New Hampshire Magazine May 2022

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The Inside Scoop From Those Who Know NH Best

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And, yes, you can even bring your best friend

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May 2022


Live Free.

What’s inside your


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When it’s your heart, experience matters First hospital in New England to implant WATCHMAN™ after its FDA approval First community hospital in New Hampshire to offer TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) First community hospital in New Hampshire to offer TCAR (transcarotid artery revascularization)

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Compass Real Estate is a licensed real estate brokerage firm and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions. 155 Brewery Lane, Portsmouth, NH 03801

2 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022



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I chose Keene State College.

I emigrated from Nepal when I was seven. I am the first to go to college, so I’m really taking my family with me. When I was applying, I called Keene five times a day with so many questions. I was translating for my mom. They were great. Before I even stepped on campus, I knew I had made the right decision. I felt so supported, safe, and heard. I just knew it. The process told me everything. Smriti | Keene State College | ‘24



THERE IS MORE TO EXPLORE Than you may think.

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6 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Our operators are standing by.

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You can trust the surgical teams at Elliot Hospital and Elliot 1-Day Surgery Center. Offering extensive state-of-the-art technology, many of our surgeons are experts in using robotic technology, including da Vinci® and Mako® surgical systems, to perform minimally invasive procedures. We are also offering the latest innovations in care locally, including new procedures in urology, vascular, and thoracic surgery. The Elliot offers the high-quality care you need in the safe and comfortable environment you expect. Take your health off hold.

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Elliot 1-Day Surgery Center 185 Queen City Ave, Manchester | May 2022 7


NHMAGAZINE.COM Vice President/Publisher Ernesto Burden x5117 Editor

A Place in the Heart Catholic Medical Center (CMC) is proud to sponsor New Hampshire Magazine’s Best Places in New Hampshire.

Art Director

Rick Broussard x5119 John R. Goodwin x5131

Managing Editor Erica Thoits x5130 Associate Editor Emily Heidt x5115 Contributing Editor Barbara Coles Production Manager Jodie Hall x5122

Consistently named among the best hospitals in New

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so we hope you use this guide to discover a new activity or

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and no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing,

Billing Specialist/IT Coordinator Gail Bleakley (603) 563-8111 x113 VP/Consumer Marketing Brook Holmberg

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A SUBSIDIARY OF YANKEE PUBLISHING INC., AN EMPLOYEE-OWNED COMPANY 150 Dow Street, Manchester, NH 03101 (603) 624-1442, fax (603) 624-1310 E-mail: Advertising: Subscription information: Subscribe online at: or e-mail To order by phone call: (877) 494-2036

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© 2022 McLean Communications, LLC New Hampshire Magazine® is published by McLean Communications, Inc., 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, LLC.: New Hampshire Magazine disclaims all responsibility for omissions and errors. New Hampshire Magazine is published monthly, with the exception of February and April. USPS permit number 022-604. Periodical postage paid at Manchester 03103-9651. Postmaster send address changes to: New Hampshire Magazine, P.O. Box 37900, Boone, IA 50037-0900 PRINTED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

8 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Contents 52

First Things


603 Navigator

May 2022


603 Informer

603 Living


10 Editor’s Note 12 Contributors Page 14 Feedback

Features 44 Transcript

Meet Teresa Paradis of Live and Let Live Farm.

by David Mendelsohn

52 Best Places

A curated guide to the ideal spots for shopping, glamping, family hikes, outdoor theater, ghost hunting and much more.

by New Hampshire Magazine staff and guest contributors

66 Cities on the Rise

Despite a two-year pandemic that lingers on, several Granite State cities continue to show growth and promise.

by Brion O’Connor

76 “Lost Boundaries”

Released in 1949, America’s first “race film” was inspired by a UNH student. Learn how it came to be and why it’s still important.

by J. Dennis Robinson

18 Imagination on Display

Exploring Children’s Literature

by Erica Thoits

22 Our Town Alstead

by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

26 Food and Drink

High Tea at Étagère

by Emily Heidt photography by Kendal J. Bush

86 White Mountain Blooms 32 Tap Dancing Through Life Aaron Tolson’s “Tiny Tap Shoes”

by Lynne Snierson

36 First Person

Moose and Bad Breaks

by Brion O’Connor

38 Blips

NH in the News

by Casey McDermott

40 Politics

Democrats Are in a Funk

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 46 Best Places Marketplace Volume 36, Number 3 ISSN 1532-0219

by James Pindell

42 What Do You Know? The Road to Success

by Marshall Hudson

Yonder Mountain Nursery & Gardens

by Anna-Kate Munsey

90 ACL Injuries

Returning to Sports With Confidence

by Daniel P. Bouvier, M.D.

92 Health

Foam Rolling

by Karen A. Jamrog

94 Seniority

Late-life Crisis

by Lynne Snierson

96 Ayuh

Bugs! You’re Buggin’ Me

by Rebecca Rule

ON THE COVER So many Best Places to see and enjoy in the Granite State: Lake Winnipesaukee photo by Gary Fagan / Courtesy photos of Erin Fehlau, Sean McDonald and Victoria Arlen / Opera North Singers Swingers by Lars Blackmore / Portsmouth Light in New Castle by Greg Kretschmar | May 2022 9


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Trusted Advisors For Changing Times | 603-223-2800 10 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

I once walked in an early version of what’s now known as the metaverse via an online app called Second Life. It included a whole digital world and a downscaled version of real life. It even featured a virtual “New Hampshire.”


hat was my excuse for dabbling in online role-playing as a (at the time) 50-something-year-old grown-up man. I learned how to navigate virtual space (not easy) and began constructing my avatar by choosing body parts and features from a menu. I opted out of the “furry” and “tiny” variants and designed an avatar that looked a bit like me, even adding a touch of gray, but with a much buffer physique (why not?). Awkwardly traversing this new world, I struck up a few conversations along the way, but my “noob” status was pretty evident and most of the avatars I encountered seemed either too self-involved to forge a connection or simply uninterested. Like all communities, this one had some helpful folks who eventually guided me to places where I could shed my embarrassing off-the-menu accessories that were exposing me as a greenhorn. After I learned to “teleport” (which is like simply lifting off the ground and flying), I was able to explore more widely and eventually found the most “New Hampshire” thing I could: a hangout for Granite State Free Staters. It was like a penthouse party pad, lavishly furnished and equipped, decorated with posters espousing libertarian ideals. It was also empty. In fact, most places I visited were empty. The only crowds I could find were at various concerts and dance parties. Eventually I discovered a “red-light” district that also had a lot of traffic. Soon after that I lost interest. The recent name change of the Facebook empire to “Meta” brought all this digital memory back to life. Along with the new moniker, the company plans a new instrusion of digital reality into our common spaces and places through augmented reality (enhanced by special glasses or, someday, contact lenses) and by taking our new Zoom-enhanced telecommunications to new extremes. What if, rather than stare at a array of faces on a screen for your meetings and get-togethers, you could “stand” in a “room” with “them” and “chat” (with actual voices and, someday, mayber, pure thought) with your friends and

colleagues. Oh, and you can decide how buff (or furry) you’d like to be that day when you log on to your terminal. Not that impressed by the concept? Me either — not that we get much say in whatever is the next thing coming down the information superhighway (that Al Gore-era term for the internet sound so quaint now). And never underestimate the ability of people to sell the world new gadgets and repackaged technologies. The most common exposure to worlds like Second Life in recent years has been through youth-oriented apps like Minecraft or online games like World of Warcraft. The idea of a commercially viable virtual world leaping off our screens and “mirroring” or “augmenting” our external reality seems like a gauntlet thrown down for all lovers of the world the way it is. Do we really want someone augmenting everything for us? I guess we’ll find out, but after a couple of years of pandemic-closed or -modified attractions, limited travel, and masked encounters between friends and family, can’t we just get out and explore the real reality for one summer? That’s the purpose of this special issue of New Hampshire Magazine: to remind everyone (including ourselves) just how rich and varied a landscape we possess here in the Granite State and to give you nearly a hundred good reasons to get out in it. To achieve this, we tapped our own brains and invited a roster of some of the state’s most trusted personalities to contribute their suggestions. I suspect we missed some spots that you, dear reader, would have recommended, so please take a moment to share those with me to appear on our Feedback page this summer. And if the metaverse actually is your thing, let me suggest one real place you still might want to visit: the statue of video game inventor Ralph Baer in Manchester’s Arms Park. It was Baer’s brilliant whimsy that opened the door for us all to find a world of play and adventure even among the infinite ones and zeros of the cybernetic universe.


Metaverse vs. Universe



















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for May 2022

Author J. Dennis Robinson, who wrote the feature story “Lost Boundaries,” is an expert in New Hampshire history and culture.

Brion O’Connor wrote the feature story “Cities on the Rise” and “First Person.” Originally from New Hampshire, he is a freelance writer based in Massachusetts.

Anna-Kate Munsey, a sernior at the University of New Hampshire and former New Hampshire Magazine editorial intern, wrote this momth’s “Living.”

Izzy Usle, who illustrated “First Person,” is a New Hampshirebased illustrator and student at New England College Institute of Art and Design.

Casey McDermott, who writes “Blips” each month, is an online reporter and editor for NHPR. She covers politics, policy and New Hampshire news.

photo of casey mcdermott by john w. hession

Animal lover and freelance writer Lynne Snierson is New Hampshire Magazine’s regular “Seniority” contributor. She also wrote this month’s “Informer.”

Before calling the Monadnock Region home, photographer Kendal J. Bush — who photographed Étagère for this month’s “Food and Drink” department — 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

About | Behind the Scenes at New Hampshire Magazine Hey, we know her!

Former New Hampshire Magazine associate editor Sarah Cahalan appeared on “Jeopardy!” on April 4.

12 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Readers who remember all the way back to around 2016 might recall our former associate editor, Sarah Cahalan. Sarah’s since gone on to accomplish many other things, including earning a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and, oh, winning a little thing called the Pulitzer Prize as a member of the New York Times’ Covid-19 tracking team. Although those are certainly impressive resumé items, getting to be on the legendary “Jeopardy!” might be the coolest one. Sarah’s episode was April 4, and since that was just after this issue’s publication date, we can’t tell you how she did — though, if we were betting people, we’d say really well. Various responses around the office to the news included “makes sense,” “yeah, not surprised” and “she might be the host already.” Sarah says her goals were a little less lofty than securing hosting duties — she mainly wanted to get to “Final Jeopardy!” and to “not look like a complete moron.” She assures us she was successful on both fronts. (Again, no surprise here.) You can read more about her experiences at (like chilling in the makeshift, Covid-era “green room,” aka the set of “Wheel of Fortune”). Plus, turn to page 38 to read about two New Hampshire residents who also recently appeared on the show.

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Kalled Gallery | May 2022 13

emails, snail mail, facebook, tweets

Feedback @nhmagazine

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

Podiatry Is Good Medicine

Dear editor, on behalf of my medical field, I am truly disappointed that the New Hampshire Magazine Top Doctors fails to recognize podiatry in this panel [“Top Doctors,” March/April 2022]. Our profession is sited as an integral member in health care specialties caring for diabetics, foot and ankle trauma and sports medicine, just to name a few. Your magazine recognized our profession just a few years ago, and when I had inquired as to nominating a fellow DPM in my state, I was told podiatry is not included and no further discussion was welcomed. I urge you to reconsider in years to come my profession and look forward to your correspondence. — Dr. Serena Shomody, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S. WCEI, Division Chief Podiatry Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene Editor’s note: Each year in our March/April issue, we republish the New Hampshire portion of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors list. We have passed your concern along to the folks at Castle Connolly and they can also be reached at

Rebel, Rebel

Just curious as to why the painting “The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill, 17th June 1775” was used as an illustration accompanying the 603 Navigator article about the Pine Tree Revolution on pages 14-15 of this month’s edition of New Hampshire Magazine [March/April]. Different states, different years, far different conflicts. – Consuelo, Hillsborough Editor’s Note: As the story mentions, the rebellions here did influence and inspire the acts of revolution that followed, so Bunker Hill is not that far from our Pine Tree Riot (nor from our Powder Raid on the seacoast). There may be some colorful illustrations of the Pine Tree Riot, but the art director did not find them in his searches, and this famous painting grabs attention and shows what followed from those years of “oppression” by the British Crown. 14 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

UFOs and Indonesia and Bahá’í My interest in UFOS started in Stevens Jr. High grade seven. I recently reached 85 on Thanksgiving and, yes, I am related to ancestors on the Mayflower. However, I tend to think the New Hampshire variety of UFOs are “dry firing.” My late mother and a close friend experienced a UFO one night coming home to Claremont from Lebanon. A friend of mine, John Maloney, was an investigator for a group and wrote a book, self-published by him. John had been in the OSS. He also had delved into Subud, an Indonesian spiritual practice, and around Woodstock, Vermont, a group was active around that time. Claremont also had a Bahá’í group at one time. This issue makes a few references in a different article. Now, on pages 74 and 79, a young man is shown with an extended fist, which many will perhaps not realize is Indonesian/ Malaysian martial art “pentjak silat.” The only thing I can fault is he wears sneakers. Anyway, I am not online anymore, though I understand people still send emails to my old Facebook pages and blogs on Blogspot. Keep up the great work. And since you are an Al Capp fan, you recall the Shmoos? Yours truly, Halford Jones, Claremont Editor’s Note: Thanks, Halford. (The Shmoos, for the uninitiated, were a lovable and edible creature in Al Capp’s famous “Li’l Abner” cartoon series.) Your note sparked some interest here and we investigated your fascinating network of blog posts that examine the mysteries of the known universe(s). For the curious, a good starting point for exploring Halford Jones’ blogs is

Correction In last month’s Top Doctors feature, the wrong quotation was attributed to Dr. Daniel P. Bouvier of the New Hampshire Orthopedic Center. We apologize and regret the error. Here is what should have run:

“What inspired me to go into medicine 21 years ago and what inspires me now has certainly evolved over time. I am passionate about the care of the young athlete, which includes not just diagnosing their physical problem, but understanding the emotional and social impacts that it has on their life and adolescent development. Specifically, much of my current interest lies in the prevention, treatment and recovery of the high school-age female ACL injured patient, as this is certainly one of the most challenging patient groups we treat as orthopaedic sports medicine physicians.”

Steam versus Cotton

Robert Fulton

Nice article on Orford, my hometown! [“Our Town,” March/April 2022]. I do have to point out a couple of minor errors though: • It was Robert Fulton who “borrowed” Morey’s steamboat ideas, not Eli Whitney. • The soapstone [likely mostly slate] quarry in the Ville is behind the Orfordville School building, not the Town Hall. I can understand the confusion, as the school, just across the road, is now used for the Town Offices and the Town Hall is now owned by the Historical Society, where there will be exhibits for the first time in three summers. Stop and and take a look someday! — Art Pease, Lebanon Author’s note: How could I summon up the inventor of the cotton gin’s name when I was writing about the (not quite) inventor of the steamboat? Apart from Edison and Marconi, they are the only two inventors whose names I even know. Apologies to readers for this mental blip, and thanks to Mr. Pease for pointing it out! — Barbara Rogers

illustration by brad fitzpatrick

Spot four newts like the one here 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, visit and fill out the online form. Or, send answers plus your name and mailing address to: Spot the Newt c/o New Hampshire Magazine 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101 You can also email them to or fax them to (603) 624-1310. The March/April issue was nearly perfect, but one of the hidden newts slipped off his page before press time, so we’re doubling this month’s prize!

NEED A GOOD REASON FOR SPOTTING THE NEWT? The March/April prize is a gift certificate for $100 to use online at nhmade. com or at the New Hampshire Made Store, 28 Deer St., Portsmouth. New Hampshire Made is our state’s official promoter of products and services created here in the Granite State, and the online store and downtown shop are packed with delightful gifts and specialty foods made with Granite State pride.

CONGRATULATIONS, TOP DOCS! Eight DMC providers have earned recognition from their peers as New Hampshire’s Top Doctors in family medicine for 2022. They proudly represent the highquality care DMC patients receive from all our providers. From left to right: JOHN DALEY, MD, Derry KATHARINE WETHERBEE, DO, Londonderry JAMES FITZGERALD, MD, Bedford & Goffstown LYDIA BENNETT, MD, Bedford & Goffstown ANNE BARRY, DO, Windham CRISTI EGENOLF, MD, Derry DOUGLAS DREFFER, MD, Derry ADAM ANDROLIA, DO, Derry & Bedford *Doctors were photographed individually and brought together through the magic of Photoshop. DMC recommends and follows strict masking protocols.

Always welcoming new patients. Online self-scheduling available! | May 2022 15

Nationally recognized cancer care, Groundbreaking research, Pioneering rural care, Innovative treatments and therapies, Highest level trauma care, Warmth and understanding, where it matters most. 16 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

The best, where it matters most. When you’re sick or hurt, the last thing you want to do is travel far and wide to feel better. It’s great to know you don’t have to. Dartmouth Health has some of the best research, innovation and medical minds in the world. Providers, nurses and caregivers who break boundaries and push medicine to new heights to help you overcome the obstacles. All from right here, close to home.

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Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital I Cheshire Medical Center I Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics I Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center I New London Hospital I Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire In partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine. | May 2022 17

603 Navigator

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ILLUSTRATION COURTESY HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING

– Dr. Seuss, from “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

18 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Our Town 22 Food & Drink 28

Imagination on Display An interactive exhibit emphasizes the importance of children’s books BY ERICA THOITS


tarting on May 6, the Portsmouth Historical Society will debut the firstever exhibition that celebrates the heritage of children’s books created in northern New England. “Imagine That! The Power of Picture Books” will feature original artwork by more than 30 illustrators, plus a bookmaking station, reading nook, play space, toy theater, story hours, weekend workshops with artists, pop-up events around town and more. Classic illustrations by artists including Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, Robert McCloskey, H.A. Rey, Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle will appear alongside those by contemporary illustrators such as Grace Lin, Chris Van Dusen and Mo Williams. In all, more than 100 illustrations, including recent work reflecting diversity in children’s books, will inspire both adults and kids to explore the creative process and the many joys of reading. “It’s a radical idea for a historical society, that we should meet people where they first encounter art — in the pages of children’s books,” says guest curator Nina Maurer. “This is a game-changing exhibition for kids and families.” Admission is free to children under 18, military, those over 70 and Society members; $10 for adults. First Fridays are free. The ticket price includes admission to the John Paul Jones House Museum. See more about the exhibit in the online version of this story at

Get There Portsmouth Historical Society

This scratch board illustration by Beth Krommes from “In the House In the Night” (written by Susan Marie Swanson) “really represents the flight of the imagination that this exhibit represents,” says guest curator Nina Maurer.

10 Middle St., Portsmouth 10 a.m.-5 p.m. from May 6 to September 25 / (603) 436-8433 Learn more about First Fridays and Art Around Town at More to Explore on next page > | May 2022 19



A few ways to continue to encourage passion for curiosity, learning, reading and artmaking

The Oaks and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park Maxfield Parrish’s former home in Plainfield is privately owned, but is available to rent for overnights and gatherings via Airbnb ($225 a night). If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly ($10 for adults, free for youth 15 and under), the SaintGaudens National Historic Park is located in nearby Cornish, and features similar views of the landscape and Mt. Ascutney that inspired Parrish. The park includes the grounds, home and studios that once belonged to the renowned American sculptor. Parrish and Saint-Gaudens were friends as well as neighbors, and Parrish was among the notable artists who helped form the Cornish Colony (read about Opera North’s efforts to revive the spirit of the Cornish Colony on page 58). The park grounds and trails are open year-round during the day, and the visitor center, galleries and historic buildings are open daily from Memorial Day to October 31. See for more information.

The Rey Cultural Center Margret and H.A. Rey, authors of the “Curious George” children’s books and former summer residents of Waterville Valley, were people of many talents and interests, including the arts, history, exploring and preserving the natural world, gardening and more. Today, the nonprofit Rey Center in Waterville Valley honors their spirit of discovery by growing the public’s understanding of science, art and nature with programs for kids and families. Visit for information on upcoming events. 20 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Art for All

Beloved children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola of New London passed away in 2020, but his influence on kids’ imaginations lives on in more than just his cherished books. The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is the steward of the Tomie dePaola Art Education Fund, which provides children and teens with tuition-free classes in the museum’s studio art program. Visit for information on the fund and the wide variety of classes available for both adults and youth.

Grandma’s Cottage The model for Elizabeth Orton Jones’ illustrations in the 1948 Golden Books version of “Little Red Riding Hood” can be found down a winding dirt road in the woods of Mason at Pickity Place ( More than just a restaurant, the grounds are particularly lovely in the spring and summer, and gardeners will enjoy exploring and visiting the beautiful greenhouses. Many of the herbs grown onsite find their way into the dishes and drinks served at each of the daily three seating options. Sadly, a recent blizzard tore down half of the iconic, gnarled white ash tree that once sprawled across the front lawn. Rather than cutting it down completely, owners Keith and Kim Grimes left standing a large portion of the trunk, which is undergoing a transformation into a gorgeous Little Free Library. The Little Free Library is a public, nonprofit book exchange program that provides information and resources to help people build their own book-sharing boxes. Chances are there’s one near you! By searching the online map or downloading the new mobile

app, you can hunt for Little Free Libraries in your community and beyond. If you’re feeling ambitious, why not undertake a family summer project and build one yourself? LFL offers both kits and inspiration for more elaborate builds at

The in-progress Little Free Library in the trunk of the white ash tree Pickety Place in Mason



to Chef Michael Symon, donors, volunteers, guests and everyone who helped make this event such a tremendous success.

Bank of New Hampshire presents the 2022

Children’s Summer Series

July 5-8

July 12-15

July 19-22

July 26-29

August 2-5

August 9-12

Tuesday - Thursday @ 10AM & 6:30PM ● Friday @ 10AM

Tickets only $10! August 16-19

August 23-26


All shows performed by professional actors | May 2022 21


Of the five mills that once comprised Mill Hollow, only Chase’s Mill remains.

Keeping Traditions Alive in Alstead Exploring the town of today with an eye to the past



ur library — a room in our house where the walls are lined floor to ceiling with books — has a long shelf just for New Hampshire. It holds serious histories, reminiscences of lost eras, biographies, trail guides, gossipy stories by Eleanor Early, books on architecture, lumbering, geology and White Mountain hotels. Three books of these focus on Alstead. Marion Nicholl Rawson’s “New Hampshire Borns a Town” brings to life the people and events of Alstead’s first 100 years in a more personal way than the standard dry town histories. Based on interviews with people who lived there as much as 80 years before she wrote the book, she traces families, and town institutions and traditions.

22 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

They shared letters, diaries, family Bibles, and handed-down accounts of their Alstead ancestors, which, when combined with historical records, makes a fascinating and frequently anecdotal account of how a small New Hampshire town sprang from eight intrepid settlers in 1753. We first met Heman Chase almost 40 years ago at his home in Alstead to interview him on the publication of his book, “More Than Land,” also on our New Hampshire shelf. While we talked, he gave us a copy of his earlier, smaller book, “A Short History of Mill Hollow,” beginning my interest in that early manufacturing settlement at the outflow of Lake Warren. Accompanied by Rawson’s and Chase’s books, we explored

Alstead and Mill Hollow with new eyes. At various times, as many as five mills operated on waterpower from Lake Warren, which was dammed to regulate the flow. A grist mill, sawmills, and mills for carding, spinning, wood-turning, shingles, and starch (made from potatoes) all operated at one time or another, plus a cracker mill that also made gingerbread. Today, the only mill there is Chase’s Mill, rebuilt in the early 1900s on an earlier mill’s foundations. From its beginning, the mill was designed as a community center, with a room upstairs that could be used for meetings and dances. Chase

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The Shedd-Porter Memorial Library was built in 1910, in the then-fashionable Beaux-Arts style.

used it for his own woodworking and later, with his wife Edith, to teach woodworking to neighborhood children. After restorations by the Mill Hollow Heritage Association, the mill has returned to that use — it is now the center of an active schedule of classes in subjects that range from woodworking for children and adults to spinning, felting, tile-making, pencil

sketching and watercolor painting. Programs on the mill’s history are given by Chase’s daughter, Margaret Chase Perry, and among the class teachers are his daughter, Ellen Chase, and granddaughter, Nancy Botkin. Although it doesn’t make crackers or gingerbread, as the mill at Mill Hollow did, Orchard Hill Breadworks has revived baking in Alstead. In 1997, Noah Elbers

The Alstead Historical Society can be seen in the background from Paper Mill Village Park.

24 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

began baking and selling bread at his grandparents’ farm on Orchard Hill Road. Now selling breads at the farm (just out of the oven on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and at various markets throughout the region, Orchard Hill has become far more than a bakery. The farm is a community gathering place with Tuesday Pizza Nights through the summer and annual events that include craft and farmers markets. Mining historian Jim Pecora is not reviving Alstead’s several mines, but hopes to revive interest in its mining history and to preserve records and images before they are lost. His Mica Mine Schoolhouse on Baine Road is the future home of the New England Mineral Museum, now operating as a mobile museum, mounting exhibits in historical societies and other venues, and leading tours to abandoned Alstead mines. In 1834, Sylvester Mitchel was hunting for his lost sheep when he discovered a deposit of mica, from which he began producing sheets for stove doors and lanterns. That was the beginning of what became one of New England’s largest mica mines. That was also the beginning of Alstead’s remarkable mining history. By the 1950s, the Colony Mine, on the

An artful collection of signs pointing the way to nearby Orchard Hill Road businesses

side of Cobb Hill, was the world’s most productive feldspar mine, producing minerals of such purity that it supplied the Corning Glassworks in New York. Other active mines were a mica mine and a pegmatite quarry off Cobb Hill Road, and the Beauregard Mine, near the Gilsum line, which was worked intermittently until the 1940s. Most of the mines are on private land, but mineral collecting is allowed at some.

Two of Alstead’s landmarks are thanks to local boys who went off into the world to seek their fortunes — and succeeded. It’s hard to miss the Shedd-Porter Memorial Library, as it’s a prominent feature beside the river at the junction of 12A and 123. Built in 1910 in the then-fashionable Beaux-Arts style, it was the gift of John G. Shedd, who grew up on a farm in Langdon. He left for Chicago in 1871, where he eventually became president and chairman of the board of Marshall Field and Company and a major Chicago philanthropist. On Route 123A, where the Cold River drops over a falls and through a rocky gorge, Vilas Pool Park was the gift of Alstead native Charles Nathaniel Vilas. Leaving in 1870 at age 17 to work as a hotel clerk in Worcester, Massachusetts, Vilas went on to become co-owner of the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City. Retiring to Alstead in 1908, he financed the construction of Vilas Pool Park, which opened in 1925 with swimming docks, a pavilion, boat house, stone tables and fireplaces, along with a carillon bell tower. In February, 2022, Vilas Pool Park was added to the N.H. State Register of Historic Places. NH

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The falls at Vilas Pool

Learn more Mill Hollow Heritage Association

Orchard Hill Breadworks

(603) 835-7845 /

New England Mineral Museum

(978) 815-6022 /

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Under one roof at Étagère in Amherst find high tea, coffee, pastries, foot soaks and an eclectic boutique.

26 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Sip, Shop and Soak Spend an hour or spend a day at Étagère BY EMILY HEIDT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY KENDAL J. BUSH


ucked along Route 101A in Amherst, Étagère is part coffee shop, part beauty bar and part tea room — a whimsical escape from the mundane day-to-day, and a step into a “Chronicles of Narnia” wardrobe that leads to a place of relaxation and pampering. Co-owners and mother-daughter duo Joy and Brook Martello opened Étagère in 2020 with the goal of pursuing their own passions and inviting the local community to join them. “Our hope is to not only be a place for our guests to visit but a destination where they can bring their friends and family and get away for a whole day,” says Joy. In 2014, Joy and Brook began talking about combining their talents — Joy’s baking skills and Brook’s experience in the beauty industry — and opening an eclectic boutique together. “Joy has almost always baked and cooked, and even owned a few of her own bakeries and sandwich shops throughout her life,” says Brook. “All of us kids are grown up now, and we both started thinking that it was time for us to work together and do something fun and new.” The first idea was a shop where Joy would handle pastries and coffee and Brook would have space for a nail and makeup studio, but it wasn’t long until their idea evolved and finally began to look like the present-day Étagère. “It was time that really allowed our idea to grow,” recalls Brook. “It ended up taking us four years to find a location big enough to fit what we wanted to do.” One of the reasons they needed a larger location was due to a crucial piece of décor that ended up as the grounding piece that shaped the shop — an old gazebo. “I had been buying and collecting a variety of things for years prior to opening Étagère,” says Joy. “We had all of those items that needed space to be displayed, but we also drove to California together to buy a gazebo that ended up becoming a staple of the boutique. And we needed a place with ceilings to fit it!” Joy’s “Salvatore Dali brain,” as Brook calls it, can be seen throughout Étagère’s

Brook Martello, who co-owns Étagère with her mother Joy Martello | May 2022 27

603 NAVIGATOR / FOOD & DRINK décor, from the gazebo and hanging wheelbarrows to classic school desks used as shelving support for an old barback now repurposed as the café’s order window. Each piece tells its own story, as do all of the antiques for sale scattered around the shop. “For us, the purpose of selling antiques is to be able to give someone else the opportunity to be as unique with them as we have,” says Joy. “We want people to be comfortable with using the item that they buy, like using a bowl for bobby pins or a plant. I had a woman come in a few weeks ago to purchase a 100-year-old Bavarian bowl to use for a salad for a housewarming party. Now that item can be enjoyed instead of sitting in a cupboard and collecting dust. The idea is to take your time and savor the experience of picking an item that you can use for years to come.” The beauty bar is eccentric — but effective — way to de-stress, and includes four pedicure chairs, two manicure tables and a group of couches to relax in. “We designed the beauty bar to be an experience just like every other area of the shop,” says Brook. “We wanted to make it so that you could come alone and enjoy any one of our services, or come in with a group

Hang out and relax at the beauty bar where you can enjoy anything from a foot soak to a CBD facial with gua sha.

28 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

“Étagère” is French for a place to display your “loveables,” but, for Joy and Brook Martello, it also brings to mind cherished family memories.




of 12 and all of you could be together hanging out in the same room.” Their full-service menu includes a variety of facials, pedicures, manicures, foot soaks and full-body treatments. Whether you and your mom want to treat yourselves to a spa day or host a baby shower, bridal shower or group special events, Brook and Joy love hosting any and all celebrations, especially when they include high tea. Afternoon high tea was made fashionable in the early 19th century as a way to fill the time between lunch and dinner, and Brook and Joy put their own spin on the tradition. “We serve eight tables that are scattered throughout the shop once a day at 12 p.m.,” says Joy. “We wanted it to be quaint and intimate, so people are separated from others and can immerse themselves in their own conversation without being interrupted by those around them.” The seasonal menu changes every eight to 10 weeks, and Joy creates everything from scratch. As of press time, the current menu includes a scone, spring green mix salad with blueberries and bacon, tomato basil with sharp cheddar cheese soup and | May 2022 29


Top: Through playing with recipes on her own and receiving some tips from her pastry chef friend, Joy has been able to refine her cooking craft and makes everything at Étagère. Right: Joy (left) and Brook Martello.

Mother’s Day Events

A tea date for two is always fun, but there are plenty of other ways to celebrate mom this year. May 7-8

13th Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Craft Festival, Hampton Falls > More than 75 juried craftsmen and craftswomen from all over New England will display and sell their Americanmade works, including stained glass, original watercolors, photography, pottery, carved wildlife, folk art, handcrafted soaps, country wood, quilts, doll clothes, fine jewelry, floral design and more. Come and sample the culinary delights of herbal dips, kettle corn, maple, pickles, jams, jellies, homemade fudge, oils, sauces and more.

May 6-8

30 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

May 8

Mother’s Day Brunch at Zorvino Vineyards, Sandown > Visit this lovely winery and enjoy gorgeous views for a special brunch. Visit for other Mother’s Day events, brunch or gift ideas.


Fuller Gardens Plant Sale, North Hampton > Does Mom like to garden? If so, then take her to pick from hundreds of field-grown hardy perennials, potted hardy rose bushes of all varieties and herbs. A fun event for all ages; there’s something for everyone. You won’t want to miss this annual event that runs rain or shine.

Enjoy a cup of afternoon tea at one of these other tea-riffic spots. Silver Fountain Inn & Tea Parlor

103 Silver St., Dover / (603) 750-4200

The Cozy Tea Cart

104 Rte. 13, Brookline / (603) 249-9111


69 High St., Somersworth / (603) 841-2545

Harrisville Inn Bed & Breakfast

797 Chesham Rd., Harrisville / (603) 827-3163

Tarbin Gardens

321 Salisbury Rd., Franklin / (603) 934-3518

Fezziwig’s Food & Fountain

112 State St., Portsmouth / (603) 501-0023

a variety of entrées like caramelized onion and gorgonzola quiche, curried egg salad sandwiches and a selection of pastries for dessert. The meal is served on elaborate tiered trays, canapé-style, with small bites in shot glasses, and you can plan for 90 minutes from start to finish. “Our focus is not about turning tables over, it is about giving guests as much time as they want to enjoy time with the people they’re with. The longest someone has stayed was three hours and 40 minutes. We want you to take your time and enjoy your surroundings while you’re here.” Built from a foundation of family and tradition, Joy and Brook hope that those who visit Étagère will leave feeling more at peace than when they arrived, and perhaps with new memories and traditions all their own. “We want to capture our local community that’s dropping in for a quick cup of coffee and the group that’s coming from different areas to meet for the day,” says Joy. “Creating a space to relax is our heart behind the shop, and we hope that people will find it as their home away from home as much as it is for us.” NH

Find It Étagère

WATER HAS A MEMORY: Preserving Strawbery Banke and Portsmouth from Sea Level Rise

Strawbery Banke Museum’s historic houses are being damaged by the impact of sea level rise. Right now. The "Water has a Memory" exhibit, in partnership with the City of Portsmouth, invites visitors to learn how history is impacting the present and future, understand the problems, and learn proactive ways to adopt local, regional, national, and international initiatives to address sea level rise. Open daily May 1 - Oct. 31, 2022, in the Rowland Gallery. The exhibit is included with general museum admission. Strawbery Banke Museum 14 Hancock St, Portsmouth, NH STRAWBERYBANKE.ORG

A springboard for the imagination in a first-ever exhibition of original art by dozens of beloved New England children’s book illustrators.

May 6 to September 25, 2022, daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH

Illustration © 2008 by Beth Krommes from The House in the Night, used by permission of Harper Collins Publishers.


114B Rte. 101A, Amherst (603) 417-3121 / | May 2022 31

603 Informer



— Aaron Tolson

32 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

First Person 36 Blips 38 Politics 40 What Do You Know? 42

Tap Dancing Through Life

A new book teaches kids that dance is for everyone BY LYNNE SNIERSON



nce upon a time, there were two little girls who one day found a teeny-tiny pair of tap shoes and some fairy dust in their house. This is where the magical adventure begins. “Tiny Tap Shoes” is a children’s book written by Aaron Tolson, who achieved fame the world over as a tap dancer and is a renowned full-time faculty member at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. The performing artist and professor has taken the next step to published author. “I wrote this book for my children,” says the father of Alexis, 8, and Charlotte, 6. “They’re the influence, and the muse, and the critics. The whole way.” The main character in the story is Steve the Fairy, who just loves to tap dance. On his journey he is helped by sisters Alexiana and Charliana, and he teaches important moral lessons about kindness and friendship along with a true appreciation of the art form. The book is full of wonder, inspiration and imagination, and the message is that dance is for every child, regardless of gender. “My girls are really into mermaids, unicorns and fairies,” Tolson says. “We were reading books before bed, like we always do, and then I started telling them stories, and they always featured this main character over and over again, and it was Steve the Fairy. I was telling the stories off the top of my head constantly, and then I got into a groove of what he was and the world that he lived in,” he says. Tolson and his wife, Emily, who was Miss New Hampshire 2006, live with their daughters in Bedford, and that is where the story is set. Steve the Fairy makes his home inside the Inside Scoop, and it was during an outing to the local ice cream shop right before the pandemic lockdown in 2020 when this tap-dancing fairy took flight.

Aaron Tolson with his daughters Alexis, 8, and Charlotte, 6, who were the inspiration for writing “Tiny Tap Shoes” | May 2022 33


34 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

says the author, whose older sister is 1996 Miss New Hampshire, former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, and acclaimed dance instructor Michelle Tolson. “Tiny Tap Shoes” is delightfully illustrated by Ani Chong and was released in December. It is available on Amazon ($7.98 in paperback or $2.99 for the Kindle version), where 95% of its reviews earned five stars, and the book is selling very well despite the fact there has been no paid advertising. Tolson’s first effort is such a success that by March he was in talks with a major network to turn Steve the Fairy into an animated children’s series, was working on the sequel, and had written the outlines for a four-book series. “I’m blown away that my bedtime stories have turned into this. I’m shocked, excited, and even humbled, honestly. I thought this story was fun and cute and wholesome and had good messages. But these made-up bedtime stories have turned into this real, incredible adventure,” says Tolson, who is also producing a new tap dance show set to debut in the fall. “My life is cosmic right now.” May 25 is National Tap Dance Day, and the date was chosen because it’s the birthday of the immortal Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, one of the most significant contributors to tap as an art form. This month, Tolson is continuing his book tour and thinks it’s a fitting way to honor the legend. “I’ve gone into kindergartens and read my

book to kids, and their reactions and their laughter bring such joy to my heart that they see this, and they love it. I’ve had people tell me it’s their kids’ favorite book. It’s great. It’s magical. What a fun feeling,” he says. “I’ve done shows and things in my life with the intentions of making money doing those things, but this was a labor of love. This was for my girls. I just wanted to follow through with what I said we were going to do. Then, as it developed, it turned into this wonderful story and I’m really excited to share it with the world.” NH


“The day that Steve came into existence and became real to me and real to the girls was when we were at the Inside Scoop. It was March 13, the last weekend before you couldn’t go anywhere,” he continues. “We were sitting inside this building that’s got these little holes in the wood from the trees, and I’d always told the girls that’s where the fairies live. That day I said that’s where Steve the Fairy lives. Then Steve started appearing in all the stories. He lived in a little hole in the wall, which I still reference to this day. That’s where he lives. That’s where he goes. That’s where he comes from.” Tolson comes from Manchester, where he was a record-setting track star at Memorial High School before earning a full scholarship to St. John’s University and establishing collegiate marks in track that stand to this day. Earlier in life, he was a child actor and tap prodigy, and by age 14, he was performing at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem alongside tap superstars Savion Glover and Gregory Hines. He went on to perform on Broadway and was a soloist on the worldwide tour of “Riverdance” for six years. Reaching this stage of his illustrious career is the result of his talent, artistry, creativity and intense competitiveness. “I think this is the next step of what I’ve been doing my whole life. I’m a crazy person. There is never enough for me,”

Connect With Aaron Tolson / / @taphero


Wealth Managers Who will be named?

Find out in a special section inside the October issue. To share your opinion, go to


MAY 2-26, 2022 TOGETHER WE WIN | May 2022 35




ike many others motoring through New Hampshire, I’ve often snickered at the signs lining the highways and byways with this important caveat: “Brake for Moose. It Could Save Your Life.” My typical reply is some variation of, “Gee, ya think?” Not any more. And I learned my lesson the hard way. It was a bluebird day in early June, almost 15 years ago. Literally, there was not a cloud in the sky. I was on the road in upstate New Hampshire, and the only thing I could have wished for to improve my mood was to be behind the wheel of

36 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

a convertible. I’d met an old friend for an early lunch in North Conway, and then began making my way along one of my favorite stretches of road anywhere — Route 16 through Pinkham Notch and Gorham and Berlin — on my way toward Errol. There, the plan was to head west on Route 26 toward Dixville Notch and my destination, The Balsams resort. My early evening, however, didn’t go according to plan. Shortly after 2, just past the tiny town of Dummer (population, 306), I noticed that I seemed to have the road all to myself. That’s the major reason

why the huge 18-wheel logging truck, fully loaded with fresh timber and heading south, caught my eye. “Man, that’s an enormous rig,” I thought. As the truck got closer, something else grabbed my attention — a large, dark blur off to my left. They say things sometimes slow down during a traumatic event, and that clearly was the case for me on this ill-fated evening. I recognized that the blur was a large animal — either bear or moose — and immediately began hitting my brakes. I distinctly remember thinking, “That 18-wheeler is going to obliterate that

They say things sometimes slow down during a traumatic event, and that clearly was the case for me on this ill-fated evening.

thing,” even as my trusty Subaru Outback started swerving ever so slightly. But the female moose was too quick for the logging truck. She sprinted across the road, and was directly in front of me when we crashed into each other. My fishtailing Outback struck her legs right at the driver’s-side headlights, avoiding a full head-on collision. The moose cow collapsed on the hood, crushing it. Fortunately, I had managed to stop quickly enough to prevent the moose from coming through the windshield, the cause of numerous fatalities.

In an instant, the moose slid off my Subaru’s front end, and I started to collect my thoughts. I couldn’t believe the airbags didn’t deploy (again, the result of the angle of the collision). I took a few deep breaths, and stepped out of the car. The logging truck? Long gone. I’m not even sure if the driver bothered to look in his rear-view mirror. The moose was crippled, groaning at the side of the road, and my heart sank. Then I looked at my car, and my lunch nearly came back up. Imbedded in the crushed left side of my Subaru were hundreds, if not thousands, of black flies, unwitting passengers the moose had brought to the accident. Underneath the car, fluid was pooling on the road. I had no idea what the damage was. I pulled out my ancient peanut-shaped cell phone to call AAA, figuring I needed a tow. Given the vagaries of cell service in New Hampshire’s remote north country (which mountain rescuers know all too well), my call got pinged to somewhere outside Hanover, near Dartmouth College. “I’m not sure what we can do for you,” said a polite young customer service representative. “Let me ask my manager. Please hold.” That’s when things got really weird. As I stood beside my badly damaged Outback trying to formulate my next move, a big heavy-duty pickup, painted a deep, glossy black with orange and yellow flames spreading across the hood and front fenders, pulled over behind me. Out stepped a character who looked like a squat version of the infamous WWE wrestler, Haystacks Calhoun. The driver was a wide man, with blue-jean overalls, flannel shirt with cut-off sleeves, a greasy baseball cap, and a full, scraggly beard. He looked at the moose, and then at me, as I pointed to the phone, signaling I was on hold. “Are you gonna keep that moose?” he asked. “What?” I replied, incredulous. “You gonna keep that moose?” he repeated, handing me a business card. “’Cause, if not, my brother in-law will take it. He’s a butcher, and he’ll send you 25 percent of whatever he sells the meat for.” Still holding my peanut phone, still on hold, still in disbelief, I muttered: “Sure, he can have the moose.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with this moose?” My bigger concern was, what am I going to do with this car? That’s when Haystacks said, “I think you can drive

it. Looks like only the windshield washer reserve got busted up.” I stuck the brother-in-law’s business card in my pocket, started up the Subaru, bid adieu to Haystacks, and limped north to L.L. Cote’s general store at the intersection of Routes 16 and 26 in Errol. There, I asked how I could find a police officer to file a report. A clerk told me to head over to the post office across the parking lot, and he would have the police chief meet me there. After sitting around for 90 minutes, I finally connected with the town’s part-time police chief. “Wait, this accident happened in Dummer,” he asked me. “That’s out of my district.” “Please, can you just cut me some slack?” I asked. “The front end of my car is a mess, and I just need an accident report for my insurance company.” “OK, OK,” he replied. “Have you been drinking?” “Drinking? It’s 2 in the afternoon,” I said, thinking that if I had been under the influence, I would have never stopped in time to prevent a worse outcome. Eventually, I got my report, and drove off to The Balsams. Along the way, a large male moose emerged, slowly, on the side of the road. Shaking, I crept past him, giving him as wide a berth as possible. He didn’t give me a second look. By the time I got to Dixville Notch, I needed a good, stiff drink. My colleagues for the weekend dubbed me “MK,” for “Moose Killer,” and everyone got a good laugh out of the episode (since only the Subaru sustained any permanent damage). But I knew I would never again laugh at those “Brake for Moose” signs. Ever. Once I got back home, I discovered the business card of Haystacks’ brother-in-law in the pocket of my jeans. I wrote him a quick email with my address — “What have I got to lose?” I told my wife — and then promptly forgot about it. About six weeks later, a nondescript envelope arrived in the mail, without a return address. I nearly tossed it out, figuring it was junk mail. Instead, I opened it. Inside was a check for $325, and a simple “thank you” on a Post-it note. Haystack’s brother in-law had kept his promise. And the moose, that poor, impetuous moose, at least covered the insurance deductible to have my Outback repaired. NH | May 2022 37



Monitoring appearances of the 603 on the media radar since 2006

N.H.’s Latest Jeopardy Champs BY CASEY McDERMOTT


hen she first got the call last September, Amy Bekkerman was sure she was being pranked. In fact, it was a producer from “Jeopardy!” After taking a test to be on the show more than a year earlier — before the pandemic, before her family relocated from Bozeman, Montana, to Durham, New Hampshire, before her second child was born — she was finally getting a chance to compete. And for Bekkerman, an academic copy editor who’d auditioned multiple times dating back to her college days at Dartmouth, it was a dream come true. “It was surreal, all-around,” she says. And while their paths didn’t cross on 38 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

the set of the beloved trivia competition, Bekkerman had some company from the Granite State on “Jeopardy!” this spring. Maureen O’Neil, an executive assistant who splits her time between Cambridge and Rye, also got a chance to compete after more than 20 years of trying out. Like Bekkerman, she didn’t go in with high expectations: Just the thrill of competing in one round would have been enough. “If I had flamed out in the first game, that would have been fine,” she says. On the contrary, O’Neil went on to win a four-game streak and $58,200 — a strong enough showing to make her eligible for a spot on the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions.

She took an informal approach to training, crediting decades of devotion to the game show, a love of pub trivia, and a lifetime of trying to outsmart her three brothers with helping to get her to this point. Her late mother’s adoration for Dorothy Parker didn’t hurt either: The sharptongued author was one game-winning answer, which O’Neil quickly recognized. “It would have been a real thrill for her,” O’Neil says of her mother. “I wouldn’t have been there without her.” Bekkerman, a librarian by training, made it through three shows before getting eliminated. But she was similarly satisfied just to be in the arena, likening the affirming, good-natured vibe among


Above: Contestant Amy Bekkerman with “Jeopardy!” host Ken Jenkins Inset: Contestant Maureen O’Neil

fellow competitors on set to the “Great British Bake Off.” Like O’Neil, Bekkerman also didn’t go into the show with a formal training plan. She watched “Jeopardy” with a retractable pen in hand, pretending it was a buzzer. She also flirted briefly with a flashcard trivia app before deciding wasn’t worth the stress. “I’m not sure if wanting to be on ‘Jeopardy’ is the way to learn new things,” she reasons. “I think you have to love learning new things to want to be on ‘Jeopardy.’” Still relatively new in town, Bekkerman says her turn on the game show hasn’t drawn too bright a spotlight, aside from some local press and buzz on social media — though she was heartened to be featured as the top story in the Durham town newsletter. “The whole point of this exercise was the experience, to just be able to go and do it and say that I’ve done it,” she says. “Everything else was a gift.” O’Neil, meanwhile, was pleasantly surprised when a stranger recognized her on one recent grocery outing. “I’m Market Basket famous,” she says, with a laugh. “Which was really nice, because everyone is super enthusiastic. And you know what? It’s been a really, sort of not great couple of years, and for people to have a good time and laugh and hopefully laugh along with me and get a kick out of it, that was an unexpected gift.” NH



Catch up on what you missed! Get the week’s top stories from around New Hampshire delivered right to you. NHPR.ORG/NHNEWSRECAP

Editor’s note: Check out more “Jeopardy!” happenings on page 12.



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Fill in the blanks: New Hampshire residents are alleged to _ _ _ _ _ more often than anyone else at Wordle, the buzzy online game of letters. If a recent study by WordFinderX is to be believed, Granite Staters have been known to cheat to find out the solution to the daily puzzle by Googling for clues. But maybe it’s a New England thing: Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine ranked high on the list of Wordle cheaters too.

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New Hampshire was well represented among the semifinalists for this year’s James Beard Awards, one of America’s most prestigious culinary honors. Chris Viaud, of Greenleaf in Milford, was among the most notable Emerging Chefs nationwide. Jeff Fournier, of Thompson House Eatery in Jackson, and David Vargas, of Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, were also nominated for Best Chef in the Northeast. Cheers to all!

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Experience all the best of the Granite State. To subscribe or advertise, call 603-624-1442. spring/summe

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N.H. Democrats Are in a Funk ... ... and it’s about to get worse



he 2020 election was uniquely bad for New Hampshire Democrats. Sure, Democrat Joe Biden easily won the state on his way to becoming president. Yes, Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen won a third term over a random carpetbagger. And, OK, both Democratic representatives won reelection, albeit one by the skin of his teeth. Those are not insignificant accomplishments. But partisans in no other state in the nation watched both their statehouse and state senate cede control to the other party the way New Hampshire Democrats did as Republicans rode the coattails of popular Republican governor Chris Sununu — who won reelection by a 2-1 margin. Indeed, Granite State Republicans haven’t had it this good in two decades. Conversely, Democrats haven’t had it this bad since then either. However, the hurt for Democrats was especially emotional. Since 2004, they have had the momentum, holding the governor’s office for a dozen years straight and often holding majorities in the Statehouse. The question wasn’t even about whether the Granite State would join the rest of New England in

40 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

being a reliable Democratic state. The only question was when that would happen. But after the 2020 elections, all of that momentum stopped. The makeup in the Statehouse began to resemble the days when Republicans dominated state politics for a century. After the whiplash, a quiet reality sank in among local Democratic activists. Next, they descended into a funk. There were even calls for state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley to either resign or just not run again. Buckley, the longest-serving Democratic Party chair in state history, has been a transformative figure in state politics, significantly increasing the amount of funds raised in local races. His methods were so effective, state Republicans discussed Buckley’s model at their own state conventions as a way to modernize their party to compete with Democrats. Republicans had some good election years recently, including 2010. But Democrats still had a Democratic governor in office who could veto items like the state budget. That Democratic momentum is all gone after the 2020 elections. And it’s about to get a lot worse for them.

Republicans were fully in charge of the redistricting of Statehouse and congressional seats for first time since 2002. They have used that power to essentially cement a Republican majority in both the Statehouse and the State Senate for the next 10 years. They also made it much more likely they will pick off the 1st Congressional District, held by Rep. Chris Pappas, a Democratic Party rising star. Importantly, Sununu is seeking reelection. It took months for a Democrat to even step up to challenge him. It is unclear if that Democrat, State Sen. Tom Sherman, will even face a primary, given conventional wisdom that the Democratic nominee will lose badly to Sununu. There are, of course, policy implications. During the first year of a Republican-run House and Senate with a Republican governor, they passed bold laws relating to abortion, school funding and taxes. Democrats could do nothing but protest to a rapidly shrinking local press corps. While politics in a swing state like New Hampshire will continue to ebb and flow, the deck is particularly stacked against Democrats in Concord right now, and there really isn’t much of an end in sight. NH

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Conservation Officer Mark Ober prepares a boat prior to releasing fish into Success Pond. A dead battery is just another challenge to overcome.

The Road to Success

The road to Success is not easy, but for fishing fans it’s not about the journey STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARSHALL HUDSON


here is only one way to reach Success, and it is a rough ride that will test your resolve and shake you to your core. I know, I’m on the road to Success. The unincorporated township of Success is located in Coös County, easterly of Berlin and snuggled up against the Maine border. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and there are some seasonal cabins, mostly located on Success Pond, which means there is an active seasonal population, but the 2020 census indicates that the township has a permanent population of four. That’s four people in 57 square miles. There is no town government, so oversight and governmental services are provided by the county and state. Success landowners pay their property taxes to the County of Coös, but with so few residents, the maintenance of the only road doesn’t seem to be a priority. I’ve joined a convoy of trucks hauling live fish into Success Pond from the State Fish Hatchery in Berlin. Leading the parade is

42 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

a New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist driving a pickup truck towing a boat and trailer. Two hatchery tank trucks loaded with fish to be stocked follow him. A conservation officer also towing a trailered boat is next, and I’m bringing up the rear with a truckload of “just-in-case stuff.” There are no convenience or hardware stores selling needed items on the road to Success, so it’s best to go prepared for anything. After six slow miles of pothole dodging on the washboard road and repeatedly bouncing my head off the roof of the cab, a posted sign warns me that ... the road will now get worse ... for the next six miles. Some joker has posted a “10 mph” speed limit sign, but we are barely doing 3 mph and anyone going faster than that must not like their truck (or their kidneys) very much. There are no service stations, rest stops, telephones or houses anywhere on the road to Success, so it’s wise to be kind to your truck. If you break down, you walk. Today’s adventure began with an

Fish culturist Jared Irwin hands a netful of trout to NHF&G biologist Andrew Schafermeyer.

early-morning arrival at the Berlin Fish Hatchery. It is a beehive of activity as trucks are being prepared and fish are being netted, checked, weighed and counted. Fish swimming freely in a pool don’t hold

Fish culturist Josh Curtis nets and weighs fish inside one of the covered fish raceways.

still for accurate counting, so we scoop up a few netfuls and weigh them, counting the number of fish in each net to determine the average weight and number of fish per pound. Trucks are then loaded based on pounds of fish and a mathematical conversion determines the approximate fish count. I join a bucket brigade passing netful after netful of fish from the pools up into the oxygenated water tanks on the trucks. From one of the raceways, we load 1,000 4-to-6-inch-long eastern brook trout. Brookies are easily recognized by their square tails and white lines on the front of their lower fins. Brookies are an important game fish and a symbolic figure in the heritage of New Hampshire. This native brook trout is also the official state freshwater fish. From another set of pools, we load 3,000

Fish culturist Alec Judge works the scales.

6-to-8-inch-long rainbow trout. The rainbows have a pink or red lateral band running from their cheek to their tail, and they glimmer and sparkle when they leap from the water. Rainbows are not native to New Hampshire; they were introduced here from California in 1878. Because rainbows tolerate warmer water temperatures, they do well in waters that are too warm for the brookies. We reposition the trucks, and from another set of raceways load 500 8-to-10inch-long brown trout. Brown trout have a dark, olive-brown coloration with black spots on their body, fins and tail. Brown trout favor the slower, deeper areas of lakes and ponds and thrive in cool water. They tend to grow bigger faster than the brookies and rainbows when their pre-

ferred diet of invertebrates and smaller fish is abundant. All of these fish are about a year and half old, and all are destined for Success. The desired species and specified numbers of fish to be stocked today was predetermined by the Fish and Game biologists but are raised and stocked by the hatchery personnel, with assistance from the local conservation officer who knows the best places for the tank trucks to gain access to the water. This hatchery is almost 100 years old, but it is not the oldest state hatchery. In 1877, New Hampshire’s first hatchery was established at Livermore Falls. Between 1883 and 1893, the number of state hatcheries expanded to 11. Today, there are six hatcheries spread out around the state, and collectively they produce nearly a million catchable-size trout each year, which are distributed to roughly 375 lakes and ponds and 1,473 miles of streams. Without the fish raised in these hatcheries, it is estimated the trout and salmon populations would be depleted in three to five years. Construction of this Berlin hatchery began in the 1920s and was continued throughout the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The hatchery was then operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service until 1982, when operations were turned over to the State of New Hampshire. Because the facility is located on federally owned land within the White Mountain National Forest, the hatchery functions under a special use permit that allows for operation of a state facility on federal land. An average of 200,000 fish are raised at this hatchery every year. Back at the launch site, battery jumper cables are needed from my just-in-case truckload of stuff when one of the boat motors acts ornery and won’t start. Plastic barrels are loaded into the boats, filled with water, and the bucket brigade begins again in reverse, this time passing netfuls of fish from the tank trucks down into the barrels in the boats. The boats tag-team, alternating loading at the launch, and zipping about the lake releasing fish from the barrels. By the end of the day, all 4,500 fish are in the pond enjoying their new freedom and first taste of Success. With the successful stocking mission behind us and a rough road ahead of us, we form up and convoy back to Berlin, testing our mettle on the road to Success once again. NH | May 2022 43


Sanctuary Photo and interview by David Mendelsohn Enter Chichester’s Live and Let Live Farm and you know that you’re somewhere magical. Smiling volunteers shoulder shovels and carry buckets. An open-air ark of rescued animals quack calmly, whinny wisely, and moo mellowly. Teresa Paradis, the “Noah” of this sanctuary for neglected, injured or simply abandoned livestock, adds empathy and compassion to every scoop of feed and bale of hay. Scoops and bales aren’t cheap, by the way, and it’s donors (like you?) who keep this ark afloat.

As a young girl growing up, I had two dreams. The first was to have a permanent place to call a home of my own. The second was to work for an animal rescue — one that would take care of, help and save horses. Live and Let Live is a rescue and sanctuary and, as such, any animal that does not get adopted will live out its natural life here. Our goal is to find homes for our animals. The only time that we make the decision to euthanize an animal is when they are terminally ill or injured and in pain with no hope for recovery. When an animal comes to Live and Let Live, they go through an evaluation process including medical checkups, and they receive required vaccinations, and flea and parasite treatments.

One of the more interesting was “Crooked Bill,” a goose with a deformed bill who was best friends with two mini horses. He’s quite a celebrity as both “New Hampshire Chronicle” and a Canadian film company have filmed him. The farm is a place of peacefulness where people can come to interact with the animals. They learn while helping the needy-but-loving animal friends here. One day I could be working in the office for most of the day, and the next day I could be out on a rescue, helping to repair a fence, working at a local event, or sitting with a horse who is experiencing colic. Whatever needs to be done at the time is what I do. Our volunteers come from everywhere. We have volunteers who have literally grown up here at Live and Let Live.

We welcome all kinds of domestic pets and farm animals on a regular basis, but occasionally we get some unusual or exotic animal. Over the years we’ve had emus, llamas, alpacas, parrots, reptiles, chinchillas and sugar gliders.

Since the pandemic, we are seeing many more local surrenders than in the past. Many can’t afford their care any longer or have had to move and couldn’t take their pets. The days are long and very busy and sometimes, yes, hectic. But the work is rewarding, heartwarming, fulfilling. It’s worth it.

The Art of Rescuing Farm Animals

The rescue and sanctuary at Live and Let Live Farm has been active since 1996 and sits on 70 acres in Chichester. Teresa Paradis has been director since its inception and has seen all kinds of amazing gestures of kindness from fellow animal lovers. In fact, drive into the farm and immediately on the right is a mural that occupies the gable end of a barn, welcoming both human and animal guests with a depiction of the bucolic life here. An artist couple from Boston (identified only as Erin and Dino) once reached out for help with a neglected calf destined for slaughter. They rented a truck, drove up to the Canadian border, packed it up, and delivered it to the farm. In gratitude, these artists lovingly painted the mural over the course of three or four years and come back often to maintain it. Posing in front of the mural is Nico, an older gelding, blind in one eye, in possession of a mischievous spirit, and a farm favorite. For more information or to donate (cash, hay, farm equipment, volunteer time), visit | May 2022 45



Shopping,dining,services & More

WE’VE GOT IT ALL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE – from picturesque small towns and bustling cities to the gorgeous White Mountains and ocean beaches. The following advertisers are doing their part to make our state the best place to live, offering valuable services, destination dining, entertainment, shopping and more. While you’re out exploring the state this summer, make sure to add these places to your list.

46 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Experience it all A destination for tax-free shopping and endless activities

Take a trip to the White Mountains and discover tax-free outlet shopping, local dining and experiences. Sprawl out around our common green spaces and find inspiration through public art and gardens. You never know what surprise is around the next corner. Outdoor ping pong, live music or a perfect mountain view. For trip ideas and lodging, visit

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BEST for shopping, glamping, outdoor theater and more around the Granite State, with the inside scoop from those who know New Hampshire best COMPILED BY THE STAFF OF NEW HAMPSHIRE MAGAZINE AND CELEBRITY GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

Gov. Chris Sununu with Lucky the dog at Heritage Farm Pancake House in Sanbornton

52 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Super 603s by Gov. Chris Sununu


rom the mountains to our lakes and beaches, and all the amazing New Hampshire small businesses in between, the Granite State has everything you could ever need to make a Super 603 Day of your own!

FOOD: With pancakes and maple syrup made from scratch, New Hampshire’s local pancake houses can’t be beat. A must-stop to start your day! For lunch, pop into a local diner where the food is always delicious, and there’s always someone new to meet with an interesting story to share. MUST-STOPS: The craft brewery scene has boomed in New Hampshire in the past few years. With hundreds of locations all around the state, you can find one virtually anywhere you go. Pick up some cans, bring them back home, and trade among your friends to keep the good times rolling. HIKING: If it’s early spring, pack up your skis and make the trek up Tuckerman Ravine. Otherwise, check out Mount Major, Mount Moosilauke, Mount Monadnock, Mount Sunapee — with hundreds of spots, the pick of the litter is yours. Hiking in the fall? Nothing beats the views from Table Rock. Need something a bit gentler? Try Cascade Park in Woodstock, Diana’s Baths in the Mount Washington Valley, or the beautiful Wolfeboro Rail Trail.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has been named the commencement speaker for New England College’s 2022 graduation ceremonies. In addition, the New England College board of trustees will award New Hampshire’s 82nd governor with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his years of public service to the great state of New Hampshire. New England College will celebrate its 76th graduating class of more than 500 students on May 14 at 10 a.m. on the Simon Green at the NEC Campus in Henniker.


SWIMMING AND BOATING: Start the day off with some boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, then make your way over to the seacoast and finish the day off with some sunset paddle boarding at Hampton Beach. What better way to wrap up the day than with a celebratory plunge into the Atlantic? | May 2022 53


Hannah Grimes Marketplace – During its 25 years, this Keene hub of all things local — from beer and wine to apparel and jewelry — has welcomed more than 1,000 artisans. You can trace their mission to support small, local businesses and the spirit of entrepreneurship back to local historical figure Hannah Grimes. Grimes was born in Keene in 1776, and while she’s likely not a household name outside of the state (or, really, outside of Keene), she was an advocate for small businesses and well-made, locally sourced goods. Beyond supporting vendors by offering a place to sell products of all types, the nonprofit, women-run Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship educates, supports and aids aspiring business owners. The center provides physical needs — such as coworking space and tools — plus assistance through their incubator, workshops (such as the Radically Rural Summit) and connections to useful resources. Soon you’ll be able to purchase select items online at, but make sure to stop by in person. Not only are there many more delightful things to discover in the store, you can also explore the wonderful fine art gallery as you shop. NH Made – Regular readers of the magazine, and especially our loyal newt spotters, are likely familiar with NH Made. Not only is New Hampshire Magazine a proud member, but these boosters of all things locally made have long supplied our monthly prize for hunting down all four of our red-spotted friends. (Mystified? See page 15 for details on the Spot the Newt contest.) 54 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Their recently overhauled website ( is a convenient place to shop and discover members, but don’t miss the new boutique on Deer Street in Portsmouth. It opened at possibly the worst moment — winter 2020 — but is happily still going strong. You can also visit the New Hampshire Stores at the 1-95 northbound and southbound NH Liquor & Wine Outlets in Hampton.

League member and glassblower Jordana Korsen

League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Galleries – With seven locations — Center Sandwich, Concord, Hooksett, Littleton, Meredith, Nashua and North Conway — there’s ample opportunity to enjoy (and maybe purchase) traditional and contemporary fine crafts made by some of the region’s most talented artisans. Each gallery is different, and they all carry various assortments of décor, jewelry, pottery, fiber arts, glassware, wood furniture, prints and even instruments. If one-stop-shopping is more your style, make plans to attend the 89th Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, August 6-14, at the Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury. Learn more about League members, this year’s fair or shop online at

WREN Local Works Marketplace – The Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) Local Works Marketplace on Main Street in Bethlehem features the work of more than 90 local member artists. They carry natural bath and beauty products, fine art prints, local books, pottery, spice blends, greeting cards, home décor and much more. Founded almost 30 years ago, the nonprofit organization offers more than just a lovely place to shop — they are dedicated to promoting and innovating rural economic development, and providing assistance and resources to local artists and entrepreneurs in the North Country. In addition to the marketplace, make sure to visit the Gallery at WREN, also located on Main Street. Visit for more information.

GENERAL STORES – From pickles and candy to dry goods and maple syrup, there’s nothing like the old-fashioned concept of buying (pretty much) everything you need at the general store. As a bonus, many include delis, so maybe show up hungry. The Brick Store – This Bath institution is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been in business since the early 1790s. There’s rich heritage here, not to mention tasty cheese, ice cream, homemade fudge, a deli, spice rubs, smoked meats and much more.



ver thought that you should make more of an effort to shop locally? Here’s a short list to get you started on the right track. The following stores are as local as it gets, selling New Hampshire-made products and supporting local artisans, brewers, winemakers and more.

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Darren Garnick’s Tacky Tourist Photos


op culture writer Darren Garnick, a longtime contributor to New Hampshire Magazine, celebrates corny vacation photos from family, friends and strangers on his “Tacky Tourist Photos” Instagram. His site curates the goofiest travel poses, from olde-time costume booths, interactions with statues, forced perspective shots, souvenir stands, roadside attractions, and offbeat signage around the world — but he also finds plenty of irresistible photo-ops closer to home. Here are Darren’s six favorite spots in the Granite State to snap “Tacky Tourist Photos,” which are pretty much the visual equivalent of “dad jokes.”

Calef’s Country Store – Calef ’s in Barrington has sold a variety of New England products since 1869, but this charming, historic shop may be best known for its cheese — the Snappy cheddar, specifically, which they age to sharp perfection in their cooler. Need some cheese advice or lunch? Visit the deli for both. Zeb’s General Store – While Zeb’s is much newer to the scene, this North Conway favorite embodies the spirit and experience of the classic general store, from the penny candy counter to nostalgic Moxie gear. Plus, you can’t beat the impressive variety of local and New England goods, including their own line of products. If you’re stumped when it comes to gift-giving, they also specialize in custom and pre-made gift baskets. The Old Country Store and Museum – Dating back to the 1700s, this Moultonborough institution has exactly what you’d expect — penny candy, cheese, pickle barrels — plus a huge range of cookware, memorabilia, New Hampshire tchotchkes, toys, hats, plaid shirts, candles ... you name it, it’s probably here.

“Beach Plum Lobsters (North Hampton/Epping/Portsmouth/Salem) — All locations of this popular ice cream and seafood stand feature a large wooden sculpture of a grinning lobster double-fisting ice cream cones. If you’re feeling macabre, you can pretend to feed him a plate of the Beach Plum’s award-winning lobster roll. Do the Polyanna Wave (Littleton) — Anchoring the lawn of the Littleton Public Library is a bronze statue of children’s book character Polyanna Whittier, an optimistic orphan girl who plays a “glad game” to jumpstart her daily gratitude and positivity. Pollyanna, who was created in 1913 by local author Eleanor H. Porter, now has her own townwide holiday every June. But you can mimic her statue’s “embrace the world” pose yearround. Extra points if you bring your own wide-brimmed hat. The Wolfman’s Hotel (Lincoln) — Perhaps the antithesis of Polyanna, the Wolfman is the surly hermit who chases the train ride through the woods at Clark’s Trading Post theme park. His “hotel,” an open-air cage with a dirt floor, taps into the odd tourist desire to be photographed behind bars. Kiss the Sphinx (Glen) — Story Land amusement park has one of the largest collections of Ancient Egyptian statues and props outside of Cairo or the British museums. It’s all for the ambiance of its “Splash Battle: Pharoah’s Reign” water ride. You can smooch with the Sphinx or do your best hieroglyphic poses with Egyptian royalty. New Hampshire’s Friendlest Rodents (Manchester) — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, have not one but two furry rodent mascots roaming the concourse: Fungo and Slider. The team is rebranding itself as the Manchester Chicken Tenders for one game this summer, so perhaps a poultry photo-op is also in the works. World’s Largest Box of Popcorn (Salem) — One of Canobie Lake Park’s concession stands is appetizingly shaped like movie popcorn. With a low-angle foreground shot, you can make your child appear to be Godzilla at snack time.”


Mont Vernon General Store – Originally opened in 1840, the Mont Vernon General Store briefly closed in 2011 but was quickly revived in 2012. Today, enjoy gourmet sandwiches named for famous Granite Staters, pick up heat-and-eat meals, shop for groceries (including beer and wine) or peruse local products, including honey, dairy, eggs, dip mixes, preserves and more. Harrisville General Store – This just might be the quintessential general store and, happily, we’ll likely be able to visit it for many years to come. Opened in 1838, it’s now owned by the nonprofit Historic Harrisville, which is dedicated to the preservation of the town’s mill buildings. The deli serves breakfast and lunch, plus offers themed take-home dinners each Friday (must be ordered in advance).

If you’d like to share your tackiest vacation snapshots with Darren, visit | May 2022 55


Fritz Wetherbee at one of his favorite haunts, the Acworth cemetery

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Fritz Wetherbee’s Crazy Love Affair With Odd Tombstones


ritz has entertained and informed New Hampshire audiences for more than half a century. He has written for newspapers and magazines, done radio commentary and reports, and made films and television shows about his home state. Few people know more about the Granite State. And besides, he is good at what he does. Fritz has been honored with three Emmy Awards. Last year he was given the gold for Outstanding Achievement as On Camera Talent in the whole of New England for his work on “New Hampshire Chronicle.” On top of that, he is a prolific writer on all things New Hampshire.

56 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Here Fritz shares his love of gravestones: In the Elm Street Cemetery in Milford, a gravestone tells us that Caroline Cutter, the woman buried there, was “murdered” by the deacons of the local Baptist Church.

In the graveyard behind the Surry Town Hall, there is a stone to “Ichabod Crane.” Not the Sleepy Hollow guy but rather a town selectman who died in 1866. Grabs your eye nonetheless.

In Washington, the gravestone of Fred Chase is incised with a communist “hammer and sickle.” In Lebanon, New Hampshire, there are two tombstones with “swastikas” carved on them. Washington also has a tombstone for “Samuel Jones Leg.” Yeah, they had a funeral for a leg. Also in Washington, there is a large sphere carved from granite. The name carved beneath the sphere is “Ball.”

I moved to Acworth because of an ancient cemetery here. I first came to do a story about a body stolen from the grave there. The corpse was that of 43-year-old Bezaleel Beckwith, who died on Halloween 1824. Couple weeks later, a local farmer named James Wilson Jr. disinterred the corpse and drove it across Vermont. There he sold it to the medical school in Castleton. Acworth folks knew Jimmy Wilson did


the dastardly deed because he was arrested for drunkenness on the streets of Castleton. Everyone in Acworth knew he was too poor to purchase any booze. Jimmy was brought back to Acworth, but Bezaleel’s body was never recovered. So charges were never filed. However, people avoided Jimmy Wilson for the rest of his life. Bezaleel Beckwith left a wife, Linda, and a 4-year-old son, Nathaniel. Later, Bezaleel’s friends raised money to erect a tombstone in the Acworth Cemetery. Incised on the marker:

This stone tells the death of Bezaleel Beckwith Not where his body lies, he died Oct 31, 1824, AE 43 The thirteenth night after his body was stolen from grave … And it concludes:

Erected by the friends of the deceased, In Acworth in place of one destroyed by some ruthless hand in Apr 1853 That day I first visited Acworth I discovered a property for sale just up from the graveyard. I purchased the house and moved in. Been here 18 years now. In the same cemetery as the Bezaleel Beckwith stone, you will find the graves of the McCollom family. Four children and the father all died in the spotted fever epidemic of 1812. Only the mother, Jane, survived. Their headstone reads:

Mouldering by their father’s side Four tender offspring lie. Entombed in Acworth’s frozen soil My husband an my children lie And there to sleep the sleep of death Til’ Christ the savior bids them rise ... PHOTO OF DEAN MERCHANT BY JARED CHARNEY / UFO PHOTO – UNCONFIRMED SOURCE

“Entombed in Acworth’s frozen soil” indeed.

NOTE: If you love tombstones nearly as much as Fritz Wetherbee, you may enjoy a Tombstone Scavenger Hunt we’ve compiled based upon some of his favorite grave markers, scattered around the Granite State. Visit us at for the online version of this story to play and you could win an autographed copy of Fritz’s book “Taken for Granite.”

Dan Brown needs people to find places


or my research I need people,” says world-famous author (and N.H. seacoast denizen) Dan Brown. “I use the Internet to figure out who to talk to so, certainly, places like UNH, Dartmouth and Philips Exeter [Academy] have specialists in a lot of different fields that are enormously helpful to me. As for inspiration, I always go to nature. I ‘wrote’ ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in the Gillespie Preserve Woods in Philips Exeter. I would walk every day with my dog and take notes with a Dictaphone. Now I go up and visit my father in the White Mountains and do the same thing. I walk in the woods with a different dog and my Dictaphone. I always laugh and think, if I ever lose this Dictaphone, someone is going to just have a heart attack, because I’m often walking quickly so I’m panting, and I’m saying things like, ‘So, you kill the Cardinal and you chop him to pieces …’ and they’ll think ‘Oh, my god. There’s a serial killer on the loose.’”

in some places, people need dan brown


rown has fans all over the world including another well-known New Hampshire resident: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. “Steven has been a friend for a while,” Brown says. “I met him at Bob Craft’s box at a Patriots game. We hit it off. I went to a bunch of his concerts. And I got this hilarious phone call once. I was up in the White Mountains with my dad, and my cell phone rings, and it’s Steven Tyler calling me from a jet, and he says, ‘Hey, the guys and I are landing in Rome. What should I see?’ And I thought, ‘I guess that’s how a rock star does it.’”

Dean Merchant’s Best Places to Spot UFOs: They’re Out There


s many UFO enthusiasts already know, New Hampshire is one of the hottest UFO properties in America, historically accruing some of the highest per capita number of sightings yearly. That fact, and the big role of Exeter, New Hampshire, in the history of ufology (look it up if you don’t know) are among the reasons that Dean Merchant and his wife Pamela started the Exeter UFO Festival in 2009. The festival was postponed for the past two years as we dealt with an invasion of MFOs (microscopic flying objects) during the Covid-19 lockdowns. The festival is back (September 3-4) and the UFOs never went away. Merchant provides a number of prime viewing spots in the online version of this story, and he says this about his home town’s appeal: “Exeter, New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War capitol, with its rich geopolitical history, brings into play the ‘Watering Hole Theory’ when it comes to visitations from out of our world. Since the 1940s, there have been reports of UFOs ranging from soccerball-sized shining orbs to behemoth vessels the size of aircraft carriers that are there one minute, gone the next. The hotspot includes the Court/Front Street area, and the extensive woods and swamplands of Phillips Exeter Academy, extending from Exeter to Kensington, site of the legendary 1965 ‘Incident at Exeter’ UFO sighting.” | May 2022 57




ew Hampshire has a rich summer theater tradition, including some of the longestrunning and oldest such theaters in the country. All of the many venues are worth a visit (check out our comprehensive guide at for suggestions and schedules), but if you’re looking to take in some fresh air along with a performance, here are some outdoor productions.

Opera North

This July, Opera North is celebrating not just the return of its unique Summerfest but a major anniversary — 40 years as the only full-time professional opera company in the tri-state region of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. From July 8 to 31, Opera North invites you to visit the extraordinary venue of Blow-Me-Down Farm on the banks of the Connecticut River in Cornish during four different performances. In 2017, the National Park Service chose Opera North to partner in the creation of a park for the arts at the 46-acre property, which is deeded to the adjacent SaintGaudens National Historic Park. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s great sculptors, and he lived seasonally in Cornish starting in 1885 and year-round from 1900 to his death in 1907. The sculptor’s friends — some of the most talented artists, musicians and writers in the country — joined him there, creating what became known as the Cornish Colony. Today, you can visit the gor58 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

geous home and grounds, which is sprinkled with Saint Gaudens’ sculptures. Opera North is reviving that artistic spirit, and Summerfest is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the exciting process. Summerfest kicks off with the showpiece “Carnevale,” July 8-10, a blend of high-flying circus aerialists, humor, slapstick and music held under the big tent. This year’s traditional opera performances, sung in Italian with English subtitles, are “Così fan tutte,” July 21-23 and “La Traviata,” July 27-31. Both feature the full Opera North orchestra. Wrapping up the season is “Bette, Babs & Beyond,” July 30, a tribute to Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and more. This is a special picnic concert on the farm’s lawn. Learn much more about the Cornish Colony and Opera North’s endeavors at Blow-Me-Down Farm in the story “The Cornish Colony Reborn” online at, and visit to purchase Summerfest tickets.

Winnipesaukee Playhouse

Newer to the theater scene, the nonprofit, award-winning Winnipesaukee Playhouse was founded in 2004, and was soon regarded as a cultural gem. While you should definitely check out the beautiful 194-seat theater (housed in a can’t-miss bright-red barn building), there’s something special about catching an outdoor show on a warm summer evening after a day on the lake. This summer and into early September, three shows are planned for the outdoor amphitheater in Meredith: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]” from June 29-July 9, “Robin Hood” from August 3-13, and “The Conference of the Birds” from September 7-17. Learn more at Advice to the Players: If the Shakespearean whirlwind at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse piqued your curiosity, Advice to the Players should be your next stop. This nonprofit troupe of professionals, enthusiastic community members and teens brings the challenging yet rewarding words of the Bard to life in a number of ways, but each summer they perform one play outside in Sandwich. This year, the mainstage production is “All’s Well That Ends Well,” running during Sandwich Old Home Week in August. Visit for more information.

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Victoria Arlen’s Take on the Big Lake

Jean’s Playhouse

The nonprofit North Country Center for the Arts at Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln offers entertainment from Memorial Day through the end of the calendar year, but summer theater is a highlight. This year, the White Mountains will come alive with “The Sound of Music” as the beloved classic is performed outside at Loon’s Pemi Base Camp July 7-9. The area’s natural beauty will serve as backdrop for the musical, which is accompanied by a six-piece band. Find details at

Great North Woods Center for the Arts

This nonprofit center in Columbia is an indoor and outdoor performance space that hosts concerts, plays, art shows, arts and crafts activities, community events and even overnight accommodations for visiting artists and performers. It’s also the home of two other North Country groups, the Connecticut River Artisan Group and the Carriage Lane Players. As of press time, plans were still underway for the 2022 season, but expect a wide range of entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Keep an eye out for the calendar at


ictoria Arlen’s life drastically changed in 2006 at the tender age of 11 when she developed two rare conditions that left her paralyzed from the waist down. The Exeter native went on to defy the odds and not only recovered but has since become an accomplished motivational speaker, television host and swimmer. Her swimming resume includes three silvers and a gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as multiple world, American and pan-American records. Then in 2015, Arlen made the transition from athlete to sportscaster and joined ESPN as one of the youngest on-air talents. A year later, after spending nearly a decade in a wheelchair, she learned to walk again — and then some. In 2017, she stepped up her dance skills as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.” Now, when back home in New Hampshire, her must-do list includes spending as much time in the Lakes Region as she can. Here are four of her favorites. “If you are an avid skier and hiker, I recommend Gunstock Mountain because it gives you the best of both worlds. Each season has different outdoor adventures to embark on. Lake Winnipesaukee is my favorite place in New Hampshire. You can never go wrong with a day on Lake Winni. There are plenty of swimming spots and towns you can dock at and explore. Some of my favorite spots on the lake are downtown Wolfeboro and Meredith. One of the best crêpe cafés I have ever been to is 48 Main Cafe & Creperie in Meredith. I always get an almond milk vanilla latte and a honey butter and lemon gluten-free crêpe. (Although, if I’m being honest, all of their items are delicious!)

Don’t forget to stop at Bayberry Juice Bar in Wolfeboro for a yummy smoothie or juice, and catch a show at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford for a fun night out.”

Prescott Park Arts Festival

Held on the banks of the Piscataqua River in historic downtown Portsmouth, this 10-week-long family-friendly celebration of the arts includes everything from film and concerts to dance and theater. The annual musical is the festival’s centerpiece, and while as of press time this year’s play had not been announced, past selections include “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Peter Pan.” With more than 30 performances, you’ll have plenty of chances to spread your blanket on the grass to take in the spectacle under the stars. See for more information.

M O R E O UTD O O R ENTE RTAI NM E NT Northlands Music & Arts Festival

This outdoor music festival is held on the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey from June 24-25. See for more details, including information on camping and other accommodations.



New England’s largest Christian music festival takes place on the beautiful grounds at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford from August 4-6. Visit for the 2022 lineup, information on camping, tickets and more.

Milford Drive-in Theater

Admission is $30 per car (up to six people). Milford,

Weirs Drive-in Theater

Admission is $30 per car (up to four people, $5 per each additional person). Laconia,

Northfield Drive-in

Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children under 12, or add a dollar to each for the triple feature (cash only). Hinsdale, | May 2022 59

Best Place to Hear All Kinds of Music


Jordan TW and Jim Prendergast, his cohost for Irish night at the Stone Church since 2012


utting a fresh spin on traditional Irish music, the Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio delivers a dynamic show full of foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes and classic sing-alongs. Fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki is joined by fellow New Hampshire natives Matt Jensen on guitar and Chris Noyes on upright bass. Their shows blend traditional Celtic music with their own original material, drawing on multiple genres to produce a unique sound. Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki shares his views on why the Stone Church is one of his favorite places to play and to hear live music: “When you mention The Stone Church in Newmarket to just about anyone, you tend to get the same reaction: ‘Oh, I love that place! I have such great memories there!’ It was already a legend long before I first crossed the threshold on a Tuesday night in the mid-2000s, stumbling upon an epic bluegrass jam. In the years since, I’ve been lucky enough to perform nearly 500 shows there. I’ve played with rock bands, funk bands, jam bands and country bands and Grateful Dead cover bands. And, of course, there was the weekly Irish Night that I hosted with my good friend Jim Prendergast for nearly eight years until the pandemic. Within those stone walls, I forged new friendships, fell in love, and introduced my children to the joys of live music. What continues to make the place so special is the way the owners and staff really seem to care about what they have there. They’ve worked incredibly hard to keep their unique venue alive during the dark days of the pandemic, adapting to the circumstances and seizing opportunities to expand and upgrade so they can continue to offer quality music and good food to their many loyal patrons. The Stone Church is now going stronger than ever! Next time you find yourself on the seacoast, do yourself a favor and make your way up Zion Hill to check it out. No matter what your musical taste, you’ll be glad you did.”

60 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Greg Kretschmar’s Picture-perfect N.H.


reg Kretschmar is best known in New Hampshire as the host of the radio show “Greg and The Morning Buzz,” but he’s also an accomplished photographer. A lifelong New Hampshire resident, he started taking photos as a hobby in 2008. Today, he’s built a portfolio of images that capture the beauty of New England and the Granite State. TAMWORTH: “Tamworth is one of the most beautiful towns in N.H., and it has such a laid-back country vibe that you can feel once you’re there. Mt. Chocorua looms over her and turns every season into a classic New England picturesque setting. Whenever I travel up Route 16, I make it a point to veer off to find roads I haven’t traveled there, and each time Tamworth shows me something new that is well worth the journey.” PORTSMOUTH: “I could write a book about what I love about Portsmouth. It’s one of the true gems of New England, let alone New Hampshire. It’s rich in history. So much so, you can feel it when you walk down the streets, or through Strawbery Banke. And as rooted as the city is in history, it’s also a vibrant, entertaining place to live. And as beautiful as she is in the daytime, Portsmouth comes alive at night. It’s a beautiful place for a nighttime walk with plenty of great restaurants and watering holes that make for a perfect summer night. Portsmouth is my second home town, and I love her.” NEW CASTLE: “What New Castle lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and beauty. This little island is the perfect place to watch the sunrise over Portsmouth Harbor Light, or watch the fishing and lobster boats head out to sea from the New Castle Commons. I have taken hundreds of photographs in and around it, and each time I go there, New Castle gives me something special.”

You can visit Greg’s website at to see these photos in detail, along with more of his work. You can also purchase prints of his photos there as well.


SUGAR HILL: “As a lifelong resident of N.H., and someone who loves to photograph her, I can tell you that there are few places that you can actually ‘feel,’ and Sugar Hill is one of them. As soon as you pass through Franconia and get off I-93, you can sense the vibe of this beautiful little town. It has a soul you can feel. And while it’s famous for the Lupine Festival and Polly’s Pancakes (rightfully so, by the way), she is beautiful in every season (and the folks who live there are nice as well!). Even at 17 degrees below zero, as when this photo was taken [below, right]. Sugar Hill is one of my favorite towns in all of N.H.” | May 2022 61


Erin Fehlau and her family atop West Rattlesnake Mountain

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Favorite Picks for Family Hikes by Erin Fehlau


osting “New Hampshire Chronicle” on WMUR-TV for the past decade has given me the opportunity to travel all around the state. There are so many wonderful places to visit in the 603. Some of my favorite spots can’t be reached by car. You’ve got to take a hike! Hitting the trails is a great way connect with the natural beauty of the Granite State. As a mom of three, I’ve also found that there is no better way to get kids to disconnect from their devices and connect with you than to lace up the sneaks and tackle a trail or conquer a mountain. Not to worry, you don’t have to be an expert. These are some easy, family-friendly hikes with the most amazing views ... small hikes with a big payoff! Mt. Kearsarge – This is the perfect hike for beginners. If you take the auto road from Rollins State Park in Warner, your car does most of the work. The short half-mile trek takes you past a frog pond, through the woods and ends with incredible views of the Lake Sunapee Region. The auto road reopens in the spring. My kids will never let me forget the time we showed up when the gate was still down. You can still hike the 3.5-mile road to the top — so that’s what we did — making for a memorable adventure. Make a day of it by stopping at the New Hampshire Telephone Museum in Warner. Your kids will be amazed to see the extensive collection of phones, from the very first ones to the trendy ones we’ve dialed through the decades.

62 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

West Rattlesnake Mountain – The trailhead is near the entrance to RockywoldDeephaven Camps in Holderness. The two-mile trail takes you over some bridges and up a number of steps through the woods. At the top you’re in for breathtaking views of Squam Lake. This was our pup Zuzu the Shih Tzu’s very first hike.

loop, we make a day of it. At the top, check out the gorgeous views of Lake Winnipesaukee that make the trek worth every step. You never know who you’ll run into up here. One time we discovered a fiddler serenading people at the summit. Only in New Hampshire!

Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain – Do one of these short hikes (or both) by following the 1.5-mile loop. From the top of each one you can marvel at the stunning views of Franconia Notch and Cannon Mountain. When we’re up here, we like to stop by to see the waterfalls at The Basin, which is a fun spot to explore at all times of the year.

Arethusa, Coliseum and Bemis Brook Falls – Waterfalls, waterfalls and more waterfalls! The Arethusa Falls trail in Crawford Notch starts out very easy. It takes you by Coliseum Falls and Bemis Brook Falls. From there it gets much more challenging. If you’re up for it and power through, you won’t be disappointed when you make it to the spectacular Arethusa falls.

Mt. Major – This hike near Alton Bay is a family favorite. When taking the 3.7-mile

So be safe, pack a lunch, and please — take a hike!



h, camping: crisp mountain air, pristine lakes — and, you know, sleeping on the ground and using a tree as a bathroom. If you want a sleepover in the great outdoors this summer without a great headache, one of New Hampshire’s glamping outfits (that’s “glamorous camping” for the uninitiated) might be for you. Here are our favorite spots for a not-so-rustic retreat.

Alpine Garden Camping Village & Winery, Bartlett

back porch and paneless window views that overlook Bear Brook that runs through the property. While there is plenty to enjoy right there, including tours of the winery on weekends, there are also plenty of opportunities for adventure in the surrounding area. “We are roughly two miles from Attitash Mountain Resort, which offers summer activities like an alpine slide and horseback riding, and we are 15 minutes to the heart of downtown North Conway and its abundance of shopping and restaurants,” says Classen. “Our property is also surrounded by thousands of miles of hiking as we are adjacent to the Kancamagus Highway, and we are close to other local attractions like the Saco River, Crawford Notch, Conway Scenic Railroad, Story Land and more.” It will be tough to run out of things to do and sights to see when you visit Alpine Garden, and the Goff family is looking forward to sharing a piece of their home and hometown with you. “We can’t wait to see people’s reactions to what we’ve created here,” says Classen. “It’s so rewarding to see our dreams and visions come to life, and we can’t wait to welcome guests into them.”, @alpinegardenglamping continued


The Goff family are no strangers to the camping business, having run the Glen Ellis Campground for over 40 years. Now they’re pursuing a new family business endeavor, Alpine Garden Camping Village & Winery set to open in Bartlett on May 13. “My entire family grew up in Bartlett, so it’s sweet to be back in the same town doing what we know and love again together,” says managing partner Bri Classen. “My brother, Ryan, has been making his own natural wines and ciders on our family property for 13 years. I’m excited to be a part of the third generation and bring glamping to the onsite winery this year.” Alpine Garden Glamping will be open from May through midNovember and includes four pods, three cabins, a treehouse (with another being built this fall), and even an onsite heated pool. Each pod and cabin will have its own full bathroom complete with a shower, sink and toilet, a queen-size bed, combined AC and heat unit, fire pit, standing charcoal grill, record player, linens and sheets, parking spot and mini bar stocked with their own wine and cider. The first tree house, which will be completed in June, features two stories and a front porch. There will be accommodations on the first and second floor with a master bedroom area, sleeping nook,

Each cabin at Alpine Garden will include a full bathroom and queen-size bed, and amenities such as a fire pit, record player and mini bar stocked with wine and cider. | May 2022 63

BE ST PL AC E S FO R G L A MP I NG Lodging at Hub North includes yurts and canvas tents with real beds, community kitchens, and easy access to hiking and biking trails.

to French wine and a hip Airstream trailer that dishes out crêpes at breakfast and wood-fired pizzas at dinner.

Getaway Blake Brook

Our stay-at-home lives were paradoxically both isolating and over-connected. As many turned to screens big and small to work and talk to family and friends, unplugging became even more difficult. Getaway Blake Brook in Epsom has the solution. Amenities and features at these fully furnished tiny cabins include a huge picture window, two queen beds, shower, drinking water, AC and heat, electric toilet, mini kitchen, fire pit and, crucially, a lockbox for your cell phone. If you do crack and bust out a device, you won’t find any Wi-Fi. Campers can enjoy the restorative aspects of nature in comfort and without any electronic interruptions. Cabins are situated 50 to 100 feet apart on 20 acres of Bear Brook State Park, so human interaction is kept at a minimum. However, should you find yourself craving a little company, the excellent Blasty Bough Brewing is within walking distance. getaway-blake-brook 64 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Huttopia, White Mountains This 61-site campground offers New Hampshire’s truest glamping experience. Accommodations range from modest two-person tents to two-bedroom chalets, but the best option is their Trappeurs. These luxury tents each have a personal fire pit, separate sleeping and living spaces, a modest kitchen and, best of all, indoor plumbing. Many tents and cabins sit directly on the shores of Iona Lake, where you can take the campground’s canoes and paddleboards for a spin if you’ve tired of the onsite pool. Other amenities include a canteen stocked with everything from s’mores supplies

Sanbornton Glamping Tent

The internet’s favorite vacation rental service is teeming with options for outdoor-adjacent escapes, from sprawling Winnipesaukee lakehouses to earthy yurts. One of our favorites? An all-seasons tent on an isolated plot in Sanbornton boasting décor straight out of Kinfolk (linen, succulents and dreamcatchers, oh, my). Check out to read more about this site and others that are scattered throughout the Granite State.

Huttopia offers two-bedroom chalets or luxury tents, with a modest kitchen and indoor plumbing.


Hub North

Glamping lovers and adventure seekers need to know about Hub North in Gorham. It has everything you need, including glamping sites, a cozy lodge, communal kitchens, serene spirit and location that is minutes away from hiking trailheads in the northern Presidential Range of the White Mountains. Each yurt or canvas bell tent has real beds, full kitchens, glam showers, and an opportunity to bike in and bike out (not to mention a sky full of endless stars).

“The snuggle is real” at this secluded Wilton campsite. Available for private rental, the site is outfitted with a large 10' x 12' canvas tent set on a raised platform with screening underneath to keep pests and insects at bay, and a front porch area that overlooks the Souhegan River. Inside the tent, there is a bunk bed with two queen air mattresses, matching end tables with storage space, and a wood-burning stove to help take the edge off of chilly spring or summer morning. The Snug Life also offers a camp “loo” that has been placed in a single-person privacy tent, and is set back 15 feet from the tent itself. Sit back in your Adirondack chairs and enjoy a fire in your raised fire pit while listening to the sounds of the river rushing by.


Snug Life Camping

THE INSIDER’S SCOOP: Spectacular Spooky Spots by J.W. Ocker


y family likes to sojourn through the spooky spots of the state, the places that are full of the ghostly and the dead and the strange, the Halloween side of New Hampshire: eerie ghost towns, ghastly graveyards, creepy bogs.

Forrest Hill Cemetery in Derry

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New Ipswich, where we learned that “Mr. Gilman Spaulding was kill’d with an ax by an Insane Brother”). We treat these graveyards like town parks, except it’s only ever crowded six feet beneath. But more than old stones will tempt us outside. The promise of carnivorous plants will do it too. To see those, we hit the bog trails — no waders required. The Fosaith Forest Nature Trail in Chester and the Ponomah Bog Trail in Amherst employ a path of narrow planks laid over the swamp so that you can walk out as dry as Jesus on the ocean and see turtles, water birds and three different varieties of meat-eating plants: pitcher plants, sundews and bladderworts. Of course, it’s not Halloween without treats, so after hours spent among the ruined and the dead and the flesh-eating fauna, we love a good specialty sweet shop. Like the castle of candy that is Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery in Dover. Or North Conway’s Tricks and Treats, a Halloween-themed ice cream shop. There’s Chutters in Littleton, with its 112-foot-long candy counter (a Guiness World Record!) or Pearls Candy & Nuts in Salem, which is full of delectables from decades past. But, honestly, with all that nature, all that history, all those gummy worms, you don’t have to be the Addams Family (or the Ocker Family) to have a blast at these places.


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The state has a few 18th- and 19thcentury ghost towns that you don’t need to hack your way through unexplored forest clutching old, faded maps to find (important if you’re visiting with small goblins). In the ghost town of Monson in Hillsborough County, the first ancient cellar hole to see is mere steps from a parking lot. Livermore in Grafton County is just off the side of a road. Thornton Gore, also in Grafton County, is less than a mile ramble through an easy forest trail to get to its graveyard, mill ruins and small waterfall. And while a graveyard in a ghost town might seem the apex of ooky, New Hampshire has some absolutely creeptastic old graveyards. Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry is a favorite of ours, with its weathered tombstones covered in ancient morbid art (skulls that look like Jack Skellington!). Old North Cemetery in Concord is good enough for Franklin Pierce and good enough for us. And Point of Graves and South Street Cemetery, both in Portsmouth, make me want to be buried by the sea. But just about any old graveyard in the state will do. While within their ominous gates, we make games of finding the oldest stone or the grave of a famous person, we place bets on which funerary statue is haunted, and try to find the strangest epitaph (which so far might be in Central Cemetery in


Best Family Fun Treks


hey say there’s fun and adventure in every direction in New Hampshire. Sean McDonald of WMUR’s nightly magazine program “New Hampshire Chronicle” may even be the person who said it. Here are his favorite places — in all four directions:

“One of the best parts of the working on ‘Chronicle’ is getting to experience different parts of the state and then sharing them with my own family. Go West: One of my favorite activities is similar to so many. I love tackling the White Dot Trail on Mount Monadnock. Fun fact: I followed up a hiker who held a record for the hiking Monadnock. With his speed. Keeping up left me sore for days. Travel East: One of my favorite things to do is enjoying the sandbars at Hampton Beach State Park. I’ve spent several days charging my way through the channels of water brought in by high tide. This one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever visited. Of course, we always go for a fried clams or ice cream too.


Head North: There are so many natural playgrounds in the mountains of N.H. I love. I’ve only tackled a couple 4,000-footers, but stay tuned — they are all my my bucket list. We’ve taken many trips to Santa’s Village and Story Land over the years. As a way to cool off, my kids always love checking out the waterfalls in Jackson and at Diana’s Baths.

J.W. Ocker is the award-winning author of nonfiction travelogues, including “The New England Grimpendium,” “Cursed Objects” and the upcoming “The United States of Cryptids.”

Go South: There is nothing better than getting outside on a warm summer afternoon to unwind. We love grabbing a pizza from a local shop and having a picnic by Lake Massabesic. There are countless walking and biking trails we can tackle afterwards to burn off our meal. Not mention the birding at the nearby Audubon is fantastic.” NH | May 2022 65

CITIES ON CITIES HAVE HISTORY. And histories, like life, are full of ups and downs. Cities will rise, decline and, with luck, rise again. New Hampshire is chock-full of cities with remarkable histories, with fortunes that have ebbed and flowed over the decades and the centuries. Today, on the heels of a lingering two-year pandemic, a number of Granite State cites have defied ennui and continue to flourish. Perhaps the best indication of a “city on the rise” is a vibrant arts scene. That can be the culinary arts, the visual arts and the performing arts (music and theatrical). All are important, and all contribute to a city’s general health and vitality. ➔ BY BRION O’CONNOR 66 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

THE RISE Above: Manchester skyline by Sean Pavone / Left to right: Currier Museum of Art in Manchester / Positive Street Art in Nashua / Recycled Percussion in Laconia / Sassy Biscuit in Dover | May 2022 67




anchester, the state’s largest city, has seen all the highs and lows of an urban center. During the 1970s and ’80s, as I was collecting my high school diploma from Manchester Central, the Queen City was experiencing the odd spasms of growing pains, with the massive textile mills along the Merrimack River falling into greater disrepair, and the mall sprawl stretching south toward Derry. It was difficult for me, an unabashed fan of the city’s economic anchor of Elm Street, to watch while businesses along this main thoroughfare withered. Today, almost a half century later, Manchester’s downtown is again turning heads. Much of that has to do with an infusion of creative energy and good old-fashioned capital. Carol Robidoux, editor and publisher of Manchester Ink Link, says it’s nothing short of a cultural renaissance. “Coming out of Covid, I’m seeing a ripple of new businesses opening their doors with

68 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

a focus on social connection — The Goat, Angel City Music Hall, Diz’s Café, Industry East, Boards & Brews,” says Robidoux, who moved to the city in 2001. “The Shaskeen has always been that kind of place where the back of the house provides a mix of entertainment options. The Factory is bringing a distillery and an amphitheater to the south end of Elm Street, and is focused on creating a community around the arts.” Robidoux also points to the Bookery, XO, To Share, HopKnot, and Stark Brewing, which have been “hosting some cool community spaces for everything from author talks and SEE Science Center’s monthly Science on Tap to Saint Anselm’s Center for Ethics in Society philosophical discussions,” says Robidoux. “Even the Currier Museum has renewed its mission to connect with community in unexpected ways, striving to be truly accessible, including after-hours events, community festivals, and a ‘back door’ music venue,” she adds. “And speaking of museums, the Millyard Museum is seeing an uptick in membership that’s trending

younger, attracting a generation interested in connecting the dots of history.” Elizabeth “Liz” Hitchcock, a partner with her husband in the Orbit Group and a driving force behind The Bookery and Pinwheel Properties, including Factory and 848 Elm Street, says there’s a real synergy in the Queen City currently, uniting the arts and businesses. She sees the growth of retail businesses and housing downtown as “the linchpin to continuing growth in Manchester,” she says. “Selfishly,” adds Hitchcock, “I also love the work that the arts organizations have been doing in Manchester as well, between the neighborhood block party at the Currier to The Rex at the Palace Theatres and the work that Bookery Manchester is doing. We know that arts is always the touchstone for growth in communities, and we have creatives in spades in Manchester.” Stephen Thiel, Southern New Hampshire University’s assistant vice president of community impact, says there’s “a lot of entrepreneurial spirit flowing through the city, which can be seen in new busi-


The Rex is the Palace Theatres’ new 300-seat venue. The Currier Museum’s Art After Work program includes free exhibition tours and gallery admission to the museum, live music in the Winter Garden Café, happy hour drink specials, and a full menu available for purchase every Thursday night.

says. “Each of these developments speak to a focus on collaboration that’s permeating through the city that was supercharged during the pandemic.” Enthusiasm for change and growth can be found at all levels, Thiel says. “Businesses are stepping up to support schools, residents and local leaders are improving mobility through groups such as Manchester Moves,” he says, referring to the volunteer trail organization working to connect the city to the rest of the state via trails and greenways. “And city and federal officials are working to bring needed infrastructure investments to this region,” he says. “It’s heartening to

see this collaboration continue.” Like the mills along the Merrimack River, that type of collaboration has deep roots in Manchester. “The beauty of Manchester is it’s a smalltown big city — people want to feel connected, they want more social spaces, more walkability and mobility options, they want local shopping options, and, yes, a train to Boston,” says Robidoux. “The people who are changing the face of the city come from all corners of art and industry and education and civil service.We are fortunate to have so many ambitious, intelligent and caring citizens.That’s what will continue to lift us up.” ➔


nesses like The Terracotta Room, new bars like Industry East, and new restaurants like Diz’s Café.” Those businesses, he says, not only provide an entertaining day or night out on the town but can also inspire others to become small-business owners. “It’s easy to get excited by the work of Manchester Proud [a citywide movement working in close partnership with school district leadership and the Board of School Committee] helping to share the great work happening in our public schools or by nonprofits opening new facilities like Friends of Aine [a bereavement support group] or Girls at Work [an empowerment program],” Thiel

Bookery General Manager Benjamin Pasley with customers at the bookstore and café on Elm Street. A few doors down at Diz’s Café, you’ll find Billy Martin, left, and Gary “Diz” Window behind the counter, ready to serve their homestyle dishes. The Goat offers a classic country vibe, and offers burgers, a large whiskey selection, homestyle brunch, and live entertainment seven nights a week. | May 2022 69


outh of Manchester, the Gate City of Nashua has grown by leaps and bounds in the past four decades, evidenced by the construction of two new high schools (Nashua North and the Academy for Science and Design) and a rejuvenated downtown. “I’ve always liked Nashua,” says Jennifer Woodhead, who recently moved from Pelham to the Gate City with her husband, Jamie, and their three children, Tommy, Lauren and Kristen. “When we learned about Academy for Science and Design,

70 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

and given Tommy’s interest in engineering, the option of living in Nashua opened up to us,” she says. “The academy has been rated the No. 1 high school in New Hampshire for many years and was the No. 1 middle school this year, as well,” she adds. “It’s a National Blue Ribbon school. I think it’s a hidden gem.” But the appeal of Nashua extended far beyond the schools for this young family. “I liked the thought of living in Nashua because our lives would be contained in one community,” says Woodhead. “In Pelham, our lives were scattered — friends all over,



shopping in Salem, going out in Lowell. I wanted our family to feel more a part of the community where we live.” There are other perks too, she says. “The restaurant scene is great, with all types and ethnicities. Martha’s Exchange is probably the most well known, a popular restaurant that is also a brewery. Surf and Michael Timothy’s are the popular upscale choices. And there are two great Irish pubs — Casey McGee’s and The Peddler’s Daughter.” This year, the list of attractions will introduce a new headliner, as the city plans to unveil the Nashua Center for the Arts, a 750-seat theater built right on Main Street. It’s the culmination of a collaboration of the city’s nonprofit arts organizations, coupled with encouragement from the Nashua Arts Commission, to “make the arts more accessible to all,” says Judy Carlson, a retired hightech advertising executive and active arts advocate for the past decade, serving on the Nashua Arts Commission and as secretary of Nashua Community Arts. “Nashua already is New Hampshire’s most creative community but needs to be known as a destination for the arts,” says Carlson. “It has more public art than any other city in New Hampshire, with murals and over 30 sculptures gifted by the artists of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium.” Nashua is also home to Symphony NH, celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, the Peacock Players, the state’s premier youth theater company, the annual Greeley Park Arts Show and ArtWalk, which is southern New Hampshire’s largest arts festival. That thriving arts scene is the result, in part, of a consistent, nonpartisan effort over the terms of Mayor Donnalee Lozeau and Mayor Jim Donchess, along with Nashua’s Board of Alderman, to prioritize the new Nashua Center for the Arts “and making repairs and upgrades to 14 Court Street that hosts community theater, arts organizations and new artist studios,” says Carlson. “I’d like to see the city continue to support community arts organizations with further enhancements to 14 Court Street and keeping the Edmund Keefe Auditorium as a performance venue,” she says. “But we were missing what other cities like Portsmouth and Concord have — a state-of-the-art performance center to draw both residents and visitors to the city.” Rich Lannan, president of Nashua Community Arts, the nonprofit behind the Nashua Center for the Arts, agrees, saying


Scheduled to open in the fall of 2022, the Nashua Center for the Arts is presently under construction. Its modern design and amenities meet the needs for an intimate audience experience. This 750-seat venue is located in the heart of downtown Nashua, right on Main Street.

the Arts will be managed by Spectacle Live, and the firm’s president, Peter Lally, says he sees nothing but potential in Nashua. “As the center transitioned from dream to planning to construction, I’ve spent much more time in Nashua and have observed a great energy and dedication surrounding the arts center and the downtown,” says Lally. “I’m very excited that Spectacle gets the opportunity to be a part of the exciting future and positive energy of downtown Nashua.” ➔

Founded in 1923, Symphony NH is the premier symphony orchestra of the Granite State.


the new venue “will add a whole other tier of art, performances and culture to the city.” Lannan adds that a half-dozen new businesses — including restaurants, a candle shop, a men’s boutique and more — recently opened downtown, “and that’s in the middle of a pandemic,” he notes. “The addition of the performing arts center is only going to make all the businesses thrive even more and be a desirable place for others to locate their businesses in Nashua,” he says. Day-to-day operations at the Center for

Along with a great restaurants, Nashua has bragging rights to having more public art, including murals and sculptures, than any other city in the state. Pictured are “Young Heroes” at Nashua PAL by Positive Street Art and “La Familia” by Tony Jimenez at Park Social at Labine on Pine Street. | May 2022 71




o the north, the college town of Plymouth has rallied around The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center and Common Man Inn & Spa, which has spawned a number of outstanding spin-off spots, such as the intimate Six Burner Bistro situated in an 1850s-era farmhouse on Main Street (run by former Common Man staffers, including chef Sam Smyth). But if you’re traveling north on Interstate 93, you owe it to yourself to stop by the emerging lakeside city of Laconia. Perhaps known best for its famed Motorcycle Week every June (which dates back to the original Loudon Classic motorcycle race in 1916) and Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, Laconia is developing an admirable year-round reputation in the arts and entertainment realm. One great example is the 761-seat Colonial Theatre. First opened in 1914 (two decades after the city was officially founded in 1893), the theater was designed by George I. Griffin for stage productions, and owned by an Italian immigrant, Benjamin Piscopo. In the early 1930s, the theater transitioned to motion

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pictures, and by 1983, it had been divvied up into five separate movie screens. It closed in 2002, after 87 years, but in 2015 city officials partnered with the Belknap Economic Development Council to purchase and renovate the Colonial. Restoration work began a year later, and the theater reopened in 2021. “I was on the committee that was helping plan the Colonial renovation project,” says Bryan Halperin, who works for the historic Belknap Mill in downtown Laconia running Powerhouse Theatre Collaborative, the resident theater company of both the Mill and the Colonial Theatre. “Excitement over that project almost immediately started attracting new businesses to the downtown area.” Halperin notes that the Colonial’s renovation coincided with several residential projects (the city grew by 1,000 residents between 2010 and 2020), and the downtown now features a greater variety of businesses — Wayfarer Coffee, Burrito Me, Defiant Records & Craft Beer, Hector’s Fine Food & Spirits, and the Chaos and Kindness Experience (aka the CAKE) — and fewer vacant storefronts. “As far as performing arts venues, the city has the Colonial Theatre, CAKE, The Lakeport Opera House and Granite State Music

Hall, all in Laconia,” says Peter Lally, whose Spectacle Live firm handles bookings for the Colonial Theatre (in addition to the new Nashua Center for the Arts). “A year ago, it had just Granite State Music Hall. Three new live entertainment venues opening in the same year is amazing.” The CAKE Theatre on Veterans Square is the performance venue for Recycled Percussion (band member Justin Spencer says the ensemble has invested more than $1 million into the property) as well as the Chaos and Kindness Experience, which is described as “an innovative brand and global movement” that, according to its website, believes “in the power of using our platform to inspire people to live a life of intention and passion, while giving back and spreading positivity.” Still, it hasn’t been all wine and roses in Laconia. A popular live music hall, Pitman’s Freight Room, shuttered a year ago and was sold as a result of the pandemic. Former owner Dick Mitchell, now retired and living in Maine, says he loved the venue and the local vibe in Laconia, adding that it saddens him to see so many musicians looking for local gigs. Despite the loss of Pitman’s, Halperin insists he’s upbeat about the lakeside city,


The famous Laconia Motorcycle Week will celebrate 99 years of riding legacy from June 11-19.

garage problems once and for all, but after that’s solved, the city should continue to attract people downtown.” Likewise, Lally says he’s witnessed “a pace of development [in Laconia since 2020] that I’ve never seen before in any of the communities in which we operate.” He adds that, during that relatively short time, “three new restaurants have opened within 100 feet of the theater, the coffee shop across the street has doubled its footprint,

new condos have been built above the theater, a community partnership has come together to create an amazing resident theater company that now calls the Colonial Theatre home, and two other performance centers have opened in Laconia,” he says. “A list like that typically takes five to seven years, and I’ve seen it all spring up in less than two,” says Lally. “Word is traveling fast about the exciting happenings in downtown Laconia.” ➔


believing that “arts can be the driving force to let people know that Laconia is a city on the rise,” he says. “I think there will be continued investment in fixing up the buildings that need some TLC and more cool new businesses coming in,” Halperin continues. “We need a bookstore, we need more restaurants that are open for dinner — right now many are only breakfast and lunch places. The city needs to solve the ongoing parking

Recycled Percussion brings their Las Vegas-style show to Laconia at the CAKE Theatre in Veterans Square. Across the street, you’ll find shops and restaurants at the Train Depot. Since its renovation, the Colonial Theatre has been attracting national acts, with new shopping and dining options following. | May 2022 73



74 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

of young people is a good thing. I think Dover benefits from its proximity to UNH.” More and more, however, the city is standing on its own laurels. “Dover is unique in that, while the New Hampshire population is aging, the average age of our residents is trending younger,” says Margaret Joyce, president of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce. “This is due, in part, to our proximity to the University of New Hampshire, our varied housing options, and our walkable downtown dotted

with a wide range of restaurants and retailers. In addition to an influx of new dining options, many businesses have made the decision to call Dover home in recent years.” Joyce points out that having an Amtrak Downeaster train stop situated in the heart of Dover’s downtown gives commuters “an easy and affordable trip to Boston or Portland, and day-trippers find themselves in the heart of the action with no need for a rental car or ride-sharing service.” And there’s plenty to explore in Dover’s



o the east, just a few miles from the eclectic downtown of Portsmouth — generally considered one of the richest cultural veins in the Granite State, where The Music Hall and the new Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club on Congress Street are big draws — the city of Dover is shedding its reputation as simply a suburb of the University of New Hampshire. A high school classmate of mine, Ellen Cooke, has called Dover home since 1991, lured by the more reasonable housing coasts and relatively easy access to the seacoast. In the intervening three decades, the Garrison City as gone through a sea change. “Dover has changed in similar ways as many New Hampshire communities,” says Cooke, adding that some older residents “lament the increase in cost — real estate, taxes, etcetera — as development reflects opportunities for people who can afford pricey condos and mega-mansions. Personally, I think Dover has done a decent job in managing growth,” adds Cooke. “Some neighborhoods are certainly impacted by UNH commuters,” she adds. “In the fall, the lines get longer at my favorite pizza place, La Festa, but I think the infusion

Chapel + Main prides itself on crafting top-notch food and beer, to bring together family and friends.



Dover’s annual events, like Apple Harvest Day, bring together the community in a celebration of history, food, arts and music.



center, which was literally built around the Cocheco River. Start with a bustling restaurant scene, “with new restaurants such as Stalk and Sassy Biscuit rubbing shoulders with perennial favorites such as Blue Latitudes and Patty B’s,” says Joyce. Cooke agrees. “My favorite sit-downfor-a-real-meal [place] is Chapel + Main,” she says. “Good food, and they brew good beer. La Festa has the best pizza, and a good selection of draft beer. During Covid, we got a delivery from Smutlabs — comfort food and growlers — that earned our loyalty.” The Strand theater hosts a variety of shows, from dance parties and tribute bands to comedians and hypnotists. Community events, such as the Cochecho Arts Festival and Apple Harvest Day, entice visitors from throughout the region to the downtown to enjoy free outdoor entertainment by local artists (check out The Art Center on Washington Street). The Cocheco Academy of the Arts, a public charter high school, situated at the Seymour Osman Community Center, is sowing the seeds of the next generation of artists, while the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire — recently relocated from Portsmouth, of all places — is superb, as is the nearby playground. This year, Dover, the first permanent settlement in New Hampshire, will mark its 400th anniversary. An ad hoc committee, says Joyce, is planning a number of celebrations throughout the year to mark the milestone. That seems to be the ideal way to recognize a city on the rise. NH


n 2016, Tuscan Brands acquired the 170-acre property formerly known as Rockingham Park with the vision of transforming it into a 3.8-million-square-foot mixed-use superregional destination. Five years later, the development has opened two phases and now includes 1,200 luxury residences and nationally known brands such as Mass General Brigham, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Arhaus, Nike and more. The vision of Joe Faro, Tuscan Brands founder, has come to life as a destination where people can live, work, stay and play. Tuscan Village in Salem is a one-of-a-kind community with its 80,000-square-foot Market Basket grocery store, L.L.Bean, luxury apartments and more, but it is about to get even better. Granite Staters and visiting travelers have been able to enjoy the opening of retailers like Smuttynose Brewery, Ulta, Old Navy and more, and Tuscan Village is celebrating this phase two opening with a grand opening celebration during Memorial Day weekend. This summer, sun chasers and craft beer aficionados can enjoy the Smuttynose Beer Garden, complete with lawn games, fire pits, picnic tables, live music and rotating food trucks.

Top: Seating on the patio in the early evening. Above, left to right: The dining hall inside Tuscan Market provides casual seating. Outdoor seating is available for dining and drinks. Lawn games like volleyball and cornhole are fun for kids and adults alike, and there’s a growing list of high-end retail options. | May 2022 75


76 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022


A Johnston family portrait. From left to right, standing: Albert Sr. and Albert Jr. From left to right, seated: Thyra, Paul, Ann and Donald


lbert Johnston Jr. was 16 when he found out he was Black. His fair-skinned African American parents had been “passing” as white, they told him, since moving from Chicago to rural Gorham, New Hampshire, and later to Keene. His father had been the town’s country doctor with 2,500 white patients. He was an active member of the school board, the Masons and the Rotary. His mother Thyra was a two-time president of the Gorham Women’s Club and active in the Congregational Church.

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Albert Sr., shown here when he was a Chicago teenager. He went on to be a doctor, graduating with honors from the University of Chicago Medical School, and studied radiology at Harvard. He was such a respected figure that, in the 10 years that he practiced in Gorham, he headed the school board, was a selectman, was president of the county medical society and became chairman of the local Republican Party. Although he was listed on his birth certificate as white, according to his son Albert Jr., Dr. Johnston was part Black, as well as part Indian. He was Black enough to be one of two Black students admitted to his medical class under a racial quota. But after graduation he could not find a job at one of the few hospitals that accepted Black interns.

At right: Thyra Johnston, a blue-eyed, fair-skinned New Hampshire homemaker, was born in New Orleans, grew up in Boston, and married her husband when he was a medical student. She was a mother of four, and a civic and social leader, whose well-appointed home in exclusive Prospect Hill was the scene of the annual Christmas social of the Congregational Church.


In a society of such perverse attitudes that Black “blood” was simultaneously scorned and regarded as so powerful that the tiniest trace was considered the defining racial characteristic, she was born one-eighth Black, enough to qualify her as “Negro” on her birth certificate.

Born in 1925, growing up skiing the White Mountains, Albert had only a single Black acquaintance in high school. In an era of widespread racial segregation and discrimination, he felt a seismic shift as he adapted from a dark-skinned Caucasian to a light-skinned Negro. Formerly gregarious, he drew inward. He attended and then dropped out of Dartmouth College. He enlisted and left the Navy, talked of suicide, battled with his parents, and spent time in a psychiatric ward. Then Albert took a road trip. Decades before Ken Kesey and “Easy Rider,” with only a few dollars in their pockets, Albert and

an old school chum named Walt hitchhiked and hopped freight trains from New Hampshire to California. For Albert, it was a spiritual journey into the homes of his long-lost African American relatives and into the roots of Black culture. For Walt, who was white, it was a great adventure with a good friend. After odd jobs, a love affair and a stint at the University of California in Los Angeles, Albert found his way home. Renewed and focused, he enrolled in the wellregarded music program at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. And there in a UNH college lounge in front of 20 fellow | May 2022 79

students, Albert (Class of ’49) finally laid his burden down. During a seminar on the “race problem” in America, the topic turned to “cross-bred” people. He could offer some insight on that topic, Albert told his classmates, because he, himself, was a Negro. The room got very still, he later recalled, like the sudden silence after the climax of a concerto. “Why not tell everybody?” Albert said. “Why carry a lie around all your life?”

The Johnston family secret was about to explode, first into the pages of Reader’s Digest magazine, and then as a controversial book and feature film called “Lost Boundaries.” Lawrence Benaquist, an emeritus professor of Keene State College, is an expert on America’s first “race film” that was shot on location in New Hampshire and Maine. Benaquist remained in touch with Albert “Buck” Johnston Jr. who lived in Hawaii until his death in 2014. Benaquist says that while attending UNH, Albert began to embrace his AfricanAmerican roots and befriended other Black students. When the group heard that an Academy Award-winning film producer lived only a few miles from the Durham campus, they arranged a field trip to meet him. Things would never be the same for the Johnston family. Louis de Rochemont was at the peak of his game and fame when the UNH contingent drove to the nearby town of Newington. They pulled up the circular driveway of the film producer’s grand home settled on acres of farmland near the fast-flowing Piscataqua River. The creator of the “March of Time” newsreel series was already a legend. His monthly 20-minute documentaries had shaped the minds of millions of Americans who packed movie theaters in the 1930s and 1940s. Born in 1899, in an era before radio and television, de Rochemont was shooting and selling newsreel footage to movie houses by the time he was 12 years old. He began his career using a crude hand-cranked box camera that he built himself from the instructions in Popular Mechanics magazine. In the Navy after World War I, he shot footage all around the globe. He was the first cameraman present at the opening of the ancient burial tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt. Hired by the top news services, de Rochemont scooped the competition with 80 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022


Enter the Maverick Movie Mogul

A studio promotional photo of producer de Rochemont on the set of his popular 1958 travelogue “Windjammer,” which was the only film to be shot in the widescreen Cinemiracle process

footage of explorers en route to the Arctic, documented bloody riots in India, and introduced Americans to a rising German dictator named Adolph Hitler. In his first foray into feature-length movies for Time Inc. in 1940, de Rochemont created “The Ramparts We Watch,” a strange hybrid of documentary and drama that was a forerunner of his films like “Lost Boundaries.” The modern television docudrama “ripped from the headlines” owes much to this media pioneer. Using real people instead of actors, “Ramparts” focused on the political isolationism of a real Connecticut town in the years leading up to World War I. But the movie was really a call to arms for Americans to join their European allies in the war against Hitler. A New York Times critic praised the seriousminded film as “tough to chew” compared to the “frivolous fare” running in the cinema at the time. De Rochemont wanted to switch Americans “from a diet of cream-puffs to hardtack,” the Times declared. De Rochemont was arguably the most influential media figure of his era. President Franklin Roosevelt, a fan of the “March of Time” series, was so anxious to see “Ramparts” that he asked de Rochemont and Time publisher Henry R. Luce and their spouses to screen the film privately at the

White House. How greatly the film influenced the president or the public to enter World War II is unknown. It certainly impressed officials at the University of New Hampshire. In 1944, UNH presented de Rochemont with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The honor specifically cited de Rochemont’s work on “March of Time” and “The Ramparts We Watch,” praising the films that “helped awaken America to her peril and to prepare her materially and spiritually for the ordeal of war and the ultimate triumph of the democratic ideal.” But by the end of the Great War, de Rochemont was ready to move on. Newsreels, he claimed, were “stuck in the mud.” The naked news did not tell viewers why something happened, he complained, or what the consequences were. By recreating and dramatizing actual events — a genre de Rochemont called “nonfiction film” — he promised to make reality more real. According to a 1949 feature in Reader’s Digest, de Rochemont “was the first to marry the factual impact of the newsreel with the narrative perspective of Hollywood.” The more authentic the scene, the producer insisted, the more effective the illusion, and thus the more believable the drama — and thus its impact on viewers. De Rochemont was not opposed to recreating key historic moments

using actors, a practice his critics called “fakery in the service of realism.” His influence on movies and television today cannot be overstated, and yet his name is scarcely a footnote in film history.

The Meeting at Blueberry Banke The formula worked. By shooting in documentary style on actual locations instead of costly movie sets and by using amateurs in small parts instead of movie stars, de Rochemont turned real stories into box office hits. During the years that Albert Johnston Jr. was finding his roots and attending UNH, de Rochemont produced three rapid-fire hits in his own unique style. “The House on 92nd Street” (1945) was about a double agent working for the FBI who posed as a Nazi spy. Shot mostly in New York City, the film included a cameo appearance by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Another spy thriller, “13 Rue Madeleine” (1947) starred James Cagney as an unstoppable American “G-man.” “Boomerang” (1947), directed by Elia Kazan, one of Hollywood and Broadway’s most important figures, told the true story

of a vagrant wrongly accused of murdering a priest in a small New England town. So, by the time Albert Johnston Jr. and his friends found themselves in Louis de Rochemont’s private study at the estate he called “Blueberry Banke,” they were in the presence of a powerful man, New Hampshire’s version of Cecil B. DeMille. He was also physically imposing and renowned for his mercurial moods, fierce loyalty, hard drinking and boundless curiosity. Reader’s Digest described him this way: “A massive six-footer with a shock of disorderly brown hair and the haggard look of an overworked city editor, he fairly explodes with impatient energy.” “Sleep and rest don’t figure in his schedule,” the Digest reporter added. The quirky perfectionist producer was known to go four days and nights on a project without a break. “He turns every job into a major adventure and all the time he talks your ear off about some new enthusiasm,” the Digest noted. According to film historian Larry Benaquist, the young Black UNH students found de Rochemont seated in his sunny wood-paneled office, the walls lined with bookshelves.

“What can I do for you fellas?” de Rochemont reportedly asked. “We know you make films about famous Americans,” Albert boldly told the producer. “There’s been all these movies about famous White Americans, like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Alva Edison. Why don’t you think about making films about famous Black people like George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington?” De Rochemont was intrigued. Forever in search of bankable ideas for his films, he was fiercely patriotic. He was also a progressive thinker with an urge to shape public opinion in postwar America. In fact, he had just completed a $3 million project with National Geographic, shooting 36 short educational films in 36 countries to be seen by grammar school students across the United States. “What we are trying to prove,” the producer said about his educational films in 1949, “is that people who live differently than we do are not freaks; that igloos are as natural in the Arctic, for instance, as skyscrapers are in New York City.” “Have I got a story for you!” “Well, I can understand why these fellas are asking this question,” the producer


The 1940 movie poster for “The Ramparts We Watch” ➙

A still from “The Ramparts We Watch,” which used a new way of storytelling: a hybrid of documentary and drama. The film used no professional actors, instead relying on residents of the town of New London, Connecticut, where most of the filming took place. The movie was the prototype for “Lost Boundaries.” | May 2022 81

said, turning to Albert. “But I don’t understand why you are because you’re white — aren’t you?” On hearing Albert’s story, legend says, de Rochemont immediately picked up his phone and called Hollywood studio executive Darryl F. Zanuck. “I have a great story idea for you, Darryl,” de Rochemont said. But Zanuck, coincidentally, was at that very moment struggling to produce his own movie about racial passing. In Zanuck’s film “Pinky” (1949) a light-skinned “mulatto” woman who, after passing as a white nurse in the North, decides to return home to the South and run a school for Black children.

“It was my decision,” Thyra told Professor Larry Benaquist many years later. “We were tired of hiding. It was time to tell our story.” Albert wrote down the Johnston family story and got his parents to sign off on it. Reader’s Digest assigned the piece to William Lindsay White, who had recently taken over his father’s Kansas newspaper The Emporia Gazette. Like de Rochemont, White was a fiercely independent character. His 1942 book, “They Were Expendable,” about a heroic torpedo boat squadron, had recently become a smash hit movie starring John Wayne. White’s article about the Johnstons appeared in the December 1947 issue

ALBERT HITCHHIKED HOME TO KEENE TO CONFRONT HIS PARENTS. THEY STAYED UP ALL NIGHT DEBATING WHETHER TO GO PUBLIC WITH THEIR FAMILY SECRET. AFTER 12 YEARS POSING AS A WHITE COUNTRY DOCTOR, ALBERT JOHNSTON SR. WAS DEAD SET AGAINST THE IDEA, BUT HIS WIFE THYRA WAS WEARY OF THE DECEPTION. Like de Rochemont, Zanuck was a social reformer who believed that movies could have a powerful impact on postwar American attitudes. “We [filmmakers] must play our part in the solution of the problems that torture the world,” Zanuck said at a congressional hearing in 1943. Four years later in 1947, Zanuck won an Oscar for “Gentleman’s Agreement,” a movie in which Gregory Peck played a journalist who “passes” as Jewish to root out anti-Semites. Jewish director Elia Kazan, who had just completed “Gentleman’s Agreement” for Zanuck and “Boomerang” for de Rochemont, was about to start work on “Pinky.” One risky race film was enough for Zanuck, who turned down de Rochemont’s suggestion. “I’ve got an arrangement with the Reader’s Digest,” de Rochemont then told Albert and his friends. “I can feed them stories. Then, a year later, I have the rights to make a movie of it if I want to.” De Rochemont also had the legal right to extract material for the cinema from 10,000 articles that had previously appeared in Reader’s Digest monthly magazine. The pressure was on. Albert hitchhiked home to Keene to confront his parents. They stayed up all night debating whether to go public with their family secret. After 12 years posing as a white country doctor, Albert Johnston Sr. was dead set against the idea, but his wife Thyra was weary of the deception. 82 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

of Reader’s Digest. It loosed a flood of letters across racial lines praising the family for having the courage to speak out. It was followed by a slim 92-page hardcover edition of “Lost Boundaries,” centered primarily on Albert’s journey to find himself as “a Negro in a White-man’s world.”

Bloodlines and Boundary Lines True to his word, de Rochemont began filming his version of “Lost Boundaries” soon after it appeared in print. Despite a much-publicized five-picture deal with MGM to produce anything he chose, his Hollywood backers were not interested in a film about race relations. So, the producer mortgaged his Blueberry Banke house toward a $664,000 production budget (another source says it was under $500,000). After decades of globetrotting with “March of Time,” de Rochemont wanted to stick close to his seacoast New Hampshire home. His next two feature films about a wildcat factory strike (“Whistle at Eaton Falls”) and stolen plans for an atomic bomb (“Walk East on Beacon Street”) were also shot locally. His decision to use white actors to play the Johnstons, renamed the Carters in the film, drew fire from some reviewers, including Ralph Ellison, author of “The Invisible Man.” Actress Tallulah Bankhead called

de Rochemont’s decision “a setback for all the things liberals are fighting for.” Darryl Zanuck also angered critics for hiring a white actress to play the fair-skinned Negro lead in “Pinky.” But it was “Lost Boundaries” director Alfred Werker who enraged Black movie critics when he explained that there were no qualified light-skinned Black actors available who “could depict Negroes as fully realized citizens.” To achieve wide box-office appeal, therefore, both films relied on white actors in key roles playing Black people who were passing as white. In adapting “Lost Boundaries” (originally named “The White Piano”) to the screen, de Rochemont shifted the focus of the story away from young Albert’s quest to discover his African roots. Instead, the producer turned the spotlight onto the lives of the fictional Dr. and Mrs. Carter. The real Dr. Johnston, like his movie counterpart, was rejected for a commission in the U.S. Navy due to his “Negro blood” ancestry. The producer was drawn to the box-office appeal of the Johnstons’ “terrible secret.” Having released two successful spy thrillers, de Rochemont saw his subjects as Negroes living “under cover” in a “normal” white community. The poster for “Lost Boundaries” shows a character based on Albert Jr. (with actor Richard Hylton as Scott Carter) staring in horror at his own hands. The headline reads: “They lived with a strange dark secret for twenty tormenting years!” While the concept of “passing” may appear offensive, politically incorrect, or merely silly today, de Rochemont has earned his footnote in African American history. He was the first to announce that a film based on race was in production. In “Harm’s Way,” a powerful film about discrimination in the Army, Zanuck’s “Pinky,” and three other movies tackling “the Negro problem” all followed in theaters in 1949 and 1950. Hollywood was “coming of age,” according to de Rochemont, by tackling important social issues. Investors hoped that white audiences would buy tickets to films with provocative topics. Meanwhile, racism was rampant in postwar America and segregation of public facilities had been deemed legal by the Supreme Court since 1896. That ruling would not be struck down until 1954. It would take another decade before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination against racial minorities. Mel Ferrer, a writer, dancer and director,


Poster and movie stills for “Lost Boundaries” Top photo: Mel Ferrer in a scene with Canada Lee Bottom photo: UNH students were cast as background extras for many scenes.

made a risky but heartfelt career move when he chose to portray Dr. Carter in “Lost Boundaries.” Ferrer ignored his agent’s warning that the film was “incendiary.” Of Cuban and Irish descent, Ferrer told Negro Digest in 1951 that he was one-sixteenth Negro, “but it doesn’t show.” Beatrice Pearson played his wife. Both actors were best known for their work on the Broadway stage. Ferrer was passionate about his role and, decades later, still called it “the best picture I was ever in as an actor.” But he balked at an early revision of the script where his character apologized for passing as white. Ferrer insisted that Dr. Carter should stand firm and say “the same blood courses through my body as does yours.” In the film, when Dr. Carter instructed a nurse to mix the blood drawn from an African American man with the blood bank from white donors, she drops the vial, splattering the floor, rather than follow orders.

The spilled blood was real. Thyra Johnston later told Benaquist that the blood belonged to a Black chauffeur who became manager of the cinema in Keene. The spilled blood was also a poignant symbol in a nation built on African slavery. The Albert Johnston story posed the question: Who is Black? Under what was known as the “one drop rule,” anyone with a single African ancestor — that is, anyone with a single drop of African blood — was then considered Black. The one-drop concept of white supremacy had evolved in the segregated South as a means to identify, control and sell enslaved people. Uniquely American, the one-drop concept of racial identity had been assimilated into popular culture even in the North. Miscegenation, the mixing of races through marriage or sexual contact, was still illegal in 29 out of 48 states when “Lost Boundaries” appeared in theaters. As the postwar baby boom began, Americans were

unsure how to react to a growing number of mulatto or mixed-race children that sociologists referred to as “racially indeterminate” citizens. Scientists estimate that, in today’s multiethnic society, nearly one-third of whites in the country have some African genes, while more than half of all American Blacks have at least one European ancestor. No such genetic model existed for young Albert however. Growing up in New Hampshire, among the whitest American states, he was told that his brown eyes and dark curly hair were due to his German ancestry. Doctors at Maine General Hospital, where Albert Sr. first worked, believed that their colleague was either “a Filipino, or maybe a Hawaiian, or a Jew.” By not insisting that the doctor declare his race, the Maine hospital effectively employed a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “Lost Boundaries” and other artistic works about “passing” from the 1930s to the 1950s purposely blurred the color line. This tactic, de Rochemont believed, might help white | May 2022 83

Made in New England Louis de Rochemont’s most egregious departure from the real story of Albert Jr. comes toward the end of the film. Instead of a lengthy cross-country exploration of African-American life with a buddy, the fictional Howard Carter spends five dark days alone roaming the slums of Harlem. While Albert’s real relatives were a mix of blue-collar workers and middle-class professionals, de Rochemont inserted harsh documentary-style footage of poor, unemployed and destitute urban Blacks to drive home the contrast between cultures. (In fact, the Harlem scene was shot in Boston and Portsmouth using local Black actors.) Arrested in the movie as a suspect in a gunfight, Howard is befriended by a kindly Black policeman played by veteran boxer-turned-actor Canada Lee. “Whether they’re white or Black, people are pretty much the same,” Lt. Joe Thompson tells the despondent Howard Carter in the film. “Except me,” Howard says. “I’m neither white nor Black, I’m both.” “It’s not much like New Hampshire here, is it?” Lt. Thompson says of inner-city New York. “Your father was only trying to buy you and your sister a happy childhood, as free as possible from fear and prejudice and hatred.” As many as 350 UNH students were used as extras in the film. New Hampshire residents may also recognize scenes shot at the Isles of Shoals, Whaleback Light in Kittery, 84 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022


Americans turn away from outmoded “separate but equal” legislation toward full Civil Rights for people of color. But even as de Rochemont’s fictionalized version of the Johnston family advocated for equal rights, it perpetuated racial stereotypes. The Carters were seen as “exceptional” Negroes who fled their ethnic origins to earn their place in white society. In the film, Dr. Carter moved to New Hampshire because he was too lightskinned to work in a southern Black hospital, thus implying a family trapped between two race-obsessed worlds. Once exposed, the Carter family was initially rejected by the fictional Yankee community of Keenham. But in reality, most citizens of Keene were unruffled by the supposedly “shocking” revelation that their doctor was of African ancestry. “Whatever Dr. Johnson is,” a white woman from Keene told Ebony magazine, “he’s a very nice man.” A 1949 newspaper tells the Johnston family story that was first turned into a book for Reader’s Digest and later into the movie “Lost Boundaries.”

Maine, and Nubble Light in York, Maine, at churches in Kennebunkport and Portsmouth, at a dam in Durham, and at Calef ’s Country Store in Barrington. The rambling Colonial Sparhawk Mansion in Kittery Point, Maine, site of the fictional Carter family home in Keenham, was torn down three years later. While de Rochemont’s bleak picture of Black American culture soured many critics in the Negro press, his decision to employ Canada Lee, even in a minor role, earned kudos for “Lost Boundaries.” As the star of Orson Welles’ theatrical production of “Native Son,” Lee was riding high in the early 1940s. The New York Times called him “the greatest Negro actor of his era and one of the finest actors in the country.” Lee was renting an expensive New York apartment near Carnegie Hall, visiting jazz clubs, and partying with celebrities like Burt Lancaster and Langston Hughes. But according to his biographer, Mona Z. Smith, Lee was forever outspending his income. So, he gratefully accepted a $750 per diem offer for the cameo appearance in “Lost Boundaries.” While the cast included many Black actors and extras from the Boston area, the budget-minded producer was criticized for paying them less than whites, as little as five dollars per day. But as historian Valerie Cunningham relates, de Rochemont earned his spot on the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail when he stood up to the owner of the Rockingham

Hotel in the summer of 1948. The producer had designated the historic downtown hotel as his base of operations for the film. But owner James Barker Smith was running an “exclusive” or “restricted” hotel. According to the book “Black Portsmouth” by Cunningham and co-author Mark Sammons, “Black cast members needing to meet with the director, attend meetings, or have meals were not welcome.” Flexing his financial muscle, the producer informed hotelier Smith that he could either accommodate the entire film cast and crew equally, or the filmmaker would move his entire operation elsewhere. De Rochemont “broke down one barrier in one restaurant in one town,” Cunningham wrote. Seeking equality is a painstaking process. In 1964, Cunningham adds, soon after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the same hotel owner refused to seat African Americans at his Wentworth by the Sea resort in New Castle. UNH English professor Hugh Potter and his wife Jean were among a group of activists who again took on Mr. Smith. Despite the newly passed legislation, the hotel barred Jane and Emerson Reed, a Black couple from Portsmouth, from entering the hotel dining room. After a bitter two-hour discussion, threatened with legal action, the hotel owner finally relented. But equality arrives inch by inch. America would have to wait almost two decades to

see the late Sidney Poitier face off against Spencer Tracy on interracial marriage in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967). Still, “Lost Boundaries” was a milestone in its depiction of Blacks as average citizens in opposition to their harsh Hollywood stereotypes simply as servants, entertainers or slaves. Worse yet, African Americans in film were largely absent. Despite its flaws, “Lost Boundaries” received “cautious praise” even from the Negro press. Portsmouth’s first-ever world film premiere drew 3,100 viewers on June 22, 1949. Enthusiastic viewers packed four showings of “Lost Boundaries” at the downtown Colonial and Olympia theaters. The Portsmouth Herald reported that the audience had to “choke back the emotions aroused by the bold story.” Canada Lee made the trip from New York just in time for the Portsmouth opening. Unlike the subjects of the film, passing for white and guarding their secret, darkskinned Lee had always been outspoken in the fight for Negro equality and for the rights of any disenfranchised citizen. His activism came at a great price. Accused of being a communist subversive, Lee struck back. That very day, as he stood in the back of the Portsmouth theater, his strongly worded letter of denial, demanding respect and freedom, had appeared in a number of newspapers. Lee had made an enemy of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and would soon find himself on the dreaded blacklist of untouchable actors. Lee would play one more major film role with Sidney Poitier in “Cry the Beloved Country” before he died of a heart attack in 1952. His name and fame would be all but expunged from the public record. As he watched “Lost Boundaries” for the first time in Portsmouth, Lee found himself warming to the controversial film. It made him proud, he later revealed. Then the lights went up, he heard his name announced, and the burly man in the dark suit walked slowly onstage to thunderous applause. “It’s about America,” Lee said of the film, “our America, that I read about in books when I was a boy — but was not so for me. You see a picture like this, and hear all the applause coming from you people for what it’s trying to do,” Lee said, “and you begin to believe again.” In an emotional moment, Lee spontaneously recited the lyrics to “My Country

‘Tis of Thee” with the audience. Then he disappeared from the stage as Albert Jr. and the other members of the Johnston family made a brief appearance. Again, the crowd erupted into applause.

Selected Short Subjects De Rochemont made his investment back on “Lost Boundaries,” according to Benaquist, and a healthy profit to boot. He proved that Albert Jr.’s timely story of racial passing had box-office appeal. The movie “packs a punch” The Wall Street Journal announced. Time, Newsweek, Life and other national magazines praised de Rochemont’s realistic touch. The movie was banned in some southern states. The Atlanta censor board blocked “Lost Boundaries,” fearing it would “adversely affect the peace, health, morals and good order of the city.” De Rochemont took advanced action in Georgia by filing a lawsuit to prevent another statewide ban on the film. In an unprecedented legal action, the producer claimed the censors could not deprive him of his constitutional rights without due process of law. If he could not get “Lost Boundaries” into the cinemas in the South, the producer told the Portsmouth Herald, then he would buy time on local stations and air it on television. Three years after the release of “Lost Boundaries,” Dr. Johnston was fired from his job as a radiologist at Keene Community Hospital. The president of the hospital board told reporters “racial prejudice was not the reason for the dismissal,” but the doctor believed otherwise. “They have been picking on me ever since my story came out,” he told the press. “In spite of all that I have accomplished as a white man, I have, more or less, an empty life.” The Johnston family abandoned New Hampshire in 1966 and moved permanently to Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Johnston died in 1988 and Thyra Johnston in 1995. One of Albert Jr.’s original songs had been used in “Lost Boundaries,” and he became a successful composer. Ever mercurial and independent, de Rochemont continued to build a body of work that defies categorization. His 1953 biopic of 16th-century religious iconoclast Martin Luther was nominated for two Academy Awards. Hired by the CIA, de Rochemont then produced a cartoon version of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (1954), a doomsday fable about totalitarian-

ism. Next came “Cinerama Holiday” (1955) a travelog following two real-life couples around the globe. Shot simultaneously with three cameras, the movie was projected on a 165-degree wraparound screen. It was de Rochemont who introduced American audiences to an actor named Warren Beatty playing a gigolo in the film version of “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” (1965) based on a novel by Tennessee Williams. And the curious list continued until the “March of Time” creator passed away in 1978. Forty years after the release of “Lost Boundaries,” Keene State College invited surviving cast and crew members to a reunion screening. Over 1,100 people showed up from as far away as Paris. Lead actor Mel Ferrer, de Rochemont’s daughter Virginia, and surviving members of the Johnston family were among the honored guests. “I had been using the film in my college classes for years,” says Benaquist, who organized the anniversary event. “But the reunion went beyond anything we expected. This film really has great status among scholars. De Rochemont’s approach to filmmaking truly hadn’t been done before, and I think had a huge effect on Hollywood.” Since then, Benaquist has obtained a treasure trove of artifacts from the Johnston family and an archive of over 100 rare original films from the de Rochemont collection. He has cataloged the collection and continues to conserve the endangered film stocks before they are lost to history. “Lost Boundaries” is currently part of the Warner Brothers Archive Collection where modern viewers have rated it four out of five stars. Time marches on. Once nestled among trees and lush gardens, the de Rochemont Colonial home in Newington is now surrounded by malls, a power plant, and hulking corporate offices. Blueberry Banke is now the offices of a healthcare facility. But the wood-paneled room where the movie mogul met the college student looks much as it did when Albert Johnston Jr. arrived in 1947 with a story to tell. That rare tale of race in rural New Hampshire still echoes, now and then, from the archives of American film. NH J. Dennis Robinson has been chronicling New Hampshire history on his site for so long that he is now irrevocably a part of that history. Check out his published works, including his latest, pictured here, at | May 2022 85

603 Living

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” — Rudyard Kipling

86 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Your Active Life Health Seniority Ayuh

90 92 94 96

Not Your Average Nursery Yonder Mountain fosters uncommon, eye-catching plants in the White Mountains BY ANNA-KATE MUNSEY / PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LARS SHICK


icture it: You stroll through the grounds, spotting kiwis and cacti and orchids. You pass a rock garden brimming with succulents and alpine plants. Candy pink, electric purple and vibrant yellow flowers catch your eye. Everything seems new and exotic. You may be thinking, “I’m not in New Hampshire anymore.” Spoiler! You actually are. Nestled on just a couple of acres in the town of Bethlehem, Yonder Mountain Nursery & Gardens is home to over 500 varieties of unique plants, trees and flowers. Each plant at the nursery is able to grow

in the Granite State’s Zone 4 climate. There are 13 plant hardiness zone increments, with 13 being the warmest and 1 being the coolest. Lars Shick is a collector, self-taught expert and resident owner at Yonder Mountain. He was born and raised in the area, and developed a love of plants from his mother and grandmother. “Maybe it’s in my blood a little bit ... I’ve got those green-thumb genes,” he says. When he was a teenager, Shick felt inspired by the rare plant nurseries he’d visit with his mom. One in particular sticks out in his mind, a Vermont spot selling

prickly pear cacti that could withstand New England winters. “I started collecting stuff that you don’t commonly see, and stuff that will survive here. We’re in such a harsh climate that when you could find uncommon things to survive here, to me it was really sort of a special thing. And I wondered why most people weren’t growing all these really odd, really interesting plants,” he says. Eventually, his passion turned into a fulltime gig. He became co-owner of his father’s property and began to convert it. Shick started the business by attending farmers markets, and officially opened the

Yonder Mountain’s rock garden is the first thing you see upon entering the nursery. It features a plethora of alpine plants and succulents for guests to meander through. | May 2022 87


Top left: A detailed nook of the rock garden featuring Vitaliana primulaflora. Below is Deinanthe caerulea. Right from top to bottom: Cypripedium reginae, Encrusted saxifraga and Jeffersonia dubia.

88 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

Owner Lars Shick (pictured here) spends much of his time on the grounds of Yonder Mountain. Plants at left from top to bottom: Cypripedium reginae or hardy orchids, Anemone canadensis of the buttercup family and Primula sieboldii, the Japanese primrose

nursery in 2012. This is the first year he has ordered plants from outside vendors. Prior to this, each plant was thanks to a multiyear, one-man process. He would explore nurseries and purchase the plants he wanted at full price, then take them home to plant. It would be several years before he could divide and replant, and then another block of time before anything could be sold. This often included propagation as well. “Every plant is different and it takes a lot of learning [to know] what each plant wants,” he says. Most of what is available for sale is planted on the grounds, illustrating the plants’ durability in a fickle climate like New Hampshire’s. “Useful” plants are a passion for Shick, including those used for dye, fiber and food. His personal favorite plants at Yonder Mountain are the edible ones, such as skirret, a root vegetable that tastes like a mix of sweet potato, parsnip and carrot. He enjoys foraging and finding fruit forest edible plants. In addition to trees and in-ground plants, there is also a rock garden overflowing with alpine plants, like succulents, and chickens living in a hobbit-like house adorned with plants from the nursery. Shick has particularly loved getting to talk with customers about the plants he is growing and selling. “I’ve never liked public speaking or being in the spotlight, but when it comes

to plants, I won’t shut up about it,” he jokes. His mission goes beyond sharing his love for uncommon plants with guests at the nursery. He also prioritizes sustainability and food security, utilizing edible plants. “I just think that having a bit more of our own food security is going to be a lot more important in the future. Perennial food crops are great, and planting for future generations too,” he says. “If you’re not planning it for yourself, then maybe plant it for your kids or future generations. I think that’s something we’ve got to start getting back to.” The nursery is home to only perennial plants, each grown carefully without the use of chemicals. There are no annuals or house plants as of now. Shick wants to show people that it is possible to grow rare or exotic plants in the Granite State. While the plants at the nursery are each able to withstand Zone 4 and higher, Shick believes the climate has warmed enough that the area is approaching Zone 5. Looking to the future, he hopes to have more space to grow and work on expanding the food forest. NH

Find it Yonder Mountain Nursery & Gardens 2056 Main St., Bethlehem

Yonder Mountain is open from May to October, Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find them at or on Facebook and Instagram, @yonder_mountain_nursery. | May 2022 89


Sidelined by an ACL Injury? Return to sports with confidence, thanks to a new collaboration BY DANIEL P. BOUVIER, M.D. / PHOTO BY BLAZE LYJAK


nterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries can be devastating for an athlete, especially a young one. As recent decades have passed, we’ve gained ever more knowledge regarding graft selection, and surgical techniques have improved our surgical efficiency and objective results in patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. Despite these improvements, in the youngest and most active patients who play a sport and wish to return to that sport, subsequent 90 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

injury to the reconstructed knee — in addition to the opposite knee — is a real risk and approaches 25% in combination. Our challenge as fellowship-trained orthopaedic sports medicine surgeons is to give patients the best chance at the best possible outcomes by being judicious about graft selection, patient expectations and optimizing postoperative rehabilitation. Returning to the field or court with confidence can be challenging for young

athletes after ACL reconstruction. It takes a collaborative effort of the whole sports medicine team — the doctor, the physical therapists, athletic trainers, and strength and conditioning coaches. In the past, time from surgery and some basic strength tests were used to tell the patient when they could return to the activities they enjoy. Research has shown that the biology of the healing ACL graft can take two years to complete, and that the closer the patient progresses


toward 12 months post-surgery, the lower the risk of reinjuring the graft, or even the ACL in the other knee. There has been a shift in philosophy from a strictly time-based approach to using a combination of time and physical and psychological criteria to form return-to-play programs (RTP). Most patients do not have enough covered physical therapy to take them as far as we need to take them to clear them to return to play. RTP programs were created to allow further supervision of the recovering athlete. The idea is to help guide them through the late stages (6-12 months) of ACL recovery to increase the confidence level of the physicians, trainers and the athlete when it comes time to hit the field again. A collaboration between the sports medicine fellowship-trained surgeons at the New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center, Apple Therapy and TOP Fitness has created PROS (post-rehab orthopaedic services). This will be a formal, RTP program for late-stage ACL reconstructed patients who wish to take advantage of the supervision of a trained professional to continue to monitor and correct deficits, helping them to prepare for a safe return to playing. The evaluation and testing tools that are at their disposal will allow for some objective data to be obtained to help the whole care team, giving them increased confidence in tailoring recommendations as sports are reintroduced. Some of these include Functional Movement Screen (FMS), Y balance, strength measurements and ratios, Vail Tests (video), and the revolutionary dorsaVi movement and muscle sensor technology ( The New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center is the cornerstone of a self-contained orthopaedic surgical care center where you can find all the services you need from start to finish. It begins with a visit with your orthopaedic provider at NHOC, and may be followed by advanced MRI imaging at Four Seasons Imaging (FSI), surgery at the Nashua and Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Centers, and postoperative PT at Apple Therapy Services. To completely close the loop for our young athletes with ACL injuries, we’ll now be able to provide this valuable late-stage ACL RTP program. Patients should no longer feel the need to seek care south in Boston, as all of our sports medicine physicians

Take-away Facts and Figures

Apple Therapy Manchester, in partnership with Top Fitness in Nashua and New Hampshire Orthopedic Center (NHOC), is now offering a post-physical therapy strength and conditioning program for athletes in the late stages of rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction. THE DATA: • Only 13.9% of athletes met criteria to return to sport. • 80% of athletes did not meet strength criteria and 50% met hop test criteria. • 66.1% of athletes returned to or exceeded their prior sport activity level after ALCR at one year and after return to play clearance. However, if athletes met and passed both strength and hop test criteria, 81.3% were able to maintain their prior level of sport participation at one year after being cleared to play, reports Joe Nance, P.T., M.P.T., O.C.S., C.O.M.T., F.A.A.O.M.P.T., A.T.C. • Simple decision rules made in the rehabilitation process can reduce reinjury by 84% after ACL reconstruction. • Delaying a return to sport until 9-12 months post-ACL reconstruction gives the athlete more time to meet strength and quadriceps growth criteria. • According to the Delaware-Oslo Cohort Study, every month that return to sport was delayed, until nine months after ACL reconstruction, the rate of reinjury was reduced by 51%. THE PROGRAM: An optional “bridge” program after physical therapy falls under the P.R.O.S. name (post rehabilitation orthopedic services). • Custom tailored to the individual patient • Identifies and addresses residual deficits/limitations with testing • Works to correct said deficits to improve physical and psychological condition and outlook • Can begin 3-6 months (1 on 1) or 6-9 months (small group) post reconstruction The Y-Balance test, in use here, is a simple way to measure a person’s motor control and demonstrate functional symmetry of the lower extremity in three planes of motion.

are fellowship trained at some of the most prestigious fellowships in the country, and their surgical expertise is now combined with top-tier, state-of-the-art imaging, rehab and a post-rehab RTP program. Nothing is absolute, and although we may never reach a

0% reinjury rate, with this added supervised RTP program, we can obtain objective data beyond the trained “eye test” to optimize our confidence levels, and that will go a long way toward an athlete’s physical and psychological preparedness. NH | May 2022 91


Roll With It Foam rolling has taken off among exercisers. Should you try it? BY KAREN A. JAMROG / ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN R. GOODWIN


he fitness industry has no shortage of devices that promise to make you leaner, stronger, more flexible, or otherwise physically enhanced. In recent years, as everyone from elite athletes to weekend warriors incorporates self-massage into their workout routine, foam rollers and similar tools have become the latest musthave exercise item. As the name implies, foam rollers are log-shaped pieces of foam. They come in a variety of lengths, densities and textures. Slide one under your legs, roll back and forth, and voilà, you’re giving yourself a self-massage, albeit one that isn’t always soothing or relaxing. Laura Jorgensen, P.T., D.P.T., a physical therapist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, says that the mechanisms behind how foam rolling works remain somewhat hypothetical, but

92 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

foam rolling does appear to offer benefits. For example, she says, “we have seen gains in flexibility” when foam rolling is used in combination with stretching. Foam rolling can also alleviate pain. “We don’t know exactly why,” Jorgensen says, “but it seems to help a lot of people manage some of their muscular-pain symptoms.” The friction and pressure that occur during foam rolling mimic hands-on techniques that a physical or massage therapist might use, Jorgensen says. As a result, foam-rolling proponents say, it can reduce the likelihood of injury, aid recovery, alleviate soreness, and calm and lengthen muscles, likely as it promotes blood circulation and tension release within muscle “fascia” or connective tissue that surrounds muscles. Foam rolling is typically more akin to a deep-tissue massage rather than a relaxing

massage: In some spots it feels good or hurts so good, but in other areas of body, it just plain hurts. “The amount of pressure required to break up an adhesion or to change somebody’s fascial restriction can be really uncomfortable — it can be really painful for most people,” says Cameron “C.J.” Vallie, P.T., D.P.T., A.T.C., a physical therapist at St. Joseph Hospital. However, foam-rolling pain should not persist long after you finish a foam-rolling session, he notes. In general, those new to foam rolling should start with a foam roller that is soft and easy to compress, Vallie says, graduating as comfort allows to foam rollers that are denser and harder, and perhaps textured with lumps and bumps that in theory, at least, offer enhanced benefits by creating more pressure on targeted areas.

Some do’s and don’ts of foam rolling

Foam rolling, or what experts call “self-myofascial release” or self-massage, has surged in popularity among exercisers in recent years. Many people, however, don’t do it properly. Here are some tips: • Do not foam roll all areas of the body. Areas to avoid include bony prominences, the lower back, the neck and behind the knees. • Expect to feel discomfort and some pain while foam rolling certain areas, but “it shouldn’t be excruciating pain,” and it should not persist after you get off the roller, says Cameron “C.J.” Vallie, P.T., D.P.T., A.T.C., a physical therapist at St. Joseph Hospital. • Foam roll as part of an exercise warm-up or cool-down, but also stretch and perform movements that take muscles and joints through a full range of motion. • Foam roll every day if you like, Vallie says, but do not hold the foam roller in one spot longer than 90 seconds. • For more tips and information, visit the National Academy of Sports Medicine at If you like the idea of self-massage but want something less bulky than a foam roller to toss in a gym bag, try using a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, or small and lightweight rolling stick for self-massage, Vallie adds. Typically, the recommended technique for foam rolling is to roll over muscles at a rate of one inch per second, “which is really, really, super slow,” Vallie points out. Because foam rolling can cause discomfort, many

people roll more quickly than they should. If you find a knot or tender spot, hold the roller or other self-massage tool on that spot for up to 90 seconds. Maintaining pressure longer than that can create excessive inflammation and limit muscle function, Vallie says. Be aware that not all areas of the body are candidates for foam rolling. Do not roll on bony prominences or the lower back, for

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example. Also do not roll on an acute injury. “If the thing that hurts is a chronic, muscle kind of pain, then that’s fine,” Jorgensen says, but if it’s an acute injury, rolling on that spot can aggravate the problem. Also, do not roll too aggressively. “I think sometimes there can be this mindset of ‘the more pain the more gains,’ but that’s not always necessarily true,” Jorgensen says. If you push on muscles so hard that the resulting pain causes you to grit your teeth and tense your muscles, foam rolling will be counterproductive. “Try to take your ego out of it a little bit and accept that it’s OK if the hard, pokey foam roller doesn’t feel good to you,” Jorgensen says. “The point isn’t to torture yourself; the point is to do something to try to help yourself feel better” and move more easily. Foam rolling takes a little bit of practice, “but it’s a really good tool for just about everybody,” Vallie says. “I put my athletes on it, and the other day, I had an 80-year-old on the foam roller,” modifying the movements as needed. “Know your limitations,” Vallie says, “take it slow, and you should find success.” NH

2022 EXCELLENCE IN NURSING AWARD WINNERS: • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse: Sandra McDonald, Neurocritical Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center • Ambulatory Care Nursing: Laurie Kofstad, Manchester VA Medical Center • Cardiovascular Nursing: Monica Matulonis, Catholic Medical Center • Emergency Nursing: Melissa Eastman, Concord Hospital • Front Line/Administrative Nursing Leader: Anna Ivy Park, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center • Hospice-Palliative Care/Gerontologic Nursing: Jacob Fox, Maplewood of Cheshire County • Maternal-Child Health Nursing: April Henry, Exeter Hospital • Medical-Surgical Nursing: Caitlin Kretschmar, Wentworth Douglass Hospital


• Nurse Educator: Jennifer Miller, Elliot Medical Group

Tuesday, May 19, 2022 5:30-7:30 p.m. DoubleTree by Hilton, Manchester, NH Heavy hors-d’oeuvres • Cocktails • Networking To order tickets: nhmagazine.


• Pediatric & School Nursing: Jennifer Orbeso, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: Christina Favero, DartmouthHitchcock Medical Center • Public Health Nursing: Darlene Morse, NH Division of Public Health Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control • Senior Nursing Leader: Amy Matthews, Cheshire Medical Center

SPONSORED BY: | May 2022 93


Late-life Crisis It’s real and no laughing matter BY LYNNE SNIERSON / ILLUSTRATION BY MADELINE McMAHON


veryone jokes about the mid-life crisis where that guy between the ages of 40 and 50 buys the expensive red sports car, carries on an extramarital affair, and dons the gaudy jewelry and ill-fitting toupée. But did you know that the late-life crisis is a real thing? Clinical research in Europe and the United States has found that one in every three people aged 60 and older will experience a legitimate late-life crisis, and the

94 New Hampshire Magazine | May 2022

event is not gender-specific. It affects men and women equally, and it’s no laughing matter. “Late-life crisis is real. Absolutely. It’s probably more so than the mid-life crisis, which isn’t research-based. The mid-life crisis is trendy for people to talk about and something they think they feel, but the late-life crisis is researched with case studies. There are many case studies showing that the late-life crisis is very common,” says Emily Simonian, the head of clinical learning for Thriveworks, a

national therapy and counseling practice with 301 locations, including one in Bedford. “This is a big topic right now,” adds the licensed marriage and family therapist. “In my practice, I counsel clients experiencing this.” With life expectancy at 79.05 years in the United States in 2022 and the population continuing to age rapidly, the numbers of seniors finding themselves in this predicament will only increase. That’s especially true in New Hampshire, which ranks among the oldest states in the nation and continues to be one of the fastest-aging states. So, what exactly is a late-life crisis? When you find you’re dwelling on the past and focused on looking through the rearview mirror so that you can’t see what’s on the horizon or be optimistic about what’s in store for you down the road, you’re in trouble. That’s according to the recently published book “Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old? The Path of Purposeful Aging” by Richard A. Leider and David A. Shapiro. You feel lost, lonely and, even worse, irrelevant and invisible. You’re stressed and maybe living daily life with the mind-numbing drudgery of having no sense of purpose, and you feel sad, likely desperate, or perhaps panicky in response to the challenges of aging, write Leider and Shapiro. Most often, you’re regretful that your life didn’t turn out to be what you had wished, hoped or dreamed it would be at this stage, and you’re contemplating your mortality while watching the sands sift through the hourglass faster. “In terms of symptoms, we see a lot of emotional and behavioral problems that are coming up. Specifically, there’s anxiety, depression, loss of identity, loss of a sense of self-worth, disengagement from friends or family or any type of social support, disengagement from activities that they used to enjoy, or feeling a sense of hopelessness,” says Simonian. “These are the things that could be experienced. It’s not that everyone is experiencing all these things, but maybe a combination of some or many of them is what we’re typically seeing. That’s the same for any life crisis.” Nevertheless, the Covid-19 pandemic with its associated anxieties, isolation, depression, losses, and the element of fear in an already

Telltale signs you’re having a late-life crisis One in three people over the age of 60 will experience a late-life crisis, experts tell us. But how do we know when we’re having one? In their book on purposeful aging, authors Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro suggest asking: • Do you often find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking, “Who is this person?” • Do you feel reluctant to tell people your age? • Do you obsess about your appearance, trying to “anti-age,” to look younger? • Do you often compare yourself with others your age and worry that you’re not measuring up? • Do you often find yourself thinking about your mortality? • Do you avoid discussing with your loved ones what you would like for them after you’re gone? • Do you often question the value of your religious or spiritual beliefs? • Do you often feel down or empty for long periods of time? • Do you often feel detached from activities that once gave you pleasure? • Do you feel bored or stuck in your personal relationships? If you are honest and answered “yes” to more of the questions than you answered “no,” it’s possible that you are in, or entering into, a late-life crisis. at-risk population intensified the distress for seniors dramatically. There are multiple factors that can send someone into the downward spiral. A divorce or separation, the death of a spouse or partner, family member, close friend or beloved pet, the decrease in physical vitality and mental acuity, relationship stress, retirement or the end of a fulfilling and rewarding career, money troubles, moving to a different home and downsizing, and moving to a different state

or different lifestyle community are some of the triggers. “Late-life crisis manifests by having a lot to do with social changes. Loss is the common denominator. These major changes that happen in life where your life potentially doesn’t look like what it used to, and that is because of the loss or because your role has changed. Maybe with your family you were caretaking for a loved one. Maybe you are the one feeling health effects, illnesses, or disabilities,” Simonian explains. “Even positive changes that you choose can be stressful and can cause this crisis. When our brains register change, even if it is positive change, we have a negativity bias. I think that is a survival tactic,” she continues. “You think, ‘Oh, my god, something has changed, and I am trying to adjust. Adjustment is really hard for humans. We all eventually adapt and adjust, but I think it’s one of the harder things in life psychologically.” The experts say that psychotherapy can be beneficial for anyone going through a late-life crisis. Individual treatment is a way to work out personal problems and make therapy unique to whomever the client is and whatever issues he or she is dealing with. Additionally, there are complementary practices and methods. “In terms of the way you could cope and get through this, it is to find a strong support system, whether that is friends or engaging in some type of community or group, so you are essentially finding meaningful ways to continue your life,” Simonian says. “I will highlight again the importance of a support system. Make new friends, join a community center, take a class, volunteer.” One of the most effective approaches is to reimagine your future. “Look at different ways to view this season of your life. Look at it through a different lens. It’s not, ‘Well, there was one road and that was my career and now it’s done so I’m done.’ Find your new normal. Re-engage in your life instead of looking at it like you’re just going to disengage and feel bad. I think a lot of it is mental strength and changing perspective,” she says. “You could still feel a sense of purpose. It just doesn’t have to be the dream that you once had when you were 25.” NH

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l, summer, After schoo s ch program a e tr u o d n a re than serving mo in New 2,000 girls each year. Hampshire | May 2022 95


Bugs! You’re Buggin’ Me


petitioned warrant article to ban nuclear weapons in a small New Hampshire town came up for a vote at town meeting. A forward-thinking resident proposed an amendment: “I don’t like nuclear weapons any better than the next fella,” he said. “But there’s one thing I hate more than nuclear weapons. And that’s ... black flies.” The amended article, to ban nuclear weapons and black flies, passed with flying colors. A wise woman (101 years old at the time) told me, “There’s some good and bad in everything.” Words to live by. Though I’ve yet to see much good in black flies. Unless you believe the old saw, “If it wa’n’t for black flies, everybody’d move to New Hampshire.” Same could be said of ticks. (Don’t get me started on ticks!) In 1869, gypsy moth specimens (of Eurasian origin) were accidentally released in Medford, Massachusetts. They proliferated. For the last century here in New Hampshire, every seven or so years an infestation

of gypsy moth caterpillars pops up in one region or another. Last time our area got hit, I could hear them munching overhead and their teeny-tiny poop rained down. They feasted on maples and oaks, but spared the big ashes between our house and the road. Gypsy moths eschew ashes. Another good thing. Though gypsy moths denude trees, they don’t usually kill them. The emerald ash borer, on the other hand, is a killer. EABs invaded Michigan in 2002. Since then, they’ve killed tens of millions of trees, expanding their territory — south, then east, and north. Oh, yes, they’re here! Didn’t take them long to do in the big ashes between our house and the road. EAB larvae burrow in and destroy the tree’s veins. No nutrients = dead tree. If those big ashes fall east, they’ll take out the electric lines. (Bad.) If they fall west, they’ll land in the bedroom. (Also bad.) We own a chain saw ... but, having seen

too many trees fall exactly where they shouldn’t (crunch), we will hire professionals to fell the trees (good) and cut them firewood length to burn in the wood stove come winter. (Also good.) Meanwhile, up to camp in Maine, the neighbor showed all he could decently reveal of a horrifying rash caused by the hairs of the browntailed-moth caterpillar. Luckily, he didn’t inhale. Those hairs get into your lungs, the doctor told him, you’re in big trouble, mister. The browntailed-moth caterpillar, also an import, has only recently reached infestation level in Maine. Used to be a good cold winter would tamp down the population. Milder winters, less tamping. Jim Dill, pest management specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, put it this way: “Climate change in the winters can be a dramatic force in the population dynamics.” (Very bad.) At least we haven’t had a browntail infestation in New Hampshire. Yet. NH


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