Head for the Hills With the warmer weather and longer days in March, lots of hikers are hitting the trails. It’s a great time to (finally) soak up some sun, get a workout and enjoy the views. But it’s also a time to take some care. Spring can be dangerous on the trails, especially in the mountains. “A sunny, clear day in the valleys could still mean there’s deep snow at higher elevations,” says Lt. Todd Bogardus of N.H. Fish and Game. “Hypothermia is always a concern.” Even if storms don’t appear, nighttime temperature are often below freezing. He says be sure to pack for a variety of weather conditions and be prepared to turn back at the first sign of bad weather. Bogardus also says to watch out for the water released by the spring thaw. If the streams or rivers are running high, cross them with extreme caution. If in doubt, don’t cross and find another way to go. Bogardus says it’s smart to have topographical maps that show where the streams and rivers are, like those in AMC guidebooks. They can also help identify trails if signs are missing or paint is worn from winter snow and ice. Cell phones can allow you to call for help if you get into trouble, but Bogardus says the battery could die or coverage might not be available: “Cell phones can’t substitute for proper planning.” He recommends taking a course in how to use a compass and maps. Bogardus says a Hike Safe program (see the program’s Code above) was developed in 2003 after a “really bad year” in 2001, when there was a spike in rescues, with all their costs and risks. The program, a joint effort between Fish and Game and the White Mountain National Forest, is working well enough other states may adopt it. Bogardus says, “I like to think it’s made a difference.” Hiker Responsibility Code 1. Learn about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start. 2. Tell someone where you’re going, the trails you’re hiking, when you’ll return and your emergency plans. 3. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person. 4. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike or turn back. 5. Even if you’re headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life-threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. There are 10 items you should take with you on a hike (Visit www.hikesafe.com for the complete list). The list includes a map and compass (make sure you know how to use them) and a whistle (blow loudly at regular intervals to attract attention). If you have to be rescued because you were reckless, state law now requires that you pay for it. The cost can go as high as $10,000. Also, don’t forget that rescuers are risking their lives searching for you.
Q&A She’s traveled to the Middle East three times — to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. She’s spoken before a crowd of thousands in New York City’s Central Park. She’s given dozens of speeches and media interviews up and down the East Coast. For 35-year-old Anne Miller it’s all in a day’s work as director of New Hampshire Peace Action. Q: What drew you into the peace movement? Growing up, I was always concerned about nuclear weapons. It was the early 1980s, when big buildups were happening in the former Soviet Union and the United States. It affected me deeply and made me want to do something about it — to change public policy, to change the world. Today, the United States still has over 10,000 weapons in its nuclear arsenals — almost half of the global arsenal. Q: You started out as a teacher ... I taught for 10 years, part of that time at a Quaker school in Maryland. It was there that I got exposed to Quaker values and became committed to the principles of nonviolence. Violence is not a moral or sustainable solution to the world’s problems. Q: What’s your goal? My ultimate goal is to change U.S. foreign policy to be based on cooperation and human rights instead of dominance. Diplomacy is the untried weapon. We also need to change U.S. military spending. Half of the federal discretionary budget — 500 billion dollars annually — is spent on the Pentagon. I like the slogan that says “wouldn’t it be great if the schools had all the money they needed and the military had to have a bake sale to raise money to buy a bomber?” Q: What do you say to people who think what you advocate is weakness, or worse, appeasement? I’d say it takes real courage to use diplomacy instead of violence. It’s easy to hit someone; it’s much more difficult to struggle to find common ground. We’re coming to the point now in international relations where diplomacy and peace is really the only option if we want to avert a larger catastrophe. Q: A lot of people see the peace movement as left wing. Is it? I don’t think it’s left wing to want our children to be safe. What the U.S. is doing by angering the world and isolating itself with its foreign policy is to create the possibility of more terrorism — both for ourselves and the civilians living in other countries. It’s not left wing to want policies based on the premise that we are part of a global community; it’s common sense. Q: Do you get discouraged? The tide has shifted — so many Americans now want peace and are disgusted with U.S. foreign policy regarding Iraq. With so many groups in New Hampshire giving time and energy to the cause of peace, it’s a real antidote to the despair and cynicism I think many people are feeling right now. On March 19, the 4th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, there will be peace actions all over the state. For more information visit www.nhpeaceaction.org.
Hamming It Up An Alton man is fast becoming a capitalist pig — and getting lots of laughs along the way. Will New Hampshire’s D.A. Hammond do for pigs what Gary Larsen of “Far Side” fame has done for cows? His fans think so. Hammond’s pigs sure have enough charm to hit the big time. Albert Swinestein, Pigasso, Ernest Hamingway, Rush Limboar — how can you not love them, especially when their porcine attributes are so skillfully rendered by Hammond. And, please, don’t call them cartoons. Hammond says his pig portraits, done in pastel, are original fine art paintings. Making people laugh is Hammond’s goal (“I really enjoy that”), and he’s doing it with a series of three books (the first recently released), greetings cards, T-shirts, mugs, plates and magnets. He’s also drawing pigs in various jobs to sell as prints. He’s doing the holidays, too (“hogs and kisses” was one of his Valentine’s Day messages). One promoter even approached Hammond about selling his images to interior designers. If fortune follows fame, that’s OK, he says: “I am, after all, still a capitalist, uh, pig.” How many pig puns are possible? Hammond says he’s come up with close to 200 (some of them tasteless, he admits), and he’s certain there are many more. Most of Hammond’s pig paintings are pretty straightforward, the double entendres easy to get. Others are more sophisticated, a bit New Yorker-y. Take “The Squeal,” for instance — a wry treatment of Munch’s famous painting. How did the pig genre come about? Hammond, of course, says it was “deswine inspiration.” Actually, after he retired from a graphics arts business, he painted watercolors to keep busy. He says one day he was “fooling around” with pastels and a pig appeared. Who knows where it will go? To the ultimate — action figures? “How about Superham?” he asks. At the moment, there is the book, “Pigs in a Poke Collection #1” [Beech River Books, $21]. You can find out more about the book, Hammond and his pigs at www.pigsinapoke.com. Street Smarts [A quickie guide to Depot Square] In Peterborough, some of the best shopping is on four sides of a square. Long a school of arts and crafts in the Peterborough area, the Sharon Arts Center a few years back opened a fine craft store and gallery at 20-40 Depot Square. There local artists display their wares — pottery, paintings, fibert art, leatherwork, jewelry and more — in surroundings that enhance their work and tempt the customers. If you want edgy fashion, the Renaissance Room at 20-30 Depot Square has it. You’ll find non-traditional clothing and accessories (lots of cool hats and scarves) from all around the world. It looks like a shop you’d find in New York, but without the New York pricetags. Owner Jaquie Perry, who calls the clothing “wearable art,” will help you put things together. And while you’re there, have a cup of tea and a tarot reading. The rugs you see at tribals, rugs by hand at 16 School St. are anything but ho-hum. Most of the bright and beautiful hand-knotted rugs are designed and made by tribes in the Middle East. Others are made in small villages by families who make and dye the wools they use. Owner Michaela Chelminski says the rugs have a not-quite-perfect organic feel. After you choose your rug, you can choose a painting to match from the gallery in the back of the store. Translate maison de reverie and you get “house of daydreams,” and in fact that’s just what you get in this two-story shop. The rooms in the converted house at 10 School St. have hand-painted pottery from Tuscany, silk florals, lamps, painted furniture, framed canvas art, jewelry and lots of other European-style decorative items. The genial owner, Kathleen Brandes, says prices range anywhere from $15 to $2,000. Walk into van campen’s at18-30 Depot Square and the first thing that catches your eye is an elegant four-poster canopy bed. But the museum-quality handcrafted furniture is just part of what you’ll find. There’s a wide variety of interior and exterior lighting for 18th-century and traditional homes, as well as accessories like hand-painted mirrors. Owner Nancy Van Campen, who provides interior design services, will let you take pieces home on trial. It’s not your usual antique shop — no endless shelves of commonplace stuff here. At red chair antiques at 14 Depot St. interesting and unusual furniture — mostly 18th- and 19th-century European farmhouse style — anchors the shop. You’ll also find antique textiles (owner Jocie Sinauer uses them to create her signature French lavender pillows), vintage clothing, ironstone and more. Don’t miss the jewelry made with antique buttons. Following the Sugar Trail Travel this loop from Plymouth and back for an authentic maple syrup experience. By Barbara Radcliffe Rogers March is all about maple syrup, and almost any route in the state is likely to pass at least one steaming shed or stand of trees tethered together by sap-filled pipelines. But this loop beginning and ending in Plymouth passes several that are open to the public — plus a few other places worth a stop. Leave Plymouth on Route 175 heading north. Before reaching Campton, you’ll pass Blair Road and the Blair Bridge, crossing the Pemigewasset River. Built in 1869, the truss bridge with arches is 292 feet long. About three miles past Campton on the right is Benton’s Sugar Shack, which serves pancake (or French toast) breakfasts from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends (726-3867, www.nhmapleoutlet.com). North of Benton’s is White Mountain Maples Sugar House. Continue north on Route 175 to Woodstock, where Route 175 merges with Route 3 and continues into North Woodstock. In the center of town, on the left, is Fadden’s Sugar House, which is moved there during sugar season (745-2406, www.nhmaplesyrup.com). Backtrack a few yards to the intersection with Route 112 and go right. Turn left onto Route 118, heading toward Warren. Turn right on Route 25C, passing scenic Lake Tarleton. Continue on to Piermont and turn left, heading south on Route 10. One of New England’s best round barns — actually 16-sided -— stands near the intersection. Across the street from the 1906 barn is the Round Barn Shoppe, with New England gifts and their own fudge, open Friday through Sunday in the winter (272-9026, www.wmtn.biz/roundbarn). Continue south on Route 10 to Orford, where a series of fine homes known as “Bullfinch Row” overlooks the common. Pease's Scenic Valley makes maple sugar pies to order if you call ahead (20 East Cemetery Road, Orford, 353-9070). Turn left onto Route 25A and about a mile from town is Sunday Mountain Maple Farm (353-4883). And farther on, at the top of the hill, is Mt. Cube Farm, another maple producer, this one with a view that extends over the Connecticut Valley (353-4709 or 353-4814). From Baker Pond, the road follows Pond Brook into Wentworth, where you turn south onto Rte. 25/118 until you reach a left turnoff marked Rumney. In Rumney, make an immediate right onto Quincy Road, off the far end of Rumney’s village green. Look for the Town Pound on your left. Two and a half of its sides are formed by huge boulders that have fallen from cliffs above. Look for it when you see the boulder that almost juts into the road on the right. Continue on the same road, which brings you back into Plymouth on Smith Bridge Road, over the Smith Millennium Covered Bridge, built in 2000-2001 after a fire destroyed the original one. Plan Ahead: www.nhmapleoutlet.com www.wmtn.biz/roundbarn www.www.nhmaplesyrup.com www.nhmapleproducers.com Snap Judgment ... to Patrick Miller and others around the state who collected signatures to put a climate change resolution up for a vote at more than 150 March town meetings. It read in part: “To see if the town will go on record in support of effective actions by the President and the Congress to address the issue of climate change which is increasingly harmful to the environment and economy of N.H. and to the future well being of the people.” Miller, who says there’s been a lack of leadership at the national level, believes states need to take the lead on climate change and that it’s time for individual towns to get involved. ... to the companies in New Hampshire that provide “pay day loans” to low-income people at interest rates that can go as high as 300 percent. At those rates, of course, it doesn’t take long for borrowers to get in serious financial trouble. Not that the companies care; they’re making tons of money preying on the poor. The worst part of it is that it’s legal to charge those rates. When legislation was passed a few years back to make it easier for low-income people to get loans, no cap was put on the rates. But now the Legislature is considering correcting that error with changes to the law — one would cap the rates at a comparatively modest 36 percent. That’s a start. The Running Nuns It all started with Sister Maximilian’s challenge — “Let’s race to that tree.” Afterer 10 years, it’s become rather commonplace to see nuns in full habit running on the streets of Rochester, but some of us still find it an inspiring sight. Two of the Sisters who operate the city’s St. Charles Children’s Home, a residence for children who come from troubled families, run regularly with their charges. “Sister Maximilian started running with the children back in 1996,” says Sister Mary Rose, who also runs with the group. “We had a seven-year-old girl who was highly disturbed behaviorally and emotionally. Sr. Maximilian started taking her out for walks to try to get some of her energy out in a good way. One day Sister said to the girl, ‘Why don’t we race to that tree?’ Then the next day, they raced to the next tree, and kept adding a little bit more ...” Thus began the St. Charles running program, which the nuns say is highly therapeutic for the children, providing a physical outlet and an opportunity to bond and share thoughts and feelings with the Sisters as the group members make their way together along the streets. Now Sister Maximilian and Sister Mary Rose shepherd the children through year-round runs, five times a week, for up to four miles, and through local road races, where the children wear matching “St. Charles Eagles” team shirts and get a boost from runners of all stripes who madly cheer on the kids as they cross the finish line. Some of the St. Charles children are shocked to realize that not only can they complete the race, they can beat some of their adult competitors. “I think it really helps their self-esteem,” Sister Mary Rose says. “Children who have been through what ours have been through, some of them don’t succeed that well academically because they’re under so much emotional stress, but running is something they can succeed in. It’s something they can really take pride in.” The nuns even put on their own race, open to all, at Pease Air Force Base each September to benefit the St. Charles Children’s Home. Last year’s race attracted nearly 800 runners. To which we say, Amen. — by Karen Jamrog Celebrating 75 A retrospective exhibition adds sparkle to the League of N.H. Craftsmen’s diamond anniversary. It was 1932, in the depths of the Depression. The state’s many craftsmen were struggling to make a living. Two leaders in the crafts field — Mrs. J. Randolph Coolidge and A. Cooper Ballentine, both of the Lakes Region — had an idea they thought could help. Create a league, they said, that would help the craftsmen market their wares by providing outlets and educating the community about the value of crafts. Then-Gov. John Winant liked the idea and funded what was called the League of Arts and Crafts. His action gave New Hampshire the distinction of being the first state to financially support the crafts. Seventy-five years later the league, now called the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, has stores around the state and one of the largest craft fairs in the country, where craftsmen make a substantial part of their yearly income. The league’s success is due in large measure to the quality it insisted on from the start, and the league is spotlighting that long tradition with three exhibitions of its permanent collection, which has works from throughout its history. “What better way to kick off our 75th anniversary than to take a look back and appreciate the artistry and mastery of our early members’ work,” says League Executive Director Susie Lowe-Stockwell. The first exhibition, “The Early Years: Pieces from the Permanent Collection, 1930s-1960s,” will run until Mar. 16 at the 205 Gallery at 205 N. Main St. in Concord. From June 22-Sept. 7, a multi-media exhibition featuring the work of newly juried league members will take place and, from Sept. 28-Dec. 7, “The Later Years, 1960s-2007.” For more information about the exhibitions, visit www.nhcrafts.org. Book Shelf Tucked into the Northern Forest — some 30 million acres spanning from New York to Maine — are dozens of interesting artists’ studios and craft marketplaces. But exactly where are they, how do you get there and where do you stay? All questions that are answered in “Handmade in the Northern Forest: A guide to fine art and craft traditions in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.” The book [published by the Northern Forest Center and Businesses for the Northern Forest, $19.95] outlines 13 different trips, or driving loops, you can take in the four states. They range from about 100 miles to nearly 300 miles and follow local roads and state highways rather than interstates. The trips — the two in New Hampshire are in the Connecticut River Valley and the White Mountains — give you everything you need to know about finding and enjoying the people who make and sell everything from textiles to treehooks. Restaurants and places to stay are listed, as are local attractions worthy of a side trip. There are directions from place to place along with maps that give you the lay of the land. For more information or to purchase the book, visit www.HandmadeintheNorthernForest.org. Of Rum Barrels and Rules If you’re one of the few people who’ve taken a good look at the New Hampshire state seal, you probably wondered why it features a ship that seems to have run aground. Go to the N.H. Almanac (www.nh.gov/nhinfo) and you get the story: The state’s first seal had featured a pine tree and an upright fish to represent the two major economic resources of that time. But during the Revolutionary War years Portsmouth had become a major shipbuilding center so the Legislature decided in 1784 to change the seal to represent that fact. The design settled on was a ship on stocks that was modeled on the frigate Raleigh, which had been built in Portsmouth in 1776, one of the first built for the new American navy. It was an odd choice, though. According to the Almanac: “The Raleigh has a checkered career ... She was unable to go to sea for 15 months for lack of armament, and after her first voyage to France for munitions, her captain was dismissed for incompetency. Soon thereafter she was beached off Maine, captured by British warships, and used for the reminder of the Revolutionary War against her own country.” Over the years, artists who produced new dies for the seal would amuse themselves by putting in details like rum barrels on the dock. Gov. John Winant put an end to that mischief in 1931 by spelling out exactly what the seal should look like. Who Knew? “In God We Trust” — the phrase has been on our coins since 1864, thanks in large measure to Salmon P. Chase of New Hampshire, who was Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary. During the Civil War, religious sentiment was at a high and many devout people appealed to Chase to recognize the Deity on U.S. coins. As one minister put it: “This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed.” The director of the Mint proposed the phrases “Our Country; Our God” or “God, Our Trust.” Chase chose the second one and modified it to “In God We Trust.” The phrase first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin. It appeared on paper money in 1957. Chase also administered the nation’s first income tax. With revenue from the Southern cotton trade cut off by the war, Chase in 1862 raised money through the Bureau of Internal Revenue, later changed to the Internal Revenue Service. Treasure Hunt Curious about an antique in your attic? Wonder what the porcelain you inherited from Grandma is worth? Send in a photo and we’ll have expert Jason Hackler tell you what it is and appraise it. Your dinner gong is a nice example of English barley twist furniture from the Jacobean Revival period. The Jacobean Revival period was brought on in the Victorian age and was typically heavily carved, reminiscent of furniture made in the 17th century. It is made of oak and exhibits nice hand-carved elements, including paw feet, lions, mythical serpents, rosettes and, of course, the “barley-twisted” columns. Dating to the late nineteenth century, the gong reminds us of an era of lavish dinners and entertainment. The piece has a nice early surface and well-patinated gong, made of bronze or brass, which is desirable. Refinishing the wood or polishing the gong would lessen its value. Instead, I recommend paste furniture wax to enhance the wood grain. Although the mallet is missing and the hardware is replaced, it is a great piece that would spice up any dinner party! As this piece is of a large scale, I would appraise it at $650. —Jason Hackler, manager/owner of New Hampshire Antique Co-op and partner of Jason Samuel Antiques, is a past officer of the Granite State Antique and Appraisers Association, a principal of the Active Appraisal Group, a member of the N.H. Antique Dealers Association and a licensed auctioneer. If you have an antique you would like Jason to appraise, please send a hi-res photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are markings, please take a clear photo of them as well. Striking a Chord Water-smoothed stones are good for the soul — and for your towels. One day a few years back Arra David found an interesting stone on the beach, one that had been tumbled smooth by the sea. An artistic engineer always looking for new ideas, he decided to use it to make a door handle in his house. When friends admired it, he gathered more stones and began to create other kinds of functional art — primarily towel hangers, coat hooks (or coast hooks, as he calls them) and wine stoppers. Artist Anne Johnson came on board as a partner and the two began to build the business. In less than three years, they’ve placed their products in more than 300 galleries and craft shops around the country. Says David: “The stones just strike a chord with people. Touching a water-smoothed stone is very tactile. It’s the real thing.” Because David and Johnson want to leave the planet better than they found it, they replace the stones they gather. “We purchase stones from a quarry,” David says, “and for each stone harvested we ‘plant’ a new stone in the water.” The wood they use comes from sawyers who support forest-friendly practices. www.sea-stones.com Sea Stones, Windham (603) 206-202-1092