pretensions. By the bookshelf on the second-floor landIt sometimes takes a longer view to see the ing was a framed opening, just large enough soul that dwells within the busyness of our to stoop though, that led to Monoo’s attic. time and it’s good to know where to look. There were only a dangling bulb and a A few months ago, I promised in my single window to illuminate the angular space monthly note to pay more attention to some and, with so many layers of the past boxed often-overlooked members of the New and stacked, the attic took many Christmases Hampshire family, to ensure that some of to explore. We’d pour over old books and their stories, trophies, old garments and letters, unzip ancient military uniforms, and souvenirs get stored away in bound editions poke through envelopes packed with cruise ship menus and photos printed on cards from of this publication for posterity. Our cover story this month, “Black Lives,” exotic places Grandmother had traveled. is a step in that direction. Like every effort to We learned that the formidable woman, who corrected our posture and grammar, had represent something as complex as humanity, it’s just a fragment, but we offer it to you to herself once been young, and had odd affecunwrap and enjoy. Once deposited, along tions for paper crafts, dalmatians and Japan. with other treasures and curiosities, into the On her voyages to distant lands were galas great storage unit of our shared life (now with “dance cards” where she made friends increasingly a digital unit), we hope it will who left her sweet notes. It was a fragmented record of her life, but more revealing than the inform and fascinate any future seeker who appreciates the mysteries of the attic. NH conversations that she would initiate around the table as we fidgeted our way through dinner. And it’s the contents of that attic that I remember best about her.

photo by p.t. sullivan

Monoo’s Attic


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Contributors Anthony Poore, who wrote the “Black Lives” feature story, is the executive director of New Hampshire Humanities. His profile reads: “In Anthony’s 25 years of experience in the community economic development sector, he has worked as a practitioner, policy analyst, researcher and executive addressing the needs of urban and rural communities through participatory cross sector collaborative processes.” He was also included in our September list of the state’s “Super Nerds” for his unusual devotion to civics. “I’m really impressed with humans,” he explains.

for December 2020

Jared Charney’s work has appeared in numerous publications. He took the photos for the feature story “Black Lives.” See more at jaredcharney.com.

Seacoast-based artist, stylist and creative director Chloe Barcelou styled the feature “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” See more at chloebarcelou.com.

Art director and fashion and lifestyle photographer Bob Packert took the photos for “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” See more at bobpackert.com.

The Explorers — photographer and writer team Joe Klementovich (left) and Jay Atkinson — produced the feature story “Winter Zen.”

Michael Hauptly-Pierce, our regular “Sips” contributor, wrote this month's “Food & Drink.” He is the cofounder of Lithermans Limited Brewery.

Frequent contributor Kendal J. Bush took the photos for “Food & Drink.” You can see more of her photography at kendaljbush.com.

About | Behind The Scenes at New Hampshire Magazine So Long to One of Our Star Players SHE WAS JUST SEVENTEEN (YEARS ON THE JOB) You know what I mean. And the way she sold ads was way beyond compare.

Well-known Connie Audet look-alike Kate Winslet in a wedding photo from Connie's first year on the job.

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Greatest Grandmothering

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nhmagazine.com | December 2020

“Stars, they come and go, they come fast, they come slow / They go like the last light of the sun, all in a blaze / And all you see is glory.” So wrote Janis Ian in her 1974 hit song, “Stars,” and we all know a few stars who have come and brightened our world. Stars in the world of magazine ad sales don’t often get the credit for their glory, since the work they do behind the scenes is what allows the writers, editors, artists and photographers to shine. But for Connie Audet, the goal was always to ensure that ads from her accounts got a little star treatment as well. This explains her success working nearly two decades in the challenging business of ad sales during all the ups and downs of

the economy — including the last year of COVID-19 lockdowns. Connie’s ability to explain the power of a magazine to attract and win an attentive audience for advertisers came from her earlier experience as an editor of print publications. She understood the intimacy of the bonds between readers and a magazine they enjoy, respect and even, perhaps, love. And she loved her work. She retired this year, with plans to spend more time cooking and, when possible in these remote-everything times, entertaining, and most of all spending time with her grandchildren who, even after a decade as our senior sales rep, are indeed the true stars in her sky. Farewell, Connie. Shine on.


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Feedback

nhmagazine.com, facebook.com/NHMagazine & @nhmagazine

Laughable Ladies

It was laughable to read that, according to Marshall Hudson, 256-foot-high wind turbines looked a lot like graceful dancing ladies [“What Do You Know?” November 2020]. There are many other terms to describe them that are far more suited than insulting dancing ladies. I know that wind turbines are a superexpensive and unreliable form of renewable energy, but there is a much more accurate and honest expression than “dancing ladies.” A more apt term is ... ugly. I would think anyone who looked at giant windmills and hallucinated that they looked just like dancing ladies should never ingest whatever they were ingesting again. Samuel D. Bird III Colebrook Editor’s Note: Marshall Hudson’s November installment of “What Do You Know?” attracted a few letters that challenged the impressions and some of the facts and details that were cited in his story about the Groton turbines. Here’s his reply: My “Dancing Ladies” article was a lighthearted opinion piece comparing the appearance of windmills along the ridge with a line of dancing ladies. It was not a technical paper analyzing the pros/cons and production of wind turbine energy or the complexities of the power grid. The energy production statistics contained within my article, which someone indicates are “wrong numbers and wrong information,” did not originate with me. They came from multiple sources and are often repeated as “facts” among the various documents I relied on. Whether the windmills look like dancing ladies or not is a subjective opinion where you and I disagree. I would suggest that our readers drive Tenney Mountain Highway and decide for themselves whether the windmills are an eyesore or resemble elegant dancing ladies. — Marshall Hudson

Details! Details! Details!

For Marshall Hudson, or whomever wrote the captions for the photos in his article, “Jolly Green Giant” [“What Do You Know?” August 2020]: Marshall! Marshall! Marshall! Boundary Pond is at the northern edge of 10

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

New Hampshire, not “top”! Mt. Washington is the “top” of New Hampshire. I know my shorts are on a little tight, but as a retired New Hampshire history and geography teacher, I implore you folks to get such seemingly minor details correct! Illiteracy is a slippery slope. Art Pease Lebanon Editor’s Note: We’ll give Marshall a break on this one and, on his behalf, thank you for being so detail-oriented in such an unfocused age. Bending the rules of grammar is in vogue, and for the most part harmless, but without nitpickers, the game gets spoiled for everyone. That said, our Top Doctors might be disturbed to find out they are not actually any taller than their peers.

Speaking of Slippery Slopes

Reading the latest issue, I noticed on page 53 that Crotched Mountain ski area was left off the map [“It’s Snow Time,” November 2020]. As a ex-ski patroller at Onset, later Bobcat, later Crotched Mountain West, now Crotched Mountain, I was disappointed it was left off the list. It is a nice, small, friendly-family ski area. I am now a 70-plus-year-old season passholder at the area, and enjoy going up on weekday mornings and skiing on the uncrowded slopes. But I laughed that you listed the Balsams, which has been closed for years. Dave Salvas Amherst Editor’s Note: Thanks for pointing out the omission. Our online map, which is linked in the story, includes Crotched Mountain (as well as Nordic ski areas). As for The Balsams, well, hope springs eternal.

Spot the Typo

I couldn’t help but notice the spelling of “amusemenrt” with the included extra letter on page 30 regarding Canobie Lake [“Blips,” November 2020]. And while I wanted to overlook, I couldn’t in my weird way. It was like spotting the newt, editing edition! Throughly enjoying the new issue. Take care and be well. Dan Deloge Hillsborough

photo by coby nevius

Send letters to Editor Rick Broussard, New Hampshire Magazine, 150 Dow St. Manchester, NH 03101 or email him at editor@nhmagazine.com.

emails, snail mail, facebook, tweets

A Striking Image

I took this during the storm that blew over on October 7, 2020. View is of downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from atop The One Hundred Club Thought it was a decent shot, and figured I would send it in. Coby Nevius, beverage director The One Hundred Club Portsmouth

Sheer Quality

Just after returning from vacation in Maine (where I read the state and local press for info and amusement), I perused (which means, read thoroughly) the October issue of New Hampshire Magazine. It is a really wonderful regional magazine! It seems to have come such a long way in recent months. I noticed for the first time that it is part of the same group with Yankee, and perhaps some of Jud Hale’s spirit and humor and competence lives on here. Having said that, the thing that struck me about New Hampshire Magazine is the sheer quality of the writing. One writer in particular, Jessica Saba, does a great job in her article on outdoor cast-iron cooking [“Cooking With Cast Iron,” October 2020]. I have seen her items somewhere before. She is very skilled. Be sure to keep her, encourage her and pay her more! Ray Brewster Lyme Editor’s Note: Thanks, Ray. We like Jess Saba too, and you’ll be reading more from her.


There’s a

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603 Navigator “A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” — Susan Orlean, “Snow Day” from The New Yorker

A fat biker and his dog make tracks on the frozen Goose Pond at Drummer Hill in Keene.

12

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

Photo by Steve Holmes


Our Town 16 Top Events 20 Food & Drink 22

Snow Wheels Roll out on a fat bike this winter By Marty Basch

W

hen the snow starts to fall, most bicycles are stored away until spring. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Fat bikes are the answer, allowing folks to roll on the snow. Fat bikes are specially designed mountain bikes suitable for very wide and knobby tires. Instead of the standard 2.5-inchwide mountain bike tires, fat bike tires are generally 3.7 to 5 inches wide. The tires also operate at a lower pressure, between 5 to 10 psi, enabling them to better travel over a host of squishy surfaces like snow, sand and mud. “Snow-covered trails in winter can be magically smooth, and in the right conditions, it’s like biking on velvet,” says North Conway fat bike enthusiast Rob Adair. “In non-snow conditions, the low-pressure and wide tires make for a very stable ride.” Though fat biking can trace its roots back to mounts like the “Klondike bike” that helped miners get around in Alaska during the 1890s gold rush, modern-day fat bikes are linked to adventurers who needed rigs to bike across sand dunes and in Alaska’s notorious Iditabike race, which is modeled after the Iditarod sled dog race. Eventually, a Minnesota company called Surly produced them, and now fat bikes are used year-round for everything from mountain biking to touring. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

13


603 NAVIGATOR / fat biking

photo courtesy bretton woods

The trails at Bretton Woods

“I bought one of the original Surly Pugsley fat bikes in 2006,” says Adair. He helped build many North Conway mountain bike trails during his time leading the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) White Mountains chapter (he’s now a board member of the newly formed White Mountain Bike Coalition) and grooms trails for fat biking in winter. “Most of my friends laughed and thought I was crazy, but now they all have them.” “Crazy” is a word that may come to mind after seeing someone pedaling about in the snow in subfreezing temperatures, and sometimes at night when the wintry landscape and silence takes on an other-worldly tone. “Riding at night can be done with headlamps,” says Adair. “Night riders should practice good etiquette, like keeping their voices low and lights down near houses.” Staying warm is always a concern. Fat biking’s an aerobic activity, like cross-country skiing. Slower speeds ward off windchill. “The tricky part is keeping hands and feet warm,” says Adair. “Platform (flat) pedals and warm winter boots work well. Ski gloves, or pogies, like kayakers wear in cold conditions are good options for the hands,” he adds. “Generally, slow speeds and having to exert yourself, especially in softer conditions, mean you generate body heat easily.” The pursuit isn’t without its pitfalls. Postholes, those deep holes created by 14

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

trail users not wearing devices like snowshoes, can be a nightmare. When the snow is so soft that fat bikers can make trenches, the riding’s not fun and many bikers stay off. Grooming helps make the ride smoother when the snow’s deep. Some mountain bike clubs tidy up local trails. Adair and his compatriots use a snow machine and a versatile sled called a Snowdog with a 20-inch wide track to groom trails around North Conway. “This not only improves trails for biking, but also for skiers and snowshoers,” he says. According to NEMBA, other areas with fat biking include some Franconia area inns, the Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, PRKR MTN Trails in Littleton, and they’ll be grooming 5-7 miles of a trail network west of Keene. Also, the Coös Cycling Club grooms some of its trails in the Gorham area. In southern New Hampshire, the town of Stratham has gotten into fat biking with more than 6 miles of groomed trails in Stratham Hill Park. Fat biking has slowly made its way onto a limited number of cross-country ski centers across the state. Select touring centers allow fat biking (often on a portion of its system) with a trail pass, have rentals and offer events. According to Ski NH, the statewide trade organization representing more than

30 alpine and cross-country ski areas, fat biking is offered at Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch, Bretton Woods near Twin Mountain, Gunstock Outdoor Center in Gilford, Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring & Snowshoe Foundation in North Conway and Waterville Valley. Though changes due to COVID-19 are sure to be implemented, there is at least one fat biking event planned for this season, and it’s a doozy. Ever want to pedal up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in winter? The Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds race leaves the trails of Great Glen Trails to climb up a portion of the legendary (and steep) auto road on February 28, 2021. As Adair says, “Fat biking on snow is really fun. One of my friends who participates in many summer and winter sports says fat biking on firm snow is the most fun thing she does.” NH

Resources

NEMBA.org • Find out where to fat bike in New Hampshire and beyond. SkiNH.com • Lists areas allowing fat biking cooscyclingclub.org • Find trail maps and updated conditions. strathamnh.gov/stratham-hill-park/pages/ fat-bike-rentals • Fat bike in Stratham whitemountainbikes.com • Bike rentals and information in Franconia littletonbike.com • Bike rentals and information in Littleton


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603 NAVIGATOR / our town

Surprising Franconia

Discover art, poetry and history in this small town By Barbara Radcliffe Rogers / Photos by stillman rogers

W

e were staying at Adair Country Inn in Bethlehem when our host asked if we had heard of Franconia’s new sculpture trail. We had not, so she gave us a color brochure with a map identifying 22 sculptures that are along or close to Main Street. The sculptures and the story of how this relatively small town (population just over 1,100) came to have them led us to give Franconia a closer look. There was a lot to see. The Franconia ArtWalk took us on a milelong walking tour of Main Street and along the bank of the Gale River that revealed not only the art but gardens, architecture and riverscapes. We began at the Lafayette Regional School, where the students created a sculpture 16

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

garden and a set of six mosaics that represent different aspects of local life and landscapes (we especially liked the use of mirror glass for the skier’s goggles). The rest of the sculptures represent a variety of styles, from the brightly colored modernist works of David Skora to the welded chain-link sculptures by Philip Reeder of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Also from Bethlehem, Valery Mahuchy is represented by two pieces with flowing curves that remind us of art nouveau sculptors. “Ceramic Totem,” a collaborative work by the Littleton Studio School, is a whimsical stack of colorful pottery teapots and vases with metal accents. Some of these decorate the lawns of businesses and public buildings; others are in parks or almost hidden in the woods along the river trail.

Mountain view in Franconia

The Franconia ArtWalk Association began in 2018 to encourage and promote the arts, and this is their first project. The collection is seasonal, but working with other local arts organizations, they plan to develop future programs and more attractions that feature the creative talents of the community. The ArtWalk is also a good chance to find out more about Franconia’s history, as it begins right across the street from the only remaining iron smelter in New Hampshire. Alongside the Gale River is the Besaw Iron Furnace, an impressive 32-foot octagonal structure of local granite. Rebuilt several times — the original predates 1805 — the furnace reached its present size in the 1840s. The furnace produced pig iron, bars of iron smelted from ore extracted from several mines on Ore Hill (hikers and skiers on the trails of what’s now Sugar Hill still need to be wary of remaining


“Harlequin” and “Whirlwind” sculptures by David Skora on the Franconia ArtWalk

mine pits). But the furnace’s life was a short one, as iron production dropped with the depletion of the forests needed to produce charcoal to keep its fires blazing. Those who have not seen the furnace for a few years will be pleased to see it today, its exterior freshly restored from near-ruin. Well-illustrated signage, along with exhibits in the glass-fronted interpretive center, explain the smelting process and the furnace’s operation. There’s a scale model of the furnace and the shed that originally surrounded it, and artifacts on display include a rusted ore cart, tools and a stove, as well as chain and other items made from Franconia iron. Almost across the street is the eponymous Iron Furnace Brewing, which is open with limited hours and seating at this time. Still, if you can find a spot (seating is first-come, first-served), there is always something new and interesting on tap. The Franconia Heritage Museum on Main Street has more information about the furnace and ore mining, as well as on former hotels and local history. Housed in an 1878 farmhouse with an attached barn and sheds, the museum displays furniture and household implements, farm equipment and

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 NAVIGATOR / our town

Remains of the Besaw Iron Furnace

Abbie Greenleaf Library

changing exhibits; it is open seasonally. Also on Main Street is the elegant Abbie Greenleaf Library, a Gothic revival building with Richardson Romanesque features, built as a memorial to his wife by Charles H. Greenleaf, owner of the Profile House, a grand hotel that overlooked Echo Lake at the head of Franconia Notch. Step inside to see the mosaic floors, stained glass and finely detailed mahogany woodwork. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The ArtWalk is not the first ambitious arts-related project Franconia has undertaken. In 1976, the town voted to purchase the farmhouse where Robert Frost had lived for five years and summered for 20 more. The modest little farmhouse on the side of Ore Hill is still owned by the town and, since 1977, The Frost Place has awarded a fellowship each summer to an emerging American poet, who can live and write in the house for several months.

Visitors are welcome to tour the house, climbing to the second floor to see Frost’s writing desk by the window and enjoy the view that inspired him and prompted him to buy the house. Frost was already familiar with the area, having spent an earlier summer in Bethlehem, and he roamed the trails and backroads of Ore Hill looking for the view of the peaks overlooking Franconia Notch. With this as his muse, he wrote several of his best-known poems here, including “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “Fire and Ice” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” These were included in his collection titled “New Hampshire,” which earned him the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes. Frost’s legacy continues here, as each summer The Frost Place sponsors the Festival and Conference on Poetry, where writers and teachers can join conferences, classes and workshops with a faculty of recognized poets. The house is not open in the winter, but visitors are welcome year-round to enjoy the views from the front porch, and to walk the trail behind the house, where signs quote from Frost’s poetry. NH

Learn more Franconia ArtWalk artwalkfranconianh.org

Franconia Heritage Museum (603) 823-5000

The Frost Place

(603) 823-5510 / frostplace.org Top: The Frost Place Above: Mosaics by Lafayette School students

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Iron Furnace Brewing

(603) 823-2119 / ironfurnacebrewing.com


HAPPY

Holidays wishing you a safe and happy holiday season! FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS

Spotlight Room At the Palace

603-668-5588

PalaceTheatre.org

Gloucester, Mass

America’s Favorite Stuffed Clam! A perfect addition to your holiday tradition

www.matlaws.com nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 NAVIGATOR / top events

December | Picks

courtesy photo

Holiday Fun

With social distance protocols in place, you can still hop aboard the Conway Scenic or Hobo Railroads for a visit with Santa at the North Pole.

Holiday cheer isn’t difficult to discover in December. Even though this winter looks much different than in years past, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the season in style. Welcome in the most wonderful time of year, with events ranging from chocolate tours and winter solstice festivals to Christmas tours and fairs. 20

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

Journey to the North Pole

December 4-31, North Conway and Lincoln

Find the (socially distanced) magic on a trip to the North Pole and Santa’s workshop. Indulge in delicious hot chocolate and special treats as you enjoy a scenic train ride through the White Mountains. At the destination, you’ll be greeted by Santa’s helpful elves, who will remind you to mail your letter to Santa. You can also sing along to Christmas carols and listen to a dramatic reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” journeytothenorthpole.org

Holly Jolly Craft Fair December 12, Nashua

OK, procrastinators, here’s your final chance. The last event of the year from Joyce’s Craft Shows, this fair carries both stocking-friendly small gifts and larger items like quilts and holiday floral arrangements. joycescraftshows.com


A Magical Journey Through the North Shop Barn December 9-20, 28-30, Canterbury

photo courtesy christmas farm inn

This holiday season at Canterbury Shaker Village, the North Shop will be transformed into a magical journey for all ages. Featuring a large, decorated maze, the North Shop Barn will become a snowy winter wonderland with artist-created vignettes, and will include an electric train display and a Shaker Christmas. shakers.org

Winter Solstice Celebration Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour

December 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20, Jackson

Find enchantment on a magical sleigh ride through the snowy mountains with delicious chocolate treats from local chocolatiers. The Austrian horse-drawn sleigh winds its way to Jackson Village, halting at various stops for tastes of homemade chocolates. jacksonnh.com

Gift of Lights

December 1-January 3, Loudon

Remember when your parents used to stuff you and your siblings in the van to drive around checking out neighbors’ Christmas lights? This is that drive and then some. More than 400 light displays, 60 holiday scenes and 2 million LED light bulbs light up New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Spectators are urged to drive the route (including the tunnel and part of the track’s road course) and revel in the sight around them. nhms.com

December 12, Laconia

Celebrate the longest night of the year at Prescott Farm, and discover the science of the solstice while participating in solstice traditions. There will also be warm beverages, games, crafts, storytelling and guided walks. prescottfarm.org

1. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, Jackson 2. Journey to the North Pole, Lincoln and North Conway 3. Winter Solstice Celebration, Laconia 4. A Magical Journey Through the North Shop Barn, Canterbury 5. Gift of Lights, Loudon 6. Holly Jolly Craft Fair, Nashua

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TOGETHER WE Grow Make a lasting impact for generations to come. Invest in New Hampshire PBS.

nhpbs.org/leadership

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 NAVIGATOR / FOOD & DRINK

Madear’s Southern Eatery & Bakery

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nhmagazine.com | December 2020


Madear’s is a true neighborhood restaurant By michael hauptly-pierce Photography by Kendal J. Bush

F

or the sake of transparency, I should preface this article by stating that somewhere in a zip code starting with “9,” there are pictures (and perhaps appropriately fading VHS) of this writer in fishnets and a corset on the stage of the former ABC Theater in Fremont, California, performing Riff Raff in the “Velvet Darkness” cast of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” So to say that I appreciate a pair of size 14 purple velvet stiletto hiking boots would be an understatement. These are exactly the shoes that greeted me when I entered Madear’s Southern Eatery & Bakery, recently relocated from Manchester to its new home of Pembroke. These, along with several dozen other pairs of stunning stiletto boots, were on display. Not quite the décor at the place with the talking moose.

I had chatted via text with co-owner Robb “with 2 B’s” Curry “nice like the spice,” he says, over the last few months as he and his business- and life-partner Kyle Davis got this little-piece-of-Dixie grand opening ready. I showed up a few days before the soft opening to deliver beer (a hobby) and do some recon for this article. We chatted for a while,

Madear’s Southern Eatery & Bakery, formerly located in Manchester, recently reopened in Pembroke. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 NAVIGATOR / FOOD & DRINK

BREWERY & TAPROOM

and I left knowing this was going to be a fun place to spend a few hours when it opened. I booked a two-top for my wife Charlene and myself for the soft opening Wednesday at 6 p.m. Early enough to be a squatter (one who lingers at their restaurant table) without making waves, while also getting a feel for the place as it filled up. Kendal Bush, who took the photos for this article, was already enjoying a post-picture nosh, and we were shown to our seat by the bar. Robb introduced us to the staff, and we took a tour of the funky space. From the handcarved phalliform bottle openers to the Judy Garland ruby slipper epoxy floor in the privy, this place oozed the kind of character New Hampshire is lacking. Madear’s is a proudly gay-owned and Black-owned business. Robb is Black, and Kyle is white, and these black and white keys make the most beautiful music together. We started with a Covid Rum Punch, heavy with watermelon and mango, and a classic Hurricane. Both arrived in generous portions, and I would have happily ordered another of either, but we had other drink plans in mind. A round of small plates consisted of three dishes — crab balls, catfish and slaw, and burnt pig. The crab balls — think a portmanteau of crab cakes and hush puppies — were just spicy enough to get me in a gentle sweat, which is the desired effect,

126B HALL ST., CONCORD, NH

WED-FRI 4-8 P.M. SAT 12-8 P.M. SUN 12-6 P.M. Check out the newly expanded taproom! lithermans.beer (603) 219-0784

Madear’s owners Kyle Davis (left) and Robb Curry

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and the creole sauce was seemingly a celery seed and turmeric aioli, which cut the heat quite nicely. The catfish was corn-crusted, because anything less would be uncivilized, and the breading had a nice gentle heat and savoriness to it, along with the fish being perfectly cooked. The burnt pig might have been the star of the show. It didn’t remind me of burnt ends, as the menu described it. It was much better, more like tenderloin medallions braised and finished in a skillet, served over corn maque choux with peppers and love. As we finished the first course, Tucker from Concord Craft Brewing stopped over to say hello, and I once again realized how friendly the hospitality world is in New Hampshire. But let’s get back to my drinking, if we may. On the menu was an item worthy of note, and I will share its entire description with you for the sake of journalistic integrity, as follows: “Daiquiri de Gras or Great Punch; Robb’s big cocktail suited for 6 who can swallow; choose your flavor; beads for all.” We were intrigued, and inquired if we might undersize such a beverage for two professional-caliber tasters. We were greeted with a small goldfish bowl-sized cut glass vessel holding a measure of nectar and two straws. As we ordered our crawfish étouffée, the drink reminded me of my only trip to NOLA, and wandering around the neighborhood of my hotel on Chartres Street the


Along with serving comforting Southern food, Madear’s hosts welcoming and inclusive events, from special holiday celebrations to the popular drag brunches.

year before Katrina, a plastic grenade of fruity hoochie goodness in my hand and a smile on my face. However, back to the étouffée. This is what they call a “smothered” dish in the South, and a good roux is the key. The other important ingredient is crayfish. Or crawfish. Or mudbugs. These mini-lobsters are the doit simplement avoir to this simple but not easy dish, and there ain’t no fakin’ it. As a kid, we learned about Native American fishing traps and used to catch crawdads at

Lake Elizabeth in what we called Hobo Jungle. It usually involved a coffee can, a can of catfood, and a piece of screen, but when we cooked them they never tasted anything like this. Served over rice it was heaven shining down on a little piece of Pembroke. We finished up with a bourbon bread pudding with warm cream, and just like all the previous dishes, it astounded and brought smiles to our faces. Simple and well-executed, it was worth the wait we were warned about. After we thanked

Make sure you leave room for dessert.

Kyle and his crew, we got our goodbye hug from Robb, walking back to the car my wife and I turned to each other and said, “Y’all come back now!” NH

Find It Madear’s Southern Eatery & Bakery 141 Main St., Pembroke (603) 210-5557 / madears603.com

M aso n , N H • ( 6 03 ) 8 7 8-115 1 • p ickityplace.com

Home for the Holidays nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 Informer “Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper ... the photographer begins with the finished product.” — Edward Steichen

From top, L to R: Man in chair, Fletcher Manley; woman in boat, Michael Sterling; woman in mask, Mark Bolton; man on farm and men on roof, Gary Samson; rock climbers, Ian Raymond; girl with candle, Mark Bolton; man praying, Becky Field; woman with painting and homeless food line, Gary Samson; boy and horse, Ian Raymond; man with shoes, Richard Moore

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Blips 28 What Do You Know? 30 Politics 32 Artisan 33 Transcript 34

Visions of a Recent Past It’s been an unbelievable year — good thing someone happened to be taking photos by Anders MOrley

G

ary Samson’s love of photography has always had strong ties to his interest in the past. It began when he was a kid growing up in Manchester. Camera in hand, he would roam the derelict Amoskeag Millyard, seeking images to shoot. He loved looking at other people’s pictures too. He had a part-time custodial job at the Manchester Historic Association, and in his downtime there he spent long hours thumbing through a century’s worth of black-and-white prints. Photography showed Samson how the world around him, whose appearance was often taken for granted, had changed over time. It was like catching flashes of light from the past. Nowadays Samson’s own early photographs, taken in the 1960s and 1970s, emit flashes of their own into the 21st century. The way photography could capture moments and blitz messages across time became even more apparent when Samson discovered a fascinating body of photographs taken during the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration. The FSA photographers were charged with documenting the plight of the rural poor across the US during the 1930s and 1940s, a bureaucratic-seeming task, but their work contains some of the most iconic images ever captured. It’s impossible to decide whether to class them as works of art or documents of history. They are both, often regarded as a visual complement to “The Grapes of Wrath.” While Samson could remember his mother telling him about coming of age during the Depression, it wasn’t until his eyes fell on these pictures, made by Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans and especially Dorothea Lange, that his mother’s spoken recollections took on a fullness of meaning. Art and history — this collaboration underlies an enormous project that has been quietly coming together all across New Hampshire for over two years now. “New Hampshire 2020” is inspired by the

FSA’s photography program with the simple mission of sending a small army of professional photographers out across the land to pluck moments from the flow of everyday visual history. The idea of a Granite-State version of the FSA project has long appealed to Samson, but it wasn’t until he undertook a small-scale version of it in the Monadnock Region in 2016, proving that it could work, that the board of the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists agreed it should be done on a statewide level. Samson, who at the time was New Hampshire’s Artist Laureate, was the natural choice as curator. Samson is also a longtime member of the New Hampshire Historical Society. Once he knew his fellow photographers were sold on the project, he decided to try to bring his fellow historians along too. Aware of the NHHS’s immense photographic archive, Samson approached President Bill Dunlap to inform him that he and his colleagues were assembling a large body of work sure to become valuable archival material. “It was a logical fit from both perspectives,” says Dunlap, who embraced the project immediately and volunteered to find exhibition venues, track down funding to publish a book, and make archival space available for what will likely be 3,0004,000 photographs taken by some 45 New Hampshire photographers. “I’d like to say we helped come up with the idea,” Dunlap says, “but the credit has to go to the NHSPA. We’re mostly taking responsibility for the back end, the posterity part.” Samson offers more credit to the Historical Society saying they provided just what artists most need, the freedom to do their work: Dunlap’s pitch so enthused a trio of small New Hampshire banks — Merrimack County Savings Bank, Meredith Village Savings Bank, and the Savings Bank of Walpole — that they offered to underwrite the entire $35,000 project. What no participant in New Hampshire

2020 could have known back in 2018, however, was just how historically significant, and how visually distinctive, the year 2020 would become. So far, it has given us ubiquitous Black Lives Matter vigils, a no-holds-barred presidential race set against the backdrop of a red-hot sociopolitical climate, and a global pandemic that has us all going around looking like a shambolic cross between surgeons and outlaws. COVID-19, moreover, has posed peculiar technical and artistic challenges for photographers. And if there’s one thing photographers thrive on, it’s a peculiar technical and artistic challenge. “When we joined in this collaboration,” says the Historical Society’s Dunlap, “we wanted a picture of life in New Hampshire writ large. We didn’t want this to be a ‘New Hampshire Beautiful’ calendar, although that would of course be part of it. We also wanted the gritty side of New Hampshire, the not-glamorous side — a full picture of life here, from many perspectives.” That wish for variety couldn’t have come more true. Samson’s company of image collectors will continue roving the Granite State, seeking that perfect fleeting moment, until the day after the election. Hundreds of hours of selecting and editing will follow, and next October eight exhibits will go up around the state to present a visual summary of life here during these last two years. A book of favorite images will be published, and the entire collection will be deposited in the state Historical Society archive, with relevant duplicates going to regional collecting institutions, where they will wait, ever-ready to join new conversations with future generations of historians, photographers and ordinary citizens. “To me, the real value in this body of work is its existence in 20, 50, a hundred years,” says Gary Samson. “If these photographs make people more curious about their state, their community, their life — the project will have been a success.” NH nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 informer / in the news

Blips

Monitoring appearances of the 603 on the media radar since 2006 sachusetts. But over time, things began to feel a bit aimless. He became “disillusioned” with long-distance hiking culture. In 2014, his father passed away due to a sudden and aggressive lung cancer. Working through that grief led him to where he is today: “a very long, ongoing, perpetually shifting personal journey” through the White Mountains. “I’m here trying to give fully in the mountains where I feel like I’ve cut my teeth, in the mountains that mean the most to me,” Carcia says. “And I want to give people a very realistic perspective on what that looks like.” If you’d like to follow Carcia on his hikes, you can find dispatches from his journey on Instagram at @findingphilip. In 2019, Carcia first attracted the spotlight for becoming the second person to ever complete “The Grid” in a single year, reaching every 4,000-foot peak in the White Mountains once each month. (“That adds up to 576 climbs and 2,700 miles, and it often takes years, if not decades, to achieve,” the AP noted at the time.) This year, Carcia wanted to try to complete the redlining challenge — which, as he explains, entails “hiking all 652 primary trails listed in the official ‘White Mountain Guide’” — in just 100 days. “This is, in my mind, one of the last

The Artists Bluff trail

Mountain Quest

There’s hiking, and then there’s these challenges Philip Carcia’s quest to conquer the White Mountains has gotten the attention of media heavyweights like Outside Magazine, The Associated Press and, most recently, The New York Times. But Carcia, whose home base these days is the Notch Hostel in North Woodstock, says now his motivation is much more personal than the media spotlight would suggest.

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“I’m here because I love these mountains. I still have a whole lot to learn and still have a whole lot that I want to accomplish,” Carcia says. “And at the end of the day, more than anything, this is a life practice for me. This isn’t a joke.” Now 36, Carcia says he fell in love with hiking decades ago, walking the trails close to his hometown in central Mas-

As Philip Carcia knows, completing the redlining hiking challenge can mean pressing on through pain.

courtesy photos

By casey McDermott


great undone endurance projects not only in the White Mountains, but in the United States,” Carcia says. The New York Times caught up with him as he was close to reaching that goal. But, as Carcia says, it’s still undone: This year, he ended up missing his target by about five days. It was disappointing, to be sure, but he’s only more emboldened to go back and try again next year. “It’s been pretty easy to remember that we’re not here forever and that, you know, perhaps at some point in my life I’ll be on a hospital bed, succumbing to cancer, immobile, staring up at the ceiling, forced to really have a good, hard look at everything I did in my life,” Carcia says. “And I just want to know that I spent these years where I was young and healthy and curious enough to go out and attempt some of these things — I just want to know that I absolutely did that, and that I used my time the best that I could have.” NH

Better Together 2020 Annual Campaign Your gift to Monadnock United Way’s Better Together campaign will make a difference to those in need today and in the future. Together, UNITED, we can lift up our region so that every child, family, and individual has the resources they need to be successful.

The Better Together Campaign ends on December 31.

Please give now to help your neighbors in need! Visit MUW.org and click on the “donate now” button or text MUW to 41444.

courtesy photos

Ready for liftoff?: A lot of people are looking to escape these days. Perhaps Blue Origin’s “New Shepard” is of interest? For one, it’s named for New Hampshire’s own barrier-breaking astronaut, Alan Shepard. This “experience of a lifetime” will clock only about 11 minutes total airtime — but, the company notes, “Every seat’s a window seat.” New Shepard is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), crew-rated suborbital launch vehicle that is being developed by Blue Origin as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. Blue Origin is owned and led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and aerospace engineer Rob Meyerson. Check it out at blueorigin.com/new-shepard. New Hampshire politics make-believe: Wondering “what’s next?” after the election, or just in your streaming queue? The Granite State plays prominently in “The West Wing” reunion special on HBO Max, which is now free for nonsubscribers through the end of the year. The episode chosen for the revival is “Hartsfield’s Landing,” an endearing if a bit idyllic nod to the small New Hampshire communities known for hitting the ballot box at midnight to show the rest of the world how democracy is done.

The best gifts are very scary and very local. Discover 31 gripping mysteries set all over New England. “Archer Mayor’s police procedurals are the best thing going.” New York Times Book Review

Books, ebooks, audiobooks.

ArcherMayor.com

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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Po na Ne — pi ha th ne re ju to da pe el ne so br


603 informer / what do you know?

Once upon a time, this rock outside the Newington meetinghouse helped women gracefully hop astride their horses.

The Meetinghouse at Bloody Point Stone steps to nowhere tell a story of long ago story and photos by Marshall Hudson

T

he oddly shaped boulder in front of the Newington Meetinghouse caught my attention. Thirteen yoke of oxen had labored to drag it there in the early 1700s. Someone had flattened off the top and chiseled steps into it. Why? I tried the steps. They still work. I’m wondering what this rock has seen come and go over the last three centuries. This old meetinghouse predates the Town of Newington having been erected when the area was known as “Bloody Point,” which was claimed by both Dover and Portsmouth. Supposedly, around 1631, a representative of the Swampscot land grant (Dover) and a representative of the Piscataqua land grant (Portsmouth) met to discuss resolution of the conflicting grants. The negotiations did not go well, tempers flared, and swords were drawn. No blood was spilled, but the disputed lands acquired the name “Bloody Point.”

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Surrounded on three sides by the Piscataqua River and the Great Bay estuary, early residents of Bloody Point found it difficult to attend town meeting or church service in either Dover or Portsmouth when the tide was running against them. Tired of boundary disputes and rowing against the tides, Bloody Point residents decided to establish a township, or parish, independent from both Portsmouth and Dover. The granting of a separate parish with town privileges in the early 1700s required the election of town officers, the construction of a village meetinghouse, and the establishment of a church with a settled minster. There was no requirement for separation of church and state at that time, so a meetinghouse would serve the dual purpose of being both a place for feisty town meetings and solemn worship. Construction of the Bloody Point

Meetinghouse began in 1712, and the first meeting was held in it on January 21, 1713, even though the building was far from completed. There were no seats, and the windows were only holes in the walls. The cold but hardy participants gathered to consider the calling of a minister, the next step in the process of becoming a separate township. On August 6, 1713, a meeting was held to organize the parish. The necessary officers were elected, and the parish was set off. The name “Newington” was chosen after an English village that provided a bell for the new meetinghouse. By 1714, the building was completed enough to hold a meeting for the sale of “pues.” “... It was voted that inhabitants who would have a pue should pay twelve pounds for the


Clockwise from top: The meetinghouse in Newington, a closeup of the plaque on the town horse block, and the bell cast by Paul Revere, which still hangs in the belfry

largest and ten pounds for the smaller ones ...” The meetinghouse was not heated, so box pews with doors were constructed, minimizing drafts to keep occupants warmer. Foot warmers filled with hot coals or heated stones helped to keep huddling families warmer inside their enclosed pew box. The Rev. Joseph Adams was the first settled minister in the new meetinghouse, and he preached there for 68 years. Adams graduated from Harvard College in 1710, and began his ministry service at this meetinghouse in 1715. Rev. Adams was the uncle to John Adams, second president of the United States, and great uncle of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president. John Adams, second president of the United States, visited his uncle in Newington in 1770 when the future president was a young lawyer and circuit-rider judge. In his journal he wrote that he admired his uncle’s preaching style, described as “delivered in a powerful and musical voice, consisted of texts of scripture, quoting chapter and verse, delivered memoriter and without notes ...”

The meetinghouse was also used as a school up until about 1750 when a schoolhouse was built. One scholar is recorded as saying, “In 1738 we went to school in the meetinghouse. Rev. Joseph Adams was our teacher. There were about twenty of us. We brought our own slates and food — and the Teacher et most of it.” A freestanding belltower with steeple was added to the west side of the meetinghouse to accommodate the bell from England. This tower was struck by lightning, necessitating repairs in 1744. Apparently, rum was required to fix the belfry, as records show that it was voted to expend 5 pounds and 14 shillings for five gallons of rum to be used raising the belfry and another 308 pounds for other costs. This steeple was struck by lightning and repaired several times over the next decades, until the townspeople decided that maybe the steeple portion was not meant to be and left it off, repairing only the belfry. In 1803, the original bell was struck by lightning and it cracked. Newington selectmen had it hauled by ox team to a

bellmaker in Boston named Paul Revere and asked him to recast it. Revere offered a better deal and, being frugal selectmen, they took his deal. They exchanged the damaged bell and $210 for a different bell Revere had already cast for a church in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Revere’s bell was too small for Pembroke, but the right size for replacing Newington’s damaged bell. Revere’s original 1804 handwritten bill of sale is on display in the meetinghouse. I pulled the rope and rang Revere’s bell. Still works. The building was modernized in 1838-39 to its present church-shape appearance. Windows were reconfigured, the main entrance was moved from the long south side to the east gable end, and the freestanding belfry was relocated onto the roof of the east gable end, effectively rotating the building 90 degrees without moving it. Why this was done is lost to history. The present main entrance on the east side had originally been constructed as a private entrance to the pew of the settlement’s wealthiest citizen, Col. John Downing. In addition to his private pew entrance, the colonel was also granted his own window and permitted to construct a tomb beneath a corner of the building. The slab of the tomb remains and indicates that Downing died in 1739. Legend says that Downing was buried in this tomb but was relocated to a cemetery 100 years afterward during the 1839 building renovation. Behind the old meetinghouse is a row of horse sheds. Once common at meetinghouses, they provided a place for meetinggoers to park their horses while attending town meetings or church services. These old horse sheds provide a clue to the purpose of the stepped rock outside the front door. This meetinghouse was constructed before there were roads and carriages to bring people to meetings and church. Travelers arrived by foot or on horseback, and ladies wearing petticoats and long dresses found it challenging to swing up onto a horse in a proper 1700s ladylike manner. So, while their husbands held their horse in front of the rock, the ladies ascended the steps to the flattened top and demurely scootched onto the horse, thus avoiding any ankle flashing or wardrobe malfunctions. This rock certainly has seen things come and go. NH Historical source: “Newington New Hampshire” by John Frink Rowe, based on the writings of Frederick M. Pickering nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 informer / politics

Bearing With It

Maybe, like its bears, the Granite State was born free by James Pindell / illustration by peter noonan

T

he 2020 elections selected winners and losers, but deep questions about America and New Hampshire remain unresolved. That said, as a new book highlights, one long-standing question about the state’s devotion to its “Live Free or Die” libertarian roots might be settled. It has been nearly 20 years since the Free State Project began. The idea was for 20,000 libertarians move to one state, where they could influence local politics enough to gain a foothold in American politics. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. They chose New Hampshire, which made some sense. Besides the motto, New Hampshire has real advantages for a fledgling movement. The barrier to entry into local politics is lower than in any other state. Honestly, few voters have any idea who they are electing as state representatives. In some places, a city councilor or even a school board member must earn more votes than a New Hampshire state representative. A person who is willing to run as either a Republican or Democrat to ride political

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nhmagazine.com | December 2020

waves any given cycle could be elected state representative for less than a $1,000 in campaign funds. If the project actually took off here, libertarianism might have garnered worldwide clout: Thanks to the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, the Free State Project could have had a real impact on choosing the leader of the free world. And, as states go, New Hampshire is about as naturally libertarian as they get, with no income tax, no sales tax and no mandate for adults to wear a seat belt. The new book “A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear” is written by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling, a journalist and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize who used to write for the Valley News newspaper. Hongoltz-Hetling didn’t focus on the Free State Project, but targeted a micro-level splinter of it: the Free Town project in Grafton. There, as the title suggests, the lack of wanting to work with any government created a problem when it came to dealing with troublesome bears. Much of the book is written as if the Free State project was some kind of joke. For

some Free Staters, it is kind of a joke. One ran for Keene mayor and for governor in 2020 after he legally changed his name to Nobody. He said he was inspired a by a sign that read “Vote for nobody.” For others who rely on government services, from the 50,000 Granite Staters who count on Medicaid expansion for health insurance, to school children, to even police and firefighters, cutting essential services for an experiment isn’t funny at all. All one has to do is to drive on Grafton’s roads to know this is not the best place for commerce. While things don’t go well in Grafton over ideology, there is a larger point here. Libertarian is not a recognized party in New Hampshire, so many of these Free Staters ran as candidates in the mainstream parties. In other states where Libertarian is a recognized party and qualifies for debates, they stand out as a distinctly different from Republicans and Democrats. Perhaps the flaw in the Free State experiment taking place in New Hampshire is the status quo. New Hampshire’s actual free state project began 245 years ago with the state’s founding, and it continues today. NH


603 informer / artisan

Amee Sweet-McNamara models one of her creations.

High in Fiber

How about a real conversation starter that keeps your head warm too? By Susan Laughlin

photos courtesy amee runs with scissors

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es, these hats are quite flamboyant, but Amee Sweet-McNamara of Andover makes them for people who enjoy expressing themselves. Or, as she says, “They’re the cure for the common noggin.” When asked, “Where would I wear this?” she recommends to the grocery store, the DMV or the bank. Sweet-McNamara has always liked working with fiber as a medium. She has been sewing since her mother taught her to pin patterns in kindergarten. More recently, she started making cut-and-pieced hats, but really wanted to make more formal blocked hats — like a man’s top hat. She found a milliner in Rhode Island and spent a weekend exploring the basics. “I was smitten,” she says. “I could take a floppy felt nothing and make something you would find in a millinery shop. The real barrier is

the tools. The hat blocks are quite expensive and you need one in every size.” After she steams, starches, stretches and shapes the wool-and-rabbit fur mixture on the block, it is removed for hand stitching, which she expertly hides. Now, her “canvas” awaits. “I kind of think of the project at this point as a cupcake ready for the decorations,” she says. And decorate she does. Silk from ties, beads from her polymer collection, Victorian and kanzashi flowers from ribbons, and maybe even a touch of braided soutache jewelry are lovingly, and cleverly, added to the final creation. On several occasions, she has made “memory” hats, using a silk tie from a loved one and adding other personal details that honor the memories. Sweet-McNamara has honed a number of different skills over the years, and all of them come together to create the various

elements found in her hats. She literally wrote the book on soutache, a relatively new form of jewelry made with braided ribbons and beads, and travels across the country teaching the method. Needing more exciting beads, she started working with polymer clay to create her own, and about three years ago, she created a line of funky bugs, also made from polymer and beads. After adding feathers to the hats, she says, “I need to learn more about what I can do with them.” Her message to the crafting women out there is to not feel guilty about taking up a craft hobby, then getting bored, then taking up another and another. “All your skills will coalesce — besides, it much less expensive than your husband’s little-used tool shop in the basement.” While it has been difficult to market since the shutdown, she is able to offer online classes and even “Bead & Breakfast” opportunities, where a student spends the weekend at her home and leaves with a finished product. In recognition of the current health of the nation, she offers a free mask with each felt hat purchase. You will look marvelous, darling, and stay safe! NH

Find It

Amee Runs with Scissors

Amee Sweet-McNamara / Andover ameerunswithscissors.com facebook.com/SoutacheSiren

In addition to felt top hats, Amee Sweet-McNamara makes fascinators, which she describes as “a party on your head,” slightly larger cocktail hats and cut-and-pieced hats. The cut-and-pieced hats are crafted from fabric and sinamay hats, which are made from a material woven from abaca tree fibers, much like a straw hat, but more delicate. Prices range from $135 to $495. The “Billie” shown here is $425. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 informer / transcript

Ring Leader Photo and interview by David Mendelsohn You’ll see them everywhere during the holiday season, enduring the weather and ringing a bell. What you don’t see is them working on the invisible frontlines, offering help and providing for needs all year long. Safe beds. Warm meals. Christmas toys. Disaster relief. Helping wherever and whenever. Meet Richard Starkey, a major in the Salvation Army. He’s been doing good things for decades now. So, brothers and sisters, take care of each other and you will jingle all the way. Ring-a-ling, hear them ring. Wishing you all a warm and healthy Christmas, with bells on.

William and Catherine Booth started The Salvation Army in London in 1865. William was a Methodist minister and had a heart for the poor and oppressed. He knew that people would not be open to hearing about Jesus if they were hungry, addicted, homeless, etc. All Salvation Army officers are ordained ministers. My wife Bethany is a minister as well, and we lead TSA in Concord as a team. All Salvation Army Corps have chapels, and we conduct Sunday worship services, Sunday school, midweek services, youth programs, women’s groups [and more]. The band has been a part of TSA from the beginning, and is used to accompany singing, to draw attention in open-air meetings on the street. With all the different band pieces that have been produced and continue to be produced, The Salvation Army is actually the biggest publisher of music in the world. Unfortunately, there are not as many bands or Salvationists playing brass instruments as there used to be.

The Salvation Army certainly provides for the needs of the homeless. In Concord, for instance, we have a 42-bed, case-managed shelter for men and women. We also run social services through our community center for food, clothing and other financial assistance. It’s a great joy to be able to help those who may find themselves in need during the Christmas season. Knowing that we will make hundreds of children’s lives better on Christmas morning because they will have a few toys under the tree is a wonderful thing. It’s also when the biggest annual fundraiser takes places [The Red Kettle Season]. Just in New Hampshire alone, TSA raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those in need throughout the year. Many unique items are found in the kettles — gold coins, wedding rings (either on purpose or by mistake!), rolls of $100 bills, hearing aid batteries — even lint! TSA is involved in every major disaster that happens in the US or around the world. It’s not our major role, but one of the things we do.

The Salvation Army started in London in 1865, but began in the USA in 1880. TSA is well known for sending 250 volunteers to France during WWI to serve donuts to the soldiers. Every year, National Donut Day is celebrated in the US on the first Friday in June in honor of these volunteers. Today, TSA has an official presence in 131 countries, and unofficially in a few others. The first kettle was used in San Francisco at the Oakland Ferry Landing by Capt. Joseph McFee, who wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner to the homeless and needed money to cover the cost. COVID-19 concerns will hamper some collection efforts this year, but donations can be made at concord.salvationarmy.org or by texting ConcordSA to 41444. Band left to right: Jean Henderson, cornet; Capt. Nora McNeil, cornet; Lt. Brian Perks, alto horn; Craig Evans, euphonium; Drew Poulopoulos, baritone. Richard Starkey is in front. Thanks to Concord’s Friendly Kitchen for enabling access to the photo’s location, an underpass in a part of the city where many homeless take shelter year-round.

nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020 New Hampshire’s entrepreneurs and leading professionals bring experience, expertise and heart to their jobs and run organizations with a personal touch. Meet these standout individuals who represent their companies and their fields, making New Hampshire a great place to live and do business face-to-face.

PROMOTIONAL SECTION

Photography is by Kendal J. Bush unless otherwise noted


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACE of Kitchen & Bath Design Nina Hackel Dream Kitchens

PROMOTION

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t is easy to understand why DREAM KITCHENS has won over 200 awards for kitchen and bath remodeling. Their kitchen and bath remodels are completely customized to the client and are a true design experience. Their designers are constantly keeping an eye out for new and interesting ways to store things so that countertops are completely clear, and they guarantee that your kitchen and bath will have at least 30% more storage. The design team works closely with you and will present you with at least three different options. After each design concept is discussed, you will choose the aspects you love from each one, and from there your design will take shape. The next step is to think of how to personalize your new space. At Dream Kitchens, they know how important it is that your newly designed space reflects your personality. When the project is completed, you will enjoy a beautiful kitchen and bath that has been customized for efficient storage and which reflects your personal taste. The Dream Kitchens team aims to provide you with a great remodel experience and results you can be proud of. 139 Daniel Webster hWy., nashua â– adreamkitchen.com


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020


The FACE of Perseverance Woodbound Inn

PROMOTION

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n 2013, with only $5,000 to his name, Rudy Rosalez took over the operations of the historic Woodbound Inn in Rindge, originally built in 1819. With an absentee ownership, the inn was operating in the red at the time. After increasing attention to great service and quality food, The Woodbound began to take on a new life. In 2019, Rudy fulfilled his dream, and was able to purchase the property on which The Woodbound Inn resides. Then came COVID-19 — unsure times forced the team to continuously reinvent throughout the year. Starting with online ordering, an epic take-out campaign and community support, Rudy and his team were able to weather the first few months. As the pandemic grew, the inn began to lose more and more of its weddings and other large groups. Once again, the team needed to change. With beautiful grounds and an old golf course, he and his crew created an unparalleled outside dining environment. With lights, music, great food, and adherence to COVID0-19 guidelines, they were ready to welcome back diners in a safe and elegant environment — and they came. With their mini successes, Rudy was able to reopen the Hometown Diner in September and hire back over 90% of its staff. “Closed businesses equal closed towns,” he says. Tents, music, diner classics as well as true Texas BBQ followed to finish out the season. “Although Winter is upon us, we will rise to the challenge and keep trudging forward in hopes of a better day for all,” says Rudy. Delivery options for both restaurants are in the works. “With great crews and positive attitudes, we will not give up! We will persevere.” 247 Woodbound Rd., Rindge ■ woodbound.com


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

Bryan Hoertdoerfer, D.D.S. hoertdoerfer dentistry

4 elliot way, suite 306, manchester bruinsdentist.com

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r. Hoertdoerfer is passionate about researching dental technology and choosing the safest, most effective options to offer to his patients. Hoertdoerfer Dentistry combines the latest advanced technology, art and vision to restore the integrity of a tooth due to decay, fracture, trauma or root canal, or to cosmetically change the appearance of a tooth by changing its color, shape or size. Dr. Hoertdoerfer and his amazing dental team proudly offer same-day, precision based Cerec crowns, ZOOM whitening, veneers, bridges, partials, dentures, fillings and general hygiene care. “As a dentist, I have the opportunity to transform the way people see themselves and the way others see them by improving their smile through cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry,” says Dr. Hoertdoerfer. The entire team takes pride in creating collaborative dental plans to help patients attain the beautiful smiles they’ve always wanted. Dr. Hoertdoerfer also served as the cosmetic and reconstructive dentist to the Boston Bruins, and continues to create custom-fitted mouth guards for several Bruins and other NHL players and members of the Olympic US skeleton team. Additionally, Dr. Hoertdoerfer hosts The Big Z Challenge, an annual fundraiser featuring Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara.

PROMOTION

The FACE of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACE of Innovative Leadership PROMOTION

Maria Ryan, Ph.D., A.P.R.N. Cottage Hospital 90 Swiftwater Rd., Woodsville cottagehospital.org

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ottage Hospital President and CEO Dr. Maria Ryan, is a dynamic and innovative leader. Her accolades include, but are not limited to, being named a “CEO to know” from Becker’s Healthcare for seven years in a row; selected as a New Hampshire Business Review Outstanding Woman in Business in 2017; received the prestigious Louis Gorin Award for outstanding achievement in healthcare; and was recognized in NHBR’s “NH 200” as one of the Granite State’s most influential business leaders in 2020. Thanks to Dr. Ryan’s outstanding business acumen, a multidisciplinary health center was created in 2015, which strengthened primary and specialty care in the region. Noting a gap in specialized acute inpatient psychiatric care for older adults in New Hampshire and Vermont, she built and implemented a unit to meet their needs. The unit is a success, and receives referrals from three states. Dr. Ryan speaks nationally and internationally on foreign policy, healthcare, human rights, leadership and quality. She is interviewed frequently by a variety of media outlets.


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

DARTMOUTH -HITCHCOCK.ORG

PROMOTION

Maria Padin, M.D. Chief Medical Officer, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Southern Region

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aria D. Padin, M.D., was named chief medical officer of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Southern Region in February 2020. The timing was perfect. Padin assumed responsibility for clinical operations for D-H’s care delivery in Bedford, Concord, Hudson, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford and Nashua outpatient clinics, just as COVID-19 was impacting the state and country. “It was no small task for the team to redesign and restructure care environments to make them pandemic-safe for patients and employees,” says Padin. “Thanks to amazing efforts, when a patient or employee walks into any one of our locations, I’m confident they are safe.” Padin’s confidence comes from lessons learned and realizations gained. “We found out we’re flexible enough to pivot rapidly,” says Padin. “We’ve learned the importance of wearing masks, keeping social distance, and we’ve fully recognized that the discrepancy in health care quality in minority and elderly populations is a glaring issue that belongs on our agenda.” With continued COVID-19 implications top of mind, Padin looks to a future that includes service expansion through a new ambulatory surgery center in Manchester. Scheduled to open in April 2020, the new center will offer high quality, evidence-based surgical services at a lower cost than if the procedure was performed in a hospital surgical setting. “It’s an initiative that comes out of our continual effort to improve patient experience, meet patients where they are, and ensure state-of-the-art health care is accessible and affordable.”

PROMOTION

The FACE of DartmouthHitchcock’s Southern Region


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

PROMOTION PROMOTION

The FACES of FIREARM SAFETY & EDUCATION Jake and TerryAnn Bowen MANCHESTER FIRING LINE 2540 Brown Ave, Manchester ■ GUNSNH.com

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anchester Fining Line is the Granite State’s Face of Firearm Safety and Education for the Fourth consecutive year in a row! It’s more than a place to shoot—it’s a welcoming, friendly place to visit with a mission to educate and raise awareness of firearms and the responsibility that comes with owning them. This veteran-owned, family business—run by husband and wife team TerryAnn and Jake Bowen—offers an impressive array of events and services. Stop by for one of the new date night specials, host a company or teambuilding outing, take a certification class, attend a free seminar or take advantage of personal instruction. No matter what, you’ll be in good hands, as the staff is comprised of prior law enforcement, military and NRA certified professionals. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, this state-of-the-art, award-winning range has something for you.


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

Charla Bizios Stevens and Adam Hamel MCLANE MIDDLETON multiple locations ■ mclane.com

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cLane Middleton’s Employment Practice Group is led by Chair Charla Bizios Stevens and Vice-Chair Adam Hamel. The practice group works closely with businesses throughout New England to manage their employment-related needs. McLane Middleton’s risk management approach helps to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and prevent employee-related problems before they arise. Clients take comfort knowing the practice group includes skilled litigation attorneys with extensive experience in trials, mediation, and arbitration. Charla and Adam have extensive experience in employment issues such as discrimination, harassment, employee classification, and wage and hour claims. McLane Middleton’s employment attorneys represent some of the largest employers in the region. They have assisted clients in navigating coronavirus issues, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, employee paid leave, employee testing and re-opening guidelines.

PROMOTION

The FACES of Employment Law


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

PROMOTION • photography by john w. hession

2020

The FACES of WATER TREATMENT CHRISTINE FLETCHER SECOND WIND WATER SYSTEMS, INC.

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he safety of our drinking water is of increasing concern in the region and across the country. Secondwind Water Systems, with its A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, has thirty years of experience in treating the region’s top water health issues including arsenic, radon, bacteria and emerging contaminants such as PFOA. Eighty percent of New Hampshire’s Water Quality Association-certified water specialists work for Secondwind Water. They treat the area’s most common water problems such as hard water, staining and odor, bad taste, fluoride and so much more. Secondwind Water also specializes in commercial applications, serving hospitals, surgical centers, breweries and manufacturing plants as well as public water systems. Personalized, reputable service ensures clean, safe, great-tasting water for your home or business. 735 EAST INDUSTRIAL PARK DR., Manchester ■ SECONDWINDWATER.COM


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACES of Senior Living Sherry Gauthier, Resident Services Manager Jan Daly Eaton, Director of Marketing and Resident Services RiverMead Retirement Community — Peterborough

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150 RiverMead Rd., Peterborough ■ (603) 924-0062 ■ rivermead.org

PROMOTION PROMOTION

an Daly Eaton and Sherry Gauthier have worked together for the past 25+ years guiding and implementing the services and programs offered at RiverMead. Their commitment to excellence for those they serve and work with is at the forefront of their everyday decisions. RiverMead is a progressive, mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that strives to not only be a “community” but a center of excellence for current and future residents. Staff thrive, grow, learn and find meaning in their work each and every day. Senior living communities are rapidly evolving in response to growing demographics and consumer expectations. If you would like to learn more about RiverMead as a place to live or work, please be in touch.


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

PROMOTION • photo by MATTHEW LOMANO

The FACES of ORTHODONTICS Dr. William Mehan & Dr. Paul Johnson III mehan and johnson orthodontic

S

ince opening his orthodontic practice in 1977, Dr. William Mehan has been a fixture of the southern New Hampshire dental community, saying that, “It’s an honor and privilege to have helped so many people achieve healthy and beautiful smiles.” Dr. Paul Johnson III joined the Manchester orthodontic practice in April 2013, bringing with him a drive for excellence, beautiful smiles and happy patients. Known for his affable, down-to-earth southern nature and gentle care, Dr. Johnson’s “greatest pride is becoming part of a great family in and out of the office, with wonderful patients, friends and colleagues in the Greater Manchester community.” Dr. Johnson is currently serving as president of the Greater Manchester Dental Society and president of the New Hampshire Association of Orthodontists.

113 Mammoth Rd., Manchester ■ nhorthodontics.COM


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACE of Innovative Growth

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s the founder of Chang Thai Café and Chaiwan Enterprise, LLC, Littleton entrepreneur Emshika Alberini has multiple passions. After relocating to the US and earning a master’s degree in organizational management, she worked in the corporate world before moving to Littleton in 2008 to open her award-winning restaurant. A number of honors followed, including the presentation by then-governor Maggie Hassan of the Most Intriguing Woman Business Leader award at the Business NH Magazine Ultimate Biz Bash 2016, and inclusion in a recent Cherry Bombe 100, which identifies influential women in food. In addition to overseeing the restaurant, Emshika founded real estate holdings company Chaiwan Enterprise. Not done

yet, Emshika is launching a food and beverage line, including her new nitro-infused, no-sugar-added Thai tea, which was named one of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Drinks” by CNN. She also works with start-up companies as both an advisor and investor. She continues to enroll in professional development courses, receiving a certificate in developing and managing a successful technology strategy from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and is working toward a certificate in sustainable business strategy from Harvard Business Extension School. emshika.com ■ by-emshika.com

PROMOTION • photo by Dan McMahon

emshika alberini


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The FACE of local HEALTHCARE Dr. William Brewster MD, FACP, CHIE Harvard PILGRIM HEALTH CARE

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r. William Brewster is Vice President of the New Hampshire market for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a not-for-profit health services company. Harvard Pilgrim and its family of companies provide health benefit plans, programs and services to over 3 million members in New England and beyond. A New Hampshire native, Dr. Brewster joined Harvard Pilgrim in 2012 as Medical Director and then in 2014 as Chief Medical Officer for Benevera Health, a joint venture involving Harvard Pilgrim and several New Hampshire hospitals. He received his medical degree from George Washington University. “I never lose sight of the important role health insurers play in the lives of members, especially in today’s world. By understanding what’s going on in our local community, we can help them find the appropriate services that allow them to live their best life and achieve their best outcomes. Our “whole person” approach, emphasizes the personal connections and trusted relationships with members and health care professionals across the region.”

PROMOTION

harvardpilgrim.org

2020


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACES of DENTAL IMPLANT EXPERTS NH ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS â– NHOMS.com

PROMOTION

A

s the leading experts in dental implants and wisdom teeth in Southern New Hampshire and the Northshore of Massachusetts, Doctors Moavenian, Braasch, Ahson, Kuepper and Schonfield are committed to providing safe and compassionate care to our patients. Our early adoption of 3D digital imaging and computer aided planning software allows us to reduce the number of appointments and treatment time needed for dental implants. We can often place dental implants at the time a non-savable tooth is removed. We pride ourselves on availability and are always happy to accept new patients. Oral surgery problems are often urgent, and we go the extra mile to accommodate emergencies. We are also certified to provide your choice of local or general anesthesia. The doctors of NHOMS are Diplomates of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and on staff at hospitals in Nashua, Manchester, Exeter and Beverly, Massachusetts.


FACES of

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2020

The FACES of Tomorrow’s Leaders easterseals

PROMOTION • courtesy

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asterseals New Hampshire has been a leader in the human service sector in the Granite State since 1936. Our staff, from administrative to direct-care frontline workers, is our most valuable asset. Pictured above are the 2020 Easterseals President’s Award winners, our superheros, who were recognized for going above and beyond. They represent the commitment and dedication of all of our employees across our essential programs, including our child development centers, early supports and services, autism services, residential and educational services, transportation services, camping and recreation, community-based services, workforce development, substance use treatment, senior services, and military and veterans Services. Our team of more than 1,600 dedicated employees is making an impact in the lives of close to 23,000 individuals with disabilities or special needs each and every day. 555 AUBURN ST., MANchester ■ EASTERSEALS.com/NH nhmagazine.com | December 2018

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ac bl live Meet MeetNew NewHampshire’s Hampshire’s Past, Past,Present Presentand andFuture Future Agents Agentsof ofChange Change ByBy Anthony Anthony S. Poore S. Poore Photos Photos byby Jared Jared Charney Charney 52 52 52 nhmagazine.com nhmagazine.com nhmagazine.com


ac c k es WW

ahead, ahead, I knew I knew this is this a story is a story hen Ihen wasI asked was asked to to worth telling, telling, and that and that my my writewrite this essay, this essay, I began I beganworth experience mirrors mirrors manymany of myof my the journey the journey withwith a high a highexperience fellow Granite Granite Staters’ Staters’ . . degree degree of trepidation. of trepidation. HowHow can can fellow It’s important to note to note that that I encapsulate I encapsulate hundreds hundreds of years of years It’s important my story my story and the andstories the stories of history of history within within a fewa thoufew thou- whilewhile of African Americans Americans livingliving in in sandsand words? words? HowHow can Ican ensure I ensure of African Hampshire Hampshire represents represents our our the story the story of New of New Hampshire’s Hampshire’s NewNew unique reality, reality, therethere are thouare thouAfrican African American American population population is is unique of Africans, of Africans, Latinos Latinos and and told told withwith the level the level of authenticity of authenticitysandssands communities communities of color of color in in it requires? it requires? WhatWhat stories stories best best otherother Hampshire Hampshire withwith theirtheir own own exemplify exemplify the African the African American AmericanNewNew stories that that are yet aretoyet betotold be told and and experience experience in New in New Hampshire? Hampshire? stories deserve a similar a similar platform. platform. Regardless Regardless of the oftask the task that that lay lay deserve

Above, Above, a newspaper a newspaper clipping clipping from from the the New Hampshire New Hampshire Gazette, Gazette, dateddated April April 24, 1767, 24, 1767, that advertises that advertises the sale, the in sale, in Portsmouth, Portsmouth, of oneof"Negro" one "Negro" man and man and girl, along girl, along with rope with and ropefood and items food items PHOTO PHOTO COURTESY COURTESY PORTSMOUTH PORTSMOUTH ATHENAEUM ATHENAEUM

People People of African of African descent descent have have been been living living in in NewNew Hampshire Hampshire since since thethe firstfirst enslaved enslaved African African waswas unloaded unloaded onto onto ourour shores shores in early in early Colonial Colonial Portsmouth. Portsmouth. JerriAnne JerriAnne Boggis, Boggis, executive executive direcdirector tor of the of the Black Black Heritage Heritage TrailTrail of New of New HampHampshire, shire, sayssays that, that, for for more more than than 300300 years, years, thethe liveslives of African of African people people andand their their descendants descendants have have been been a part a part of New of New Hampshire’s Hampshire’s history, history, although although thatthat history history hashas longlong been been hidden hidden in in thethe shadows. shadows. In 1796, In 1796, OnaOna Judge Judge fledfled to Portsmouth to Portsmouth to to escape escape herher enslavement enslavement by President by President George George Washington. Washington. On On November November 12, 12, 1779, 1779, 20 20 enslaved enslaved Africans Africans petitioned petitioned thethe New New HampHampshire shire Legislature Legislature for for their their freedom freedom citing citing thethe principles principles of the of the Declaration Declaration of Indepenof Independence. dence. In 1859, In 1859, Harriet Harriet E. Wilson, E. Wilson, an African an African American American woman woman from from Milford, Milford, published published herher autobiographical autobiographical narrative, narrative, “Our “Our Nig;Nig; or Sketches or Sketches from from thethe LifeLife of aofFree a Free Black.” Black.” Throughout Throughout all those all those years, years, New New Hampshire’s Hampshire’s African African American American community community hashas been been sharsharinging its “truth.” its “truth.” AndAnd while while thethe numbers numbers of of African African Americans Americans in the in the state state remain remain relarelatively tively small small when when compared compared to the to the majority, majority, ourour stories stories areare no less no less relevant. relevant. nhmagazine.com nhmagazine.com nhmagazine.com | December | December | December 2020 2020 2020 53 53 53


The Old Heads, the Bridges & Today’s Change Agents Since making New Hampshire my home, I have worked to create and sustain community in my professional and personal life, and it’s through these experiences I have been able to learn and appreciate the African American experience in New Hampshire. To be clear, New Hampshire is by no means unique and, through a series of interviews, I’ve come to realize the state’s Black population experiences are reflective of other Blacks throughout the diaspora. My Granite State story began in January 1997, when I moved here from Dayton, Ohio, to work for Southern New Hampshire University’s Anthony Poore School of Community Economic Development. My story, like the majority of Granite Staters, began somewhere else, and New Hampshire’s African American population is no different. For those not born here, we generally found our way to New Hampshire for work, for school or as a respite from New England’s larger urban communities. This is true regardless of the generation. Here are some of the formative experiences and impressions of seven Granite Staters representing three generations of African Americans. Their stories reflect the opportunities, struggles and impediments to success experienced by many of the African Americans living in New Hampshire.

“The Old Heads”

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he Great Migration, sometimes known as the Great Northward Migration, was the movement of 6 million African Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest and West that occurred between 1916 and 1970. It was caused by the poor economic conditions and the prevalence of racial segregation, discrimination and lynchings in the Southern states. In every US Census prior to 1910, more than 90% of African Americans lived in the American South. The Great Migration was one of the largest and most rapid mass internal movements of people in US history. A small number of African Americans found their way to New Hampshire during this time. They worked at places like the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Manchester’s Grenier Air Force Base, among others. The late Inez and Frank Bishop represent notable examples. They left Mobile, Alabama, seeking economic opportunity and refuge from Jim Crow and

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the Ku Klux Klan, moving to Manchester in 1946. In a recorded interview, Inez said the only other Black person she would see in town — other than family and close family friends — was her reflection in store windows. Inez led the way, creating the foundation for those who would come after her, as she was a founding member of the Manchester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the past president of the Greater Manchester Black Scholarship Foundation. Both organizations are active today, continuing to advocate for social and economic justice as they’ve done for over 50 years. They’ve served hundreds, if not thousands, of young students of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds across New Hampshire. Other notable African American “Old Heads” include Sandy Hicks, Jacqueline and Bill Davis, and Lionel W. Johnson, New Hampshire’s first African American to serve in our state Legislature for eight terms. Johnson owned and operated

Manchester’s Fashion Cleaners for almost 40 years. With the support of former state representative Harvey Keye, among others, they were the driving force behind New Hampshire’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In November of 1994, Ebony Magazine ran a story titled “Blacks in Isolated Areas,” profiling Harvey Keye and family of Nashua, New Hampshire. In 1984, Nashua’s population was approximately 75,000 people, which included roughly 150 to 200 African American families. Harvey, like many of his contemporaries, was forced to leave the South (Birmingham, Alabama) early in life. Over the course of his career, as the first black salesman for Colgate Palmolive, Harvey moved 13 times in 18 years from Ohio, Upstate New York and ultimately to Nashua. Harvey later became the owner of a medical supply company and was eventually elected to the state Legislature for two terms. In 1999, during his time in the Legislature, he, alongside his peers, successfully

advocated and passed legislation honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a state holiday. This generation of change agents shaped and created the foundation that allowed the community to grow and develop. Without their example, New Hampshire’s African American community would not be in the position it is today. Their sacrifices paved the way, making it possible for “the bridges” that would soon follow.

“The Bridges”

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oullard and Brenda Lett landed in Manchester in 1993 when Woullard accepted the position of administrator of the Community Economic Development Program at New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). Woullard and Brenda grew up in Chicago and, as young adults, worked as community organizers and community economic development practitioners. Upon their arrival, Woullard and Brenda took it upon themselves to create a sense of community for their young family of four. They became involved with Manchester’s NAACP chapter. During their time with the NAACP, they worked to expand the organization’s scope and scale. Through a series of small initiatives, they built the social capital and collective consciousness of Manchester’s African American community. These initiatives included New Hampshire’s 8 Women of Color Initiative, NAACP’s 30th Anniversary Dinner (which preceded their Annual Freedom Fund Dinner), the Ujima Collective, the Ujima Collective community group and, most notably, Manchester’s Annual African/Caribbean Festival, which is now the We Are One Festival. Many of these initiatives continue today. Their community-building efforts took place over two decades, and have served to


“All of us are on a cosmic trip to make the world a better place for all of us to live. You don’t have to think hard. We can do better than we’re doing. All we have to do is try.” — Harvey Keye


“The United States Constitution has been a self-correcting guide during every challenging time in our nation’s history. It was used to address the balance of governmental power, slavery, discriminatory laws and government’s abuse of power. Every generation has a duty to guard against the destruction of its ideals. Remember, as long as it stands, the American people will always have a voice.” — Eddie Edwards

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strengthen and give voice to New Hampshire’s African American community. These community-development activities provided the necessary infrastructure for today’s change agents and were instrumental for our community’s continued growth. Having lived in Manchester for nearly 25 years, I can’t imagine the state without these institutions that many of us, including me, have come to rely on. During my recent interview with former South Hampton Police Chief Eddie Edwards, he discussed the need to navigate New Hampshire “on his own.” He arrived from Atlanta, Georgia, in 1987 to serve in the US Navy at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Eddie has

devoted his life to public service as a former police chief and as a former Republican candidate for the US House and state Senate. Now as a small business owner providing professional law enforcement consulting services, he can appreciate the growth and development of New Hampshire’s African American community. One of the themes I’ve heard through this series of interviews is the consistent and pervasive bigotry of low expectations. Jada Keye Hebra of Nashua and her two siblings attended Nashua public school system, where they excelled academically and in their extracurricular activities, but, Jada notes, they were required to consistently prove “we were OK.”

This need to “prove yourself ” was true then, just as it is today but Jada says having a small and supportive community during her formative years allowed her to believe she could accomplish whatever she set her mind to. This led to a 25-year career with St. Paul’s School, during which she held positions of increasing responsibility. Today she is the senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer for Southern New Hampshire University. I asked Jada during our interview, “Would there be a Jada K. Hebra without a Harvey Keye?” and she was quick to respond with a “no,” and is grateful for the example her parents and community set for her and her siblings. Those examples con-


“Once you see a thing for what it is, you can’t unsee it without willful ignorance; today, there are people of all races, ages, religions, and backgrounds who see social injustice laid bare. And they are not looking away.” — Jada Keye Hebra


“Remain grateful. There are more things to appreciate in life and, while we do have challenges, work to be grateful that there are people hard at work finding solutions for a better community.� — Sudi Lett

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“Be careful not to isolate yourself in anger or dwell too long on difference. We are more connected and alike than we realize. During natural disasters and tragic events, total strangers come together to survive. We are at that level of emergency and need to rescue each other.” — Jada Keye Hebra

tinue to fuel her work today, she says. Jada leads SNHU’s social mobility and opportunity agenda focused on cultivating equity, access and just experiences, fostering a culture of belonging and agency, and advancing learning and development for equity and academic efficacy. New Hampshire’s “bridge generation” was critical to the growth of New Hampshire’s African American community. Although smaller in numbers during these formative years, had it not been for their perseverance, tenacity and grit, today’s change agents would not have some of the opportunities available today. Like those that came before them, we owe these “bridges” a great deal of respect and gratitude for their individual and collective sacrifice.

Today’s Change Agents

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rom civil rights actions to Black Lives Matter, today’s change agents are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Granite State. While the African American demographic profile remains relatively small statewide, the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute reports that Manchester and Nashua are home to half of the New Hampshire population identifying as Black or African American with increases in racial and ethnic diversity across every age group. As the community continued to grow in numbers, New Hampshire’s young African American change agents were attempting to navigate and

thrive in what could be defined as a less than hospitable environment where many young people of color were not expected to succeed. They also were required, like those before them, to persist despite the pervasive nature of low expectations and limited opportunity. This is best exemplified by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights settlement with New Hampshire’s Manchester School District. The Office of Civil Rights revealed in 2014 that Black and Latino students were disproportionately under-enrolled in the district’s advanced placement (AP) courses. During the 201011 school year, the enrollment of Black students was disproportionate to their enrollment in AP courses at two of the three high schools, and the enrollment of Latino students in AP courses was disproportionate to their enrollment at all three high schools. This story of low expectations continued with one of Manchester’s most notable change agents, Sudi Lett. Sudi landed in Manchester at 9 years old from Chicago, Illinois, and upon arrival — and without being tested — was placed in a remedial reading program. Although Sudi was one of the most prolific readers in his class, the school system's expectations for students of African descent blinded them to his ability. At that time, Sudi says, there were only 8 to10 African American students in the entire school. This implicit and sometimes

explicit bias extended into middle school, when in sixth grade, Sudi was accused of intimidating his teacher because he refused her demand to kneel before her. These microaggressions and negative interactions continued into his high school years, including when he ran for and successfully became Central High School’s first African American student government president. Sudi went on to attend Tuskegee University, a historically Black university (HBCU), and eventually returned to Manchester to begin his career of service. At the time of his return, and driven by his negative experience as a high school athlete, Sudi launched the Bishop Elite AAU basketball program, which focused on athletics and academics and nurtured many of the state’s best players. Sudi’s premise was simple: “You’re going to college and basketball is the vehicle.” Sudi coached recreational basketball for more than 10 years as a founding coach of Bishop Elite. Over time, he managed as many as 18 teams and coached hundreds of student athletes. Since Sudi’s tenure ended with Bishop Elite, he has worked as the head coach for the boys’ basketball team at Litchfield’s Campbell High School, and ultimately returned to his alma mater to lead Manchester Central High School’s basketball program. Sudi’s work with young people does not end with basketball. Like many Granite Staters, Sudi wears multiple hats and is

also the youth and education coordinator with Manchester’s Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP), where he works with Young Organizers United (YOU), a group of high school students from various backgrounds dedicated to strengthening multi-issue and multiracial coalitions to overcome ethnic and racial bias, mainly the racially disparate treatment in high schools. Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas of Hollis moved with her mother and siblings to Hooksett from Dorchester, Massachusetts, when she was 10 years old. The change was at the encouragement of family who had moved to New Hampshire the previous year. As a woman of Haitian descent growing up in Dorchester, Marie-Elizabeth had never identified as “Black.” Then, while visiting her new school in Hooksett, a young lady stood up during class to proclaim, “Look, it’s a Black girl.” Marie-Elizabeth and her family eventually moved to Manchester, where she attended Parkside Middle School and West High School, graduating at the top of her class. Like Sudi Lett, she participated in student government in Manchester West High School’s Student Government Association even while being constantly reminded she was not expected to succeed. This willful indifference fueled Marie-Elizabeth’s desire to succeed academically and, at the age of 12, her desire to become a family physician. She, like those who preceded her, was not expected to excel, but she went on to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis and with a medical degree from Ohio’s Case Western University. Upon graduation, Marie-Elizabeth completed her medical residency at the Lonestar Family Health Center in Texas and then moved to California, where she served as the medical director at Mercy Community Clinic in nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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“We all benefit if all students have the opportunity to an optimal educational experience. We all benefit if our families can make a living locally and reinvigorate our economy. We all benefit from a more diverse workforce and neighborhoods. If we do not embrace policies that reflect this new vision, then our state cannot reach its full potential.� — Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas

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Source: NHFPI analysis of US Census Bureau Data with Thanks to Phil Sletten, Senior Policy Analyst for the NH Fiscal Policy Institute

Race and Ethnicity in New Hampshire 1990 2000 2010 2019* 0.6% 0.7% 1.1% 1.6% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.8% 1.3% 2.2% 2.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.3% 1.7% 2.5% 3.0% 0.7% 0.9% 1.6% 2.9% 97.3% 95.1% 92.5% 89.7% 100% 100% 100% 100%

(Hispanic and Non-Hispanic included in Race unless otherwise noted)

Black or African American alone American Indian and Alaska Native alone Asian alone Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone Other Races and Two or More Races** White Hispanic or Latino White alone, not Hispanic or Latino Summation from rows above Hispanic or Latino (any Race) Black or African American, not Hispanic or Latino Black or African American (including Hispanic or Latino) - Population Estimate

1.0% 0.6% 7,198

1.7% 0.7% 9,035

2.8% 1.1% 15,035

4.0% 1.5% 24,371

*2019 Estimates from the US Census Bureau American Community Survey. Other figures from Decennial Census Counts. **Two or more Races not included in the 1990 Census for New Hampshire.

California before making her way back to New Hampshire. Recently, Marie-Elizabeth was recognized by the Union Leader as a “40 Under Forty” honoree, which pays tribute to Granite Staters who make a difference in their communities and professions. During her interview with the newspaper, Marie-Elizabeth said, “As a family physician who is a woman of color, I recognize the important impact of having such a presence of leadership that reflects the culture and values of those within the community. I have dedicated my career in service to the very communities from which I came, and it brings me profound joy to advocate for, and alongside, these hardworking families through my various roles.” To be clear, representation matters, and as New Hampshire’s communities of color continue to grow, today’s change agents, like Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, Sudi Lett, Deo Mwano,

Dr. Larissa Baia, Jordan Thompson, Arnold Mikolo and Dr. Trini Telez (and others whose stories deserve to be told), will pave the way just like the “old heads” and the “bridge builders” who preceded them.

What the Future Holds

T

hough New Hampshire remains far less diverse than much of America, diversity is growing here. Recent US Census data demonstrate the numbers of foreign-born and nonforeign-born communities of color in the state are increasing. The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) reported in their June issue article “Brief Inequities Between New Hampshire Racial and Ethnic Groups Impact Opportunities to Thrive,” “The increase in racial and ethnic diversity is apparent across nearly every age group in NH. While adults aged 18 and over identifying as something other than non-Hispanic white comprise an estimated 8.7% of

“In the words of Franz Fanon, ‘Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.’ There is hope for the next generation.” — Woullard Lett

the population in 2018, children identifying as something other than non-Hispanic white comprised 15.5% of the population under 18 years of age.” The brief goes on to report that “Manchester and Nashua are more racially and ethnically diverse than the state as a whole,” with these two cities accounting for approximately 15% of New Hampshire’s total population from 2014 to 2018, with these two cities collectively home to half of the New Hampshire population identifying as Black or African American and nearly half the population identifying their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino. Many demographers expect these trends to continue with New Hampshire’s fastest-growing areas concentrated in the south and central parts of the state. This uneven geographic growth is driven by the continued sprawl of the Boston Metro area, the attraction of recreational areas in Central New Hampshire, and lower natural birth rates across the state. As New Hampshire’s African American and other communities of color continue to grow, so will their collective political, social and economic influence across geography and sectors.

In Closing

N

ew Hampshire excels when it fully manifests the potential and possibilities of its residents. Some residents have succeeded despite barriers and missing opportunities. Can we imagine a state where all residents have the chance to gift us with their potential and fulfill their possibilities? The American experience for people of African descent, both in the past and present, has not been like that in New Hampshire or anywhere else in the US. But the message we hear from the Old Heads, Bridges and Today’s Change Agents is one of hope, gratitude and persistence. Those who have made New Hampshire home have contributed to the civic, social and economic fabric of the communities they resided in. The phenomena of society’s blindness to the accomplishments and experience of the African American community in no way diminishes their significance or importance. But it does deprive society of examples of strength and sources of inspiration that reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of New Hampshire residents. The African American experience has been a large part of that unseen and unknown history of the state in the past. Let’s not allow that to be the case in the future. NH

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Baby,

It’s Cold Outside

Don’t hibernate when the temps drop and the snow flies. Warm up in style with these fashions instead.

Set Design, Styling, Hair and Makeup by Chloe Barcelou Photography by Bob Packert / Modeled by Hally Sheely 62

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Pendleton National Park Series Great Smoky Mountains blanket ($269) from Dorr Mill Store Glacier blue Helly Hansen crew jacket ($165), chrome blue Tubbs snowshoe ($165), sage blue Mountainsmith fanny drift pack ($30) and Stormy Weather Quest insulated hiking boot by Salomon ($230), all from Eastern Mountain Sports Tie dye terry sweatshirt ($138) and sweatpants ($138) by Sundry both from Indigo Fluffy lynx hood by Burton ($34) from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport

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Red Alliston Canada goose down jacket ($750), tribal jacquard crew by Autumn Cashmere ($495) and black suede sorel Explorer Joan boot ($140), all available at Indigo 525 America black ribbed knit turtleneck ($88) from Griff & Company Black and orange knitted wool beanie ($39), and mittens ($37) and Pendleton handbag ($108), all from Dorr Mill Store Luhta black tailored ski pant ($160) from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport


Ruby red Cora down anorak by Skhoop ($259), Karolin skirt ($149), Northern Lights Skida hat (made in Vermont, $36) and neck warmer ($28), all from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport Lena long leggings in color block (designed in New Hampshire, $248) from House of Marrow Sangria fishnet racerback tank ($93) by Krista Larson Kamik black moon boot ($80), from Eastern Mountain Sports

Blackberry Burton Yeasayer snowboard ($475), Burton Lexa snowboard bindings ($299), matte Rock Salt helmet by Smith ($260) and purple Oakley goggles ($200), all available at Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport Crème vintage sheepskin lodge boot ($25) from Listen Thrift Store Dusty pink Kinross Marilyn cashmere sweater ($494) and travel scarf ($368), both from Griff & Company Camo sage mist jogger by Z Supply ($52) and Patagonia Retro X vest ($149), both from Indigo Ashen purple Eco Trail hoodie by The North Face ($220), from Eastern Mountain Sports Jewelry (price upon request) by Hally Sheely Designs Pink faux fur hat (the stylist’s)

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Crème brûlée Burton insulated overall bib ($219), zebra faux fur zip cardigan by Luhta ($95), matte white Smith ski helmet ($100), Rossignol night black and gold accent heated ski boot ($599), Head skis ($755) and ski poles ($59), and POC neon orange goggles ($149), all available from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport Chapin bone metallic jacket ($430), cappuccino and black stripe cashmere scarf ($220), both from Griff & Company Hawthorn khaki down vest by The North Face ($119) from Hubert’s Family Outfitters

Brown woolen plaid Maxzille coat by Numph ($240), from Griff & Company Burgundy mallard wool sweater by Woolrich ($89), deerskin mittens ($44), Brazos handmade walking stick ($40), brown plaid wool hunters cap ($44) and Ashland Motor robe blanket with strap, both by Pendleton ($99), all available at Dorr Mill Store True Penny Avalon overall bib by Burton ($219) from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport

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Olive barnstormer floor-length coat ($748), from House of Marrow Oregano safari cargo pant ($163) by Krista Larson The Debbie olive long down vest by Skhood ($219) and olive fleece Burke hood ($29), all available at Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport Cappuccino V-neck cashmere pullover ($240), from Griff & Company Camo cashmere scarf by White + Warren ($375), SOREK Lennox lace cozy boot ($200) and camo Herschel backpack ($70), all from Indigo Orange rubber crampons ($19) from Hubert’s Family Outfitters


Black high rouched petticoat slip ($210) by Krista Larson Wood rose chenille sweater ($76) by Drop Down Teddy bear fleece vest by Patagonia ($99), purple knitted patchwork sweater socks by Smartwool ($29), fuzzy insulated winter boot by The North Face ($140), all from Hubert’s Family Outfitters Brown waxed fedora by Pendelton ($119) from Dorr Mill Store Assorted handmade jewelry (price upon request) by Hally Sheely Designs

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Pebble neutral whipstitch cable mock sweater by Autumn Cashmere ($595), from Indigo Oat Market super cropped cardigan ($215) from Krista Larson Luhta white insulated ski pant ($125), crème chunky knitted beanie by Burton ($41), both from Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport Heather/taupe wool cable knit gloves by Pendleton ($44), from Dorr Mill Store

THE LIST Krista Larson Designs Brentwood kristalarson.com House of Marrow Holderness houseofmarrow.com Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport 1411 Route 103, Newbury bobskinners.com Dorr Mill Store 16 Hale St., Guild dorrmillstore.com Indigo 22 Main St., Hanover Facebook

Griff & Company Powerhouse Mall 8 Glen Rd., Lebanon griffandcompany.net Eastern Mountain Sports Powerhouse Mall 8 Glen Rd., Lebanon ems.com Hubert’s Family Outfitters Locations in Claremont, New London, Lebanon and Peterborough huberts.com

THE CREW Photographer Bob Packert bobpackert.com Production, styling, hair and makeup Chloe Barcelou chloebarcelou.com

Model Hally Sheely Hally Sheely, who created House of Marrow with Chelsy Arber, also designed the jewelry seen on pages 65 and 68. See more of her work at hallysheelydesigns.com.

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Winter

ZEN

For our outsider team known as The Explorers, every trek is a journey of discovery, and their greatest finds are often inside their own minds

A smooth gray sky arched over Powder Mill

Pond. Seventeen explorers, in various sizes and stages of dress, loitered on the glassy surface of the pond, stamping their feet to gauge the thickness of the ice. There was a certain uneasiness among the group, as the bright idea that had delivered us here was starting to dim, throwing our enterprise into doubt. Opposite: Sofia Zizza takes the plunge at Powder Mill Pond.

Story by Jay Atkinson | Photography by Joe Klementovich


We watched as Joe Klementovich climbed the embankment and crossed Route 202 and began rummaging around in the bed of his truck. Longtime rugby teammate Mike Zizza looked at me with one palm held up, and I shrugged. Soon Joe was traveling back over the crest of the road with a huge ax in his hand. He descended the bank, walked 20 or 30 paces out from shore, and began chopping at the surface of the lake, ice chips flying everywhere. Gathered around in a loose knot, we trained our expectant gazes on Joe’s labor, scrutinizing his effort as though our lives depended on it.

Our series of northern expeditions

has grown more popular lately, drawing inquiries from an expanding number of interested parties. Cofounder Chris Pierce and I had begun limiting access to a select group of our rugby pals and their families. Not opposed to taking our friends along, we had grown wary of developing some kind of stultifying outdoor franchise, complete with waivers and indemnity clauses. Echoing one of my heroes, Groucho Marx, I refused to join any club that would have me — or the likes of me — as a member. Two years earlier, Piercey and I had agreed that the original Explorers trip — fat biking, snowshoeing, and scaling an icy rock wall — was a little too easy. So, the following winter, a dozen hardy souls traveled to North Conway for a subzero hike and pond hockey tournament. Then, last January, the group ballooned to 15, and our snowbound trek up Mt. Wonalancet in

raw, windy conditions did little to dampen the enthusiasm of our burgeoning clientele. [Note: You can find all these past adventures online at nhmagazine.com by searching for “Explorers.”] Perhaps we’d been going about it the wrong way. Rather than making it tougher every year, we decided to make it easier. Maybe that would discourage some of our hard-charging cohort. It seemed likely that a visit to the Monadnock Region that included cross-country skiing and a guided meditation session would raise only mild interest. But our rugby pals figured it was some kind of a gag, and 20 people signed up. Furthermore, what appeared simple in the planning stages — as winter expeditions often do — had turned into something more challenging than we expected. Before we decamped for Powder Mill Pond in Bennington, the main body of our group had cross-country skied at a small, privately owned trail system near Mount Monadnock. Arriving in late morning, we discovered that an unseasonal thaw had left the trails icy and wet in several spots, and worn down to plain old dirt in others. Our party filled up the ticketing area in the lodge, and when a short-tempered employee was rude to Anna Zizza, Mike called from across the room. “We just brought in 18 people in lousy conditions,” my buddy said. “What’s with the attitude?” The employee backed off, speaking to Anna in an exaggeratedly polite tone. Still, it was an inauspicious beginning to the day’s events. For the first hour, we climbed, a heart-hammering duckwalk up a series of hills. Near the top, we rendezvoused with

Ken "Bubba" MacIntosh leads the crew over a bare stretch of terrain.

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Kara Gauvin skate-skis over an icy segment of the trail.

the late-arriving Piercey and his wife Tanya, along with Kaya, 14, and Will, 11. They had hiked in to meet us, along with guest stars Ryan Swan of Billings, Montana, his artist wife, Elley, and their 11-year-old daughter, Daisy, a lacrosse phenom. Like me, Swanny is a rugby and hockey guy, an easygoing, gritty fellow, eager to repay the adventurous visit the Pierces and I had made to Montana several months earlier. “Dude,” Swanny said, as we embraced. It occurred to me that our entire friendship had taken place outdoors, under some kind of physical duress. “Where are the paramedics?” I asked, looking over his shoulder. Piercey, Swanny, Mike, Bubba MacIntosh, Randy Reis, Jason Massa and I all played rugby together, and as we backslapped and whispered joyful profanities out of earshot


of the kids, the clouds drifted away, revealing a pale blue sky. It was 55 degrees at midmorning, a far cry from previous outings, some of which had reduced members of our party to tears. An easy day, it seemed. But going downhill on the spotty trails was as dangerous as bullfighting. After the first descent, the skiers clattered to a stop on a knoll overlooking the entire valley. Bubba MacIntosh, trying like the devil to keep up with his fiancée Kara Gauvin, an experienced skier, was standing beside me, his cheeks blowing outward from the effort. Suddenly, Bubba went down like a stack of bricks, arms thrown up, his poles flying. Piercey dropped into a crouch, scanning the tree line. “Sniper,” he said. Off to my left, Mike’s 24-year-old daughter Sofia was upright one second and sprawled on the ground the next. “Let’s get out of here,” I said.

Jason and Randy went ahead, scouting the trail junctions, the rest of us following in twos and threes. The herringbone slog of the morning gave way to the plummeting vicissitudes of the noon hour. Several descents ended in puddles a foot deep and 20 feet long. Some meandered off through the woods, concealing bare patches that had to be negotiated at alarming speeds, and still others were narrowed by other skiers clambering upward as we whizzed downhill. I took my skis off and walked halfway down an unpromising stretch, then skied the bottom half and started to feel better. But in the last 200 yards, my gaze searching ahead, I fell down twice. The final stretch was a rippled sheet of ice, 60 feet wide and twice as long, running with a torrent of snow melt. It was like waterskiing down Loon Mountain. Near the end of the run, I lost my edge

and went down hard, sliding for 10 or 15 yards and getting soaked in the process. Arranging my skis perpendicular to the slope, I pushed myself up, wiping off my Gore-Tex pants. “All right, brother?” asked Bubba. “Right as the mail,” I said. Inside the lodge, Piercey borrowed skis so he and Will could hit a few trails. The main room boiled with activity as my friends organized their gear and had something to eat. Warming myself at the stove, I felt like the morning was unsatisfactory in some ways. People were having a good time, sure, but there was an emptiness at the heart of the soufflé that nagged at me. I called Randy over, said something in his ear, and he nodded. Our new plan was to head over to Greenfield State Park, looking for an appropriate lake or pond. Once we’d located a good spot, the others, including nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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Piercey and Will, who were still out skiing, would meet us there.

Chopping a hole in Powder Mill Pond was tougher than it looked. After Joe, Mike took his swings, then Swanny, and Sofia Zizza’s boyfriend, 24-year-old Luke McCallum. In a frenzy, Luke drove the ax head into the rectangular groove the others had carved into the ice. Finally, it gave way. Everyone cheered as Luke and Randy pulled out the foot-thick chunk of ice and slid it to one side. Everyone stared at the hole in the ice — an abstract notion of self-improvement had quickly morphed into a bone-chilling reality. I was standing barefoot on the pebbly shore, wearing my swim trunks, a towel draped over my head and shoulders. Rocking on the balls of my feet and working my hands like a boxer, I stared out at the pond: Just how freakin’ cold is it? As I walked over, the slick surface of the lake burned the soles of my feet. My regular swim buddy, Tammi Wilson, who braves Lake Chocorua deep into the autumn, gestured as I passed by. I tossed her my wool hat and Philadelphia Flyers pullover and she laughed. Someone had placed a branch across the gap in the ice. After a brief prayer, I sat on the edge, lowered my legs into the hole, and jumped in, submerging myself head to toe. Time slowed down, and I was surrounded by a cold, black effervescence. Immediately, waves of adrenaline surged up from my solar plexus and downward from my sinuses Ryan Swan takes a few swings with the ax.

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and throat. Every cell in my body was being recalibrated and recharged, and I felt light and strong. Shooting up through the hole, I tossed my head and yelled “Whoa!” Swanny grabbed my right hand, and I hopped onto the ice, hustling toward shore. Elley wrapped the towel around my shoulders and stuck the wool hat on my head. Nearby, Mike had stripped to his boxer shorts. He shook my hand as he went by. “Do it, Mike,” I said. The hard-nosed rugger disappeared beneath the ice. Seconds later, he emerged with a war whoop, his torso streaming with water. “Mike has a tattoo of an angel on his chest,” I said. Sofia nodded. “Midlife crisis.” Sarah Wilson, 21, who’s studying theatre at Dennison University in Ohio, got undressed and jumped through the hole. Then her mom Tammi dropped in, followed, in turn, by Luke, Sofia and her younger sister Anna. “You gotta do it, Swanny,” I said, looking over at him. “No pressure.” He laughed, and took his turn. Kara made her bones with our group by jumping in with enthusiasm. When she climbed out, I threw my towel over her shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. “That was awesome,” I said. Bubba, her fiancé, rolled his eyes. “Great,” he said, taking off his shirt. A roar went up from the crowd each time, our voices traveling across Powder


Left: Mike Zizza takes his turn chopping a hole in the foot-thick ice, Ryan, Luke and Randy clear the chunk of ice from the hole. Above: Explorer Chris Pierce plans his entry to the icy water.

Mill Pond to the ragged pines and maples lining the opposite shore. When it was his turn, Piercey sat on the chunk of ice beside the hole, extending his arms and legs like a wild-eyed diver at the Antarctica Winter Games. Piercey slid into the hole, popping up a couple seconds later. “Interesting,” he said. Scattered over the ice, everyone was high on his or her own supply, chattering like jaybirds, and occasionally letting out a whoop. Behind us, several cars had queued up on Route 202, gawking at the scene. For an instant, I had a vision for a new app, Polar Rugby Adventures, and then considered the liability and dismissed the idea. With our laughter echoing over the 126acre pond, any divisions among the people in our group — vague rendezvous points, the lack of an actual schedule — evaporated into the low January sky. Our bond, forged in dozens of rugby matches and through these boisterous adventures, had grown stronger. Toweling off, and putting my shirt back on, I winked at Swanny. “Free admission,” I said. The experience produced an invisible tether that linked each of us to one another, like silver threads, connecting our outdoor lives and our inner ones. It was a peak experience — the sort of moment you dream about. Through intense workouts and solo trail runs and periods of deep contemplation — how do I get back to that lost continent, that familiar but elusive place? During those 20 minutes at Powder Mill Pond, we were a large, loving, rowdy family. No planning, no preparation, no specialized equipment. All we needed for that moment of rugby Zen was an ax.

From the pond, we drove to the

Mike Zizza contemplates the icy rush that awaits him.

Monadnock Mindfulness Practice Center on Roxbury Street in Keene. Although this appeared to be carefully thought out, it was a happy accident that our cold-water immersions were followed by a sitting meditation and body scan at the center. Established in 2002, the center hosts several meditation classes each week, while offering daylong and half-day retreats and speakers to local residents and guests. We entered the softly lit space on the building’s third floor and were greeted by Aylene Wozmak, the center’s chairperson, and her colleague Ginnie Gavrin. Between them, our instructors had 45 years of experience in meditation practices. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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Cushions and bolsters and mats were scattered over the polished wooden floor. A colorful rug ran down the center of the room, dotted with scented candles and vases of flowers. Screens arranged here and there projected little scallops of light onto the white walls. Noting that we’d had an active day, Ginnie and Aylene led us through some gentle yoga poses. Then our hosts filled little handleless cups with hot tea, advising us to feel the warmth of the cup, to smell the aroma, and to take a sip or two. Meditation is the art of bringing one’s attention to the present moment, and the tea ceremony was a good way of illustrating that, Aylene said. Sitting nearby, young Will complied with these edicts, very serious in his approach to tea drinking. Once or twice, he glanced over at Kaya and Daisy to see what they thought of the whole affair. Offering around a tray of cookies, Aylene suggested that we begin with a small bite of the cookie, not letting any of the sensory experience slip away. Gazing around the room, I recalled the invisible tether of Powder Mill Pond, marveling at the fact that we were still bound by those silver threads.

Aylene Wozmack and Ginnie Gavrin of the Monadnock Mindfulness Practice Center lead the Explorers though a meditation session.

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A hot meal at Pho Keene Right: Daisy Swan of Billings, Montana, enjoys her noodles.

Once the yoga had concluded, we were advised to make ourselves comfortable and “come back” to our breath. Eyes closed, we focused on soft, slow inhales and the “Ujjayi” breath of the exhales, which mimics the sound of ocean waves. For a period of unmeasured time, all you could hear was the sound of gentle breathing and the soothing voices of the instructors. Lately, through yoga and a related breathing technique, I’ve made this part of my spiritual and physical journey, an integrated way of looking at something I’d learned as a college athlete. In the midst of grueling practices, bent over and struggling for breath, we were instructed to straighten up, put our hands on top of our heads to expand the lungs, and breathe deeply and slowly through the nose. Everyone tires at pretty much the same point, my coach said. Whoever recovers first is going to prevail. At the mindfulness center, I used the focus on my breathing to recover from the day’s activities, from the stress on my most treasured friendships because of the haphazard schedule of events, and from all the times I fretted about things I had no control over. Inhale. Exhale. It’s so fundamental it often escapes our attention. “What’s being nurtured is our confidence in our own wisdom, our own health and our own courage — our own sense of goodwill,” said Ginnie, in a prepared reading. Various thoughts will crowd your mind, she added, saying we should acknowledge

them in the way you’d notice a passing cloud, and then let it go. As I sat on my cushion, I realized how much I was irked by Piercey’s habitual tardiness. I let that cloud drift away. The next cloud advertised my tendency to make decisions on my own and go off without telling anyone. So I let that slip past as well, figuring it would float by Piercey next.

After the meditation was over, we walked a few blocks to the friendly clamor of Pho Keene, taking up a large table and every seat at the bar. Huge bowls of soup appeared — “It’s pronounced ‘Ffff ”,” said Elley — and the shouts and laughter of our group extended to the cheerful waitstaff and the people working behind the counter. Our mojo of goodwill was contagious, the network of silver threads expanding outward. A short while later, we reconvened at our lodgings, putting out chips and salsa and setting up a makeshift bar. A raw January night rattled the windows of the restored barn in Hancock we’d rented for the weekend. The solitary, square-built house was furnished in the shabby chic style of a 1950s ski lodge — worn furniture, mismatched throw rugs, wood stove, and sepia prints of skiers and skaters. No doubt, the old place had a colorful history. It was like visiting the home of an elderly aunt who was a retired stunt pilot, and whose third husband had a vaudeville act where he juggled fire while riding a unicycle.

The younger kids were on the floor playing a high stakes game of “Clue,” overseen by Sarah, Anna, Sofia and Luke perched on the sofa, reminiscing on the board games of their youth. Tammi and Tanya and Elley were seated by the roaring stove, imbibing some kind of vodka concoction. Swanny discovered a guitar in the attic and, after tuning it up, was playing softly enough to converse with Mike, Piercey and me, who were seated at the kitchen table. Mike splashed some bourbon into tiny glasses and handed them around. Putting my feet up, I inhaled the woody aroma of the bourbon, and took a small sip, remembering Aylene Wozmak’s advice — don’t let things pass without noticing. When I tried to walk by him, Piercey stuck out his leg. “What’s the password?” he said. I jabbed my index finger into the pressure point behind his left ear. “Ouch,” he said. The only TV in the house was off, and most of our cellphones were charging in the other room. Chatting with my friends, I took a sip of bourbon and glanced around the room. The network of silver threads ran back and forth, binding us tightly. I was breathing softly and slowly, my heart rate was low, and little ripples of adrenaline drifted through my circulatory system. Beside me, Swanny was playing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” which he’d taught to my nephew Owen when we stayed with them in Montana. Raising my tumbler of bourbon, I said, “You don’t get many days like this, in life.” NH nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 Living “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Is your gingerbread home far from up to code? Why not call in a construction professional — that would be Amy Knapp (right), who has a few tricks tucked in her apron (like, for instance, a glue gun).

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Seniority 82 Health 102 Ayuh 104

Gingerbread

Amy Find the fun and embrace mistakes

By Bill Burke / Photography by John W. Hession

S

ome people groove on the Christmas season. Gingerbread house expert Amy Knapp has it in her soul. It’s a calling she comes by naturally. “My mom was born on Christmas day,” Knapp says from her workshop in the woods, where she crafts the seasonal structures year-round. “It’s literally in my DNA. My mom was the first person who made a gingerbread house with me. Since then I’ve always been fascinated by the charm of it. “Also, I love candy. I can’t help myself.” Knapp crafts countless gingerbread houses and cottages every year, continuing a love of the craft that has developed into a bit of an obsession. She remembers creating her first gingerbread house, but she doesn’t

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603 living / gingerbread amy recall the details — just that it was fun, even if it was more difficult than they thought it would be. It’s not uncommon for would-be craftspeople to encounter challenges common to the art. “We didn’t do it regularly because we fell into the traps that most people fall into,” Knapp says. “When I do a demonstration, people often say they tried it, but it was really hard, the candy fell off, and the gingerbread fell apart. I tell them the tricks to it, and then it all becomes much more fun and approachable.” Her mother gifted her a now-treasured book about gingerbread houses, which in turn inspired the Wolfeboro resident to take up the frosting and gumdrops and once again begin construction. She settled on a gingerbread recipe designed specifically for creating houses and landscapes — there are no eggs in it, making for a stronger, crisp gingerbread — and started a new tradition. “I did it every year with my daughters as they grew up,” she says. “It was one of my favorite things we did together when they were children.” From there, it grew. “A few years ago, my husband came home and every flat surface in the house had several gingerbread houses and landscapes on it,” she says. “Only the bathroom was spared, and that’s only because it’s too damp in there.”

1

2

Step by step to gingerbread success 1 Roll, “draw” on details, cut out and bake your gingerbread pieces.

2 Clean up the edges of pieces with a shape knife. 3 Give pieces a dusting of “sugar snow.” 4 Hot glue your first wall to baker’s cardboard base. 5 Continue adding the walls, with inside edges

To kit, or not to kit? Gingerbread house kits are available in many stores this time of year. So what does a gingerbread artist think of these big-box solutions? “Hey, they’re great — they certainly take out the baking step, and they can look cute if you follow the steps,” Knapp says. “But they pretty much end up looking like they came from a kit, and the pieces are usually broken.” However, there are often substandard housing codes in the gingerbread world. The instructions are typically unhelpful, and the ingredients don’t always make things any easier. Knapp has formulated a prototype for her own kit — one where people would be provided the ingredients, but would still bake the pieces from scratch. “It would have the right directions and wouldn’t end up in a pile of broken pieces,” she says. “Part of the fun would be that you made it from scratch and have a really good time doing just that.”

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secured with hot glue and pipe on royal icing on the outside.

4

6 Add the roof! 7 Pipe all remaining edges. 8 Add your details and candy embellishments. 9 Wrap it up and give (or keep).

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Instead of taking her for a full diagnosis and evaluation, he coined the nickname “Gingerbread Amy,” and then set about building her a workshop where she has the freedom to indulge in her passion. Knapp now offers gingerbread demonstrations in that workshop, walking participants through the process, and the book “The Tao of Gingerbread House Design and Construction.” “Tao is the peaceful, happy way,” she says. “Ultimately, your gingerbread house ends up looking like what it’s supposed to look like. Enjoy the process, learn some things that help you next time you do it, and really, make it about peace, love and joy.” A couple of Knapp’s top tips: “The first secret is to decorate your pieces as they lay flat. Most people construct the house first and then apply the candy and frosting. That’s what makes everything fall apart.” The other advantage to starting with the gingerbread flat is that it allows you to try out designs before settling, she says. “Remember — decorate flat, then go vertical.

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“Other well-known craftspeople will tell you not to use a glue gun, but I’ll tell you — use a glue gun. Especially if you’re a beginner. I used to think using a glue gun was abhorrent and blasphemous. Then I thought, ‘Wait, when people aren’t having fun and making the houses they want to, then why not?’ Please, use a glue gun. Carefully constructed, the life expectancy of a gingerbread house can be surprisingly long. They can be renovated and modified as the years go by. “I’ve had some last up to three years,” she says. “I’ve had some fall apart, and I’d maybe save a door or window like an architectural salvage. Then I’ll go onto the next house and adding that piece to it makes it magnificent. You really wouldn’t be in the game if you didn’t have disasters from time to time.” Then, when the time comes, kids can enjoy a gingerbread house-size earthquake or hurricane. After all, she says, it’s not about making the prettiest or most ornate gingerbread house, it’s about expressing yourself and enjoying the process. While there are culinary artists who identify as gingerbread architects, Knapp doesn’t count herself among them. She is skilled and she knows all the tricks, but she prefers to take a more free-flowing approach to the art. “My houses are not fancy,” she says. “They’re very approachable. When I work

with people, I like it when they walk away with knowledge that they can create what we just created together.” That includes children, who sometimes craft structures completely unplanned — and imminently memorable. “The fun thing about working with children is that you can never recreate what they do because it’s so crazy and beautiful,”

“A few years ago, my husband came home and every flat surface in the house had several gingerbread houses and landscapes on it.” — Amy Knapp she says. “I love the beauty of the houses that children make. The ones I make now and the ones my daughters make now are fancier and more classically beautiful, I guess, but you can never really recreate a child’s artwork.” And when things go wrong? Embrace it, Knapp says. “I’ve had so many mistakes,” she says. “So many houses that literally were just wrong. I was so unhappy with them. But there is one thing you can do if you’re not pleased with the way your gingerbread house looks: Take sifter and sift powdered sugar all over it. Everything looks beautiful covered in snow.” One final tip from New Hampshire’s foremost gingerbread scholar: Put down the fork. “Gingerbread houses are not for eating, ever,” she says. The structures sit in the open, absorbing everything in the environment. “They act like air fresheners, and you wouldn’t eat an air freshener, would you? They’re for decoration.” NH

Book It Gingerbread Amy

To book a demonstration with Amy Knapp, email ggproductions@mac.com, and put “GINGERBREAD” in all caps in the subject line. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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603 living / seniority

Holiday Blues

The pandemic exacerbates a seasonal problem by Lynne Snierson / illustration by Victoria Marcelino

D

r. Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s leading experts on infectious disease, says that due to COVID-19 this holiday season will be like none anyone has ever experienced. That is not a good prescription for seniors who, even before the pandemic, were susceptible to the holiday blues. “I certainly agree that COVID-19 will potentially have a negative impact on our elders who are already struggling,” says Gerianne Patti, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., the community support clinician for the Center for Life Management. The center is a nonprofit mental health agency that’s served the communities of southern New Hampshire for more than 50 years.

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“Those traditional big holiday celebrations are not going to happen this year for many families and that is a source of concern,” says Patti. “I’ve heard from many folks that there is a sense of sadness about that, and about not being able to participate in their traditions.”

The holiday season, which includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations, stretches from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, and for many people it’s a time of magic, miracles, wonder, joy, happiness and love. But for others, especially seniors, it isn’t the visions of sugarplum fairies that are dancing around inside their heads. To the contrary, for some the holidays only intensify the awful feelings of loneliness, loss, isolation, anxiety, anger and depression. When you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, the loss of a beloved pet, life after a divorce or separation, serious health issues, financial difficulties, family problems, or any number of other challenging life situations, it’s terribly tough to feel sparkly, merry and bright. Then add to the equation the practice of social distancing recommended in the current protocols for preventing the spread of this dreadful and perhaps even deadly disease, and that makes it all even much more difficult. “There is a concern that our elders don’t have a lot of services so there is that extra stress or burden of isolation. We talk with folks who are afraid to even go out because of COVID-19,” says Patti. “I think it’s important to make the distinction between social distancing and social isolation. They are not the same thing. How do we connect to the outside world? COVID-19 has removed our connection with the outside world. That has exacerbated things for the elderly.” Nevertheless, there is help readily available. Increasing numbers of religious and faith-based organizations recognize how harsh the holidays can be for those feeling left out as they deal with darkness, grief and sorrow. Many offer a special “Blue Christmas Service,” usually held on or around the winter solstice on December 21, the longest night of the year. At these Blue Christmas services, which offer healing and hope, a scared space is created, and the focus is placed on self-aware-

“I think it’s important to make the distinction between social distancing and social isolation. They are not the same thing.” — Gerianne Patti, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.


Tips for beating the holiday blues

This time of year may be magical for some seniors, but for others it can be a struggle. Here are a few tried-and-true suggestions from the Health in Aging Foundation on how to help someone who is experiencing the all-too-common holiday blues. Include them. Invite them out, and take into account their needs, such as transportation or special diets. Lend a hand. Offer to help them with their cleaning, shopping, cooking and other preparations such as decorating their homes. Be a good listener. Be a supportive listener and encourage discussions about feelings and concerns. Acknowledge difficult feelings, including a sense of loss if family or friends have died or moved away. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand how they feel. Encourage them to talk with their healthcare provider. The holidays can cause people to feel anxious and depressed. But for some, holiday tensions can lead to full-blown clinical depression. Often, older adults don’t realize they are depressed. If you suspect depression in someone you know, you may need to bring it up more than once. Let the person know that depression is a treatable medical illness and not something to be ashamed of. ness and self-acceptance. More traditional services at a local church, synagogue, temple or mosque can also help to provide that same sense of healing, hope and community. Patti agrees that this can be a source of connection. If it’s safe to do so, she advis-

es finding a ride to go in person, but also recommends getting help on the technological front. Setting up a way to participate virtually is the next best thing. “If you’re not up on the technology, reach out to your local church and you can get

help from someone with that,” says Patti. “The practice of spirituality is really important for folks to take part in. It is certainly a protective factor. Things are different now, and you may not be able to attend your local church’s Christmas mass. However, there are folks in that community who will reach out to our elders in order for them to access that part of themselves,” adds Patti. Donna Apperti, R.N., B.S.N., has more than 35 years of experience as a clinician, and spent some time as a visting nurse, treating senior patients in their homes. She agrees that this year will present an entirely new set of challenges for them, and that requires a novel approach. “Use technology. Even if you can’t be together in person, you can still find a way to connect,” says Apperti. “I think people need to be realistic that because of COVID-19, this year the holidays are not going to be the same as they were last year or the year before, or ever. But traditions change. This is a good time to create new ones. “Plan ahead as much as possible. If you are not going to be able to celebrate with your family or friends this year, or if you’re alone and the holidays have always been

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603 living / seniority a tough time for you, acknowledge that it can be a very sad time. Maybe do something different than you have in the past. Maybe don’t treat it like a holiday. Do something completely different than you normally would.” It’s also important to remember that help is available on an emergency basis 24/7, even during the holidays when your regular doctors, nurses and therapists are on vacation. A program called REAP, which stands for referral, education, assistance and prevention, is highly recommended for adults

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“I think people need to be realistic that because of COVID-19, this year the holidays are not going to be the same as they were last year or the year before, or ever.” — Donna Apperti, R.N., B.S.N. 60 and older and their caregivers in New Hampshire, and it offers free and confidential help and is available in every region of the state. All you have to do is call Service Link’s toll-free number at (866) 634-9412 and ask for a REAP counselor. There are also many other traditional 24/7 hotlines staffed by people who are qualified to serve as a lifeline for anyone struggling with panic, anxiety, depression and/or suicidal thoughts at this time of the year. “If you anticipate or know that the holidays are going to be a tough time for you, plan ahead,” advises Apperti. “If you don’t have friends or family to reach out to, know what the numbers are to call and talk with somebody who is trained to help. Have those resources and those phone numbers available.” NH


S p ec i a l A dv ert i s ing s ect ion

holiday

ᄓuidဢ Del ight family a n d f riends with g if ts from loc al sh o ps , artists a nd attrac tions

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holiday

Gifၸ Guidဢ

’Tis the Season for New Hampshire-made music When coronavirus-related restrictions took hold late last winter, stages across the Granite State went dark. Musicians unplugged, loaded-out and went home. Some began streaming performances online. Others slid the guitar case under the bed. Against all odds, some released new music. Here are a handful of New Hampshire artists who have new music perfect for gift-giving this holiday season. by bill burke

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When Liam Bliven rolled back into Kingston after living away for a time, it felt welcoming and natural — a sense he communicates in his uplifting, shifting “Coming Home,” a proggy

instrumental ode to returning to the Granite State. “It came to me right when I was moving back from Florida,” the soft-spoken multi-instrumentalist says. “It’s a pretty straightforward song as far as the music goes. It’s in a major key, so it’s happier sounding than what I normally write. It felt like coming home.” Bliven, a constantly shifting, slippery, challenging guitarist, gives the track a Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson vibe, playing all the instruments and recording it in his home studio. Playing every part (guitar, drums, bass, assorted soundscapes) is a

theme not uncommon in his music — aside from when he collaborates with world-renowned musicians. On “Conversations,” he brought in keyboardist Derek Sherinian of Kiss, Alice Cooper, Dream Theater and Sons of Apollo fame. When Bliven goes, he goes big. “That one’s all me except for Derek, who is a ridiculous keyboard player,” he says. “Which probably explains the number of plays I’m getting on the streaming services. He kills it.” On “Conversations,” another mind-bending instrumental, Bliven goes on a breakneck tour from Latin rhythms (with a tasty nylon string

Chamberlain, and New Hampshire bandmates Dan Glynn and Jarrod Taylor, among others. “It was pretty cool because I went into the studio thinking it would just be my band, just four people,” Drake says. “But it turned out that we ended up working with some great musicians because there were so many people coming in and out of that studio.”

Audrey Drake was halfway between New Hampshire and Nashville when inspiration struck. Drake, a singer-songwriter from Holderness, was on an extended tour, during which she hoped to write a handful of songs. That’s when “The Next Best Thing” popped into her head. “In 2009, I went on a six-month

tour across the country,” Drake says. “My hope was to write a bunch of songs. I wrote one — and that was it.” That one song, which eventually became the title track on her new CD, “The Next Best Thing,” was enough, apparently. A collection of songs featuring Drake’s shimmering, soulful vocals and lush harmonies, the CD — Drake’s second — is a powerhouse lineup from a songwriter confidently flexing her creative muscles. Drake began recording the album in 2015 at The Recording Coop in Gilford, which was relocated and evolved into A Day in This Life, in Portland, Maine. She brought a few friends along, including renowned Canadian multi-instrumentalist J.P. Cormier (who has played with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash), Nashville mandolin player and guitarist Charlie

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Pick a single: “Listen to ‘LA.’ It has a feel that gets people going. I feel like the energy of it makes people feel good. It has great energy and the message is powerful — follow your dreams and don’t give up.” Buy it: It’s available on amazon.com and iTunes. Stream “The Next Best Thing” on all streaming services. Learn more: facebook.com/ audreyjdrake, website coming soon

lead) to stop-and-start melodies that trip between major and minor keys, to slashing through some harmonic minor modes that Bliven has an admitted affection for. “Yeah, that one might be more of a musician’s track,” he says. Pick a single: “Definitely ‘Conversations.’ I think the production is better, but I think playing-wise it showcases a little more versatility with the Latin solo and then the heavier rock solo. It covers more ground.” Buy it: iTunes and amazon.com Learn more: facebook.com/ ResonationProductions

When he was growing up in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, Zach Benton never really knew, or cared, what was conventional. And that’s what makes this musician/ author/entertainer/sci-fi storyteller so unique. “I’ve never been into trends,” says Benton, who is more commonly known by fans as Melodious Zach.


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“Especially musical trends. I like to do what I like to do.” That’s especially evident on his new album “20 Greatest Hits,” compiled from his four previous studio albums. “I say it’s Motown/pop,” Zach says. “It’s got the ’60s and ’70s sounds, and a soulful vocal and driving beat.” The album includes an arrangement of the classic “Hello, Ma Baby!” but is mostly original compositions, including the instant ear-worm and (forgive the term) hummable, “Hum It,” which garnered the multi-instrumentalist a legion of new fans when it was featured on WMUR this past summer. “I had a TV show for four years — music videos, comedy sketches — that ran on public access stations and even in Australia,” he says. “But the amount of feedback I got when that threeminute clip ran was more than I’ve ever gotten in four years in syndication.” It’s easy to see why. The song, and the video, mainline Zach’s oddball, endearing characteristics, and deliver them with an irresistible hook.

“Every song on it was recorded in New Hampshire,” he says. “Some in my apartment, some in Loud Sun Studio, which is run by Ben Rogers.” Melodious Zach plays 95% of the music on the album, collaborating with friend Dave Allen — his co-star on the “O! Melodious Show” video project — who wrote a string quartet piece for “Truer Love.” Drop in some synth and a healthy dose of his quirky creative sensibility, and “20 Greatest Hits” provides a taste of what the unusual world of Melodious Zach is about. Pick a single: “By default, I’d say ‘Hum it.’ That path has been set for me. Apart from the obvious choice, I’d probably say ‘Give it a Shot.’ It’s a very strong song.” Buy it: Order the “Melodious Zach: 20 Greatest Hits” CD on amazon.com. The album comes with an extensive set of liner notes, written and designed by Melodious Zach himself. Learn more: youtube.com/user/ TheZachBenton

Had enough “Silent Night” this time of year? Bitter Pill may have the antidote. Recorded at The Noise Floor in Dover, Bitter Pill’s “Desperate Times on the New Hampshire State Line” is a collection of smart, dramatic, visual, evocative compositions that cross genres and casts shades of Tom Waits and Shane MacGowan throughout. Evocative of what? Loneliness, addiction, cons, poverty and desperation. But don’t think it’s an overwrought confessional. Billy Butler (vocals, cello and piano) and his

daughter Emily (ukulele and vocals) bring a wink, a nod and a giggle to the heavy themes. “It’s satire,” Billy Butler says. “Satire works because it’s rooted in deep truth. If we can laugh at the awful things, maybe they’re not so awful. Maybe it makes the pangs of awfulness a little duller.” The Butlers are joined by fellow Pillers Jon McCormack, Michael McKay, Tomer Oz and Dave Hamilton on this tour of the band’s completely unique view on life as it is right now. Tracks were completed in February of last year, and on the second day of mixing in March, the world shut down. “As they say, art reflects life,” Butler says, though the songs were written before the pandemic. Even the title of the record was dreamt up a year earlier. “It’s not like we didn’t see anything coming. We saw what was happening.” “Desperate Times on the New Hampshire State Line” is the band’s second album, following up

History tells us, when you’re ready, Fri Oct 26 & Sat. Oct 27, 5:30-8 pm Strawbery Banke will be here. Give the gift of Membership to keep history alive. Learn more at StrawberyBanke.org/Join 14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth NH NHMagGIFTDec2020.indd 1

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“Prepare Your Throats” — the soundtrack to Butler’s staging of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus.” “Lyrically, the new record is more about contemporary times,” Butler says. “It’s a real mixture of genres. We like to play and write things that inspire us: rhythm and bluegrass, there’s a little rock, a little bluegrass, a little rockabilly, a little country — everything we love. We never say, ‘This record needs to sound like this.’ We play what we love.” Pick a single: “I would pick ‘Alone.’ Emily is amazing on that. Being on stage and watching her sing it is incredible. That song and her singing that song definitely tells the story of who we are.” Buy it: Order it at bitterpill.bandcamp.com. It’s also available on all streaming services. “Streaming is killing it,” Butler says. “But that said, stream it. It gets us out there.” Learn more: bitterpillband.com

More Music Quick Picks Green Heron: “New Pair of Shoes” Betsy (formerly Green) Heron and Scott Heron are multi-instrumentalists that tear through a high-energy mash-up of old-time, folk, bluegrass, country, Irish folk and blues on “New Pair of Shoes.” greenheronmusic.com Bobbo Byrnes: “SeaGreenNumber5” A well-traveled storytelling singer/ songwriter, Bobbo has just released his latest — crafted to feel like this imminently authentic raconteur is playing just for you in your living room. Think Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Paul Westerberg. thefallenstars.com Ruby & the Groove: “Let the Music Play” Ruby Shabazz, Bill Fee and Tom Bean create an upbeat R&B, pop, and soul sound perfectly illustrated in “Let the Music Play” — a musical ode to Nashua and the living, thriving arts community that helped inspire them. rubyandthegroove.com/music

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Gifts for the Holiday-phobic By Rick Broussard

M

y dad was a good father, the primary wage earner and a generous man, so he was always a bit unclear why, on certain days of the year, he was societally compelled to go out and buy something for all the important people in his life. He’d deal with this by making craft items to dole out, but the absolute perigee of his orbit around Planet Christmas was the year he bought a dozen bottles each of perfume and aftershave at a drug store. Then Dad gift-wrapped them to have a handy batch of generic gifts to offer in response to anything he might receive from coworkers and friends. While I share some of my dad’s reservations about the economy-stimulating holidays, I do enjoy that feeling I get when I’ve found a gift that will prove I care about some person as a nongeneric individual. Such “thoughtful” gifts do not need to be expensive, but it helps to know where to look. Here are my suggestions for local target-rich shopping zones for the holiday-phobic.

INSIDER KNOWLEDGE: If you can’t find the perfect item, you can often get away with simply purchasing something from the perfect place. “Sure, it’s just a letter opener with a skeleton finger for a handle, but you should see the place I got it,” you might say when you give a gift from Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium, the spooky Gothic sidekick to Pickwick’s Mercantile in Portsmouth. If you are sharing your secret shopping spot with the recipient, you are showing how much you care. Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium pickwicksmercantile.com

V

RANDOM ANTIQUARIA: When hunting for an inspired gift, the roadside “junque” store allows a gift-seeker to turn off their minds, relax and float downstream through a phantasmagoria of cultural and historical associations reflecting every sort of passion or weakness. It’s in my hometown, so I’m biased, but I highly recommend Concord Antiques on Storrs Street. Concord Antiques / concordantiquesgallery.com

CLOSE TO THE EDGE: If you have a friend with a twisted sense of humor, turn ’em on with a gift from Wicked Joyful in Manchester. This locally based idea factory takes pop culture icons (or obscurities) and turns them into collectible items, complete with satiric packaging, that will either delight (or, fair warning, offend) someone in a way that shows you know what turns them on (or off) with deadly precision. Wicked Joyful facebook.com/WickedJoyful

LOCAL PRIDE: When Granite Staters gift someone with a local product, it’s a way to include a flatlander friend or relative with a taste of the joys of living in the best state on Earth. The shops (one at the I-95 N NH State Liquor Store exit and a new one just opened in Portsmouth) and website of NH Made are jam-packed with local goods, each with a local person on the other end of the purchase. Or just drop by the gift shop at the New Hampshire Statehouse for a curated batch of Granite State objects that will shout “Live Free or Die” with boughs of holly. NH Made / nhmade.com


For a UniquelyYou Type of Christmas Holiday Gifts, Ornaments, Fresh Trees, Wreaths & Garlands, Decorations

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Cranberry Orange Scones With Glaze Makes about 12 scones

Prep 1 hour (That includes 30-minute rest time in refrigerator.)

3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1¼ tablespoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon orange zest 6 ounces unsalted butter, frozen and grated with a box grater 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops before baking 2 medium eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 11/2 cups frozen cranberries, chopped Orange Glaze:

1¼ cups powdered sugar 6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice Begin by whisking the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest together in a large bowl. Add the frozen grated butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to create pea-size crumbs of the butter. Place in the freezer (or fridge if you don’t have the space) while mixing wet ingredients. Whisk heavy cream, eggs and vanilla together. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the cranberries, then mix together until everything appears moist. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Form gently into round shapes and spread evenly about 2-3 inches apart onto a lined sheet tray and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

The Gift of Yummm!

Before baking, brush each scone with heavy cream. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and lightly brown on top.

ere's a wonderful recipe, courtesy of Culture Bread & Sandwich in Milford, that's great to make and give as a baked gift to friends and family. Make extras and have these treats on hand for your small group gatherings during the holiday season. If no one shows up, you can always freeze them until 2021. Chris and Emilee Viaud of Culture offer great breads by the loaf (or try one of their creative sandwiches). Find sandwich bread, honey whole wheat and sourdough in addition to pastries such as cardamom whoopie pies, apple turnovers and the scones shown here. The bakery-style café offers breakfast sandwiches until 10:30 a.m., then switches over to the regular sandwich menu with classics such as roast beef, meatball and caprese — each coming with one of three spreads, a savory touch of herbed mayo, romesco or their own “River” sauce. Interesting salads and homemade soups round out the lunch offerings. They also offer catering services.

For the Glaze:

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Whisk powdered sugar and orange juice together. Add more sugar or juice to make it thick enough to coat the scones. Dip the top half of the scones into the glaze once the scones are cooled, or drizzle the glaze for a lighter touch. Sprinkle with zest of orange, if desired. Store at room temp in airtight container for 4-5 days.

Find It Culture Bread & Sandwich

75 Mont Vernon St., Milford / (603) 249-5011 Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday


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GIVE GIFTS THAT BRING JOY

Find your comfort and joy at Settlers Crossing in North Conway, NH. Indulge in flavors from local menus and revel in the holiday magic of the open-air mountain setting. Come eat, play, shop and be merry at Settlers Crossing.

settlersgreen.com

• 888-667-9636

SANTA CLAUS HAS COME TO TOWN!

Join us at Mill Falls Marketplace this holiday season where you will find gifts for everyone on your list. From books to candy, clothing, jewelry, accessories, home decor, hair supplies, restaurant gift cards and more. Locally owned and operated businesses.

hampton falls, nh www.lisarogersstudio.com 94

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312 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith NH millfalls.com/shop


Sp ec i a l A dv e rti s i n g s e c ti o n

Holဴdƀys

cocktails fo r t he

f e st i v e d r in ks to c el ebr at e t h e s eas on

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cocktails for the

Bourbon Cider Ingredients:

1 part Maker's Mark® Bourbon 1–3 tablespoons sugar, to taste 2 dashes Angostura® Bitters 3 parts dry hard cider

Garnish:

Cherry and orange peel

In a champagne glass, stir together the sugar and the bitters until the sugar dissolves. Add Maker's Mark®. Top with cold cider. Garnish with a cherry and an orange peel.

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Holဴdƀys

Bourbon Milk Punch Ingredients: 3 parts whole milk 2 parts half-and-half 1.5 parts Jim Beam® Bourbon 1 part sifted powdered sugar Vanilla extract Garnish:

Fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick

In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, bourbon, sugar and vanilla. Freeze until slushy and ready to serve. Stir before serving it in a chilled glass, finished with a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Kiss Me Cocktail Ingredients:

1 part Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon ½ part DeKuyper® Razzmatazz® Schnapps Liqueur 1 part passion fruit juice Sparkling wine

Garnish: Lemon peel

Shake all but sparkling wine with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute then top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon peel, or place a strawberry on the rim.


Merry Berry Buck

Maple Old Fashioned

Bourbon Eggnog

Ingredients:

2 parts Knob Creek® Smoked Maple Bourbon 2–3 dashes of bitters Small pinch of raw sugar Splash of club soda

Fresh cranberries and lemon wheel

Ingredients: 750 mL Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon 1 quart milk 1 quart heavy cream 2 dozen eggs 1½ cups sugar

Garnish:

Garnish:

Add Maker’s, lemon and cranberry juice to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh cranberries and lemon wheel.

In a rocks glass, muddle the sugar and bitters. Add ice to the glass and pour bourbon over. Top with a splash of club soda, then garnish with the cherry and orange slice.

Ingredients:

1½ parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon ¾ parts lemon juice 1½ parts cranberry juice Ginger beer

Garnish:

Orange slice and cherry

Nutmeg

Separate eggs. Beat yolks, whip in sugar and add Basil Hayden’s®. Beat whites until stiff, adding ½ cup sugar, if desired. Beat cream. Add whites, cream and milk to mixture. Add nutmeg to taste. Garnish each cup with nutmeg.

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Proper Irish Coffee Ingredients:

2 ounces Proper No. Twelve Whiskey 4 ounces hot coffee ¾ ounce simple syrup 2–3 ounces heavy cream

Garnish:

Holဴdƀys

Onxy Peach-loma Ingredients:

2 ounces Crystal Head Onyx ½ ounce peach liqueur ½ ounce lime juice 1 ounce grapefruit juice Club soda

Grating of nutmeg on top

In a shaker or jar, shake or whip heavy cream until slightly thickened (not completely stiff). In a mug, add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, hot coffee and simple syrup. Stir. Carefully layer on top the thickened heavy cream until it covers the drink.

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Add all iningredients in a glass over ice. Top with club soda.(Tip: No grapefruit juice? Use a grapefruit soda such as Q mixers!)

Ciderhouse Mule Ingredients:

1½ ounces Ghost Tequila 1 ounce apple cider Ginger beer Juice of ½ a lime

Garnish:

Lime wheel Apple slice

Squeeze lime juice into glass. Add 2-3 ice cubes, then pour in Ghost and apple cider, top with ginger beer to fill. Drop in apple slices and garnish with a lime wheel.


Espresso Martini Ingredients:

2 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka 1 ounce espresso liqueur 1 ounce espresso ½ ounce simple syrup ½ ounce creamer, optional

Garnish:

3 espresso beans

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with espresso beans.

Maple Old-Fashioned Ingredients: 1 ½ ½ 3

ounce High West Double Rye ounce High West American Prairie Bourbon ounce Sapling Vermont Maple Liqueur dashes angostura bitters

Hot Buttered Rum Ingredients:

Garnish:

2 parts Kraken® Rum 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon brown sugar Dash cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice 5 parts hot water

Add ingredients into an old-fashioned glass, add 1x1 ice, stir in the glass. Garnish with orange and lemon twists.

Mix butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice until blended and smooth. Add the rum and then hot water. Stir until the butter mixture dissolves.

Orange twist and lemon twist

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cocktails for the

Holဴdƀys

Broken Manhattan Ingredients:

2½ ounces Heresy Rye Whiskey 2 dashes Infuse Sassafras bitters 1 ounce sweet vermouth

Garnish:

1 amarena cherry

Fill a stirring glass with ice. Dash the bitters, add vermouth, and rye whiskey. Stir well, strain and serve up. Garnish with the cherry.

Horchata Punch Ingredients:

Ingredients:

Garnish:

Combine all ingredients and serve over ice in a wine glass

4 6 1 1 ½

parts Jose Cuervo Traditional® parts organic almond milk parts agave nectar parts cinnamon simple syrup tablespoon almond extract Dash of allspice Grated cinnamon

Combine the ingredients and serve in a chilled glass.

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Snowfall Spritz 1 ounce Grainger’s Deluxe Organic Vodka 1 ounce St. Elder Natural Elderflower Liqueur 1 ounce pomegranate juice 4 ounces sparkling wine


Peppermint Bark Martini

Pomeroy’s Sidecar

New England Royale Ingredients:

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

2 ounces The Quiet Man Traditional Irish Whiskey 1 ounce pomegranate liqueur ¾ ounce orange juice

½ ounce Flag Hill Cranberry Liqueur, Raspberry Liqueur, or Blueberry Liqueur ~5 ounces Flag Hill Sparkling Cayuga White

Garnish:

Garnish:

Lemon twist or cranberry spear

Shake and serve chilled. Garnish with crushed candy cane rim.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail coupe and garnish with orange zest.

In a champagne flute, add ½ ounce of desired Flag Hill fruit liqueur. Top off glass with Flag Hill Sparkling Cayuga White. Add garnish if desired.

5 ounces Zorvino Vineyards Peppermint Bark Wine 3 ounces 603 Double Chocolate Vodka 2 ounces crème de cacao

Candy canes

Orange zest

Garnish:

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603 living / health

Wired for Health Is better health a click away?

by Karen A. Jamrog / illustration by gloria dilanni

T

echnology has seeped into nearly every aspect of our lives, leading us to become data-driven. When it comes to health, for instance, many of us track each day the number of footsteps we take, stairs we climb and calories we burn. For those who are so inclined, there’s even a new toothbrush on the market that records how often and effectively you brush, and links with a mobile app to display your brushing data in a bar graph. But in the burgeoning field of digital therapeutics, opportunities to improve health have progressed beyond mere tracking to include an array of interactive software and devices that help prevent, treat or manage mental, as well as physical, disorders or disease. There are, for example, smart

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watches that guide wearers through calming deep-breathing exercises, apps that prompt people with diabetes to check their blood glucose, and virtual-reality headgear sets that help assess and diagnose ADHD. Digital therapeutics can extend the reach of clinicians by nature of their ’round-theclock availability and enable better commu-

nication between provider and patient. “[They] provide access if there are barriers to care, and I think empower patients to be more involved in their healthcare,” says Lauren McMullen, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.P.-C., a nurse practitioner at Appledore Family Medicine in Portsmouth. They also nudge people toward replacing harmful behaviors with a repertoire of good habits. “[These] are tools that can literally be with you in your pocket, like a clinician in your pocket 24/7,” says Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D., director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Because they are accessible on demand, people who, say, struggle with drug addiction and feel at risk of relapse at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night can reach for the digital therapeutic on their phone to help them at that moment. Researchers have seen encouraging indications of digital therapeutics’ ability to improve health-related behavior. One digital treatment, for example, when offered as part of addiction treatment, roughly doubled abstinence rates from drug use, Marsch says. Digital therapeutics have also improved depression and anxiety, medication compliance and exercise habits, and have helped people manage diabetes. Indeed, digital therapeutics have brought significant results across many health domains, and have evolved to the point where now “you can predict that a person with bipolar disorder looks like they’re at risk of a manic episode, or a person with a substance-use disorder ... looks like they’re at risk of a relapse,” Marsch says. “With that kind of data, you can trigger an in-the-moment intervention right there and then that might prevent escalation” of the problem. With continuous gains in technological capabilities, plus the prevalence of smart devices — “No one leaves home without their phone now,” McMullen points out — possible applications of digital therapeutics seem endless. COVID-19 also helped pro-

“Do people understand what they’re sharing? Who’s getting the data? There are a lot of really important ethical questions in this space.” — Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D.


Too much information?

The ubiquitous digital health trackers that you see on nearly every wrist these days provide a valuable window into people’s behavior and a great service by prompting people to sit less, exercise more, and integrate other healthful behavior into each day. Sometimes our gizmos get the best of us though, as they create obsessive worry that does more harm than good. Sleep trackers, for example, have been known to create such unease that, ironically, they interfere with sleep, as their users fret about their tracker’s reports of insufficient or poor-quality sleep during previous nights. “If a person’s watch picks up on an erratic heartbeat and they bring that to my attention, that’s really helpful,” says Lauren McMullen, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.P.-C., a nurse practitioner at Appledore Family Medicine in Portsmouth. “But I think having constant access to your heart rate and all these things can sometimes create anxiety.” McMullen advises that people discuss their use of trackers and any concerns related to them with their providers. “We try to empower people and teach them to use technology,” she says, “but not too much.” pel their advancement, particularly because it led insurance companies to recognize the need for digital approaches to health. “It’s one of the best things to come out of COVID-19,” McMullen says. While some people seek out digital therapeutics on their own, such as when they download a mindfulness app, some healthcare providers actively integrate

technology-based interventions into their practice. “I think there’s tremendous value in direct-to-consumer kinds of models and people seeking self-help around using these types of tools,” Marsch says. The challenge is knowing which ones, among the thousands that claim to be useful, are most effective. It helps that beginning in 2017, the FDA began to designate some products as “pre-

scription digital therapeutics” after vetting them for safety and effectiveness. However, many others exist that are also effective and safe, but “haven’t gone down that regulatory pathway,” Marsch says. Another drawback to digital therapeutics is the privacy and ethical concerns that they raise. Predictive models capture lots and lots of data about people’s behavior. “Do people understand what they’re sharing? Who’s getting the data? What is it being used for? Who’s responsible for the monitoring of this and the intervention? There are a lot of really important ethical questions in this space,” Marsch says. Still, a growing number of consumers and healthcare providers are embracing digital therapeutics. “We see a lot of excitement [among clinicians] now,” Marsch says, as they’ve come to appreciate the actionable data, 24/7 help for patients, and opportunities for personalized health resources that digital approaches provide. Digital therapeutics are the future of healthcare, Marsch says. “Digital health is not going to go away; it’s going to grow. I’m sure of it.” NH

Do you know a nurse who deserves recognition?

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Now more than ever, as we continue to endure the pandemic, nurses deserve to be recognized for all the work they do on the front lines of our communities throughout the state. In partnership with the New Hampshire Nurses Association, New Hampshire Magazine needs your help to honor these healthcare professionals who deserve recognition for their efforts in fighting COVID-19. We also want to celebrate the very best in nursing – those who go above and beyond to comfort, heal and educate – and to bring to light how critical nursing is to achieving comprehensive health care. If you know a nurse, please consider nominating them in one of the award categories. Recognition is especially meaningful during these times, so say “Thank You” to these healthcare heroes by submitting a nomination today.

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For sponsorship information, contact Kimberly Lencki at klencki@mcleancommunications.com or call (603) 413-5154. nhmagazine.com | December 2020

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What’s in the Box?

Christmas is a competition — here’s how to lose

D

aylight was still a couple hours away, but I was wide awake. It was Christmas morning, and when the clock finally hit 5 a.m. — our family’s agreed-upon “don’t even think of getting up before” time — I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs in my jammies, drawn to the tree and making with the clapclap. I was 40. Which I now realize makes the jammies thing kind of disturbing. But the truth is, I’ve never been able to sleep on Christmas eve — especially that year, which is when I ended up getting one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. Great, right? Yeah, but no, because now I have to try to match that every year. A couple months earlier, we had seen Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Halfway through the set, I leaned over and said to my wife, “Of course you know, I need a Tele now.” I never really expected to actually own a guitar like the Boss’ chosen instrument, but that Christmas it was the last gift tucked way behind the tree. At first, I was excited because I thought she bought me a guitar case, which would

be kind of weird. She did get me a guitar case, but inside that case was a red Fender Telecaster. I knew then and there my wife had won Christmas, and maybe for good. Most people have one unforgettable gift they remember with great affection — one whose memory gets hauled out every year along with the yule, the nog and the figgy pudding. Even if no one technically knows what those things really are. My annual mission: to find her that gift. As we arrive in the heart of shopping season, I typically end up with nothing but an increasing sense of doom and a lot of really stupid gift ideas. Also, a pocket full of Heidi Jo’s Jerky, because that stuff is fire. Then I flail and buy many things that are not at all going to blow her mind. There’s plenty out there; I just overthink it. • There’s a little diner near us in Fremont called Benson’s Café that has incredible homemade corned beef hash. I got a clump of it once (the scientifically accepted nomenclature for a measure of hash is, in fact, “a clump”) and gave that to her.

• She loves reading, so I visit Gibson’s and buy her a murder of books. Only then I don’t see her until August. • She loves houseplants, but I’m not putting another dime into the pockets of big philodendron. • She’s an honest-to-Sandler New Hampshire native, born and brought up here, so I Googled “how much to buy Franconia Notch?” Cool, but hard to wrap. • She loves watching Turkish soap operas, but what am I supposed to do with that? Also, I assure you I am not making that up. • I could write her a song on that Telecaster, but she didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve come up short every year since guitarChristmas. She knows I’m trying my best when I tell her: “Don’t get me anything.” She understands this is really code for, “I’m about to get really irresponsible. And probably stupid.” I’ll keep trying. Even though I know you can’t buy love, I’m pretty sure you can buy love. NH

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Find Your Joy, It’s More Important than Ever. Our team is here to keep you in motion.

Top Row From Left to Right: Lance R. Macey, MD, Anthony R. Marino, MD, Marc J. Michaud, MD, Dinakar S. Murthi, MD, Gregory W. Soghikian, MD, Steve I. Strapko, MD, James C. Vailas, MD, Jinsong Wang, Md, PhD, Mathew W. Wilkening, MD, Peter M. Eyvazzadeh, MD Bottom Row From Left to Right: Bryan A. Bean, MD, Eric R. Benson, MD, Daniel P. Bouvier, MD, Andrew T. Garber, MD, Douglas M. Goumas, MD, Robert J. Heaps, MD, Kathleen A. Hogan, MD, Heather C. Killie, MD, Christian M. Klare, MD


IF YOU CAN STACK THREE CORDS OF WOOD EACH YEAR, YOU CAN WEAR A MASK TOO. In New Hampshire and Vermont, we are strong to the core. We have the drive and determination to handle nearly any challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our willpower. But we have what it takes to get through this. Practice physical distancing and wear a mask. It matters. And it works. Learn how to safely wear a mask at: go.d-h.org/mask

Stay strong. Masks on.

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital • Cheshire Medical Center • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center • New London Hospital Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH)

Profile for McLean Communications

New Hampshire Magazine December 2020  

New Hampshire Magazine December 2020  

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