Day to Remember
Memorial Day is a time for picnics, parades and remembering those who have served our country in the military. In this fifth year of war in Iraq, and longer in Afghanistan, our military deserves much more than passing recognition of what they have done — and are still doing.
In addition to people in the regular armed forces, more than 1,500 New Hampshire army and air guardsmen have deployed overseas since 9-11. Major Greg Heilshorn, public affairs officer for the N.H. National Guard, says some are on their second tour.
“The National Guard is no longer a strategic reserve,” Heilshorn says. “We are now an operational ready force, a second team called into the fight along with active duty. It’s part of our evolution.”
You can trace N.H. National Guard history all the way back to 1623, when the first settlements were established in Portsmouth. At Fort Point in nearby New Castle, a defensive earthworks was built with citizen soldiers manning it. The Army Guard began officially in 1679 when New Hampshire, no longer tied to Massachusetts, set up a formal state militia. The Air Guard was set up at the end of WWII. Its first mission in New Hampshire was as a fight squadron based at what is now Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Today its mission is to provide in-flight refueling wherever it’s needed.
“The last few years — it’s never been so busy,” says Heilshorn. “At one point, we were supporting a number of missions simultaneously: Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf Coast after Katrina and here in New Hampshire with the major flooding.”
For more information about the National Guard and its long history, visit https://www.nh.ngb.army.mil.
One of the country’s most famous Memorial Day speeches took place in New Hampshire in 1884. It was given in Keene by Civil War veteran Oliver Wendell Holmes (below), who went on to become one of the most influential U.S. Supreme Court justices in history. Below is his entire speech.
“In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire”
[An address delivered for Memorial Day, May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH, before John Sedgwick Post No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic.]
“Not long ago I heard a young man ask why people still kept up Memorial Day, and it set me thinking of the answer. Not the answer that you and I should give to each other-not the expression of those feelings that, so long as you live, will make this day sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth–but an answer which should command the assent of those who do not share our memories, and in which we of the North and our brethren of the South could join in perfect accord.
So far as this last is concerned, to be sure, there is no trouble. The soldiers who were doing their best to kill one another felt less of personal hostility, I am very certain, than some who were not imperilled by their mutual endeavors. I have heard more than one of those who had been gallant and distinguished officers on the Confederate side say that they had had no such feeling. I know that I and those whom I knew best had not. We believed that it was most desirable that the North should win; we believed in the principle that the Union is indissoluable; we, or many of us at least, also believed that the conflict was inevitable, and that slavery had lasted long enough. But we equally believed that those who stood against us held just as sacred conviction that were the opposite of ours, and we respected them as every men with a heart must respect those who give all for their belief. The experience of battle soon taught its lesson even to those who came into the field more bitterly disposed. You could not stand up day after day in those indecisive contests where overwhelming victory was impossible because neither side would run as they ought when beaten, without getting at least something of the same brotherhood for the enemy that the north pole of a magnet has for the south–each working in an opposite sense to the other, but each unable to get along without the other. As it was then , it is now. The soldiers of the war need no explanations; they can join in commemorating a soldier’s death with feelings not different in kind, whether he fell toward them or by their side.
But Memorial Day may and ought to have a meaning also for those who do not share our memories. When men have instinctively agreed to celebrate an anniversary, it will be found that there is some thought of feeling behind it which is too large to be dependent upon associations alone. The Fourth of July, for instance, has still its serious aspect, although we no longer should think of rejoicing like children that we have escaped from an outgrown control, although we have achieved not only our national but our moral independence and know it far too profoundly to make a talk about it, and although an Englishman can join in the celebration without a scruple. For, stripped of the temporary associations which gives rise to it, it is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for the country in return.
So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiam and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself to a course, perhpas a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out. All that is required of you is that you should go somewhither as hard as ever you can. The rest belongs to fate. One may fall-at the beginning of the charge or at the top of the earthworks; but in no other way can he reach the rewards of victory.
When it was felt so deeply as it was on both sides that a man ought to take part in the war unless some conscientious scruple or strong practical reason made it impossible, was that feeling simply the requirement of a local majority that their neighbors should agree with them? I think not: I think the feeling was right-in the South as in the North. I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
If this be so, the use of this day is obvious. It is true that I cannot argue a man into a desire. If he says to me, Why should I seek to know the secrets of philosophy? Why seek to decipher the hidden laws of creation that are graven upon the tablets of the rocks, or to unravel the history of civilization that is woven in the tissue of our jurisprudence, or to do any great work, either of speculation or of practical affairs? I cannot answer him; or at least my answer is as little worth making for any effect it will have upon his wishes if he asked why I should eat this, or drink that. You must begin by wanting to. But although desire cannot be imparted by argument, it can be by contagion. Feeling begets feeling, and great feeling begets great feeling. We can hardly share the emotions that make this day to us the most sacred day of the year, and embody them in ceremonial pomp, without in some degree imparting them to those who come after us. I believe from the bottom of my heart that our memorial halls and statues and tablets, the tattered flags of our regiments gathered in the Statehouses, are worth more to our young men by way of chastening and inspiration than the monuments of another hundred years of peaceful life could be.
But even if I am wrong, even if those who come after us are to forget all that we hold dear, and the future is to teach and kindle its children in ways as yet unrevealed, it is enough for us that this day is dear and sacred.
Accidents may call up the events of the war. You see a battery of guns go by at a trot, and for a moment you are back at White Oak Swamp, or Antietam, or on the Jerusalem Road. You hear a few shots fired in the distance, and for an instant your heart stops as you say to yourself, The skirmishers are at it, and listen for the long roll of fire from the main line. You meet an old comrade after many years of absence; he recalls the moment that you were nearly surrounded by the enemy, and again there comes up to you that swift and cunning thinking on which once hung life and freedom–Shall I stand the best chance if I try the pistol or the sabre on that man who means to stop me? Will he get his carbine free before I reach him, or can I kill him first?These and the thousand other events we have known are called up, I say, by accident, and, apart from accident, they lie forgotten.
But as surely as this day comes round we are in the presence of the dead. For one hour, twice a year at least–at the regimental dinner, where the ghosts sit at table more numerous than the living, and on this day when we decorate their graves–the dead come back and live with us.
I see them now, more than I can number, as once I saw them on this earth. They are the same bright figures, or their counterparts, that come also before your eyes; and when I speak of those who were my brothers, the same words describe yours.
I see a fair-haired lad, a lieutenant, and a captain on whom life had begun somewhat to tell, but still young, sitting by the long mess-table in camp before the regiment left the State, and wondering how many of those who gathered in our tent could hope to see the end of what was then beginning. For neither of them was that destiny reserved. I remember, as I awoke from my first long stupor in the hospital after the battle of Ball’s Bluff, I heard the doctor say, “He was a beautiful boy”, [Web note: Lt. William L. Putnam, 20th Mass.] and I knew that one of those two speakers was no more. The other, after passing through all the previous battles, went into Fredericksburg with strange premonition of the end, and there met his fate.[Web Note: Cpt. Charles F. Cabot, 20th Mass.]
I see another youthful lieutenant as I saw him in the Seven Days, when I looked down the line at Glendale. The officers were at the head of their companies. The advance was beginning. We caught each other’s eye and saluted. When next I looked, he was gone. [Web note: Lt. James. J. Lowell, 20th Mass.]
I see the brother of the last-the flame of genius and daring on his face–as he rode before us into the wood of Antietam, out of which came only dead and deadly wounded men. So, a little later, he rode to his death at the head of his cavalry in the Valley.
In the portraits of some of those who fell in the civil wars of England, Vandyke has fixed on canvas the type who stand before my memory. Young and gracious faces, somewhat remote and proud, but with a melancholy and sweet kindness. There is upon their faces the shadow of approaching fate, and the glory of generous acceptance of it. I may say of them , as I once heard it said of two Frenchmen, relics of the ancien regime, “They were very gentle. They cared nothing for their lives.” High breeding, romantic chivalry–we who have seen these men can never believe that the power of money or the enervation of pleasure has put an end to them. We know that life may still be lifted into poetry and lit with spiritual charm.
But the men, not less, perhaps even more, characteristic of New England, were the Puritans of our day. For the Puritan still lives in New England, thank God! and will live there so long as New England lives and keeps her old renown. New England is not dead yet. She still is mother of a race of conquerors–stern men, little given to the expression of their feelings, sometimes careless of their graces, but fertile, tenacious, and knowing only duty. Each of you, as I do, thinks of a hundred such that he has known.[Web note: Unfortunately for New England, no such “conquerors” have played for the Red Sox since 1918]. I see one–grandson of a hard rider of the Revolution and bearer of his historic name–who was with us at Fair Oaks, and afterwards for five days and nights in front of the enemy the only sleep that he would take was what he could snatch sitting erect in his uniform and resting his back against a hut. He fell at Gettysburg. [Web note: Col. Paul Revere, Jr., 20th Mass.].
His brother , a surgeon, [Web note: Edward H.R. Revere] who rode, as our surgeons so often did, wherever the troops would go, I saw kneeling in ministration to a wounded man just in rear of our line at Antietam, his horse’s bridle round his arm–the next moment his ministrations were ended. His senior associate survived all the wounds and perils of the war, but , not yet through with duty as he understood it, fell in helping the helpless poor who were dying of cholera in a Western city.
I see another quiet figure, of virtuous life and quiet ways, not much heard of until our left was turned at Petersburg. He was in command of the regiment as he saw our comrades driven in. He threw back our left wing, and the advancing tide of defeat was shattered against his iron wall. He saved an army corps from disaster, and then a round shot ended all for him. [Web note: Major Henry Patten, 20th Mass.]
There is one who on this day is always present on my mind. [Web note: Henry Abbott, 20th Mass.] He entered the army at nineteen, a second lieutenant. In the Wilderness, already at the head of his regiment, he fell, using the moment that was left him of life to give all of his little fortune to his soldiers.I saw him in camp, on the march, in action. I crossed debatable land with him when we were rejoining the Army together. I observed him in every kind of duty, and never in all the time I knew him did I see him fail to choose that alternative of conduct which was most disagreeable to himself. He was indeed a Puritan in all his virtues, without the Puritan austerity; for, when duty was at an end, he who had been the master and leader became the chosen companion in every pleasure that a man might honestly enjoy. His few surviving companions will never forget the awful spectacle of his advance alone with his company in the streets of Fredericksburg.[Web note: The legendary suicidal charge of the 20th Mass. Regiment occurred on Dec. 11, 1862.] In less than sixty seconds he would become the focus of a hidden and annihilating fire from a semicircle of houses. His first platoon had vanished under it in an instant, ten men falling dead by his side. He had quietly turned back to where the other half of his company was waiting, had given the order, “Second Platoon, forward!” and was again moving on, in obedience to superior command, to certain and useless death, when the order he was obeying was countermanded. The end was distant only a few seconds; but if you had seen him with his indifferent carriage, and sword swinging from his finger like a cane, you would never have suspected that he was doing more than conducting a company drill on the camp parade ground. He was little more than a boy, but the grizzled corps commanders knew and admired him; and for us, who not only admired, but loved, his death seemed to end a portion of our life also.
There is one grave and commanding presence that you all would recognize, for his life has become a part of our common history. [Web note: William Bartlett, 20th Mass.]. Who does not remember the leader of the assault of the mine at Petersburg? The solitary horseman in front of Port Hudson, whom a foeman worthy of him bade his soldiers spare, from love and admiration of such gallant bearing? Who does not still hear the echo of those eloquent lips after the war, teaching reconciliation and peace? I may not do more than allude to his death, fit ending of his life. All that the world has a right to know has been told by a beloved friend in a book wherein friendship has found no need to exaggerate facts that speak for themselves. I knew him ,and I may even say I knew him well; yet, until that book appeared, I had not known the governing motive of his soul. I had admired him as a hero. When I read, I learned to revere him as a saint. His strength was not in honor alone, but in religion; and those who do not share his creed must see that it was on the wings of religious faith that he mounted above even valiant deeds into an empyrean of ideal life.
I have spoken of some of the men who were near to me among others very near and dear, not because their lives have become historic, but because their lives are the type of what every soldier has known and seen in his own company. In the great democracy of self-devotion private and general stand side by side. Unmarshalled save by their own deeds, the army of the dead sweep before us, “wearing their wounds like stars.” It is not because the men I have mentioned were my friends that I have spoken of them, but, I repeat, because they are types. I speak of those whom I have seen. But you all have known such; you, too, remember!
It is not of the dead alone that we think on this day. There are those still living whose sex forbade them to offer their lives, but who gave instead their happiness. Which of us has not been lifted above himself by the sight of one of those lovely, lonely women, around whom the wand of sorrow has traced its excluding circle–set apart, even when surrounded by loving friends who would fain bring back joy to their lives? I think of one whom the poor of a great city know as their benefactress and friend. I think of one who has lived not less greatly in the midst of her children, to whom she has taught such lessons as may not be heard elsewhere from mortal lips. The story of these and her sisters we must pass in reverent silence. All that may be said has been said by one of their own sex—
But when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion,
weaned my young soul from yearning after thine
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
Comrades, some of the associations of this day are not only triumphant, but joyful. Not all of those with whom we once stood shoulder to shoulder–not all of those whom we once loved and revered–are gone. On this day we still meet our companions in the freezing winter bivouacs and in those dreadful summer marches where every faculty of the soul seemed to depart one after another, leaving only a dumb animal power to set the teeth and to persist– a blind belief that somewhere and at last there was bread and water. On this day, at least, we still meet and rejoice in the closest tie which is possible between men– a tie which suffering has made indissoluble for better, for worse.
When we meet thus, when we do honor to the dead in terms that must sometimes embrace the living, we do not deceive ourselves. We attribute no special merit to a man for having served when all were serving. We know that, if the armies of our war did anything worth remembering, the credit belongs not mainly to the individuals who did it, but to average human nature. We also know very well that we cannot live in associations with the past alone, and we admit that, if we would be worthy of the past, we must find new fields for action or thought, and make for ourselves new careers.
But, nevertheless, the generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the gold fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.
Such hearts–ah me, how many!–were stilled twenty years ago; and to us who remain behind is left this day of memories. Every year–in the full tide of spring, at the height of the symphony of flowers and love and life–there comes a pause, and through the silence we hear the lonely pipe of death. Year after year lovers wandering under the apple trees and through the clover and deep grass are surprised with sudden tears as they see black veiled figures stealing through the morning to a soldier’s grave. Year after year the comrades of the dead follow, with public honor, procession and commemorative flags and funeral march–honor and grief from us who stand almost alone, and have seen the best and noblest of our generation pass away.
But grief is not the end of all. I seem to hear the funeral march become a paean. I see beyond the forest the moving banners of a hidden column. Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death–of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”
Source: The Essential Holmes: Selections From the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Edited and With an Introduction by Richard A Posner (University of Chicago Press, 1992) pp. 80-87.
Ride of Your Life
New Hampshire has a new thrill ride, and it’s so safe even a grandmother can do it.
She was 76 and had bad arthritis in her knees, but that didn’t stop her. She put on a safety harness, rode in an Army troop transport vehicle up rough roads to the top of Barron Mountain in North Woodstock, hooked herself onto a cable and — with the help of guides — zipped down the mountain at speeds up to 40 mph. The last leg of it (there are seven different “zips”) was like a free fall — going straight down from a platform and then zinging out across a valley. “She had the time of her life,” says Randy Farwell, owner of Alpine Adventures, which runs the Canopy Zipline Adventure. “It’s very empowering.”
It’s only one of five ziplines in the country so far as Farwell knows; it’s the first in New England. “Typically, you find them in rain forest areas, like Costa Rica and Africa,” he says.
It starts with a walk on Burma bridges high in the treetops to platforms 20 to 40 feet apart (“Indiana Jones-style”). “It might sound dangerous, but you’re clipped onto the cable the whole time,” says Farwell. “If you’re out of your comfort zone, there are trap doors in the platforms, so you can get down.” And once the zipping part starts (they get progressively longer and higher up), if you come in short or even if you pass out, that’s not a problem, either. “There are redundant safety systems. The most that could happen is that you would dangle for five minutes. It’s pretty much foolproof,” he says.
Be prepared for the height and speed, though. The highest off the ground you’ll be is 75 feet; the platforms range from 20 to 65 feet high. Your speed will vary from 10 mph to close to 40. There are no brakes; the journey is powered by gravity.
Experienced and specially trained guides will accompany you down. Farwell says most people do have to overcome some fear and that it is “a challenge by choice.” But people from 8 to 80 have taken the challenge and had a great adventure. For more information, visit www.alpinezipline.com.
New Hampshire people are lilac lovers, and not just because it’s the state flower. They’re also beautiful and they smell good.
Guy Giunta, chairman of the state’s lilac commission (yes, there is one), says he guesses, just by looking around, 60 to 70 percent of the houses in New Hampshire have at least one lilac bush. He has 20 varieties of them in his yard, and would like to have more. “I’m going to overdo this at some point,” he says. “My wife thinks I’m a kook.”
This lover of lilacs has been pushing to “purplelize” the state’s highways ever since Mel Thomson was governor. Now he wants to purplelize people.
The commission is selling lilac-covered ties, scarves, hats, shirts, watches and pins. They are all $20, except for the pin, which is $5. You can get the ties and scarves at the Statehouse store; everything is available at the commission (603-274-6476 or by e-mail at email@example.com). Giunta says don’t forget the annual lilac photo contest. Entries must be postmarked by June 30.
Three major lilac festivals are:
May 26, Lisbon (603) 838-6336
May 20, Dover, Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, (603) 436-6607
May 19, Rochester, (603) 332-8863.
Is the chestnut tree making a comeback? It will if the Chestnut Foundation has anything to say about it, and you can help.
Chances are most communities in New Hampshire have a Chestnut Street. Back when the streets were being named, chestnut trees were popular and prolific enough to line whole streets. But that was then — before the blight.
In the early 1900s a deadly fungus was brought into the country from Asia and 50 years later the American chestnut was essentially wiped out. The loss was deeply felt — chestnuts were not just beautiful shade trees (they can grow to 80 feet or more), they also were a valuable timber crop. People liked to roast the nuts themselves for a snack.
In recent years a serious effort has begun to bring back chestnut trees. There’s a national organization, the American Chestnut Foundation, dedicated to that goal. A New Hampshire/Vermont chapter of the foundation is now forming, and it’s looking for members and help.
The president/CEO, Marshal Case, says people can help by looking for chestnut trees that may have escaped the blight — several have already been spotted in New Hampshire. If you think you’ve found one, collect a leaf and a twig and send it to the foundation for identification. (Visit www.acf.org/find_a_tree.htm for the Vermont address and also photos of what chestnut leaves look like. It has to be the American chestnut, not the Horse chestnut or the other varieties that exist.)
A healthy tree’s genetic material could be used in a regional scientific research and breeding program that aims to develop a blight-resistant tree. Case hopes the American chestnut will make a comeback for several reasons:
“It’s a beautiful tree; it’s a high timber-production tree; and it’s important for wildlife.” Plus, he says, a comeback is especially important now because it could play a part in reducing global warming. The tree captures a lot of carbon dioxide and stores it in the root system, taking the harmful greenhouse gas out of the environment. Visit www.acf.org for more information.
Concord to Ashland
Spring blooms galore await you.
By Barbara Radcliffe Rogers
The scenic alternative to I-93 goes through rolling countryside painted with blossoming apple trees and the bright greens of spring.
Leave Concord on Route 132 North, Mountain Road (I-93 Exit 16), past the Bridges’ House, now the N.H. Governor’s Mansion.
Turn right (7.5 miles) on Center Road and continue into Canterbury Center, past Canterbury Country Store, a community-owned and managed general store.
Turn left onto Old Shaker Road (4 miles), where you’ll soon see the orchards and white buildings of Canterbury Shaker Village crowning the hillcrest ahead (www.shakers.org). The village opens for the season on May 12, but is open weekends before that for a special exhibit; the grounds are abloom with lilacs and spring bulbs.
Continue north and go left (2.5 miles), following “Smoke House” signs to Fox Smoke House (www.oldehousesmokehouse.com) for sausages, smoked cheeses and maple cream soda. Return to Shaker Road and go left into Belmont (3.5 miles).
Go left on Route 140, right on Route 3 at Tilton (5 miles) then immediate left onto Route 132, where you’ll follow an open ridge into the village of Sanbornton, whose Historic District of white church and ensemble of historic buildings is on the National Register.
In Gaza (2.5 miles), detour left onto Route 127, past I-93, and turn right on Prescott Road. At its end go left onto Brook Road to Topiary at Owl’s Rest Farm and its Floral Emporium of silk flower designs. English tea is served by reservation, followed by a tour of the garden of tulips and daffodils (934-3221, www.thetopiary.com). Return to Route 132, and continue north past Hermit Lake.
Route 132 becomes Main Street in New Hampton (6.5 miles), where the New Hampton Fish Hatchery (744-3709) hosts an open house at the lower hatchery station on Saturday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Turn right onto Route 104 (1 mile), past I-93 Exit 23, and turn left on Route 132 (1.5 miles) along the Pemigewasset River and into Ashland. The 1875 Victorian railroad station, now a museum, is on the right, but unfortunately the town’s trio of historical museums don’t open until summer.
The Common Man, at 60 Main St., serves lunch and dinner daily in a comfortable rustic atmosphere. The original Common Man restaurant has been serving American food here since 1971.
From Ashland, you can return to Concord via I-93.
Barbara Radcliffe Rogers is co-author of the guidebook, “New Hampshire Off the Beaten Path” (Globe Pequot Press).
Rite of Spring
Each year, the Harrisville Morris Women set out to wake up the Earth with an old English folk dance.
Lynn Arnold says it’s hard to describe morris dancing “without sounding really weird.” It happens in a set of six people, who have bells on their lower legs and ribbons on the armbands of their uniform, or “kit.” They hold large white handkerchiefs or sticks, and “jump and leap vigorously” to accordion music.
Morris dancing comes from early England (“Shakespeare wrote about it”), but no one knows much about its roots. Traditionally, it’s done in the spring, Arnold says, “to wake up the Earth and welcome back new life.” Arnold’s group, the Harrisville Morris Women, will be doing street performances in a number of Keene area venues.
“I find the dancing exhilarating. It makes me feel graceful, but powerful at the same time,” she says. “I love feeling like I’m doing something people have been doing for hundreds of years.”
The morris “team” is looking for new members. It’s very aerobic, so you have to be in shape. You can call Arnold about it at (603) 876-4460.
A Little Wherry?
Greg Hopkins first saw the boat, or a picture of it, when he visited the Isles of Shoals. It was a Piscataqua Wherry, a boat that, Hopkins says, “is indigenous to Portsmouth harbor, was probably the taxi to and from Maine prior to the bridges, and may have been the Smuttynose Murder boat of 1873.”
He did some research and found that there were only three or four wherries in existence, none of them in the water. He was determined to change that. Retired from a high-tech career, Hopkins started building wherries to sell.
“This is a wonderful protected-water fast rowboat,” he says. It’s more narrow than the usual rowboat because it’s designed for the tricky currents of the Piscataqua. You can have one for $4,500-$5,000. Hopkins’ Nextwave Boat Company can be reached at (603) 373-0512, or visit www.nextwaveboat.com.
You can see Hopkins’ wherry at the Portsmouth International Boat Show, May 31-June 3, at Pease International Tradeport. The show has a water venue at Wentworth by the Sea, with a shuttle in between.
When Thomas Jefferson was on his diplomatic tour of duty in France in the late 1700s, the French naturalist George de Buffon was arguing, according to Jefferson biographer Joseph Ellis, “the mammals and plants of North America were inferior in size, health and variety to those of Europe.” Always one to take on a challenge, Jefferson launched a campaign to gather specimens of American animals that were larger than anything in Europe. Where did he turn? New Hampshire.
Ellis says he commissioned an expedition into the White Mountains to obtain “the skin, the skeleton, and the horns of the Moose, the Caribou, and the Original or Elk.” Jefferson was frustrated with the result; the moose he received was only seven feet tall and its hair kept falling out. The French naturalist was unimpressed.
Art from the Arctic
In the Inuit language, Nunavut means “Our Land.”
That’s the name given to the ancestral Arctic home of the Inuit, where they have lived for at least 4,000 years. It’s also the name chosen for the newest territory of Canada. Nunavut was officially separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999 in a land claims settlement.
The rich history of Nunavut is now being showcased in a major museum exhibition at The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, “Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic.”
Some 60 works from the Nunavut Territorial collection reveal how long-held Inuit artistic traditions inspire contemporary sculpture, prints, fiber arts, photography and digital media that reflect the region’s societal values of family, community and world view expressed through Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or traditional knowledge.
Stone, antlers and animal skins are transformed into expressions of the inner and outer world of the Inuit, encompassing spirituality, seasonality, cosmology, identity and place.
The exhibition, which runs through May 20, is in recognition of International Polar Year and in conjunction with the exhibition “Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions with a Changing Environment,” which runs through May13. Admission is free.
For more information visit www.hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu.
[A quickie guide to Center Harbor]
In Center Harbor, grab a snack and shop, all with a beautiful lake view.
At Yikes Gallery on 23 Main St., if you can’t find what you’re looking for it probably doesn’t exist. At Yikes there are more than 500 American artists represented from around the nation, including a few locals. “It’s eclectic,” says co-owner Diane Campbell. “It changes daily.” From glassware to furniture, the gallery has enough funky variety to decorate and brighten up an entire home or two. The gallery, which started as a place to display her family’s artwork, will celebrate its 15th anniversary this June.
Step into Winnipesaukee Bay Gulls and you’re met with the smells of baking bagels. For 11 years owner Joslyn Halstead and her staff have been getting up in the wee hours of the morning to make bagels. “We make ‘em and bake ‘em,” says Halstead. Time your visit right and chances are you’ll receive a bagel hot out of the oven. If cream cheese is your topping of choice, all of Halstead’s spreads are homemade, too. Bay Gulls, on Route 25, is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week.
With so many large book chains offering convenience and all the charm of a warehouse, it’s easy to forget about the little guys. Bayswater Book Co. at 23 Main St. is one of those small, privately owned bookstores that any reader will instantly love. With little nooks to read in and shelves not devoted to mimicking the bestseller lists, Bayswater gets back to the simple joys of books. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the staff of Bayswater will order you whatever you need and want.
Keepsake Quilting at 12 Main St. is any quilter’s idea of heaven. From a huge variety of cloth to ready-made quilts, Keepsake doesn’t miss anything. If scrapbooking is your hobby, they also offer a large selection of scrapbook materials. Right next door is Keepsake’s knitting supply store, Patternworks. Whether you’re looking to start a new quilt, scrapbook or sweater chances are Keepsake has what you need and much, much more.
Center Harbor Cellars on Route 25 is a specialty wine shop that doesn’t stop at just wine. From the finest cheeses to jams, jellies and herbed butter, you can get a gourmet snack to go with your choice of wine. Center Harbor Cellars also sells gift baskets that put together the best ingredients from the shop. If you’re overwhelmed by the wine selection or just want to try something new, just ask and the staff can help you find the perfect wine for your tastes.
At Home Comfort on Route 25B, you’ll find cozy, classic and stylish furniture perfect for a New Hampshire home. From kitchen counters to couches and beds, Home Comfort blends the feel of a lake-side cabin with modern living. If you’re in the market for more than just one piece of furniture, the staff will work with you to design your ideal home down to the rugs and lighting. The large, two-floor store in Center Harbor was just completed last summer, and is now a major part of the small downtown.
Although women’s representation among full-time workers in the state has increased from 27 percent to more than 40 percent, increases in women’s earnings, business ownership and decision-making responsibility have lagged behind their increased participation in the labor force and their advances in education.
Full-time working women aged 23-30, with four-year college degrees, earned 68 percent of what their male counterparts earned on average. Among 31 to 44-year-old full-time working college graduates, females earned 65 percent of the average male.
Women with children of any age, and particularly women with children under 6, tended to replace full-time employment with part-time or exit the labor force.
Although more than 71 percent of women without children were employed full-time in 1999, full-time employment for women with young children dropped to about 50 percent.
When women did return to the full-time labor force, the data show that they suffered an economic penalty for taking the lead role in family care.
Nationally, the average for women-owned business is 26 percent. New Hampshire is 44th on the list, with only 23.6 percent of women-owned businesses.
Source: “New Hampshire’s Working Women,” Ross Gittell, Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and Marjorie Smith, N.H. Women’s Policy Institute.
Crafters, listen up. If you like to do card making, mosaics, photo art, scrapbooking, gift wrapping, collage or other paper crafts, there’s a new place to do it in Manchester.
Talk, Paper, Scissors on South Willow Street offers crafters a great space, all the needed supplies — and inspiration. Take a class (Custom Rubber Stamp and Stationery Design is one) or arrange a private party (you can have it at your home, office or school, if you want). For more information, visit www.talkpaperscissors.com.
Hippie No Longer
Janine Gilbertson says people have a misconception about bead shops, like the one she owns in Peterborough: “They think it’s going to smell like patchouli, with some hippie guy reading ‘Rolling Stones’ in the back.”
Wrong, she says. Today the shops are places of avant garde and elegant jewelry design, where “you can create a high-end look without dropping 60 bucks.”
At her Grove Street shop you’ll find an array of beads — seed beads from Japan and Czechoslovakia, ceramic and shell beads, Swarovski crystal beads (“they are huge these days”), semi-precious stone beads, tiger eyes (“they’re coming back”) and beads made by local artisans. Add sterling silver and gold-filled components, says Gilbertson, and “you can make something you saw at Tiffany’s.” For more information, visit www.thebeadboxwebsite.com.
If you’re like most people, childhood memories tend to be a blur of vague impressions. Often the only memories you have of an age are evoked by looking at a photograph.
Not so Glenn Currie — he is blessed by amazing recall. With seeming ease, he summons up his life as a 10 year old in his second book, “A Boy’s First Diary” [Snap Screen Press, $19.95]. Somehow he even manages to tell the stories from that year in the words and cadence of a 10 year old. In “Father’s Day” he writes:
Dad really liked the burnt toast.
He even ate the slice Roxie
Most of the butter stayed on.
We got all the cat hairs off.
The now-63-year-old Currie deftly takes the reader back to the 1950s by weaving into his free-verse poems the icons of the time — among them, home delivery of milk-with-the-cream-on-top and dinner-table reminders about starving Armenians.
We admit a bias toward Currie’s writing; he’s a frequent contributor to New Hampshire Magazine. In this book, though, he outdoes himself.
Find out for yourself at www.snapscreenpress.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
She set out to be a lawyer, but along the way Robin Wallace decided the ballfield was where she wanted to be. She says everyone “thought she was nuts,” but, with a long list of accomplishments at the tender age of 29, you could say she’s knocked it out of the park. She’s a 2002 inductee into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame, a member of the team that won the first Women’s World Cup of Baseball in 2004 and, now, the general manager of the Nashua Pride and executive director of the fledgling North American Women’s Baseball League.
Oh, she also pitches for a Nashua-based league team — the Pioneers.
You’re playing hard ball, right? I thought women always played softball.
It’s a stereotype that’s visibly outdated — today women play hockey, football, baseball, soccer, all the contact sports. Baseball isn’t even a contact sport, it doesn’t require brute strength, so it makes no sense as to why women haven’t been able to play hard ball. and why it’s so hard to propel it into the mainstream.
Maybe it’s because people think girls can’t throw.
That’s another huge stereotype. The girls in our league don’t throw 90-100 mph, but we have some that throw in the 80s, which some guys can’t do. It’s a taught thing; I think you can teach any athlete how to throw.
The women’s league motto is “Dare to Dream.” What is the dream?
The dream is for every young girl and woman to have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of our national pastime, from being a player, coach, umpire, announcer or member of the front office staff. Baseball is a great game with a great history and both males and females should be allowed to participate.
Why can’t they? I thought the federal Title IX created, literally, an equal playing field.
We’ve come a long way, but softball and baseball are treated as if they are equivalent. They’re two separate sports. And it’s a cop out. Courts are starting to rule they’re not equal, though, and that’s allowing more girls to play baseball.
What character would you be in “League of Their Own?”
Interesting question … I don’t know. I never thought about it.
Why are you so passionate about baseball?
I don’t know, it’s a disease. It requires a great deal of athletic skill and mental acuity, particularly pitching. And I could spend hours taking batting practice. You can get a feeling of perfection — if only for a second.
Tryouts for the Pride Pioneers and other NAWBL teams start soon. Visit www.nawbl.com for more information about tryouts and the teams’ schedules.
What people do when they first enter the work world can reveal a lot about their personalities. Always curious, we asked some well-known people what their first job was.
The first — Tom Griffith.
His face is familiar, of course. How could it not be after years of anchoring the news at WMUR-TV? But if you think you know him, you don’t.
Did you know, for instance, that he has dreamed of opening a bicycle shop one day? “I like the mechanical aspect of it,” Griffith says. “It’s also a great mixture of the pleasure of riding bikes and the simplicity of fixing them.”
He discovered his love for bikes at his first job — assembling bikes for Sears and Roebuck in Pittsburg, Pa., back in 1969. He was 14 then and ambitious. Soon he was fixing bikes so well the company created a repair shop in its service center, which he headed up. His $1.75 an hour paycheck soared to $6 an hour.
Griffith did a lot of riding back then. In fact, he learned to ride unicycles — one of them was a 10 footer. “I can still ride them; you don’t really forget,” he says. You might not forget, but there are, he admits, other challenges. He used to ride the unicycle 20-30 miles. Now, he says, he can go “about 100 yards.”
He tells the story of the Andover Wheelmen coming to WMUR to shoot a story about unicycles. Griffith rode one around the parking lot for the cameras. “I nearly died,” he says. Maybe he’s a little out of shape because today this bike lover doesn’t own a bike. “I’m thinking of getting back into it, though.”