Your Letters From the February 2016 Issue




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

You Are Here
We have been subscribing to NH Magazine for several years. We live in New Jersey and vacation in New Hampshire. One of our frustrations is that we don’t know where most of the towns are which you mention. This means that we need to have a map when we read your publication. Is there any way you could make it clear what area of the state you are covering in a particular section? Some ideas are: Divide your calendar section to reflect northern NH, central NH and southern NH. Your restaurant section reflects different areas.  Perhaps articles could have a code indicating the general area a town is in.

Jay Schechter
Middlesex, NJ

Editor’s Note: We’ve had a number of requests for more maps to help readers know where the towns and cities we mention reside. We’re working on a redesign for the entire magazine and will attempt to address the concern. Meanwhile, we have begun to include small maps with our departments to show the region of the state featured in the story.


Worse Than NH
The December 2015 issue, page 54, states that the “world’s worst weather is right here in New Hampshire, atop Mr. Washington.”

That’s not true. I’ve only lived in New Hampshire for a little more than 48 years, but I’ve also “wintered over” in the Antarctic while on Operation Deepfreeze III. While there for more than a year, ’57 and ’58, I experienced months of darkness and very low temperatures, days of whiteouts and many days of very high winds. I’ve also been to the top on Mt. Washington and never seen anything like the Antarctic.

The lowest temperatures ever recorded on Earth were in various places on the Antarctic continent. They are -128.6 F, and that’s thermometer temperature not wind chill, and also a temperature of -135.8 F recorded by satellite.

I’m not saying that Mt. Washington is “tropical,” but it is a long ways from the “world’s worst weather.”

John Henry
Weare, NH

Editor’s Note: This is definitely not our area of expertise, so we’ve turned the question over to an expert who has researched this question extensively and makes a case for the claim. We’ll be happy to moderate the debate in a future issue.


A Legend Left Out
I enjoyed reading “Ski Country” in the January 2016 issue of  New Hampshire Magazine, especially the section on New Hampshire legends. There is one name you left out, a great name indeed relative to skiing in NH, the nation and internationally — Paul Valar. Look him up — you’ll find [the] extraordinary background of this extraordinary man.

George Sigalos
Exeter


Best Yet
Thank you so much for the great article and nice opportunity to be written up for the NH Magazine. Your write-up was the best one I’ve had yet! I have had more customers due to the exposure also. I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in selecting me and my work.

Kristin Kennedy
Kristin Kennedy Fine Jewelry Design
Concord


Also Best Yet
Thank you so much! I was performing at a nursing home yesterday in Exeter when several residents ran out with their NH Magazines to show me the article [“Wild Swimming,” January 2016]. That is the best article ever written about me. I was absolutely blown away and honored. 

Gary Sredzienski


Libraries of Note
Would you consider doing a story on the public libraries of New Hampshire that are on the state historical register? As of April of this year, there are 18 libraries (not all of which are still public libraries) that have qualified to be on the state register. This would include the library where I am director, Allenstown Public Library, in Allenstown. This could be an informative article exploring the history of the public library in the state, as well as some of the individual stories of the libraries and librarians, then and now. I believe you would find that our historical libraries offer a wonderful opportunity for the day tripper to discover some hidden architectural gems. 

I am attaching a few newer photos of my library (including one of the lovely Stephen Crane tiles around the fireplace in our children’s section (see below) and the lead glass windows surrounded by hand-carved woodwork at the front door) that show just some of the things our buildings have to offer.

Patricia Adams, Director
Allenstown Public Library
Allenstown

Editor’s Note: We are planning a story on libraries for later this year, so thanks for the photos and thoughts. We’ll probably reach out to you for more suggestions.


Of Winter and Winter
My husband, Bud and I always looked forward to each monthly publication and searched for the newts. Sometimes he found all four in one sitting, which always impressed me. The attached is a piece that sort of grew from our experiences with last winter’s heavy snow, and some reminiscences too. Bud passed away on the 31st of May, and our little dog, Winter, a rescue from Tennessee via the Manchester Animal Shelter, keeps me company as we  face another potential snowy winter. You may get a kick out of the  piece. I hope you do.

Sally Dowd
Atkinson

Editor’s Note: Condolences on your loss and thanks for sending the nicely written essay. With your permission, I’ve included it with the online version of your letter (below) so our readers can enjoy it as well. Hope you and Winter have a chance to snuggle up with our story on rescue pets in this issue.

Fifty Shades of White, or the Art of Snowblowing

Now that summer is over, fall has arrived and the Christmas and New Year holidays loom, we can look back on our record nasty 2014/15 winter season as a great adventure. Yeah, right. Now it’s time to contemplate and plan for the 2015/16 winter with all its possibilities.

With 27 inches of accumulated snow from one of the “last” systems last year, the view from our back north-facing windows was like looking at a piece of white paper. Sense of perspective and depth perception were severely reduced. One of the things that always gives us a sense of space is watching the wild birds at the feeders – it was tough, watching the poor things blowing around in the cold winter winds. Fortunately, we have shrubs to offer them shelter.

All of us are 50 years older than we were 50 years ago. This is a simple fact that is hard to own. Years ago when we were young, we had no snowblower. We bought our house in construction in the summer of 1964; come that winter, we shoveled. We dealt with winter like good Yankees. What inspired us to buy a house with a south-facing aspect?  Nothing. It was pure luck. We were lucky to have the snow or ice on our driveway begin to soften and melt before our neighbors across the street benefitted from the weak winter sun. Transplanted “Flatlanders,” we learned to deal with what the winters brought us. Over time, the trees across the street grew to block a good deal of that winter sunshine from the south, but we still manage to have a better orientation than our north-facing neighbors to help the blacktop driveway melt a bit.

Our first snowblower was a Yardbird. In the early ‘60s and 70s, Bud worked an afternoon shift at Logan Airport, 50 miles south of our Atkinson, NH, homestead, and he often did not arrive home until one or two o’clock in the morning. Winters were obviously problematic because of his arriving home to a driveway filled with snow after working eight hours on the line at the airport, not to mention the horrendous commute from Boston to Atkinson. I did not want him to have to park his rear-wheel-drive sedan in the street, struggle through the snow to the garage and start the Yardbird, so I learned to use it. The Yardbird was indeed a workhorse which did not need to be replaced until 2007, when we invested in a Honda. 

Recent winter conversations around the water cooler at my office often were about the huge amounts of snow, which were moved about over any given weekend. I remember the terms “technique,” and “you have to know how to do it,” and “experience is everything” and “timing is essential,” etc. Of course, there was the time a colleague (Flatlander, of course) assumed we were discussing a very much more personal activity than snow blowing – we had a good chuckle about that. 

The winters come and go, one per year, and we age accordingly. Our two children became adults and had families of their own. And here we were, in our 70s, with the Honda snowblower, which has become increasingly difficult for us oldies to use. Now – has the machine deteriorated? Or have we perhaps changed a bit? It’s hard to remember exactly how to start, fuel, oil, balance and generally USE the Honda. It is a workhorse too, as was the Yardbird, and a tremendous back-saver. We were very fortunate that our son-in-law cleared the driveway last winter when we were not able to do so. He brought his tractor here and pushed the plow row back more than six feet, giving us better visibility when trying to exit the driveway. 

Spring was slow to come, and we were very grateful when the harsh winter weather was behind us. Sadly, Bud passed away at the end of May after some years of declining health. Summer flew, and here it is, mid-December, and the old Yankees will again make do. We’ll all carry on and help each other through another New England winter season and collect stories to tell our southern and west-coast relatives. No snow yet, and the unseasonably warm weather is almost eerie; but I’ll take it.

The years fly by, and none of us can foretell the future, even the Old Farmer’s Almanac.  A huge fall of acorns has been said to forecast a hard, snowy winter; but the trees knew they had to drop their seeds to survive the hot, dry summer. The trees cannot foretell the weather, just tell us that they’re dealing with the current conditions. Guess we can all take a lesson from our oak trees and take our days one at a time. It has become my mantra.

 

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