New Hampshire Magazine May 2021

Page 1

Secrets of Seabrook / Back to the Land


Plus: Enjoy a Circus in the Woods Find the Little Brother of the “Old Man” And Try Lift-service Downhill Biking

And, yes, you can even bring your best friend

May 2021


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NHMAGAZINE.COM Vice President/Publisher Ernesto Burden x5117 Editor Rick Broussard x5119

A Place in the Heart CMC is at the very heart of New Hampshire. Our mission extends beyond our network of physicians and skilled health care providers to every corner of our great state. We know every patient we serve wants nothing more than to get back to “normal” — whether it’s the activities they enjoyed before the pandemic or the hobbies they had before needing our

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Managing Editor Erica Thoits x5130 Assistant Editor Emily Heidt x5115 Contributing Editors Barbara Coles Bill Burke x5112 Production Manager Jodie Hall x5122 Senior Graphic Designer Nancy Tichanuk x5126 Senior Graphic Production Artist Nicole Huot x5116 Group Sales Director Kimberly Lencki x5154

care. The many locations, passions and activities included

Business Manager Mista McDonnell x5114

in this special issue of Best Places New Hampshire play a

Sales Executives Josh Auger x5144

big role in the overall health of New Hampshire citizens. We are fortunate that New Hampshire offers such a high quality of life! We proudly support this guide to help you pursue whatever makes your life more engaging and meaningful, and we’re here to support you so you can get the most out of our your life. We hope you enjoy — and USE — this magazine and join us in celebrating New Hampshire’s special place in the heart of each of us.

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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 37900, Boone, IA 50037-0900 PRINTED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

6 | May 2021


May 2021

58 68

photos: best places


gerry fagan


back to the land


jared charney




kendal j. bush


mountain biking


courtesy loon mountain




kendal j. bush




alexandra bye








brad fitzpatrick

Contents First Things

603 Navigator

603 Informer

8 Editor’s Note 10 Contributors Page 12 Feedback



38 Education


by Bonnie Meroth


by Anna-Kate Munsey

46 Transcript

Meet Angie Tv, a performance artist and conceptual comedian. by David Mendelsohn

48 Best Places



by Brion O’Connor

As you once again embark on local adventures, who better to guide you than the state’s official group of ambassadors? Let the experts point you toward fun for the whole family.


by Emily Heidt

84 Health


by the NH Granite State Ambassadors with special thanks to Emily Goulet

by Karen A. Jamrog

86 Local Dish

58 Back to the Land

In the ’60s and ’70s, a migration occurred — young people were in search of a new way of life in rural areas, and New Hampshire was where many chose to put down roots.

by Barbara Coles photos by Jared Charney

68 A Love Letter to Seabrook This small seaside town may be predominantly known for its power plant and quirky accent, but there’s much more to discover. by Bill Burke photos by Kendal J. Bush

603 Living


recipe by Emshika Alberini

20 Events


by Kendal J. Bush


by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

28 Food & Drink


by Bill Burke photos by Kendal J. Bush

88 Ayuh


40 Blips

by Bill Burke


by Casey McDermott

42 Politics


by James Pindell

44 What Do You Know? SEARCH AND RESCUE

by Marshall Hudson

ON THE COVER: The photo of the Dead Diamond River, north of Errol, in the Dartmouth grant was taken by Joe Klementovich

Volume 35, Number 3 ISSN 1532-0219 | May 2021 7


360 shs is a Complete CirCle of Care



Bedford • Londonderry • Exeter Concord • Portsmouth

THE GRANITE YMCA The Y is more than a gym, it’s a cause that helps bring about lasting personal and social change. It’s an organization committed every day to helping you, your children, and your families learn, grow, and thrive. When you join the Y, you’re supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community. Join today for more than a workout. Join for a better us. YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown YMCA of Downtown Manchester YMCA of Greater Londonderry YMCA of the Seacoast YMCA of Strafford County

8 | May 2021

V for Vaccination It felt a little anticlimactic when, after standing in a cold line outside Concord’s Steeplegate Mall for a half-hour and then winding around a Space-Mountain-length indoor queue for an hour, I got my shot.


looping around downtown in a car with a t was my second dose, so I was done. I big Trump 2024 banner in the slipstream. needed to wait a couple of weeks before The reactions ranging from outright disdain going crazy and mingling with strangto smiles and polite fist pumps revealed the ers, but the die was cast. After a year of hardened stances of the two sides that seems imagining little fuzzy death agents swirling to have been baked from American clay into about in every square yard of air, I was vacred and blue ceramic tiles of partisanship. cinated and able to breathe free and not die. My subdued reaction to my own vaccinaTo be honest, I was never that worried. tion came to mind and I had an inkling of Call me stoic or foolish, my attitude toward why my second jab hadn’t given me the kind vast, invisible dangers, like pandemics, space of relief it should have. When the country is alien invasions and political idiocy (of any as divided as ours is, how do you know when party or movement) is a bit fatalistic. There’s you win? We all know that a win for only half only so much you can do. the country isn’t a true victory, and yet now it The next day I did what I do just about every seems like that’s the best we can expect. day: I walked the dog. As I strolled around Since the Korean War, American military my Concord neighborhood and down to the victories have all come with asterisks, and Statehouse (our usual route), I began replaying cultural progress itself seems to require a the scenes I had experienced dogwalking just fitful lurching back and forth just to move a year prior (Could it have been so long ago? things a notch ahead. Achievements we Could it have been that recently?) when the thought were established, like civil rights and gravity of the virus and expanse of the quaranending institutionalized prejudice, are all tine measures were just becoming clear. back up for debate and still able to engender More people were wearing masks, even hostility between groups and individuals. some while walking or biking outdoors. Maybe we’ve all just forgotten how to Pedestrians have learned the subtle signals react when we really, unreservedly win at that dictate which party should take the sidesomething. And that’s what the vaccine has walk and which should hug the curb of the been, a big victory for the future, created in road as they pass and give each other a little one presidential administration and fulfilled wave and a grunt of acknowledgement. in another. That seems like an unreservedly Many of my neighbors’ home improvegood thing whether we’re returning to norments I’d noticed popping up like spring malcy or advancing to reinvent the world. daffodils last year were still looking good, The dog and I walked up to the Statehouse and so many of the creative responses to the and stopped to commune with the statue of COVID-19 lockdowns and Zoom school Daniel Webster, a man for whom national unity sessions are still in evidence. One of my was an operating principle. Webster’s politics favorites is the proliferation of painted rocks would probably not hold up well under today’s bearing inspiring (or sometimes just plain scrutiny, but his reply to the question “How weird) messages left in odd spots where they stands the union?” still reverberates: “Rockmight be discovered by passersby. bottomed and copper-sheathed, ” he exclaims. There are other bits of hard evidence of “And soon, vaccinated, ” I add, victoriously. the changes we’ve all endured, but many are contained in the hearts of those who have suffered through it together. The clearest evidence of this came from the some folks

photo by bruce richards

“My Mom said she wanted to live at home forever. Her hospital case manager recommended 360 SHS.”

Jewelry by nationally-known artist Jennifer Kalled. Photo by Jane Kelley.

Wear it with your blue jeans... (or without them)


Kalled Gallery

Wolfeboro, NH & Santa Fe, NM 603.569.3994

Contributors Before calling the Monadnock Region home, photographer Kendal J. Bush — who wrote and photographed “Circus in the Woods,” and took the photos for “Food & Drink” and “A Love Letter to Seabrook” — traveled the world as an editor and videographer for the National Geographic Channel and NBC. She combines years of experience as a photojournalist with her film school education to yield beautiful, creative portraits as well as corporate, wedding and event photography. See more of her work at

for May 2021

Jared Charney’s work has appeared in numerous prestigious publications. He took the photos for “Back to the Land.” See more at

Freelance writer and journalist Brion O’Connor wrote “Navigator.” His work has appeared in a number of national magazines and newspapers.

New Hampshire Magazine contributing editor Bill Burke wrote the feature story “A Love Letter to Seabrook,” “Ayuh” and “Food & Drink.”

Emily Goulet, who helped produce the feature story “Best Places,” is the communications director for the NH Granite State Ambassadors.

New Hampshire Magazine contributing editor and New Hampshire Magazine’s Bride editor Barbara Coles wrote the feature “Back to the Land.”

Joe Klementovich, whose work spans from Mt. Washington to the Everglades, took the cover photo. See more of his work at

About | Behind the Scenes at New Hampshire Magazine Intern Extraordinaire We might be a little biased, but we think the University of New Hampshire produces some pretty great talent. Not only is it New Hampshire Magazine’s mission to champion all things Granite State, both our assistant and managing editors are former Wild Cats. Confirming our opinion is current editorial intern Anna-Kate Munsey. If you’re a regular at or subscribe to our weekly newsletter, then her byline is likely already a familiar one. A junior in the English/Journalism program, Anna-Kate has written, among other things, a story on “Top Chef ” competitor Chris Viaud of Greenleaf in Milford, produced a series on notable women for Women’s History Month, interviewed a local producer of HBO’s “The Lady and the Dale,” and worked with New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary to post daily writing prompts throughout April. And, speaking of Peary, turn to page 38 to read Anna-Kate’s story on Peary’s inaugural North Country Young Writers’ Festival happening this month. Visit or sign up for the newsletter to see more of Anna-Kate’s work, and keep an eye out in the years to come — this doesn’t seem like the last time we’ll see her name in print. New Hampshire Magazine editorial intern Anna-Kate Munsey

10 | May 2021

ENJOY IN MODERATION © 2021 Revel Stoke Canadian Whisky, 40% alc./vol., Revel Stoke Flavored Whiskies, 35% alc./vol., Produced and Bottled by Ed Phillips & Sons Co.,


MAY 3-28, 2021 TOGETHER WE WIN | May 2021 11


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

Angela’s Fan

Great issue [March/April 2021] — enjoyed the articles. Angela’s Pasta Shop [“Food & Drink”] has been in existence for 40 years, but not at its current location. It began on Union and Central streets and was there for several years; in the ’80s there was more crime in Manchester and Angela’s moved to the former Boy’s Market after a break-in. I lived in the Union Street neighborhood then — I woke up twice to gun shots. One person was murdered on Merrimack Street and one on Central Street. Great shop, no matter where it is. Eileen Brady Nashua

Murder and Videotape

I read with interest Marshall Hudson’s latest piece on Abraham Prescott [“What Do You Know?” March/April 2021] and thought you might be interested to know that in the late 1980s the Law Related Education Committee of the NH Bar produced a videotape and a teacher’s guide called “The Trials of Abraham Prescott.” We used this case to explore various legal issues and distributed the tape and guide to all New Hampshire high schools. I’ve attached the table of contents from the guide to show the issues and types of lessons we developed. I don’t know if anyone still uses it — the program is still available from the Bar on DVD — but the issues are still at issue today. Art Pease Lebanon

Drinking Up at Disney

It’s sad to see a Disney fan write happily about drinking around the world at Epcot and probably makes Walt roll over in his grave [“The Wonderful Fans of Disney,” March/April 2021]. Walt Disney believed that beer and theme parks shouldn’t be mixed and turned his back on Saint Louis as a possible site for his park when Augustus Busch of the Busch beer family questioned the sanity of anyone who thought he could build a successful attraction in Saint Louis without serving beer. The point was brought home to me and my wife one year at Disney’s 12 | May 2021

emails, snail mail, facebook, tweets

annual food and wine festival when a gate employee told of having to assist drunken guests who were not able to safely walk from the exit gate to waiting cabs. At least they weren’t driving home! Jack M. Rode Whitefield

Top Doc Correction

I was pleased to see Dr. Mikhail Signalov listed in your March/April 2021 “Top Docs” issue. Unfortunately, he was listed under internal medicine, and not under endocrinology diabetes and metabolism. Dr. Signalov is a physician with Saint Joseph Endocrinology/Thyroid Center of New Hampshire, with a practice focused on thyroid disorders. Dr. Signalov works with me in providing comprehensive care of thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, and thyroid dysfunction. Robert A. Levine, M.D., F.A.C.E. Thyroid Center of New Hampshire, Saint Joseph Hospital Endocrinology

Editor’s note: We’ve forwarded the correction to the polling firm that provides our guide to the state’s top doctors. The writer of this letter, Dr. Levine, has been named as a Top Doctor for 21 consecutive years.

Full Throttle Winner My name is Vicki Wasson. I am writing this letter to you in hopes of winning the signed copy of “Full Throttle” by Joe Hill. But first I want to thank you for featuring the 48 amazing things that started in our beautiful state. Being a New Hampshire native and growing up in Chocorua, where the most photographed mountain in the world sits, I have always been fascinated by anything to do with the Granite State. I am excited to read Hill‘s latest book, and again thank you and have a happy new year. Vicki Wasson Effingham Editor’s note: Congratulations, Vicki. You were the first (well, the only) person who found and responded to the little “Easter egg” we hid on a page in our “48 Things That Started Here” article. Hope you enjoy the book. Sharp-eyed readers should keep looking because we plan to hide similar giveaways of cool books and products on our pages.

Color Comment

In “Color Commentary” [“Politics,” January/ February 2021], Mr. Pindell wrote an opinion regarding the political landscape of New Hampshire, describing our state as “largely white, old, rich and rural.” It is very important to realize that New Hampshire is not just white, old and rich and, more importantly, doesn’t always think, act or believe in an old, white, rich fashion. We are much more than that. Stephen Catalono Gilford

Goalkeepers Are Strange

A good friend who I grew up with in Hanover, New Hampshire, and who subsequently retired in the Portsmouth area sent me a copy of Brion O’Connor’s article about NH hockey and the tragic death of the young Berlin high school keeper [January/February 2021]. It struck a nerve with both of us as he and I split goalkeeping chores for a season until he saved a shot with his teeth and spent the next six months eating out of a straw, hanging up the pads for good and opting instead for gymnastics. I stuck it out for four years as Hanover High School’s goalkeeper. My first game in December 1960 was at Davis Arena, which Dartmouth let us use during their Christmas break. Notre Dame! OMG! Fifty-seven saves in 36 minutes of running time hockey. Baptism by fire — lost 10-0 and it probably could have been worse. Still, I think of it as one of the highlights of my hockey career. We, too, remember traveling to Berlin High School and playing in front of real fans who still had the energy to “hate” us even though we were no threat. Very different from playing on outdoor rinks at Kimball Union Academy or Vermont Academy. Yes, Brion is right — us goalkeepers are a strange breed, and Brion can rest assured it’s in his DNA and will prompt him to do other stuff nobody else wants to do. I was stunned to read that Hanover won the state in 1970! They came a long way in six years. Jim Noyes Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Spot four newts like the one above (but much smaller) hidden on ads in this issue, tell us where you found them and you might win a great gift from a local artisan or company. To enter our drawing for Spot the Newt, send answers plus your name and mailing address to:

Spot the Newt c/o New Hampshire Magazine 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101 Email them to or fax them to (603) 624-1310. The March/April “Spot the Newt” winner is Mary Ganz of Hampton Falls. Last month the newts were on pages 4, 14, 27 and 85.


This month’s lucky newt spotter will win fair trade and organic coffees, plus two campfire mugs, a “Life Is Short” T-shirt, and a coffee scoop and clip ($80 value) from NH Coffee. Visit their retail outlet at 7 Sumner Dr. off Route 155 in Dover, or order online at NH Coffee is a proud member of NH Made, the state’s official boosters of locally made products.

Life is full of tough decisions. We make this one a little easier. One of the toughest decisions comes when a loved one can no longer live independently. The Peabody Home in Central New Hampshire is a home for all people where we welcome diversity. New residents that come to the Peabody Home now are guaranteed a room in our brand new expansion, which is under way.

Call 603.934.3718


24 Peabody Place Franklin, NH | May 2021 13

603 Navigator “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.” — J. R. R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings”

Loon Mountain debuted a new mountain bike park in the fall of 2019, and is hard at work creating even more trails.

14 | May 2021

Family Fun 20 Our Town 24 Food and Drink 28

It’s All Downhill Thrills From Here Lift service offers mountain bikers the joy of riding these specialized trails down without the pain of getting to the top BY BRION O’CONNOR


Early adopters were Loon Mountain and the now-defunct Temple Mountain. Unfortunately, after an initial surge of interest, mountain biking numbers began to decline at ski areas. The early 2000s saw many areas abandon the financial burden of running the lifts (though many kept trails open for those hardy souls who kept pedaling uphill). Now, like finding an old flame on Facebook, many ski areas are taking another look at mountain biking. One — Highland I continued pedaling through college, Mountain Bike Park in Northfield — went mostly between the University of New Hamp- all in, creating a dedicated knobby-tire shire and Manchester to visit my girlfriend. nirvana from the skeleton frame of a deIn the late 1980s, I was a young, single profes- funct ski area. Waterville Valley has taken sional when newfangled “mountain bikes” a more traditional approach, resurrecting lit up society’s sporting milieu. These an existing trail network and local hill to trail-specific rigs were rugged and incredibly make both fat-tire friendly. Two more — cool, capable of tackling a crazy variety of Cranmore Mountain in North Conway and terrain. We no longer had any excuse not Loon Mountain in Lincoln — transformed to ride, because mountain bikes made any existing terrain into spectacular “flow” condition “riding weather.” trails designed to accentuate gravity and That was particularly true in New Hampthe new generation of downhill bikes. shire, with the state’s rocky, twisted terrain. (Attitash in Bartlett offered lift-service Parks like Pawtuckaway and Bear Brook, and mountain biking as recently as 2019, but quasi-public lands like the undeveloped acres hasn’t resumed service since being acquired surrounding Lake Massabesic near Manches- by Vail Resorts.) ter or Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir outside Unlike my first mountain bike — a fully Concord, became amusement parks for our rigid black-and-neon-pink Trek Singletrack fat-tire forays. 970 — these burly downhill steeds have Ski resorts quickly picked up on the plenty of suspension front and back. Wheel sport’s popularity. They had the terrain and size has increased, from 26-inch to 27.5 the vertical that endorphin addicts craved. or 29, and the tires themselves are wider, They also had the infrastructure — namely, providing better grip. chairlifts — that allowed riders to focus less Back in the day, it was a point of stubborn on cardiovascular climbs, and more on the pride for mountain bikers to climb hills unexplosive excitement of heeding gravity’s call. der their own power, thereby “earning” their

photo courtesy matt hinkley, loon mountain resort

he beauty of sticking around for six decades is that you get to see things change. Take mountain biking. As a youngster, I thought every bike was an invitation to adventure. My friends, my brothers and I rode our two-wheelers over almost any surface — asphalt, dirt trails, homemade jumps. Bikes meant freedom, opening up our world to explore. We were only limited by our young legs and daylight. And even sunsets could be overcome. | May 2021 15


photo courtesy josh bogardus

/ cranmore mountain resort

Those of all skill levels will enjoy Cranmore Mountain Resort, which also offers lessons for ages 8 and older.

downhill thrills. That same trait requires a serious masochistic streak today if you’re aboard an enduro bike. These rigs are heavy, built to withstand the rigors of downhilling. Once you get them dialed in, they can fly.


Decades ago, my cycling buddies would hold our annual Boyz Weekend in North Conway, taking advantage of a friend’s ski house and the outstanding trail network developed by the White Mountain chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association. During one recon session, we hatched a plan to pedal up Hurricane Mountain Road (one of the steepest paved roads in New England), and then pedal over Black Cap and down the face of Cranmore. One pal, Jim Black, an intrepid trail builder, predicted the ski area would someday make better use of the natural slopeside terrain. He was right. Last year, Cranmore opened its new mountain bike park, fulfilling Black’s prognostication. Cranmore’s machine-carved trails, designed and built by Chris Lewando of Tyrol Trails in Jackson, are an absolute hoot. Smooth and zigzagging endlessly, the three main routes — the expert Stembogen, intermediate Day at the Beech and 16 | May 2021

beginner Learning Curve — feature highbanked turns that reward confident bike handling and controlled momentum. All are serviced by the South Chairlift, which connects the mountain bike trails to the resort’s main lodge. The progression concept — providing beginner, intermediate and expert terrain — was a priority, says Benjamin Wilcox, Cranmore’s president. “Most parks catered to the avid rider,” says Wilcox. “It’s interesting, since the ski industry started by catering to the avid skier and then realized they needed to teach people to ski to grow the sport. Wilcox says he’s seen the same progression with lift-service mountain biking. “Cranmore’s goal is to be a family-friendly bike park, which means that parents can comfortably introduce their kids to liftservice mountain biking.” In the same vein, Cranmore offers lessons for riders ages 8 and older, so everyone can get in on the action, safely.

Loon Mountain

True confession — my worst racing biff happened at Loon. I was competing on a rental rig after wrecking my own bike. Following a tortuous climb, the course turned onto one

“Most parks catered to the avid rider. It’s interesting, since the ski industry started by catering to the avid skier and then realized they needed to teach people to ski to grow the sport.” — Benjamin Wilcox, president of Cranmore Mountain Resort

Watervile Valley’s trail system is open to bikers, hikers and sightseers, providing a more relaxed woodland experience.

of Loon’s access roads, a screaming descent. At one curve, the road went right, but I went straight into the woods when the bike’s sweat-soaked handlebar grips flew off. Miraculously, I walked away with just superficial bruises. It would be a while before I returned, as the resort’s interest in mountain biking waned. These days, however, I can’t wait to get back to Lincoln. In the fall of 2019, Loon unveiled its fabulous new mountain bike park. Like Cranmore, this network of machine-built flow trails is the culmination of a multiyear effort. “We spent almost four years planning, plotting, permitting and consulting with various outside resources long before the first shovel of dirt was ever moved,” says Brian Norton, Loon’s vice president of operations. “We knew we had an opportunity to build a great bike park from scratch.” Loon succeeded. The network — serviced by the Seven Brothers chairlift at the base of the Octogon Lodge — features greater variety than Cranmore, with more terrain planned for this year and next. Construction will pick up this summer where the excavators left off last summer. Norton says, “The planned trails will directly connect the downhill network into our cross-country network as well as to the new Kanc8 lift that will be constructed next summer.” Phases two and three “will include some faster technical terrain with steep turns, rollers and jumps that will keep the serious riders coming back for more,” says Norton. “We want the experience to be a great one, from beginner to expert. We want grandpa to be riding the green flow trail with his granddaughter at the same time Mom, Dad and the college-age twins are having fun on the blue jump trail.”

Waterville Valley

photo courtesy waterville valley resort

Some 25 years ago, I learned a valuable fat-tire lesson at this resort tucked away in the White Mountain National Forest. I had started racing, quickly jumping from “beginner” to “sport” categories because “sport” races were twice as long. Predictably, doubling the distance meant twice the effort, and I wasn’t prepared. Plus, Waterville Valley was one of the most technical courses I’d ever ridden, with rock gardens and wheel-swallowing gullies and mud pits. But the course challenged me as I chased better racers who revealed the skills | May 2021 17


According to the author, Highland Mountain Bike Park is “a mountain biker’s version of Disney World.”

The chairlift ride at Highland reveals some of the more jaw-dropping elements of their multiple trails.

Highland Mountain Bike Park

18 | May 2021


“We do see a large number of families using the lift to introduce their kids to mountain biking,” says Ian Cullison, the Adventure Center director. “They can get a lot more mileage out of their day when they don’t have to pedal uphill.” Cullison says many area lodges offer a Freedom Pass, entitling them to a two-hour bike rental and one lift ride each day. Perhaps the best part of Waterville’s trail system is that even the most popular trails can be accessed without using the lift, thanks to the gravel Livermore Road that runs along the north edge of the network. “So, on days when you have some extra energy to burn off, you can do the climb manually and then ride the lift on your next run to get a different perspective,” says Cullison.

photos courtesy james willette

needed to handle obstacles that looked impossible to ride. I finished the race exhausted, but inspired. A quarter-century later, the rough-hewn trails snaking around Waterville Valley haven’t changed much. I say that with great admiration. I love the “old school” vibe of this resort, which dates back to 1868 with Greeley’s Mountain House. The 9-acre Snow’s Mountain was Waterville Valley’s original ski hill, before Mount Tecumseh opened in the 1960s. A recommitment to the hill and its chairlift has enabled the resort’s Adventure Center to use the lift during the warmer months. Shared by sightseers and mountain bikers, the Snow’s Mountain chairlift scoots more than 500 feet up the hill overlooking Waterville Valley’s golf course and tennis center.

Two decades from now we may look back and call Mark Hayes a mountain biking visionary. “In 20 years, the bike park industry will be as big as the skiing industry,” says Hayes, a founder of Highland Mountain Bike Park. “Keep letting people know until it sinks in. They just have to start building.” That’s what Hayes and Will Gaudette did, opening Highland to the mountain bike crowd in 2006. This hill is a part of a rich history of ski areas that couldn’t overcome the vagaries of Mother Nature and capricious energy costs, eventually shuttering in 1995. Now, the hill is enjoying a second life, reincarnated as a mountain biker’s version of Disney World. (I’ve always thought Mount Whittier alongside Route 16 in West Ossipee, which closed in 1985, would have made a great mountain bike park as well.) What Highland lacks in amenities — the lodge and rental shop are fairly rustic — it makes up for with spine-tingling terrain, with 29 flow and technical trails covering nearly 600 feet of thickly forested vertical (in addition to 11 contiguous cross-country trails), five jump and skill parks, and an indoor training facility. Make no mistake — this can be an intimidating place for beginners.

highland mountain bike park

“In 20 years, the bike park industry will be as big as the skiing industry. Keep letting people know until it sinks in.” — Mark Hayes, founder of Highland Mountain Bike Park

Highland’s base area is usually teeming with fully armored riders, making the place look like a “Mandalorian” movie set. There are the enormous manmade jumps designed for big-air competitions (in full view of the spectators gathering on the base lodge deck), while most of the flow and technical trails are hidden by the evergreens and hardwoods. Though the park advertises five beginner and six intermediate trails, those ratings are relative (older published reviews show Highland terrain as 5% easy, 35% moderate and 60% difficult, though the park has created more introductory terrain over the past decade). Half the mountain is still rated “most difficult” and “extremely difficult.” Those ratings assume that Highland puts a premium on instruction, and it does. The “Find Your Ride” program offers a true “judgement-free zone” with one-hour sessions highlighting the characteristics of enduro bikes and the basics of safe downhilling. Highland’s coaches are knowledgeable and attentive, providing constant encouragement. The chairlift ride reveals some of the more jaw-dropping elements at Highland, including hair-raising drops, nosebleed jumps and vertigoinducing wooden berms. Most trails, however, do have “escape routes” that skirt the most difficult sections. NH


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603 NAVIGATOR / FAMILY FUN EVENT pended from a silver rig glistening in the afternoon sun. Act 2: Envisioning the Vision In the thick of the pandemic, the concept of Circus in the Woods came as an epiphany to Jackie Davis, the founder and executive director of Flying Gravity Circus (FGC). She wanted to create a show where spectators and performers could be safe and socially distant while enjoying the magic of circus. Now Davis is thrilled to be partnering with the Harris Center, the Beaver Brook Association, the Hooper Institute and the Andres Institute of Art as hosts of her fully realized plan for the Circus in the Woods. The Latin root of the word circus is “cir” — a ring or circle — and while most traditional circus performances tend to adhere to the traditional ring, tent or theater setup, the organizers of this year’s show decided to turn things upside-down by reviving a tradition of an outdoor circus that dates back to Rome in the 13th century. Organizers will create a loop trail for the audience to follow around the grounds of each host venue, with circus acts performing at designated stops along the way. “I’m looking forward to the circus community seeing new things at the nature centers and to the public who frequent the nature centers seeing those places in a new light,” says FGC Artistic Director in Residence Rachel Schiffer. “There’s an extremely exciting exchange happening here, where circus and nature get to highlight the best of each other’s world.”

Emily Fulton,14, works through her Lyra routine.

Circus in the Woods An outdoor performance in four acts (and four locales) STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KENDAL J. BUSH


walk in the woods is good for your heart and soul. That’s science talking. The serene influence of nature combined with the simple effort of walking in forest air can calm and fortify a person better than any tonic. But what if you add a little art and amazing displays of talent and skill to the walk? The organizers and performers of Circus in the Woods are conducting an experiment to find out what happens, and you can be their subject. Here’s what you need to know, in four acts: 20 | May 2021

Act 1: Forest for the Trees Imagine: Family and friends alike arrive at a familiar, beloved conservation property on a beautiful early summer day. While masked and socially distanced from other family units, guests walk onto a wooded path, where the sound of music reaches their ears just as they come across a team of jugglers among the trees. After watching for a few moments, they continue through nature to find acrobats and handbalancers, tightwire walkers and aerialists on silks or trapeze, sus-

Act 3: The Ringmasters Flying Gravity Circus was started in 1999 by a group of 11 students from Pine Hill at High Mowing School in Wilton. “When we came up with the idea of starting our own circus company, it was really a new and exciting idea that we could start a youth circus,” says Jon Roitman, founding member, head coach and artistic director Although Schiffer and Roitman have crossed paths while performing and working within the circus community, the Circus in the Woods project is the first time the two are collaborating on a show. “You can’t have enough sharing and exchange in the arts,” says Schiffer. “If you’re stuck thinking about the same thing in the same way over and over, where are you going to go from there?”

Avery Steere reaches new heights as he impersonates a frog on the trampoline.

Owen LawsonSpratley demonstrates his dynamic diablo skills.

Jonathan “JK” Kamieneski has a passion for aerial silks but also radiates when juggling.

Roitman flashes an enthusiastic grin — his excitement for the upcoming shows. “Just being able to create art again in the way that I love to do, and the way that these kids love to do, is what I’m most looking forward to. Circus really is a performance art, and without the chance to do it in front of an audience, it just doesn’t feel the same to the kids or to those of us running the program.” It was as children that Roitman and Schiffer both found their own love for circus, so it was natural for them to develop their own skills by teaching and inspiring young people in a safe environment of inclusivity. “Jon is a really good teacher and he has a wonderful way of speaking to everyone on the same level,” says Schiffer, “but he also recognizes that each student is different and each requires something unique and special. Every one counts for Jon, and there’s no stopping his trajectory to try to move that forward.” | May 2021 21


From left: Austin Damron, 17, of Mont Vernon has been with FGC for 12 years. Ella Glass is a recent addition to the group but has quickly become a skilled juggler. At right: Judith Boyd, 14, poses in arabesque on aerial silks.


Act 4: The Super Troupers FGC troupers Judith Boyd, JK Kamieneski and Emily Fulton have been practicing all year preparing for the shows this spring. The three 14-year-olds share the bond of circus and a tireless work ethic that keeps them all pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. With silks blowing like sails in the background, Boyd offers a shy smile while sitting propped atop a stack of primarycolored practice panel mats. “I think it definitely helps boost your confidence a

lot, and I think it’s really good to be in an environment where it’s safe to fail, and it’s healthy and natural to fail. No one is going to get an aerial drop [a thrilling plunge on the silks] on the first time and have it be easy, but once you get it, it’s like you can overcome challenges and you can succeed,” says Boyd. Kamieneski flashes a showstopping smile while attempting to juggle pine cones. “Some tricks take a lot more practice than the others, but I feel that when you work so

Jon Roitman is a founding member, head coach and the artistic director of FGC.

Rachel Schiffer, FGC artist in residence, strikes a pose on the tightwire. | May 2021

Flying Gravity Circus troupers

hard and then you get it, you feel a sense of joy. It can be very frustrating, but in order for you to do circus you have to develop patience.” Across the practice field, Fulton performs some of her finest circus skills for her mom who is creating a video for her upcoming audition for Circus Smirkus, an award-winning youth program based in Vermont. “Here we can just be teens and have fun and be safe, and then we have this circus that brings us all together with shared skills and a shared love,” says Fulton. “Having people like Jon and Rachel around are living proof that, yes, this works and you can get good at it — that is what’s best about it.”

The teens are all looking forward to the shows this month. As she shares her exhilaration for the Circus in the Woods series, Fulton beams. “I think it’ll be cool to combine nature and circus and get to carry on the tradition of doing circus outside, in nature, and I think that will be a lot of fun,” she says. Roitman shares the troupers’ enthusiasm. “This is such an exciting time for us to continue growing. I can’t wait to see what we do next.” NH For tickets and more information on FGC events and programs visit:

Show Dates

May 9* Harris Center, Hancock May 16* Beaver Brook Association, Hollis May 23** Hooper Institute, Walpole May 30** Andres Institute of Art, Brookline Times: Visitors will be grouped in small pods (socially distanced) for shows at 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Note: Shows, including walking time, will take approximately 45 minutes. Visitors to the Andres Institute show must allow an additional 40-plus minutes to hike up the hill for the show. * These sites are wheelchair accessible across unpaved terrain. ** Not recommended for wheelchairs — rugged terrain accessible by wooded trails only.


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photo by stillman rogers


A mural at Apotheca

Go to Town in Goffstown There’s quite a bit going on in this small town BY BARBARA RADCLIFFE ROGERS


he rise of Portsmouth as a major seaport and the prosperity of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region in Colonial times was largely due to the Royal Navy’s insatiable need for ship masts. Vast forests of tall white pines grew within easy reach, where they could be cut and hauled to the port, many over routes that are still called Mast Road. Mast Roads in Dover, Merrimack and Manchester are reminders of New Hampshire’s Colonial importance, as is Gofftown’s Mast Street (now Route 114), a route carved beside the Piscataquog River in the 1750s and formally laid out in 1761. The area was covered in timber that was valuable for both masts and for building growing towns, and lumbering was the area’s main occupation when Goffstown was chartered by Gov. Wentworth in 1761. Land here was first granted in 1734 as Nar-

24 | May 2021

ragansett No. 4 by the Massachusetts Colonial governor, as the area was still under dispute between the two colonies. But most of the grantees found the area to be poor farmland and moved back to Massachusetts. In 1748, it was regranted by New Hampshire Royal Governor Benning Wentworth to a new group of settlers, including Col. John Goffe, for whom the town was named when it was incorporated in 1761. The early settlement was in the approximate center of the grant, a village known today as Grasmere. Then in 1766, a bridge was built where Mast Road crossed the Piscataquog River, and this became the nucleus for the small West Village. Near the bridge was a falls that soon powered a grist mill and saw mill; by 1794 a hotel had opened and in 1810 Capt. John Smith opened a store. A carding and fulling mill followed at the

falls, and by 1820 there were 20 sawmills, plus grain and textile mills. The settlement was big enough for the residents to build their own meetinghouse in 1840, which was replaced in 1845 by the stately white Congregational Church that sits beside the town hall today. The arrival of the New Hampshire Central Railroad in 1850 cemented West Village, where two of its depots were located, as the commercial and social center of Goffstown. Fueled by railroad access for shipping materials and finished goods, local industry flourished, and many of the distinguished buildings that make up the Goffstown Main Street Historic District can trace their origins to this period of increasing prosperity. The Gothic Revival St. Matthew’s Episcopal

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The Congregational Church of Goffstown

Lion’s Corner popcorn stand with the Memorial Library in the background

26 | May 2021

photo by kevin cooper

Church was built in 1868, and Capt. Smith’s store, which still stands at the corner of Main and North Mast streets was modernized with a new mansard roof. In 1880 a new passenger railway station was built near the bridge, on Depot Street, and the Queen Anne-style Second Methodist Episcopal Church (now the Granite State Christadelphian Hall) was completed in 1890. Also in the Historic District, which is cited in the National Register of Historic Places as “a well-preserved example of the historical evolution of a vernacular village center over two hundred years,” are the Goffstown Memorial Library, constructed in 1909, and the Civil War Monument, erected in 1916 on the town common. The most unusual of the listed properties is the Lion’s Corner popcorn stand, a local summer institution since the 1930s, which sits at the corner opposite the library and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The railroad that made this such a prosperous community was absorbed by the Boston and Maine Railroad, and sent its last freight car to Goffstown in 1980; the tracks were removed a year later. Reminders today are the 5.5-mile rail trail and the Victorian Depot, which now houses Apotheca, a florist, café and gift gallery. Adding a bright splash of color to the downtown landscape, the back of the building is covered in a cheerful flower mural. Another, shorter railroad had a role in Goffstown history too. Beginning in 1907, the Uncanoonuc Incline Railway carried tourists to the 1,321-foot summit of the south peak of Uncanoonuc Mountains. There they could

photo by stillman rogers


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the three ski trails from the south summit. Another trail led across to trails down the north mountain. Skiing there was popular in the 1930s, until the 1938 hurricane felled trees across some of the trails and a fire destroyed some of the rail tracks. The remaining tracks were torn up for metal during World War II. Today, well-maintained hiking trails lead to both summits, and you can still see bits of the old rail line on the 2.3-mile loop trail up South Uncanoonuc, although the summit is now crowded with various towers. The fire tower that stood there from 1911 was torn down in 1983. The trailhead is at Uncanoonuc Lake, on Mountain Base Road off Wallace Road. While neither the Uncanoonuc Hotel nor the incline railroad draw visitors to Goffstown today, a rush of prestigious guests flock to town every four years, to the most popular destination in the state for presidential candidates: the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. The New Hampshire primary presidential debates, held at the college since 2004, are a must for any candidate. Less well known is the college’s Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center, located in the school’s former chapel. The center houses a permanent collection of more than 400 paintings, drawings, works on paper, sculpture and decorative arts from the 15th through the 21st century, including a 1630 etching by Rembrandt and a woodcut by the German Old Master Albrecht Dürer. The center’s The Arts are Alive! program is currently offering virtual options. Goffstown’s Main Street Program is also very much alive, sponsoring a busy calendar of events that include Old Home Day (June 5-6, 2021), Uncommon Art on the Common (August 7, 2021), the Pumpkin Regatta (October 16-17, 2021) and Friday Night Under the Lights (December 3, 2021). NH | May 2021 27


Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery in Dover is a sweet shop unlike any other.

28 | May 2021

Welcome to

Caramelot This Dover candy shop transports guests to a world of pure imagination BY BILL BURKE PHOTOS BY KENDAL J. BUSH


rying to pin a job description on Chris Guerrette can be a bit of a trick. He’s a business owner, to be sure, but stopping there would be selling him short. Add a few more titles and you may get close: candy fanatic, networker extraordinaire, mad scientist, importer, builder and idea man. As the owner of Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery in Dover, he brings all of those skills together to create a unique experience that acts as a tractor beam for anyone with a sweet tooth. “I always wanted Lickee’s and Chewy’s to be more of an experience for folks when they come to see us,” Guerrette says. “Customers come in and look around with wide eyes — which is exactly what we hoped for. It makes it fun.” Step inside the Dover confectionery shop and discover that Guerrette is part Merlin with a little Willy Wonka and a little Walt Disney swirled in. The one-ofa-kind, fantasy-themed, 5,000-square-foot space in the Cocheco Mills offers a dizzying array of chocolates, truffles, ice cream and shakes, sodas and candy from all over the world. But the first impression, one carefully planned and executed, is that this is no ordinary sweet shop. The first clue: The entire operation is watched over by a dragon named Igor who stands next to a grand black-and-silver throne. Nearly a dozen smaller dragons are stationed throughout the space; a village of faerie houses is tucked here and there, connected by sparkling lights signifying that the inhabitants are visiting one another; a collection of butterflies stretch their wings near the ceiling; a full-size Cinderella carriage sits in the middle of things, and fixtures — some acquired from India — are massive, heavy wooden and iron | May 2021 29

603 NAVIGATOR / FOOD & DRINK structures that add a completely authentic vibe to things. “I’ve been a big fan my whole life of science fiction and fantasy,” Guerrette says. “If you look closely, you’ll see influences from every major science fiction movie or fantasy story, whether it’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Harry Potter.’ There’s usually a little something that’s been turned into part of the store.” The idea first came to Guerrette while he was on deployment in Afghanistan with the US Air Force. Families and supporters back home would send care packages packed with candy, and it would be collected and piled onto an office table. Someone once commented, “That’s a lot of lickies and chewies.” “I had never heard that term before,” Guerrette says. “Come to find out, it’s an old military term to describe candy and chocolates. I thought, I’m going to open a candy store with that name someday, and here we are, many years later.” Guerrette the idea man then went to work, pulling storylines, business plans and ideas from dozens of sticky notes that line his workspace, eventually formulating a backstory and creating the legend of Lickee, the knight, and Chewy, the dragon, from the kingdom of Caramelot.

Every surface at Lickee’s & Chewy’s is bursting with both familiar and unfamiliar confections, which are sourced from all over the country and abroad.

30 | May 2021


Top: Shop owner Chris Guerrette with Igor the dragon Above: If you like your chocolate with heat, there are plenty of options, like these hot salted Sriracha bars.

The store’s mascots were brought to life by New Zealand artist Nate Walker. The shop, which opened in September of 2018, has an identity, a backstory and a tangible, utterly unique vibe — and yet it’s impossible to lose sight of the fact that this sugary fortress is first and foremost a carefully curated candy store. Building relationships with dozens of distributors and candymakers allows Guerrette to

stock items not found elsewhere. There are entire sections of sweets from Europe, Japan and even Scandinavia. “I find these niche, small candy companies all over the world,” he says. “I carry a candy from a company called Lammes Candies in Texas. I fell in love with it and have carried it in my store for years. They’re very small — they only make a few products — but I think they’re amazing

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603 NAVIGATOR / FOOD & DRINK and I’m super-excited to share that with customers.” The Texas Habanero Pralines are among the more unique flavors on the shelves, but they’re far from the only unusual selections. There’s an entire section of spicy candy and chocolates infused with heat. Or try, for example, the most sour candy in the world. “It’s this ridiculously insane sour candy from England, Barnett’s,” Guerrette says, laughing. “They’re hard candies that literally come with a warning. But these are things you can’t just buy from a distributor. I’m able to get them because of years of research and developing relationships.” It’s not only oddities, however. Guerrette’s team offers, among other things, cookies, fudge, hard candies, jelly beans and handmade chocolates and the outrageous King Shakes. It’s those massive, chilled treats that’ll draw the eye away from the magical menagerie that calls the store home. “I created all those myself,” Guerrette says. “I’m kind of the creative piece in the store, always coming up with ideas. We always start with the shake flavor because that’s very important. Each shake has three to four ingredients in it. Then we’ll decide on a theme, what the top will look like, and then we’ll try different things until we’re happy with it.”

No two of Guerrette’s inventive shakes are the same, and it’s quite the tasting process to create each one.

32 | May 2021

Sweet Success

Lickee’s & Chewy’s has launched its own brand of handcrafted chocolate bars called Ogre Chocolates. The new offering provides Guerrette with a chance to expand the Lickee’s & Chewy’s universe, this time with Eigre the Ogre — the colorful mascot of Ogre Chocolates. The seemingly gravity-defying shakes are topped in a vivid combination of cookies, candy, nuts, gummies, sprinkles, popcorn and chocolate shavings, chips and chunks, depending on the theme and Guerrette’s latest creative experiment. “Being a candy and chocolate shop, we can create these shakes that have things in them that most places don’t, because they’re just a diner or an ice cream shop.” Guerrette has also worked with another veteran-owned business — Smoky Quartz Distillery in Seabrook — to create a bourbon truffle that uses owner Kevin Kurland’s award-winning whiskey. (Read about Kurland’s Seabrook connection in the feature story starting on page 68.) “Kevin and I were stationed together for years at Pease,” Guerrette says. “The two of us used to talk about our dreams after we left the military — he would open a distillery and I’d have a candy store. When I met Kevin, those things were just literally ideas. It’s interesting to see how we’ve both been able to pull it off.” NH


Find it Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery

53 Washington St., Suite 100, Dover (603) 343-1799 / | May 2021 33

603 Informer “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” — W. Somerset Maugham

Linoprint by John Herman

34 | May 2021

photo by david noble

photo by bonnie meroth

The Old Man of the Mountain and the Old Man’s “Little Brother” (below)

Education 38 Blips 40 Politics 42 What Do You Know? 44 Transcript 46

The Old Man of the Mountain Had a Little Brother And, yes, he’s seen better days too BY BONNIE MEROTH


eep in the heart of a Milton Mills forest sits a relatively large but relatively unassuming boulder. At first glance, it appears to be one of the many single nondescript geological vestiges of a time when the Ice Age rolled its glaciers over New England. A closer look reveals much more — the profile of New Hampshire’s Little Man of the Mountain. Decades ago, a rumor about its existence and location teased me into finding the landmark in this small village located in the northern part of Milton. “Drive about 5/10 of a mile down a road off Route 125 toward Milton Mills” were the vague directions I received. At that time, the Spaulding Turnpike did not exist, and that alleged “easily found” country road was not easily found. However, it was flanked by forest, not thickets. Agreeably visible and discernible from the shoulder of the road, a massive stone stood alone. It sported a smaller version of our illustrious state icon, the Old Man of the Mountain (may he rest in peace). This recognizable pareidolia was a clear comparison to the one etched by Mother Nature on Cannon Mountain. During a recent visit with my grandson and his fiancé at their newly purchased farm in Milton Mills, I was inspired to once again see the Little Man and learn more of his story. Not so easy this time. The woodlands had changed considerably with the addition of the highway, which altered the original way into the town. The former directions needed tweaking, and attempting to get new directions was difficult. Locals were unfamiliar or vague with the profile itself or its exact location, but the Milton town clerk’s office said that “Sunny Jim,” a moniker applied to the Little Man, had graced the cover of the 2014 annual

town report. A brief testimony under his picture succinctly noted: “Meet Sunny Jim of Milton, Old Man’s Little Brother just as famous to us natives as his Father was in Franconia.” The inscription on the inside cover included directions to Branch Hill Road, still a turn from the old Route 125, to a road heading into the Mills. The cryptic dedication gave credit to William Laskey and Raymond Huse. Evidently, these men not only found the profile, they bestowed the sobriquet of Sunny (sometimes Sonny) Jim. After several attempts asking around to see if anyone knew them, I headed for the Milton Mills library and learned that both men died over 100 years ago. No interviews there! Librarian Betsy Baker pointed me to a history of the town compiled by Harold Franklin Roberts in 1994. Two pages were dedicated to Huse, who grew up with his grandparents at Plummer Farm near Union. According to Roberts’ narrative, Huse became an ordained minister. The Milton Mills Church granted Huse his local preachers license in 1898. In the same year, he delivered his first sermon, which included the line, “He first findeth his brother,” perhaps a portent to his tie to the Old Man’s Little Brother. As Huse traveled extensively over New England and New York, where he seemed to have spent a lengthy time, his sermons often mentioned the “Little Old Man of the Mountains.” In his history book, Roberts was kind enough to explain that it was located on a stone on the side of Branch Hill Road, and was a miniature of the famous profile in the White Mountains. Roberts wrote: “Could it be that Mother Nature planned this special profile just to go along as a

family for the more famous profile, The Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia Notch? Sonny Jim is just as famous to us natives as his father in Franconia. Located on Branch Hill, almost one half mile from old route 16. According to Raymond Huse, who would not take credit for locating this profile, William Laskey was its founder.” In contradiction, Huse wrote the following poem:

Beside a country roadway By tourist’s eye unseen, Around it pastures green, My thoughtful rural neighbor Discovered near his “place”, The profile of a face. The heavy brow is thoughtful, Just like the famous other He seems to us who know him The “Old Man’s” little brother, His face is not so solemn, Rebuking human sin, His lips in storm and sunshine Are parted in a grin. He doesn’t guard the mountains With their vast stretch of miles, But just a patch of pasture So that is why he smiles. A discrepancy in the two writings creates some confusion about the relationship between Sunny Jim and the Old Man. Huse calls the profile the Old Man’s little brother, but Roberts alludes to Sunny Jim as the Old Man’s son. For the most part, the smaller silhouette is known as a brother, as Huse designated it. While Huse was at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Ithaca, New York, he paid homage to his friend Laskey, who had recently died, on March 4, 1936, in the form of a lengthy editorial to the Courier, the local Milton newspaper. In the eloquently written eulogy, Huse provided a perfect biography of Laskey: “Willie F. Laskey was born on Branch Hill in the town of Milton in 1872. He grew up in sight of the quiet mountains of New | May 2021 35

Hampshire and Maine and loved the birds and flowers and trees of the winding road. The sight of the purple grapes hanging in festoons from the orchard trees; the scent of boiling sap in the early spring, and all the quiet wonder of all the out-of-door world were dear to him. “He attended school at the old Branch schoolhouse which now stands mute and full of memories. He also spent several years as a student at Nute High school where he was one of the charter member students. For much of the time he walked five miles to this school though he is not enrolled as an alumnus. No one among us got more of a cultural outlook from his studies than did he. “With his love of the beautiful he transformed the bush-bordered road which led to his home into a beautiful avenue with shading trees. One day when he was walking home in the sunset he discovered the little profile on the ledge which has been called ‘Sunny Jim’ or ‘The Old Man’s Little Brother.’” The extensive testimonial went on to talk about Laskey becoming an invalid as a young man. He collected antiques, not for their value, but for the story they told. He was

courtesy photo


Bonnie Meroth exploring the history of Sonny Jim and the Old Man at the Milton Mills library

active at his church and the Grange, and was caretaker of the village cemetery at Milton Mills, appreciating each life and its memory in their resting places. He had no family of his own except for nephews and nieces. Laskey is buried in that cemetery, and a tall, stoic obelisk marks the grave of “friend of birds, and flowers, and folks.” His monument says nothing of Sunny Jim, but the profile is nevertheless a part of his legacy. Although the Little Brother seemed deliberately elusive, I found the Old Man’s Little Brother quite easily on a clear afternoon this past winter. Saplings

and trees had grown around the large slate gray rock, but traipsing around unruly forest terrain was not needed. The slant of the setting winter sun clearly lit his silhouette. His nose, worn by the vicissitudes of time or the predictability of miscreants, is missing for the most part, but the jutting chin, heavy forehead, thick eyebrows and full lips are still a clear and obvious replica of the fallen Old Man. And, as Huse wrote in his poem about the smiling profile, Sunny Jim greeted me with a wide grin that seemed to say, “You found me again.” NH

An Ode to a Fallen Friend By Ken Sheldon On Saturday morning, May 3, 2003, I turned on the radio and heard the news that the Old Man of the Mountain had fallen. I realized pretty quickly that this was going to be hard for people and started jotting down some thoughts. As sometimes happens, the thoughts seemed to organize themselves into the words of a song, “Goodbye, Old Man.” I picked out a melody on the guitar and decided to record it in case it might help comfort those feeling the loss.

36 | May 2021

I sent the song to a contact at NH Public Radio and they played the song as part of their story that morning. That, I thought, would be the end of that. The next day, I got a call from state senator Sylvia Larsen, who asked if I would be willing to sing the song for the Senate. Needless to say, I was nervous but honored to sing in that historic chamber. Later, I was invited to perform “Goodbye, Old Man” at the memorial service for the Old Man of the Mountain, and the song was included in introduction to the manual for General Court for that year. In the years since the Old Man’s falling, I’ve had occasion to sing “Goodbye, Old Man” across New England and have been surprised by how much it still resonates with listeners, perhaps because it touches on our own losses, many of which have roots in this place.

GOODBYE, OLD MAN Goodbye, old man. Goodbye, old friend. You may be gone, but your spirit lives on in this rocky land. Goodbye, old man. That solemn brow, that craggy face, as tough as the people from so long ago who settled this place. As old as the hills, as old as the land, a primeval profile in granite not carved by human hands. Goodbye, old man. Like a great grandfather watching down on us all, we never thought that you would ever fall. It’s like a death in the family, it’s hard to believe. There’s an empty place where you used to be. It was a long, hard winter, and now I know how you must have felt after all those years of ice and snow. You must have been tired, and maybe you knew, that when it’s your time to go there’s not much that you can do. So you slipped away in the dead of night and in the morning we saw, but couldn’t believe our eyes. Goodbye, old man. Goodbye, old friend. You may be gone, but your spirit lives on in this rocky land. Goodbye, old man. Goodbye, old friend. © Ken Sheldon 2003 To hear Ken perform this song, visit the online version of this story at | May 2021 37

New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Writers The North Country Young Writers’ Festival debuts this month BY ANNA-KATE MUNSEY


lexandria Peary calls being the New Hampshire poet laureate “the honor of my lifetime.” But it’s more than just an honor and a title — it’s a chance to effect real change in an area of the state that is too often underserved. The inaugural North Country Young Writers’ Festival, a two-day event happening virtually May 14-15, will bring together award-winning professional writers, passionate graduate and undergraduate student leaders, accomplished student poets and bright young writers from across the state for a virtual writing festival. It’s all free for New Hampshire residents. 38 | May 2021

In collaboration with White Mountains Community College and a variety of partners, Peary has spent months organizing writing workshops, games and activities and engaging opportunities for youth poet laureates and special guests — including published authors and a screenwriter. Originally envisioned to take place in person, Peary was forced to make it virtual due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Peary is an international leader and expert in mindfulness and creative writing. She has hosted a number of impactful events and workshops on these subjects. A prolific author, Peary has written seven books, in-

cluding poetry, creative writing and scholarly writing guides. As poet laureate, she led several initiatives, including developing a writing program for youngNew Hampshire opiate survivors, a series of mindful-writing workshops and, of course, the upcoming conference intended to inspire and teach young writers. Peary’s goal was to reach 7th-12th graders in the North Country, specifically in Coös County and surrounding regions. Before the pandemic put a halt to in-person events, the festival would have taken place at the White Mountains Community College. Though the intent is to focus on students in the North Country, teens from all parts of the state are welcome to register. Everything about the event was designed with youth in mind, with input from students of all ages. From the event’s logo, designed by Jocelyn Paradis, a high school student from Gorham, to the various creative writing workshops hosted by college and graduate student interns, young minds and writers are the inspiration and backbone of the festival. Peary drew on her own childhood growing up in rural Maine to create opportunities for the rural communities in New Hampshire. “I’m just trying to make a difference,” she says. “[My parents] gave me the best they could; they really did a great job. However, there wasn’t much in terms of writing opportunities, and I was just lucky for whatever anybody handed me. I just grabbed it and I’m so lucky that I did, but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a matter of luck for other people, that they could actually have more opportunities.” Peary has built a network of talented, creative and passionate individuals to assist both in her initiatives as poet laureate and with the festival. The event begins Friday with opening remarks, readings from the New Hampshire youth poet laureates, and a livestream performance by Loading Dock. Saturday is a full day of events (see more details in the sidebar on page 39). In addition to the workshops, there will be activities such as writing games with prizes, a marathon poem written over the course of the festival and the “Submit-a-thon” — a marathon creative writing submission event,

courtesy photo


with the goal of sending the finished piece for publication consideration. This is a high-energy and engaging part of the festival. “It really is a marathon,” says Makenna Allen, a festival intern. “By the end of it, your fingers and wrists are sore, and you actually feel like you’ve run a marathon.” Students like Allen are the heart of the writers’ festival. The White Mountains Community College student has been working on festival preparations, including marketing and advertising. A longtime writer, she says she knew she’d found her passion in eighth grade when she turned in a 33-page short story for a seven-to-10page assignment. University of New Hampshire student and festival intern Via D’Agostino will lead one of the 75-minute workshops at the festival. The second-year master of fine arts in fiction provided two topics for students to choose from — “fairy tale retellings” or “writing from a nonhuman

perspective.” Students voted for the first, which D’Agostino finds very exciting. She plans to have participants rewrite popular fairy tales while addressing an issue they find important — such as climate change or racial diversity. D’Agostino hopes to connect with both the students who are most passionate about writing as well as those who are unsure. “I really want to be able to help them see themselves as writers. Even if you’re not going to be a writer as a career, you can still find joy in writing and in reading. And I want to be able to help kids see that in themselves if they don’t see it already,” she says. In addition to the help provided by the students, Peary says the festival would not have been possible without the generosity and collaboration White Mountains Community College. John Achorn, the chair of the liberal arts program, serves as a festival advisor. “I fully believe in the humanities,” says

Festival highlights Speakers include New York Times bestselling young adult author Brigid Kemmerer and Gregory Norris, a prolific Hollywood novelist and screenwriter from the North Country. The Poets’ Touchstone reading will feature Granite State writers reading their poems published by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. Participants can meet the journal’s editors and ask questions. At the Poetry Out Loud Panel seven competitors — including three state champions — will give advice and discuss their experiences presenting both to the New Hampshire audience and at the national competition in Washington, DC. Seven workshops are offered, focusing on writing styles including poetry, screenplays, short stories and flash nonfiction. Students voted on the topics for each. Workshops will be led by a local undergraduate or graduate student. Visit for the full schedule and to register.

poem with fruit flies and narrative bees By Alexandria Peary

Fruit flies land on the poem & change the poem, downloading content. Fruit flies are flecks of being & energy, shifting the piece closer to prewriting & propelling it hours ahead, to editing, then send it back, the poem resting on a simple table near the open window of a line break. Because of drowsy proofreading moths & spellcheck wasps fruit flies add voice to metallic fruit, softening the font. Fruit flies also add their two syllables, the voiceless sound of labiodental fricative, meaning the vocal cords do not vibrate, unlike honey bees with pompom socks like pocket-sized yellow dual language dictionaries: German bees, the Italian honey bee Apis mellifera liquistica, & Russian bees — though it’s a narrative bee who lures us into the storycomb, phrase by phrase a maze, so that a mascot of a hornet emerging from the margin bootlegs a sweet peachy part, a noun with hooks, causing fruit flies to land again on the poem & change the poem.

Achorn. “I’m a real advocate of creative thinking and creativity, writing poetry, writing short stories — just being able to explore your inner self, the inner workings of your mind, and trying to create stories and poems that somehow touch other people,” Achorn adds. “I’m excited about [the festival] because it may be the thing we need to really stimulate interest in the humanities and the creative arts.” The festival will conclude with the first meeting of the North Country student literary magazine editorial board and an “open mic” session where participants can share their favorite or proudest work — from the festival or before. Above all, Peary hopes the event is a valuable and productive experience for all student writers. “I’m interested in promoting writers,” she says. “I have this passion that I just really want to help people achieve what they want, out of their own writing lives.” NH | May 2021 39



Monitoring appearances of the 603 on the media radar since 2006

Infinitely Smart Thinking A high school senior wins top honors and big prize money to boot BY CASEY McDERMOTT This isn’t what Yunseo Choi expected her senior year of high school to look like. Instead of spending it on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy — where she’s led the math club and the Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Club, and DJs for the school radio station — the coronavirus pandemic has kept her at home with her family in South Korea. She’s still able to take virtual classes, though that’s also meant adjusting her schedule to keep up with the 13-hour time difference. “I live nocturnally, mostly,” she says. Despite those disruptions, Choi recently claimed the top spot in a prestigious national STEM competition, the Regeneron Science

40 | May 2021

Talent Search, backed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Society for Science. The honor came with a $250,000 prize, which Choi is planning to put at least part of toward her college education. It also came with plenty of national media attention from the likes of Axios, NPR and more. In her winning project, Choi set out to explore “matching theory,” which is used in lots of contexts: pairing students to schools, doctors to medical residencies, or even in virtual dating apps. But she wanted to tackle this from a new angle. “Instead of matching a finite number of people or institutions to finite a number of people or institutions, I matched an infinite

Choi at home in South Korea

courtesy photos by society for science

Phillips Exeter Academy senior Yunseo Choi

set to an infinite set,” she explains. Studying those infinite possibilities, she says, can help to better understand the behaviors of real-world markets where the options are more limited. This kind of research is still pretty theoretical, she cautions, but her project did help teach her another more immediate lesson: “Not to be daunted by the methods behind significant problems, but rather chase problems depending on their significance and just learn the methods along the way.” Choi credits her Exeter experience with preparing her for the competition’s intensive judging process, which included several rounds of interviews in addition to detailed written reports. The school prioritizes learning through discussions rather than lectures, and Choi says that made it easier to talk at length about her project and how it fits into STEM issues more broadly. “Having that training every day in classes really helped me formulate my thoughts on the spot,” she says. And as someone who’s had to navigate largely male-dominated spaces in pursuit of her mathematics research, she hopes her achievements can also help show more girls there’s a place for them in this field. “Just being a girl, growing up in classrooms with older guys, a lot of times I think it almost defined my personality in some ways,” Choi says. “When I’m, for example, listening to a lecture, it doesn’t work if you’re just passive, just listening — you have to take that initiative to voice your opinions out, voice your questions out.” From here, Choi will keep voicing her questions and opinions at Harvard University, where she plans to study mathematics in hopes of eventually working in academia. If you ask us, the possibilities for her are endless. NH

courtesy photos

Congratulations are in order for Concord native Chris Stinson: “Sound of Metal,” a film he helped to produce about a drummer navigating sudden hearing loss, is up for six Oscar nominations. Stinson was also part of the production team behind the critically acclaimed 2019 mystery “Knives Out,” which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and was named one of the best films of 2019 by the American Film Institute. Longtime New Hampshire Magazine readers readers might recognize a familiar aesthetic in two buzzy new projects debuting this spring: one about the women behind the most famous intergalactic mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” and another about the man who’s been trying to save the nation from going over the edge of the pandemic. Alexandra Bye, whose illustrations have previously graced the pages of this publication, is part of a collective art project highlighting the women of “Star Trek.” In her entry, Bye sketched Counselor Deanna Troi and penned an accompanying essay on the importance of emotional intelligence. “Art is communication of emotion. Emotion is the dormant superpower of humans. Understanding emotion, how to hear it, how to control it, is the next step in our evolution,” she wrote. “Science and technology are important, yes, but how much do you think we could get done if we understood our feelings enough to overcome fear and insecurity to realize our fullest potential?” But that’s not all. Bye also recently teamed up with author Kate Messner for a new children’s book called “Dr. Fauci: How A Boy From Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor.” The book “follows Anthony from his Brooklyn beginnings through medical school and his challenging role working with seven US presidents to tackle some of the biggest public health challenges of the past 50 years” — and it’s slated for release in June, by Simon & Schuster.

YMCA of Greater Nashua

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN, SIGN UP TODAY! Sports Camps, Art and Humanities Camps, Traditional Day Camp and So Much More!

COVID-19 CONSCIOUS SUMMER CAMP: We are planning the safest summer camp and will follow all recommended guidelines set forth by local health officials and the CDC.


#NMYMCA | May 2021 41


Holding the Line

The party in power wields the redistricting pen BY JAMES PINDELL / ILLUSTRATION BY PETER NOONAN


et’s try an experiment. I’ll write the word “redistricting” in the second sentence of this column and — HOLD IT! I knew you were about to flip the page. However, if you just stick with me for a few more paragraphs, you’ll see that this very arcane process, which is required every decade, is about to be the most interesting one of your lifetime. Yes, really. That’s because there are three neverhave-you-see-this-before-in-your-life things happening in New Hampshire as it relates to redistricting and the process of how elections are being run. So, yes, while redistricting will again end up giving more power to southern New Hampshire because of population shift, that is not news. But what is likely to change is a reframing of New Hampshire politics — and it will all happen in a crunch period at the end of the year. So what are the three things? We have never had a redistricting process play out in the middle of a pandemic. Census workers had a hard time gathering the constitutionally required data about who lives where.

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Added up it means state legislatures like New Hampshire won’t get the detailed data they need to redraw districts until September, instead of April when they usually get it. For states like Virginia and New Jersey, which hold statehouse elections this November, that is a problem. Then again, the simple solution is to just use the same districts as before. For New Hampshire, it means there will likely be a special session sometime this fall. If you are yawning because you don’t care when the Legislature meets to look at maps, I’m with you. But here is where it gets interesting: For the first time since New Hampshire became a swing state, Republicans control the entire process. Remember, along with Republican governor Chris Sununu there is a Republican-led House and Senate in Concord. Earlier this year, state Republican Party chairman Steve Stepanek cited the growing belief in the party: What should be done is to redraw US House districts in a way that guarantees one be held by a Republican. When you look at the map, this can be done quite easily. All you have to do is shift around

a few towns to make the state’s eastern First District a Republican seat, which is currently held by two-term Democrat Chris Pappas. Democrats have held all four seats representing the state in DC since 2016. And more relevant to your life is the fact that the pair of Congressional seats have been hotly contested since 2000, and pols have poured millions in negative television ads onto your screens. If one US House seat is a safe Republican seat and the other a safe Democratic seat, that isn’t going to happen anymore (except in the US Senate races). Besides doing this in a pandemic and fewer television ads is this other development brewing in the Statehouse: moving the state’s very late September primary to June. Other states in New England have been moving their primaries earlier, most recently Vermont and Maine. The idea is that holding these contests so late before the general election gives the incumbent an advantage. There is some truth to that. But in doing so, it also likely means that campaigns will start earlier and the campaign season will be longer. And maybe you’ll see more campaign ads after all. NH


Search and Rescue Practice is what makes it possible STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARSHALL HUDSON


’m in the medical bay of a search and rescue helicopter hovering over Cannon Mountain. The pilot is doing an impressive job holding the Blackhawk in position as gusting winds bounce us around. The cargo doors are wide open and a rescued patient strapped in a litter basket is being hoisted off the ground and pulled in beside me. The patient is pale and unresponsive with a blank look on his face. From personal experience, I know how disconcerting the ride in the swinging basket up into the chopper can be. During the 1990-91 Gulf War, also known as Desert Storm, I succumbed to heat stroke and dehydration, and had my own ride in the litter basket up to a medevac chopper that whisked me off to a hospital. Looking at the patient we just pulled aboard, I am certain he won’t make it to the hospital.

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But this is only a training mission, and the “rescued patient” just winched off the ground is a crash-test dummy mannequin. Using a mannequin allows search and rescue personnel to practice loading their patient onto the helicopter without risking life or injury if something were to go wrong. Nothing goes wrong during today’s exercise, and the mannequin voices no objections or complaints about his rescue. About eight different search and rescue organizations totaling approximately 100 people are here today to practice or observe litter loading from a hovering helicopter cable drop. Many of the people here are volunteers who receive little or no monetary compensation for the hours spent in training or executing a rescue. In addition to volunteering their time, it is not unusual for them to also supply much of their own

A mannequin is hoisted to a Blackhawk rescue helicopter over Cannon Mountain.

gear and use of their personal vehicles. In some of the organizations, members must apply and qualify before being accepted as a volunteer. In addition to at least basic first aid knowledge, members must also have the physical fitness, mental toughness, tenacity and endurance traits necessary to carry out a rescue, along with a personality that fits with the rest of the team when all are working under stress. Also here today are about a dozen K9 search and rescue dogs being trained not to fear the noisy, whirring, hovering, strange machine kicking up gravel at them. Veteran dogs happily hop on board the helicopter ready to be airlifted to a remote area where they will begin their searching efforts. Novice dogs bolt in the opposite direction or lock up all four legs, expressing an “I ain’t going near that thing” attitude. New Hampshire Fish and Game is the state agency responsible for coordinating and conducting search and rescue missions throughout New Hampshire, and they are assisted by the many professionals and

The writer takes some notes on a helicopter ride with a quiet partner during a training exercise.

volunteers here today. Fish and Game has their own search and rescue team of specially trained conservation officers who respond to calls all over the state. Fish and Game conducts an average of 140 to 190 search and rescue missions each year looking for lost or injured hikers, climbers, hunters, OHRV operators, and children or elderly persons (Alzheimer’s and dementia patients) who have wandered off into the woods. Not all search and rescue calls require a medevac helicopter, but when they do, Fish and Game calls the New Hampshire Army National Guard’s 238th Medevac Company, based in Concord. The 238 Medevac’s Army Guard mission is the expeditious removal of injured personnel from the battlefield, and the resupply of medical equipment and supplies from the rear to the front. To train for their primary mission, they participate in this secondary mission — searching for

and rescuing injured hikers in inaccessible terrain such as the White Mountains. The Blackhawk helicopter we are flying in today is the US Army’s newest and most advanced medical evacuation helicopter. It features a more powerful engine than previous models and has nose-mounted thermal imaging for finding warm bodies in vision-obscured conditions. The medical bay includes an integrated oxygen system for onboard patient care and a litter carrier capable of handling up to six litter patients with seats for two more walking wounded. That maximum capacity might be needed on the battlefield but is unlikely to be needed on a White Mountains search and rescue mission. Looking around, I can’t imagine that much activity in this small area as I’m feeling cramped with just the four-person flight crew and the crash test dummy in a jump seat beside me.

When a rescue requires a medevac helicopter, Fish and Game calls the New Hampshire National Guard.

The flight crew consists of a pilot, copilot, flight medic and crew chief. While in search mode, all four work as spotters and each is designated a quadrant outside the chopper to scan. They might also be tasked to reposition Fish and Game personnel, search and rescue teams, or search dogs and handlers to a remote location safer and easier for the rescuer. Picking rescuers up in a parking lot at the bottom of the mountain for a four-minute flight up to the ridgeline might save four hours of hiking just to get into the area where the search begins. But ridgelines don’t always have suitable landing areas, so sometimes the pilot will only be able to touch two wheels to the ground and hover while the search teams jump out. When in rescue mode, if the pilot is unable to land, the medic might go out the door and ride the cable down to the ground to assist with the rescue and make certain that the patient is properly secured for the litter basket ride up. The crew chief operates the hoist from above, winching both the patient and the medic back on board. Once aboard, the medic will evaluate the patient and determine how fast they need to get to the hospital and whether to go to the nearest hospital or a more suitable trauma care facility that might be farther away. Weather conditions, fading sunlight, approaching storms, other victims and remaining fuel in the tank must be factored into these decisions. The flight crew must work together as a cohesive team, and today’s crew is experienced and on top of their game. The pilot has 30 years of experience and the most junior member has been doing this for five years. Participating in today’s exercise has taught me that New Hampshire is extremely fortunate to have a skilled combination of Army National Guard, Fish and Game Department personnel, and multiple organizations of dedicated professionals and practiced volunteers working jointly to rescue the lost or injured. I’m impressed with what I saw today, but I’m still planning on not ever needing their services. I make it a point to carry a map, compass, water, extra clothing and other just-in-case essentials when I’m in the woods. With our mission now complete, we beeline back to the Army National Guard Base in Concord for a debriefing. Today’s training mission was a success even though the rescued patient is still pale and unresponsive with a blank look on his face. NH | May 2021 45


High Concept Photo and interview by David Mendelsohn In a large storage unit in Newington, a bug-eyed ukulele, a bloody arm, and characters named Tragic George and Juniper lie dormant in the wings, awaiting their cues as videos stream live on Twitter to archive on YouTube. Meet Angie Tv, a relentlessly committed performance artist and conceptual comedian. Her productions tiptoe around conventional reality, then wander off to somewhere else. She also does a spot-on imitation of a rubber chicken. To experience something unique, duct tape some old rabbit ears to your internet machine and tune in to Angie Tv. Let her entertain you.

I’ve never really talked about what I do, and why and who I am. This is going to be very therapeutic for me. Thank you. It started as an actual variety show with me as the host inside a cardboard TV. I’d talk and sing songs with my ukulele. I made one season. But there wasn’t any dancing. I consider myself 100% performance artist. I do not make money from it. I’ve spent far too much money on it. For five years, I have built and rebuilt sets, bought costumes, wigs, lights, and now even paying for the space to create it. It’s a full-time job. At one point I was dancing and performing for 10 hours a night, three, four days a week. People don’t understand the time and effort I put in behind the scenes as well. I do it all myself. It has destroyed my relationship with my parents and my brothers. I have only been a performance artist for the past five years. Before that I was a studio artist and writer.

It’s difficult to describe what I do. It’s a mix between “Pee Wee’s Playhouse,” David Lynch, ballet and Mister Rogers. It’s a magical world of imagination and music and dance. I have created a place where you can go and feel less alone. I usually pick a playlist, create a set, and once the camera is rolling, it becomes spontaneous. There is no real beginning or end to my show. There is no perfection that I hope to reach. It is a constant work in progress. I will forever evolve. AngieTv has always been a part of me. Originally, I would keep it hidden in a cold basement art studio. I would dress up in vintage clothes and wigs all alone and paint pictures. Eventually, I knew I was going to climb out of that basement and just be me. I know who I am now, in a giant life-size TV. I am Angie Tv. Angie Tv is me. If I could be a bird, it would be a peacock. Charles Bukowski, the poet, said it best, “Find what you love and let it kill you.”

Both Stage and Storage

Angie Tv has performed her show in a lot of odd spaces. “I’ve had quite a few sets throughout the years in attics, barns, a wall in my bedroom, and now a big storage unit,” she says. Storage units have become increasingly popular in the past months as quarantined families have remodeled and cleared out spaces in their homes to set up home offices and classrooms, but these relatively inexpensive housing extensions have long spurred the entrepreneurial imagination. Storage units have doubled as band practice spaces, personal gyms, maker spaces/workshops and even survivalist caches, ready to be opened in case of apocalypse. The mystery of what dwells behind the doors of abandoned or foreclosed units in major metro areas gave birth to the reality TV series “Storage Wars” on A&E. And now Angie Tv has added her personal touch of mystique to the humble storage unit — the adult playground of the cluttered mind of the contemporary consumer. Check her out on Facebook @AngieTv. | May 2021 47





for Everyone in Your Life FF HS WA




Picture yourself here: Unwind on Lake Winnipesaukee / Cool off at Water Country / Ride the Frisbee at Canobie Lake Park / Traverse Nashua by kayak Say hello to Gen. John Stark at the Statehouse / Spend time with man’s best friend at Odiorne State Park / Take in the view from Mt. Kearsarge photos : gerry fagan



halfpoint photo | May 2021


canobie lake park media


karen bachelder


jia wangkun


mountinez stock


jeffrey w. holcombe



m g Update Fro in r p S l ia ic ff An O d v e n tu r e A d n a n u F f yo we’ve posed a Our Embass truly target “everyone,”

And to n, pe beckons. Maybe soo ions our Ambassadors Spring is here and ho of the types of quest few r ou p chi to gin be can are the best spots maybe even now, we rly handle. Like, where ula the reg ce sin in en be we’ve for: way out of the shells r in all parts of the state emic. Was it just a yea nd pa the of g beginnin e tim neration, but all that ago? Seems like a ge much PF Pet-Friendly t tha it ke ma t jus ll wi les bb bu r ou in spent e ncounter and reembrac sweeter when we ree Family-Friendly te. FF of the Granite Sta ns tio rac att s rou nd the wo can’t wait to see We all have places we en up the whole state HS Healthy Seniors again, but to really op l asked our state’s officia to exploration, we’ve ture ssible ives of fun and adven WA Wheelchair Acce volunteer representat iscovery. to set a course of red rt in this article have , because that stalwa The attractions listed And the timing is good se they represent ing for everyone becau Granite State eth NH som the as n ow kn , group r of er of a century of ebrating its 25th yea the insights of a quart Ambassadors, is cel to d encouraging people d advising folks Compiled by the NH Granite State Ambassadors advising, informing an greeting, orienting an nit best that the Gra e where to go to get the with special thanks to Emily Goulet and appreciate all the d fin from near and far on saic of experiences most out of our rich mo State has to offer. . ne ryo for eve | May 2021 49

Meet Your Guides The following pages introduce Granite State Ambassadors who have special knowledge of their regions of the state and their favorite recommendations for guests with specific needs, but first here’s some background on how the Ambassadors came to be.

As do so many great things in New Hampshire, it all began with a casual conversation between colleagues. This one took place a little more than 25 years ago. Judi Window was executive director of the Southern NH Convention and Visitors Bureau at the time, and was sharing a vendor booth with people representing the state of New Hampshire at the Made in NH Expo. As they chatted, the state primary was ramping up. Flocks of media were arriving at the Manchester Airport where volunteers were on hand to answer questions from reporters about where to go and how to get there. Such useful volunteer service inspired Window, who declared, “I could do that year-round with a group of volunteers!” Soon the NH Granite State Ambassadors (NHGSA) was born, and now, suddenly, it’s been a quarter of a century. It’s hard to imagine the state without these cheerful, knowledgeable greeters and explainers who are on hand at just about every event of significance to the state’s culture and economy, or anytime people might need to know where to go and how to get there. And, yes, you might have noticed that they do serve year-round at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (as it has been renamed), just as Window promised. In 1996, the organization started as a committee underneath the Southern NH Convention and Visitors Bureau, evolving into its

own 501c3 nonprofit in 1999 under the guidance of its three co-founders: Judi Window; Peter Morgan, proprietor of the then-Highlander Inn near the airport; and Bill Petersen, dean of hospitality at the nearby New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). The founders prioritized education, establishing a certification program to give volunteers a well-deserved sense of achievement. Petersen developed a training regimen based on Leadership NH’s modular program and focused on the state’s seven tourism regions. Speakers from organizations and industries were enlisted to broaden their knowledge while having fun and embracing their love of their state and individual communities. Monthly tours to increase volunteers’ knowledge of New Hampshire were begun by Window. The first tour was a guided hike through Wolfeboro (“The Oldest Summer Resort in America”) led by Window’s friend, the legendary Millie Beach, founder of the Lakes Region Tourism Association. Another conversation, when former governor Jeanne Shaheen began turning DOT rest areas into welcome centers many years ago, was a stepping stone for the organization to expand statewide. Common themes over the years include a passion for New Hampshire, enriching the lives of volunteers, and positive contributions to the hospitality and tourism industry. The enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers, from the inaugural class to 25 years later, has been unyielding. NHGSA volunteers and industry members leave guests with a positive impression that encourages repeat visits and endures, benefiting the state’s economy. With the support of its key

partners, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the NH Division of Travel and Tourism, NHGSA serves as a conduit between partners in the tourism and hospitality industries, as well as state and federal agencies and organizations. Since NHGSA initially expanded its scope to include the Made in NH Expo and the NH Farm, Forest & Garden Expo, it’s grown to encompass more than 20 events, including The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The organization continues to grow and evolve, but its mission and roots provide the constant theme. Executive Director Kelly Bryer has been with the organization in different capacities since 2002. Emily Goulet, the communications director, has been involved with the organization since 2018. They continue to build and cultivate the NH Granite State Ambassadors’ legacy forging partnerships, fostering volunteer engagement and increasing educational opportunities. Thanks to the founders and current staff, and to the dedication of the volunteers, the Ambassadors will continue to serve the state and adapt to a changing world. And we look forward to the spring of 2096 when lovers of New Hampshire can all reflect with pride upon the countless adventures and discoveries that will constitute the Granite State Ambassador century. — by Emily Goulet

The Cities: (Nashua, Concord FF HS WA


Linda Duquette Manchester and Nashua Area Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 215

Linda Duquette has lived in Derry for 41 years. Prior to that, she lived in North Andover, Massachusetts, and worked in Andover, Massachusetts, at Royal Philips Medical Systems as an administrative assistant after a time working in collections. She has been retired for five years, and loves to hike rail trails. “These are all beautiful walking trails, with lovely views and very pet-friendly. Also, if you like to bike ride, these trails are perfect,” she says.

Pictured: Founders of the NH Granite State Ambassadors from left: Peter Morgan, Judi Window and Bill Petersen courtesy photo

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and Manchester)

❛❛ The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery


Center in Concord not only houses a planetarium but has a variety of exhibits focusing on a variety of Space Age events, including a replica of Alan Shepard’s Mercury capsule and Redstone rocket. Recently acquired exhibits include a virtual fish tank and the Mount Washington Observatory’s Weather Discovery Center.❜❜

Canterbury Shaker Village has 30 historic Shaker buildings, walking trails and tours to explore. One can enjoy numerous workshops, demonstrations, and see extensive collections of Shaker furniture and crafts.

Nicholas Wallner

Nicholas Wallner Concord Area Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 1,608

Nicholas Wallner was in the US Diplomatic Corps, and spent his first 12 years overseas in France, Brazil and Yugoslavia. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in International relations, and worked for 46 years for the American Automobile Association as the manager of the Concord branch. Upon retirement three years ago, he became a NH Granite State Ambassador. He’s active in the Kiwanis Club, chairs the Concord Everett Arena committee, is a ward clerk, a member of the Concord zoning board, and chairs the NH Soccer Association disciplinary committee. He’s hiked all of the state’s 48 4,000-footers.

❛❛ Benson Park in Hudson is a

166-acre, passive recreational spot open to the public. Full of rich history, Benson Park was once home to Benson’s Wild Animal Farm, opened in 1924. Amenties include paved walking trials, a playground area and dog park (at right), renovated outbuildings of the original animal farm, park benches, picnic areas and several woodland trails.❜❜ Linda Duquette Manchester is New Hampshire’s largest city and offers all the amenities of big city living. The Queen City offerings include fine and casual dining, cultural venues, such as the Currier Museum of Art and the Palace Theatre, as well as sport and entertainment destinations, such SNHU Arena and the Fisher Cats stadium (at right).


photos : concord chamber of commerce zoran photography


sean pavone



morgan karanasios


northeast delta dental stadium | May 2021 51

The Seacoast PF




Take a cruise out to the Isles of Shoals and enjoy the day on Star Island.

Tricia Berger Portsmouth and the Seacoast Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 195

Tricia Berger comes from a family of seven children and grew up in the Manchester area. After working in the legal field and then managing a law practice for a real estate and business attorney for 10 years, she returned to her roots in New Hampshire in 2017. “I am so happy to be back in our beautiful state after so many years away, and I have a whole new appreciation for New Hampshire’s beautiful parks, the arts and culture here,” she says. Berger joined the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador and was voted “Ambassador of the Year” for 2020. She is a justice of the peace for Rockingham County. “There is nothing more rewarding than contributing to and making a difference for others in our communities,” says Berger.

Strawbery Banke Museum is a living history destination.

❛❛ I recommend the Strawbery Banke Museum and Prescott Park at the Portsmouth waterfront. The Museum boasts 300-plus years of American history on the harbor. Portsmouth is known for being one of the oldest settlements in the country and having a rich history, particularly in the maritime trade and its part in the Revolutionary War.❜❜ Tricia Berger


Portsmouth Harbor at dusk

Sea you there: The Seacoast may be New Hampshire’s smallest area, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its beaches, museums, unique shops and restaurants near the waterfront, historic homes and lots of recreational activities, such as Water Country, the Seacoast Science Center and Atlantic Whale Watch and Island Cruises.

52 | May 2021

❛❛ Hampton Beach has a beachfront with a young-children-focused play-

ground, and in the summertime has weekly fireworks and evening performances at the Hampton Beach Shell. Several of the state and local beaches along the coast in Hampton, North Hampton, Rye and New Castle have sandy beaches with facilities. There is easy wheelchair beach access at North Beach in Hampton along the seawall, including nearby restrooms.❜❜ Joe Distefano

Joe Distefano Portsmouth and the Seacoast Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 584

Joe Distefano is a retired engineer, city planner and computer mapper. After living in Nashua for 45 years, he retired and moved to the Seacoast where he discovered the region’s storied and historical past. As a GSA he volunteers at the Seabrook Welcome Center to help visitors explore and learn about New Hampshire and some of its little-known but important participation in America’s pre-revolutionary and revolutionary history. He enjoys meeting people from near and far, and is excited to help them enjoy their time at the New Hampshire seacoast.





Odiorne Point State Park provides walking paths, tide pools, beach walking, and three WWII artillery bunkers, as well as a sea kayak launching area. photos : erica mitchells


sphraner studio


jerry monkman



sean pavone


jerry monkman | May 2021 53

The White Mountains and Areas North FF HS

❛❛ Alpine Adventures in Lincoln offers

a zipline through the forest, off-road in a Swiss army vehicle, and several challenging obstacle courses. Pick your favorite activity to take you out of your everyday element.❜❜ Mary O’Brien



Mary O’Brien White Mountains and Northern Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 986

In the ’70s and ’80s, Mary O’Brien lived in southern New Hampshire and loved the easy pace and friendly people. When she retired a few years ago, she wanted the same feeling, so she ended up farther north in the White Mountains. The Granite State Ambassadors have allowed her to enjoy the full beauty of the state, both with its natural expanse and the many activities that you can enjoy. “I love the variety of programs that GSA offers to its members that allow them to explore and discover New Hampshire,” she says. “Greeting the many guests that come to New Hampshire and helping them explore the White Mountains area is a joy!”

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves, located in North Woodstock, include a 750-foot-long boardwalk, a forest treehouse with life-size animal carvings and a giant bird’s nest lookout — all are great for exploring.


Take the whole family for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Go wild: The White Mountains are all about experiencing the area’s many outdoor adventures. photos :



pier delune | May 2021



Leashed pets are allowed on any trail in the White Mountains or New Hampshire State Parks.

The Connecticut River and Monadnock Region

❛❛ Mount Monadnock is a rugged climb over rocks and through woods. Most trails are only about 21/2 miles long and allow wonderful views to Boston, Cape Cod, the Whites, the Berkshires and the Green Mountains on clear days. No dogs are allowed on most trails. For those looking for a less challenging hike, or for those with young children, try the Rails to Trails in Hancock and Harrisville and Greater Keene, and gentler climbs at Gap and Little Monadnock, South Pack Monadnock/ Miller State Park, Wapack Trail and the south side of Crotched Mountain.❜❜ Gretchen Ziegler



Gretchen Ziegler Connecticut River Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 2,000

Gretchen Ziegler is professor emeritus of recreation management, business administration, and geology at Franklin Pierce University where she was on faculty from 19802012. She’s past president of the NH Campground Owners Association, NH Travel Council, Monadnock Travel Council (which she co-founded) and a former board chair of Cathedral of the Pines. She owned and managed the Field ‘n Forest Recreation Area from 19772012 and serves as current board chair of the Granite State Ambassadors.



Crotched Mountain has over 4 miles of fully accessible mountain trails. This is the longest trail network of its kind in the US, offering everyone — regardless of physical ability — the chance to explore this beautiful area. For those with disabilities or anyone who has trouble getting around, the gently sloping mountain trails are able to accommodate wheelchairs, powerchairs and other means of assistance. To find more accessible trails around the state, visit


Ice cream at Kimball’s in Jaffrey or Walpole Creamery in Walpole and Keene are the best! Really — they are both regular Best of NH winners.

Take a hike: If you like hiking and walking the trails, you’ll find plenty of options, at all skill levels. photos : ej johnson photography




andrey sayfutdin | May 2021 55

The Lakes Region PF


Roberta Wells Lakes Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 250

Roberta Wells moved to Londonderry in 2015. While making friends and meeting new people in her community, she learned several of them belonged to and volunteered for an organization known as the Granite State Ambassadors, and they encouraged Wells to look into joining herself. So in May of 2019, she took the training course at the Hotel Concord and started her GSA journey. She volunteers at the information booth at the MHT airport and has also volunteered at special events such as the Made In New England Expo and a historic tour of the Pine Grove Cemetery in conjunction with the Manchester Historic Association. She is also a blog contributor to the GSA newsletter, sharing her discoveries she makes while visiting new places as she and her husband tour around the state.

❛❛ I’d suggest packing a picnic, and do not forget the leash and poo

bags if you bring a dog (and bring plenty of water with you). Then head for Squam Lake and take a hike up the Rattlesnake Mountain trail. This is a very popular route that is a little over a 2-mile round-trip loop of moderate difficulty that rises over 900 feet in elevation and offers a spectacular view of the Squam lake region. It is definitely worth the hike.❜❜ Roberta Wells

Jump on in, the water’s fine.


❛❛ No matter where you go or PF


what you do here in the Lakes Region, you will be met with inclusivity and a friendly, helpful face. Full Circle Farm Therapeutic Horsemanship Portsmouth Harbor at dusk in Newport offers mounted and unmounted activities to individuals of all abilities.❜❜ Ashlee Rowley

If you are looking for a hidden gem, make your way to Tarbin Gardens in Franklin. There are 5 acres of gardens to wander through and enjoy. The gardens are also accessible to motorized scooters and wheelchairs. Children will enjoy chasing butterflies and meeting the barnyard animals while adults will enjoy the tranquility and artistry of nature.

Love lake life: The Lakes Region is ideal for bikers, hikers, swimmers, watersports and summer theatre — or for those looking to just relax and chill. photos : courtesy granite state ambassadors

56 | May 2021






kelly mann


full circle farm therapeutic riding



Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough is mountaintop estate with a 1913 mansion on 5,500 acres with lake views, hiking trails and a restaurant. Spend the day touring the castle, hiking its trails, enjoying horseback riding, dining on the terrace, and admiring a view like no other.


Cruise the big lake on the M/S Mount Washington.



End of a beautiful day on the lake with family and friends. What could be better? S’mores, anyone?

Ashlee Rowley Sunapee Region Ambassador Volunteer Service Hours: 65

Ashlee Rowley is dedicated to promoting the Lake Sunapee Region as the best-kept secret of the state. As director for the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce, she has found a passion in assisting small businesses connect with local and state resources, and other like-minded businesses, residents and travelers from all across the globe. Originally from Massachusetts, she received her business and leadership degree from New England College in Henniker. Rowley owns and operates Dance Arts Academy in Sunapee. She’s the 2020 Lake Sunapee Region Young Professional of the Year and the recipient of the 2020 Center Manager Award through the Granite State Ambassadors.

For more recommendations for inclusive fun from the NH Granite State Ambassadors and links to many of these attractions, along with the latest updates on best dates and times, visit the online version of this story at | May 2021 57

K C A B D N A L to the

, growing up in the prosperous They were a privileged generation ect that lifestyle for one they rej uld wo m the of ny ma t Bu s. 1950 d kinder to the Earth. believed was more meaningful an


By Barbara Coles | May 2021


t was a time much like this

One way that manifested:

time. The country seemed

a “Back to the Land” migration.

in shambles. Deep societal

Weary, disillusioned, searching

divisions, the unwinnable Vietnam

for a new way to live, young people

War, a grueling civil rights struggle,

in startling numbers — as many as

shocking assassinations, rivers

a million, by one count — packed

on fire, skies dark with smog,

their bags, nearly en masse, and

rampant consumerism — as the

headed for the rural countryside.

late ’60s spilled into the ’70s, it all

New Hampshire was a major

came together to create a sudden

destination. i

and significant shift in the national psyche, away from the consumer culture, away from the strife, toward more simple living, toward

photo illustration by john r goodwin

/ book cover: courtesy image

more care for each other, toward more care for the Earth. The writings of Helen and Scott Nearing inspired the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s to reject consumerism. | May 2021 59


On his tree farm, Jean Stimmell moved the trees with a scoot pulled by oxen.

“While they were all initially distrustful of our long hair and

hippie way of life, they soon learned that we shared in common a fundamental ethic that was much more important: Living a self-sufficient lifestyle.” — Jean Stimmell

60 | May 2021


t wasn’t a movement that you joined. It was in the air, part of the collective consciousness,” Jean Stimmell says. “We just went with the flow.” For Jean, now 75, it began when he was in graduate school. Like many college-educated, middle-class young people of the time, he decided he didn’t want to lead the life that his parents had led. “It wasn’t a matter of going back to the land like it was some kind of holy grail,” he says. “We wanted to live a sustainable and authentic lifestyle — creating it, wherever possible, with our own hands.” What inspired him — and almost all of the back-to-the-landers of that day — was a book called “Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World.” Written by Helen and Scott Nearing, it described their move from a professional life in New York City to rural Vermont, where they created a homestead, building their house from stones and growing their own food. When Jean read it, he realized he was the “perfect recruit.” He dropped out of graduate school — “sick of ingesting abstract theories in my

cubicle and chafing at a department that valued statistics more than people,” he says. With money he made as a dry-laid stone mason — what he calls a “bread job” — and 21 acres of land in Northwood he used as collateral for a $14,000 construction loan, he and a friend built a house in “the here and now reality of the real, physical world.” That new reality by then included his wife Judy. They moved into the house on those 21 acres in mid-winter with “bare plywood floors, pink insulation on the walls and a culvert for a chimney.” They grew big gardens, and had pigs, chickens, ducks and geese. The land was soon certified as a tree farm and Jean hauled the trees on a scoot pulled by two of his neighbor’s oxen. All of the things that homesteaders did required knowledge that most, including Jean and Judy, didn’t have. For them, and many returning to the land, “old hillside Yankee farmers” provided much of what they needed. Jean says, “While they were all initially distrustful of our long hair and hippie way of life, they soon learned that we shared in common a fundamental

“We wanted to live a sustainable and authentic lifestyle — creating it, wherever possible, with our

photo by jared charney

own hands.”

Jean Stimmell of Northwood | May 2021 61

ethic that was much more important: Living a self-sufficient lifestyle, attuned to the rhythms of nature and the land. They were often our major mentors and teachers in a path, as I like to say, back to the future.” The couple was also helped in their homesteading by the counterculture bible, the Whole Earth Catalog. With the famous slogan “access to tools,” it provided that as well as access to clothing, seeds, books and much more through product reviews as well as pertinent articles. The Whole Earth Catalog helped them stay away from what Jean calls the “rickyticky, disposable culture,” but they couldn’t avoid it entirely. Like most of their fellow homesteaders, they still went to the store to get supplies. “No way were we self-sufficient in the sense of being able to live off the land. It was for us, in practical economic terms, impossible.” It was also hard work. As Jean says, “Yes, it was physically hard, working a bread job to make money and then all the long hours building the house, gardening, tending to the animals.” By the early ’80s, few people were retreating to the country to homestead, no doubt in large part because it was such hard work. Many who were there left, often returning to careers and consumerism. As Jean puts it, “The movement went the way of the passenger pigeon,” he says. “By the 1980s, a new mantra ruled the day: He who dies with the most toys wins.” But Jean still lives on the land he settled on all those years ago. He still cuts his own wood, still has a garden. He takes time for writing and photography, and is a parttime psychotherapist. He says, “I’ve never been interested in making more money than necessary to live a basic lifestyle.”

Handy Reference

Called the counterculture bible, the Whole Earth Catalog was used by homesteaders of the late ’60s and ’70s in much the same way Google is used today. It had articles and how-to diagrams, but mostly it was a product catalog that could be searched for reviews of tools, clothing, seeds, books and other elements of back-to-theland life.

62 | May 2021


ack-to-the-land movements are not new. The urge to head for the hills has cycled through the centuries. The “good life” of Helen and Scott Nearing that inspired the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s started with their homesteading during the Depression years of the 1930s. It was also during the Depression that Fred Moller’s parents became back-to-thelanders. When he was a very young child, his parents moved to his grandparents’ farm to grow their own food to survive the hard times. “I was exposed to deep country living and I loved it,” he says. After serving in the military, Fred took the typical path, building a successful career. But some years later, he was burned out. “I was getting deeper and deeper into corporate life,” he says. “I was on the tele-

phone all the time, and traveling a lot. My tongue was hanging out.” Cheddy adds, “It was stressful, especially with two children. It was tough on all of us.” The decision was made to go back to the land. One positive part of that corporate life — Fred had made good money, good enough to buy an existing cabin on the outskirts of Jaffrey and to sustain them for a while. “We had a bit of a backup,” Cheddy says. It was seven acres on a south-facing hill with a good swimming pond nearby, but the cabin itself was spare. They cooked on a two-burner propane stove that was “almost in the bathroom.” The bathroom itself was curtained off from the living area. One of their two boys slept in a tent outside because there wasn’t room inside. “It was pretty primitive,” Cheddy says, “It wasn’t much at all.”

courtesy photos

Fred Moller (left) expanded a barebones cabin in Jaffrey into a large home with amenities like a library, root cellar and greenhouse. A garden on a south-facing hill supplied Fred, Cheddy (shown here) and their two sons with enough vegetables to sustain themselves.

dining room table. After that, she says, “I never stopped. I got hooked.” Working in a studio that Fred built for her, she started selling her stained glass and was soon juried by the NH League of Craftsmen to become a member and sell in their stores. Her work is still in the stores today. Cheddy is one of many back-to-thelanders who took up crafts either as a hobby or as a way to make some money. For those who chose to sell their crafts, and were proficient enough to be juried, the League was instrumental in their success. “It was a very big deal,” Cheddy says. “They do all the paperwork, all the merchandising, and it frees everyone to stay at home to tend your garden and do the homestead stuff.” And to raise your children. Fred and Cheddy’s two sons loved their experience living in the deep country. “It’s a great way

to raise children,” Fred says. In fact, their sons have incorporated elements of their experience in the Jaffrey woods into their own lives. After their sons left in the early ’90s, the Mollers stayed on the homestead for three years or so, then decided it was time to move on. Cheddy says, “It’s hard to do as you get older; there’s so much physical work. You have to be young enough and strong enough.” They sold the homestead and spent a year traveling. Now living in Vermont, they’re still in the deep country. “We live way out — 2½ miles up a dirt road, the very last house,” says Cheddy, now 82. Fred is 88. Of their years in Jaffrey, there are only fond memories. “Oh, yes, it was wonderful,” Cheddy says. “The whole time was a happy time. We miss it.”

courtesy images

But the house would soon grow larger and more comfortable. With skills he learned from his father, Fred built a kitchen, a bath and a second-floor bedroom reached by a circular staircase. Then he built another bedroom, a library, a root cellar and a greenhouse off the kitchen. Fred and Cheddy depended on the Whole Earth Catalog to guide them in maintaining an alternative lifestyle in those pre-internet days. “That was a very important thing,” Fred says. If you wanted to raise chickens, for instance, it would direct you to the needed information. But the Whole Earth Catalog didn’t help Fred do cabinetry, so he signed up for an adult education class. To keep herself busy in the evenings, Cheddy decided to take a class as well. She chose stained glass, making a Tiffany lamp to hang above the | May 2021 63

“A lot of people saw living a very independent, self-sufficient life as kind of political statement. That was part of Helen and Scott’s message as well.” — Warren Berkowitz


he read the Nearings’ “Living the Good Life” in 1975 when she was living in Florida. He read it at about the same time when he was living outside of Boston. The book would alter both their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined. And it would bring them together. Nancy and Warren Berkowitz today live in Maine not far from the house Scott and Helen Nearing built and lived in until their deaths in 1983 and 1995. They manage the Good Life Center that has as its mission the perpetuation of the Nearings’ legacy. Comprised of the Nearings’ iconic stone house, a stone-enclosed garden and some yurts on a few acres of land, the center advocates for simple and sustainable living skills, social and economic justice, organic gardening and the non-exploitation of animals. Each year, in non-Covid times, more than 1,000 people from all over the world go there for lectures, workshops, tours of the house, or to be resident stewards for a season. The stream of seekers began when the Nearings’ book, first published in 1954, caught fire with the young people of the 1970s. With no phone at the homestead, people would make contact by letter. Others would just show up. “Helen and Scott were very accommodating,” Nancy says. “But they always kept working. If they were weeding onions, and you wanted to talk to them, you would weed the onions with them. Whatever they were doing, people would join in. A lot of the time, people would camp, staying a few days.” Nancy was one of the seekers in 1976. She went to visit the Nearings and never left, living on their 140-acre property. In 1982, she moved in with them, taking care of Scott in his last year. Warren made his journey in 1975 after hearing the Nearings speak at a conference. He bought an old farm in a nearby town. The two would soon meet and marry. Aside from being inspired by the

64 | May 2021

Nearings’ book, both Nancy and Warren had long loved country life. “I grew up in the city, but went to college in a rural area,” Nancy says. “I found that’s what suits me best.” Warren grew up in the suburbs, but “always knew I’d end up in a rural area, living closer to nature.” Coming of age in the upheaval of the 1960s, with both the anti-war movement and civil rights movement, Warren says the move to Maine represented more than a lifestyle change: “A lot of people saw living a very independent, self-sufficient life as kind of political statement. That was part of Helen and Scott’s message as well.” The Nearings’ message has resonated in cycles through a 60-year period. “If you look at history,” Warren says, “starting in the late 1800s, there’s been a back-to-theland movement every 40 years.” In the 1880s, he says, it was the Transcendentalists. In the 1920s, the Great Depression days. Then again in the 1960s. The Nearings were involved in three of the four movements. The movements come to an end, even if temporarily, because “life happens, people change over time,” Nancy says. It’s been 40-some years since the last movement died out, and now there is new

growth among the millennials. Warren says, “The Nearings aren’t around in today’s world, but their ideas — farmto-table, urban gardens, organics, composting — are still having a huge influence on people.” (See sidebar on page 65.) Yet again, Warren says, the Nearings are inspiring “people to live a better life through their words and their deeds.” It is a life that he and Nancy treasure. “No regrets, ever, ever, ever,” she says.


The Millennials

ifteen years ago, Jeff Backer was on track to have a career as an academic. His time as a student at the University of Rhode Island had stirred an interest in agriculture and a study of wildlife, conservation biology and sustainability. That led to an interest in agroecology, which looks at agricultural systems as model socio-ecological systems. When he graduated, he worked for an ecologist at the university, with plans to continue working in academia. But, at some point, he began to feel that life didn’t suit him. “It all just seemed too abstract to me and I decided I’d like to actually try farming for myself,” he says. Backer would become one of today’s increasing number of educated, eco-conscious millennials who take up farming, initiating yet another 40-year cycle of leaving urban areas and going back to the land. But this cycle is different. While some will follow closely in the footsteps of past generations of back-to-the-landers, others, including Backer, won’t. He didn’t take inspiration from Helen

Profitable Partnership The League of NH Craftsmen had been in existence for more than 30 years when the back-to-theland movement got under way and it became a perfect match for homesteaders who did crafts to supplement their income. The League helped homesteaders hone their skills and sell their crafts in League stores and at the annual crafts fair. In turn, the influx of crafts from homesteaders helped the League become one of the country’s foremost fine arts organizations.

The League’s craft fair in the early ’70s

The reach of Helen and Scott Nearing’s work is wide, spanning the world, spanning generations. Even after their death, the work continues. In the small Maine town of Harborside, on the land the Nearings homesteaded, the Good Life Center (GLC) carries on the couple’s impressive legacy.

Its mission is to advocate for simple and sustainable living skills, social and economic justice, organic gardening and the non-exploitation of animals. The GLC offers the opportunity for couples to become the resident stewards for a season, to experience the simple living and greet the

many visitors from around the world. There is also a lecture series that aims to challenge community members to act and think about current issues. Among the lectures: organic gardening techniques, herbal remedies, climate change and homesteading skill development. In addition, workshops are

offered on such topics as solar energy and composting. After being closed this past summer, the GLC will be open this year, following CDC guidelines for safety, from Memorial Day to Indigenous People’s Day, Thursday to Monday afternoons. For more information, visit

Above: Scott and Helen Nearing at their home, which became the Good Life Center

The Good Life Center today in Harborside, Maine

courtesy photos

photos: good life center and warren berkowitz courtesy berkowitz


scott and helen nearing courtesy of the walden woods project’s thoreau institute library

The Legacy of the Nearings

The 1974 League of NH Craftsmen Fair

Warren Berkowitz passes along his gardening skills.

Stained glass by Cheddy Moller | May 2021 65

“I was initially interested in self-sufficiency and homesteading-type ideas, but that stuff didn’t survive very long when faced with the reality of running a capital-intensive business in the

Jeff Backer at Short Creek Farm

66 | May 2021

photos by jared charney

real world.”

and Scott Nearing as his predecessors did; his inspiration came from contemporary environmental activist Wendell Berry’s philosophy of agriculture and land use. He won’t be doing the subsistence farming of earlier times, where farming provided all or most of what was required by the family without much left over that could be sold. He won’t have a “bread job” that adds some extra income. Instead, he intends to make his farm a thriving business. In fact, he already has. “I was initially interested in self-sufficiency and homesteading-type ideas,” he says, “but that stuff didn’t survive very long when faced with the reality of running a

capital-intensive business in the real world. There is still some romantic appeal to moving to the middle of nowhere and fending for yourself, but ultimately you have to pay the mortgage or the rent somehow.” That “somehow” for the entrepreneurial Backer was 200 acres of land in Northwood called Short Creek Farm, which he and his friend Dave Viola began to farm in 2014. They did it, he says, “to address a perceived lack of high-quality, value-added products made by small farms for local markets.” From their pastured pork, grass-fed beef and organic vegetables, they provide artisanal sausages, salami, bacon and cuts of pork as well as fermented products like

kimchi to local restaurants and to online buyers with a home delivery service. Making it as a millennial farmer is facilitated by technological advances that include the web-based ordering platform and the electric fences with solar-powered chargers that are used at Short Creek Farm. Success is also facilitated by a strong market for “real” food — seasonal, locally sourced and healthfully grown. That strong market, at least in part, a legacy of earlier back-tothe-landers’ quest to change how we eat. In today’s environment, Backer says it’s possible to be both an entrepreneur and a good steward of the land. “It means using the land carefully and thoughtfully,” he says. “It means protecting the more wild places on the farm from undue disturbance. But it also means making the best use of the productive land and increasing that productivity over time by using good grazing and soil management practices. It means protecting the natural resources of the farm and surrounding land, and specifically the agricultural resources of any land we use, for those that farm here after us.” Ask him whether he sees himself still farming far into the future, and he says, “Sure hope so. It’s really a matter of making what we’re doing into a long-term, sustainable, profitable business.”

A Shift in the Winds (Again) The back-to-the-landers of the ’60s and ’70s watched as their movement gradually became faded and forgotten. By the time the ’80s began, the consumer culture had regained its dominance. For Jean Stimmell, that shift was consequential: “Just imagine, if our values had triumphed over materialism and corporate greed, there would be no climate crisis today — and possibly no pandemic.” If, indeed, there is a 40year cycle for back-to-theland movements (see main story), it is time again. And there’s evidence it’s happening with millennials, who

are facing not only climate change and a pandemic but the same kind of social and political upheaval that their grandparents did. And the same consumer culture. “The prevailing cultural winds in this country have started to shift from mass-produced, mindless conformity to a yearning for a return to a sustainable, mindful way of life,” Stimmell says. He points to the demand for “fresh, real food, grown locally,” farmers markets and co-ops of all kinds. Warren Berkowitz agrees. “It’s happening now with the rise of small organic farming,” he says. He meets the young people who are

going back to the land — or living by the ethos of the movement — at the Good Life Center. Even though the center is “off the beaten path, in the middle of nowhere,” Berkowitz says “more and more” young people visit each year, at least in nonCovid times. For many, their pilgrimage to the center was inspired by the books written by the Nearings. “They’re still having a huge influence on people,” he says. For the new generation, instead using the Whole Earth Catalog for information about homesteading, there is the internet. Instead of wood heat, there are solar

panels. Such things make it somewhat easier than it was for their predecessors, but still hard work. Add to that, land is no longer cheap. Yet they persist. Stimmell says, “I am proud of my generation for doing our small part to make this happen and even happier that I have managed to live long enough to see that cultural entropy is not a straight, downhill slide but circular.” He adds, though, that there is an unusual urgency to the new back-to-the-land movement: “Its ethical underpinning is essential now for the survival of the planet.” NH | May 2021 67

A place where they’ll stove you up and take you in BY BILL BURKE / PHOTOS BY KENDAL J. BUSH

68 | May 2021


HERE WAS A TIME, not too long ago, if you lived in Seabrook and needed your car fixed, you’d call Leo Fowler. Have some home repairs on the to-do list? Howard Janvrin was your man — a giant who was as quiet as he was skilled. Need breakfast? Wayne Perkins was behind the grill at Peter Pan’s Pancake House right on Route 1. It was a Seabrook where Gateway Country Store and the dog track predated Walmart and Home Depot. It’s also where we stuck our nuclear plant and fireworks stores. It’s home to the triangle of sin — a distillery, a tattoo parlor and an adult novelty shop, all within 100 yards of each other. It’s regularly cited as Al Capp’s inspiration for Li’l Abner and Dogpatch, and too often it’s the butt of the joke. But if that’s all people know about the place, those people just don’t get Seabrook. Admittedly, it can be quirky. There’s a shared accent that begins at the Salisbury, Massachusetts, border that colors conversation straight through to the other end of town, where it ends abruptly at the Hampton Falls line. It’s often used in a vernacular peppered with phrases like “stove you up,” “ike bub,” or the more recognized “ayuh.” An invitation, then, for those who think it’s all about tattoos and clamming: Meet Seabrook, a town with a strong sense of family, filled with people who trace their roots back generations. Interstate 95 flies by, but to get a sense of Seabrook, you’ll want to take the more circuitous Route 1, which bisects the town and these days is lined from one end to the other with a collection of big-box stores,

Part of the town's fishing fleet reveals itself through a gauzy wash on Seabrook Harbor.

“On those evenings in the summer, when the sun is setting and the tide comes up over the marsh, it’s just beautiful.” — Bruce Brown | May 2021 69

The vibe here is intended to be uncomplicated yet thoughtful, all the while nurturing a spirit of adventure in their guests.

Norman Boucher Faces and artifacts from long ago watch over author and historian Eric Small at the Historical Society of Seabrook.

70 | May 2021

eateries and revenue-generating retailers. But it wasn’t always that way. “It was mostly residential,” says Eric Small, president of the Seabrook Historical Society and a lifelong resident. “It was a farming community with shoe manufacturers and fishermen. Seabrook Village was full of Federalist-style and Colonial buildings. The west side of town was mostly Colonial, and the Depot had a lot of homes built in the 1800s.” Incorporated 253 years ago, it was originally made up of six smaller villages: Crowtown, Seabrook Village, Smithtown, The Depot, South Seabrook and Seabrook Beach. And while these designations were primarily drawn up by the families who settled there and the train routes, general stores and post offices that served them, you’ll still find them on a map and you’ll

“It was a farming community with shoe manufacturers and fishermen. Seabrook Village was full of Federalist-style and Colonial buildings.” — Eric Small

still hear people cite them as current. With almost all of his 71 years spent in town and as the author of “A Visual History of Seabrook New Hampshire,” Small would know. He grew up on Rocks Road, one of nearly 50 or so kids who called the rural neighborhood home. The marsh wasn’t too far off, where Small would wander before heading to a swimming hole near the railroad tracks or down to the blueberry farm. He was never far from grandparents’ or cousins’ homes — a way of life he says provided a grounded upbringing, and explains the preponderance of common family names in town. “Those are the families who settled here,” Small says of the Dows, Browns, Eatons, Fowlers and Janvrins, among a few other pervasive surnames. “But you’ll find that in most rural communities in

"A Visual History of Seabrook New Hampshire," by Eric Small, sits among the treasures culled from the town's past. Want a signed copy? Send a letter to Rick Broussard at and you'll be entered to win. | May 2021 71

New England. People just stayed here. I happened to stay here.” In close-knit neighborhoods, those families banded together. “Some people were clearly considered outsiders,” says Deb (Ouellette) Cote, whose family moved to town when she was a toddler. “People grew up together and, frankly, most were related. That’s a unique thing about Seabrook. Many, many people are related, and I wasn’t, so you’re different in that way.” Then, just a few decades ago, the town began to evolve. Pet City, The Yum Yum Shop, Neil’s Electronics, Pal’s Pub, Tony’s Diner and DeMoulas — where many locals first put on a tie and went to work for Mr. Clancy — lined busy Route 1. Now, most of those shops have been replaced by chain stores, according to Small, reflecting a much more diverse and larger population. “It’s like that in a lot of towns in New England,” says Small. “The big stores come in and put the small businesses out.” It’s not all big-box stores, however. When Kevin Kurland dreamed of opening a craft distillery — literally while under mortar fire at the Baghdad Airport on deployment in 2010 — he didn’t know he’d end up in Seabrook. After a little research, visits to other New Hampshire town offices and a look at a number of important elements, he found all roads led to the seacoast. “The town is very receptive to new businesses,” says Kurland. “It has great infrastructure, town water, a town sewer system and a stable power grid, which is great for industrial production and light manufacturing like myself.” Located along Route 1 on the northern side of town and named for the state gemstone, Smoky Quartz produces Solid Granite Vodka, Granite Lightning Moonshine, Granite Coast Rum and V5 Bourbon, among other spirits. Step inside the tasting room and visitors discover a welcoming spot with an authentic New Hampshire lineage. It’s lined with reclaimed wood from a barn built in 1850, and a chalkboard from an old Pittsfield schoolhouse serves to alert visitors about upcoming specials and events. “I live in Seabrook, so I was very happy to be a resident and to open my business here,” he says. “The town selectmen were very receptive. They asked serious questions, nothing frivolous, and they weren’t negative on it just because it was an alcohol business.” 72 | May 2021

“I started to know what people thought of Seabrook as I got older, and that’s just something you take on.” — Deb Cote

Deb Cote credits her Seabrook upbringing, among economically diverse groups of friends and classmates, with helping shape her socially.

Seabrook: Talk the Talk

What’s with that accent?

Is it something particular to New England? More than likely, old England. As late as the Great Depression, people in Seabrook still spoke much the same way their forebears did hundreds of years earlier. The 1938 “WPA Guide to New Hampshire,” by the Federal Writers' Project, describes it this way: “A section of the town of Seabrook speaks a language strangely reminiscent of rural England, and at times suggestive of the Yorkshire dialect.” Step into Brown’s Lobster Pound and you’ll find a perfect example right behind the counter if Bruce Brown is holding court. “I guess I do have it,” says Brown, owner of the iconic seacoast destination. “I’ve been told it’s the closest thing to hearing the King’s English. When I was in high school, I had a teacher who was a wizard — his name was Roland Woodwell. He was big on Shakespeare, and he used to have me read Shakespeare so that they could hear it with the accent.” Many of the old families who settled in Seabrook made their way from Wales, which may explain the unique cadence, rhythms and intonation.

“Just being anywhere in New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont — small towns are full of people who didn’t leave. They stayed close together and they have a different dialect,”

says Eric Small, president of the Historical Society of Seabrook and a lifelong resident. “It’s very common. Maybe it’s a little unusual here in that it’s particular to Seabrook.” As a proud lifer, Small also has a preferred name for those who live in town — and he bristles at those who would put on airs when referring to locals by shortened terms like “Brooker” or “bub.” Pro tip: Don’t use these terms around Small. “The term is ‘a Seabrook resident,’” he says, shortly. “I don’t like those other terms at all. It’s stupid. They are not complimentary terms.” | May 2021 73

Seabrook's fishing past still influences the town Et il ius res et im ipsaper rorerum ut accum nihit today. idundi quae cum aut min plame nobis maximol upturit

Money played a factor as well. “Seabrook has low property taxes and all the things I wanted were in this town,” Kurland says. “It would’ve cost me $200,000 more to open up over the border in Massachusetts.” It’s been a perfect spot to grow a business for Bruce Brown, owner of Brown’s Lobster Pound and someone whose own lineage predates even the nuclear plant by just a few years. “My ancestor, John Brown, settled in a part of Hampton, which is now Seabrook, in 1638,” he says, pausing with a storyteller’s expertise. “I’ve been around a while. I tell people I’ve aged well.” Brown made his own permanent mark on the town in 1972 by taking over operation of the business his father founded 24 years earlier. The instantly identifiable, BYOB, no-frills yellow lobster shack with the riverside deck sitting just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic is a Seabrook landmark in and of itself. “It’s a good spot there,” Brown says. “On those evenings in the summer, when the sun is setting and the tide comes up over the marsh, it’s just beautiful. People like to just sit and enjoy that.” Adherents of the uniquely Brown’s way of dining have been known to arrive with their own fine wine, silverware, tablecloths and even candles to add a little DIY ambiance. Diners feast elbow-to-elbow with others at long picnic-style tables. The communal experience puts blue-collar and white-collar patrons, locals and tourists alongside one another — the great New Hampshire seacoast culinary equalizer. “Crystal Gayle used to come by quite a lot,” Brown says of his colorful clientele. “There have been a lot of politicians — George Bush Jr., Bob Dole, Mitt Romney. One time Willie Nelson came in. One of my workers said to him, ‘You look like Willie Nelson.’ He told her, ‘I’m not.’ She said to him, ‘That’s good, because I don’t like him anyway.’ And he was playing at the Casino that night!” Just across the marsh, the NextEra Energy Seabrook Station rises above the trees. Construction began on the plant in 1976, the bulk of which was completed 10 years later. Full-power operation began in 1990. And while it became a magnet for protesters during those years, the resulting impact on town has been massive and 74 | May 2021

“My ancestor, John Brown, settled in a part of Hampton, which is now Seabrook, in 1638.” — Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown holds court in his iconic seafood destination, Brown's Lobster Pound, where you're likely to find touring musicians, stumping politicians and delectable crustaceans.

Know Nukes Everything changed when Seabrook, and the state, went nuclear. Whether referred to by its current, official name, NextEra Energy Seabrook Station, the shorter “Seabrook station,” or more colloquially and commonly as “the nuke plant,” its influence on the town has been dramatic. Many people came to Seabrook to help build the plant. Still others stopped by to protest. In the 1970s and ’80s, as the identifiable dome began to rise up from the marshland, fears about the safety of nuclear energy came to a head. On August 1, 1976, 600 protesters rallied at the construction site. In May of the next year, more than 2,000 people occupied the site, resulting in more than 1,400 arrests. The plant was completed — construction on a second unit was abandoned due to delays and cost overruns — and it contributed to establishing much of the town’s infrastructure.

And despite fears, including a billboard erected along I-95 positing that evacuation in the event of an accident is impossible, it hums along to this day. “Because of the NRC, it’s probably safer than where you or I work or live,” says Deb Cote, who grew up in the town. “There’s oversight. But I remember being afraid. Now, my husband works there as a work week supervisor, and he’s been there for almost 30 years.” Cote, and others, cite the nuclear plant as a positive, in that it has funded much of the town’s infrastructure, and helped Seabrook grow, evolve and become more diverse. “It had a lot to do with the changing of Seabrook,” Cote says. “It brought in a lot of people, not just from Massachusetts or Maine or Vermont, but from all around the country. That has had an impact.” | May 2021 75

The idea for Smoky Quartz Distillery was first sparked under fire in Baghdad, but it grew up and flourished in Seabrook. Town resident and business owner Kevin Kurland chose to open his distillery in Seabrook because of its business-friendly atmosphere, great infrastructure, low property taxes and a solid, dependable power grid.

76 | May 2021

“Spend some time in the town. ... There’s a lot more to this town than what people might think.” — Kevin Kurland

lasting. A 2013 report by the Nuclear Energy Institute found, among other things, that the plant directly employs 650 people who earn more than double the average salary of workers in Rockingham and Strafford Counties. It generates more than 40% of the state’s electricity, contributes $535 million in economic activity locally, and for every dollar of output, the local economy produced $1.34. When Seabrook went nuclear, it changed everything. “The nuclear plant came in and because of that revenue, we got a new fire station, a new police station, a new library, we own the oceanfront on Seabrook Beach and sand dunes on the west side of Route 1A, a new water and sewer system and a new elementary school,” Small says. “We made all these improvements and, as a result, we had a lot of growth.” It’s also what first brought Kurland to town. His father, a construction worker, took a job at the then-under-construction Seabrook nuclear plant in 1982. “It was the largest construction project in the country at the time,” he says. “Now all three of my kids have been raised in this town. It’s a great place for kids, and the great thing about having a nuclear plant in your backyard is that it helps fund programs that can historically be difficult to find funding for.” It was an especially good place for Cote, now a senior director of strategic planning and performance at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University and Harvard. She credits her Seabrook upbringing with equipping her with unique skills. “I went to school and was in a class with a very economically diverse group of people, and I think that helped me,” she says. “I feel like I could connect people, like I was an ambassador between different groups of friends. It helped me be a far more social person.” However, those economic and cultural divides could also lead to conflict. “It could be a tough town,” Cote says. “But I didn’t realize the extent of what surrounding communities thought of Seabrook until I got to high school.” Cote graduated in 1986 from Winnacunnet High School — a regional district with students from Seabrook, Hampton, Hampton Falls and North Hampton. At the time, the school housed the gym, the

The Old Man of Seabrook For generations, travelers heading into Seabrook from bordering Salisbury, Massachusetts, were greeted by the town’s unofficial ambassador — the Old Man of Seabrook. Created by Silas West of Haverhill, Massachusetts, according to Eric Small’s “A Visual History of Seabrook New Hampshire,” the Old Man was a tin-and-iron sign of a life-size man with a “Look Oil” sign attached to his back, and first affixed to the outer wall of a blacksmith shop in 1910. In 1915, the sign was changed to read “The Old Man of Seabrook,” thus creating a landmark for hundreds of thousands of motorists over the years. The Old Man watched over Route 1 for decades, until he fell victim to the winds of Hurricane Gloria in 1985. The old blacksmith shop burned in 1993, but the Old Man survived and was presented to the Historical Society of Seabrook. A fundraising drive was held, and the Old Man was transported to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he was restored and preserved. His current home is now just inside the main entrance of the Seabrook Public Library.

theater/auditorium and the cafeteria in the same space. In front of the stage was a sunken orchestra pit, where lunch tables and chairs were placed. The arrangement led to what was likely an inadvertent community-based inferiority complex. “The rest of the cafeteria was above the pit,” Cote says. “All of the Seabrook kids sat in the pit. Papers have been written about this. We literally sat physically below everyone else. It wasn’t a choice — you sat in the pit if you were from Seabrook. That’s when I realized, ‘OK, you’re in the pit.’ It was fine, because I was with my friends — people I was comfortable with. It didn’t change who I was. I was still an athlete and a dedicated student, but as I became friends with more people, as you do in a regional school, that’s when it hit me — you’re putting people from another town below you,” she says. “I started to know what people thought of Seabrook as I got older, and that’s just something you take on. You can’t lump people from one area together because of this cartoon image you have in your head.” In fact, the real Seabrook is a far cry from some of the broad-brush stereotypes that have popped up over the years. Small says

the Dogpatch-Seabrook connection is at the very least debatable, and others point to a vibrant commercial district offset by its rural quarters and seacoast as a benefit. “Spend some time in the town,” Kurland says. “Go down to the beach. Visit the shopping centers. Visit the restaurants — the restaurant scene is really coming up. There’s a lot more to this town than what people might think.” Many of the old, notable Seabrook faces have gone, and there’s a car wash where Peter Pan’s Pancake House once stood — a reflection of Seabrook’s evolution in recent decades — something residents are embracing, while looking back fondly at its colorful past. “I have really affectionate memories of growing up here,” Cote says. “My mother still lives there and I made so many close friends there. It was a small town, and that’s where I learned to live with and get along with people who aren’t necessarily always like you. I was formed in Seabrook. My social being was formed there and I was brought up there. I never felt like I was at a loss for an education, the schools were good. It helped make me who I am.” NH | May 2021 77

603 Living

photo by light field studios

“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” — Pat Conroy

78 | May 2021

Health 84 Local Dish 86 Ayuh 88

Go Keto

This local author’s recipes are good — and good for you BY EMILY HEIDT


f you’ve been paying attention to health trends over the last few years, chances are you’ve heard of the popular keto diet. So what is it, exactly, and how do you start? And for those who’ve given it a try, you may have found the transition to be overwhelming and confusing. Helping to simplify things is Concord resident Kassey Cameron, whose new book, “The Beginner’s Keto Meal Plan: A Six-Week Guide to Starting Your Keto Diet the Right Way,” can help you start — and stay on — your keto journey. The cookbook, geared toward those new to keto, features delicious high-fat, low-carb breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, such as mini Mexican crustless quiches, bacon and spinach calzone and pan-seared tomato basil haddock. For dessert, treat yourself to snickers chia seed pudding, strawberry shortcake for two, or cannoli fat bombs that will satisfy your sweet tooth without throwing off your diet. Cameron’s easy-to-follow tips for learning which foods to avoid, tricks to track your macros, and detailed recipes for her six-week meal plan make switching to keto stress-free and sustainable. NH

What’s inside W

The Beginner’s Keto Meal Plan: A Six-Week Guide to Starting Your Keto Diet the Right Way by Kassey Cameron Page Street Publishing / 208 pages

Inspired to try keto? Email Rick Broussard at for a chance to win this book. | May 2021 79


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Drawn to Doom Anxious times drive many to doomscroll BY KAREN A. JAMROG / ILLUSTRATION BY MADELINE McMAHON


n a year filled with fear, loneliness and anxiety, Americans have understandably sought escape, or at least reassur-

desire to gain control in a time of uncertainty. “It’s prevalent especially now because there’s been so much bad news,” says Ralph

Sperry, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., director of behavioral health at SolutionHealth. The pandemic alone would be bad enough, but in recent times we’ve also seen political chaos, bitter division and social unrest, and economic devastation. “People, like animals, want to be aware of any threat that’s around so they can be prepared,” Sperry explains. With unease on so many fronts and COVID-19 potentially lurking around every corner, doomscrolling has been some people’s attempt “to get a sense of where the threats are,” Sperry says, “[and] to feel like they can get some control over this very chaotic and what seems to be a threatening world.” The problem is that it doesn’t work. Instead of preparing or calming us, doomscrolling “only makes people feel more anxious and out of control,” Sperry says. Indeed, continuously questioning and Googling in an attempt to find answers can “keep you in an area of uncertainty,” says Elizabeth Ellis Ohr, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in private practice in Portsmouth. “If Googling becomes a compulsion, and you spend hours and hours Googling to an extent that it causes you distress and interferes with your functioning in your work or home roles,” Ohr says, it might be a sign of an anxiety disorder. To stop doomscrolling, it can be helpful to ask yourself why you do this: In your mind, what is the purpose of doomscrolling and is that purpose served when you doomscroll? “As people become more aware of what they’re hoping to achieve with doomscrolling,” Ohr says, “they might realize that doomscrolling is not helping them to achieve what they hoped to, and so they should engage in a different behavior that would, in

ance. Our chosen routes to refuge are not always the wisest, however. Drinking more cocktails, overindulging in comfort food or burrowing deeper into the couch to bingewatch TV will not do our health any favors. And then there’s “doomscrolling,” or

obsessively scanning the news and social media for the latest bad news. It seems counterintuitive — if you’re stressed, why seek out upsetting news? Experts say most often, doomscrolling is fueled by anxiety and a 84 | May 2021

“People, like animals, want to be aware of any threat that’s around so they can be prepared, to get a sense of where the threats are.” — Ralph Sperry, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Steps to stop doomscrolling

with sleep and set you up for feeling tired and

The past year has brought a deluge of distressing news but wallowing in it by doomscrolling can make us feel worse than we already do. The following tips can help break a doom-scrolling habit:

your risk of health problems.) Also, try to

• Become aware of how much time you spend looking at bad news. If you find yourself driven to doomscroll, recognize that it isn’t helping you, and only makes you more anxious.

nutrition and hobbies.

• Website and social media designers want you to stay on their site, and they use a variety of tactics to keep viewers hooked. Turn off the color on your screen to make images less appealing and remove apps that you struggle to stay away from — or at least make those apps less accessible.

the world rather than taking in only negative

cranky the next day, not to mention elevate achieve more balance in your life, with time carved out for family, friends, exercise, good When you’re online, Ohr advises, get a full picture of everything that’s going on in

• Doomscrolling is similar to other addictive behaviors, such as cigarette smoking, says Ralph Sperry, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., director of hehavioral health at SolutionHealth. “You have to wean yourself away from it,” Sperry says. “Some people can do that themselves, some can’t, some need help to do it.” Setting limits is the key, but it also helps to substitute alternative activities that are pleasurable and healthful. Instead of doomscrolling, play a game with a family member, go for a walk or a run, call a friend, or do something else that makes you feel good.

information. This will not only help you feel better, it will counteract the algorithms that online news sources and social media employ to keep us looking at our screens as they feed us more of what we’ve seen in the past. In effect, reading only bad news online begets reading more bad news online. Actively look for glimmers of good news and silver linings. There’s no getting around the fact that COVID-19 has been upsetting and horrible, but maybe during the pandemic

fact, serve their desired purpose.”

physically. Then, Sperry says, take action to

you’ve had more time to be with your family,

Doomscrolling is an addictive behavior,

stop it. Limit yourself to checking the news,

to pursue a hobby or to enjoy the natural

Sperry points out, so a good initial step to

say, once a day at a certain time. (Preferably

world. Embrace those opportunities instead

curb it is to take stock and acknowledge

not just prior to bed; screen exposure and

of burying yourself in bad news, and take

that it affects you emotionally and perhaps

upsetting news near bedtime can interfere

time to savor them. NH

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A Taste of Thai Tea

Try these pancakes for a Thai-inspired Mother’s Day Breakfast Yield: 3 large pancakes or 6 small pancakes

Ingredients: 3/4 cup of quick oats 1 cup of Emshika’s Thai Tea latte 11/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar or sweetened coconut milk 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter, melted 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 large egg 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional) Vegetable oil for the frying pan, if needed Directions:

Add the latte to the oatmeal and let stand for a few minutes. Add all other dry ingredients plus egg, butter and oil, being careful not to over-mix. Add more latte, if necessary. Using a nonstick frying pan on medium heat, add oil and pour about a 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear, flip, and cook until both sides are golden brown. Plate with your favorite fruit, a glug of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Garnish: Your favorite fruit New Hampshire maple syrup Powdered sugar


Recently, Alberini added a line of Thai iced teas using organic Assam tea from Thailand with a touch of monk fruit as a natural sweetener. The latte version also uses oat milk instead of the traditional condensed milk for a nondairy and less-caloric version. At the same time, she introduced a Thai iced coffee with the monk fruit sweetener and a latte version as well, which has cardamom, rice and sesame seeds for flavoring. All are nitro-infused to add a bit of creaminess. Emshika’s Thai Iced Tea can be sipped on its own, or used as an ingredient in cocktails or recipes. For instance, add some vanilla vodka for a Thai iced tea-tini, or use it to make Thai iced tea, French toast or the pancake recipe shown here. “I’m delighted to share this family treasure with consumers,” says Alberini. “I spent my entire childhood enjoying this beverage and am honored to put a modern and healthy twist on this very classic Thai libation.”


mshika Alberini, chef/owner of Chang Thai Café in Littleton, shares this recipe for a Thai tea pancake using her own newly introduced canned and nitro-infused Emshika’s Thai Tea Latte. Alternately, just use your favorite pancake mix (Polly’s?) and substitute the Thai tea for the liquid. And add the coconut, if you have it. About the chef Emshika Alberini, a transplant to Littleton from her birthplace of Bangkok, Thailand, has brought a taste of her homeland to New Hampshire. She opened Chang Thai Café on Main Street in 2008 to introduce her family’s pad Thai, plus the flavors of lemongrass, cilantro and Thai basil in a variety of authentic dishes. Open for lunch and dinner.

86 | May 2021

For more information, to find retail partners or to place an online order, visit


Who will be named? Find out in a special section inside the October issue. To share your opinion, go to | May 2021 87


Hobby Time: Doing Stuff


don’t remember having a hobby before all of this (gestures wildly at pretty much everything). Back when we could lick doorknobs with relative abandon, we would do things to keep from being bored — they just never really rose to the level of “hobby.” Back then, we just called it “doing stuff.” But after a year of staying home a lot, I’ve come to a surprising conclusion: Hobbyists, I am one of you. I’ve discovered a lot of things I really like that I’m not very good at and that I never, ever dreamed I’d be doing. At first, it was all about puzzles. We made them, took them apart and put them back in the box. Seemed a little pointless, and after months of quarantine, a little too physically demanding. We also got into streaming concerts. It started with the Dropkick Murphys in March — shot, apparently, right down the street from my house at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry. Then there was the Dropkick Murphys show at Fenway at the end of the summer and, finally, the Dropkick

Murphys streaming show on St. Patrick’s Day this year. Our attempts at normalcy then evolved into Zoom happy hour/beer and wine tastings. I am now on a first-name basis with the distiller at Flag Hill Winery in Lee, only I don’t remember June and I can’t find my laptop. Then I got an Oculus Quest VR headset, which was incredibly immersive and convincing. So much so that I got motion sick while maneuvering through a virtual environment, which abruptly led to the hobby of rug cleaning. COVID summer turned into pandemic fall and I realized I needed to make better decisions about how to spend my time at home. For that, I returned to the hobbies of my youth. Namely: model kit building. It started when my wife bought me a couple of torture devices from a company called Metal Earth. They’re these tiny metal sheets with parts stamped into them. You remove pieces, fold, insert, and create an item of miniature beauty. Or a complete

mess. The pieces are so small that I had a hard time even seeing tab A, never mind inserting it into slot B. With my first Metal Earth model finished — an F4U Corsair/crumpled up ball of metal that I hucked into the woods — I asked my wife, “Why do you hate me?” It also crossed my mind that a traditional plastic model might be slightly easier. So I went to a hobby shop in Londonderry and came home with a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am kit. Other than not being able to close the hood because I put the engine in crooked and some decal debacles, it came out a little better than the tiny metal thing. After pursuing this for a bit, it occurred to me that I picked up right where I left off in sixth grade. Everything I make looks like it was crafted by a middle schooler with no patience or adult guidance. Yet somehow it remains calming. At some point, we’ll start getting back to normal. Thing is, I’m not sure I want to stop exploring new hobbies. Besides, there’s an X-Wing fighter waiting to be built, and those doorknobs aren’t going to lick themselves. NH


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