Letters to the Editor
Spot the Newt
Last month’s “Spot the Newt” winners are Cheryl and Royd Benjamin of Manchester. September issue newts were on pages 73, 78, 83 and 87.
Spot four newts like the one pictured here hidden on ads in the next issue, tell us where you found them and you might win an assortment of great gifts. To enter our drawing for a free gift basket, send your answers to:
Spot the Newt
c/o New Hampshire Magazine
150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101
E-mail them to
or fax them to (603) 624-1310.
Need A Good Reason to Spot the Newt?
This month’s lucky (and fearless) newt spotter will receive a two-gallon three-way mixed popcorn tin and a box of mixed gourmet treats from Michele’s Sweet Shoppe of Concord, www.michelesweetshoppe.com. Michele’s “Totally Awesome” caramel popcorn was selected as Best of NH for 2009 by this very magazine!
Michele’s Sweet Shoppe LLC is a proud member of NH Made (www.nhmade.com), the state’s official non-profit booster of locally generated products and services. (Just for the record, New Hampshire Magazine is a proud member, too.)
In the latest issue of <I>New Hampshire Magazine’s BRIDE</I>, a production error occurred in placing a photograph by Jay Philbrick of Philbrick Photography in North Conway. The photo at right is how it should have appeared. Our apologies.
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<b>Louis, Not John</b>
One can only hope David Faxon’s book [“Cold Water Crossing”] recounting of the Smuttynose Island murders did not continually name the accused as John Wagner, as did Barbara Coles in her review of Faxon’s book within the September edition. Having written on this topic myself, I can assure you his name was Louis Wagner, as Anethe, one of the murdered women, allegedly cried out “Louis, Louis, Louis” three times before he brought the ax down upon her. No cries of “John, John, John” were made.
<b>Despite That, Thanks</b>
I have just learned of your favorable review regarding my book, “Cold Water Crossing,” and wanted to say thanks. Reviews, such as yours, have helped sales considerably this summer, particularly in the N.H./Maine seacoast areas, and I am extremely grateful. I look forward to reading the September issue of <I>NH Magazine. </I>
<b>Captured Her Work</b>
Just got my September issue of your magazine. Thank you so much for the dramatic photo of the York Show House dining room with my mural that you so beautifully displayed. You’ve always captured my work wonderfully so just want to let you know how much I appreciate that! Great, comprehensive article all the way around!
Before I leave town I must tell you both [Editor Rick Broussard and wife Jemi] again a huge thank-you for being our honorary chairs for the Historic Home Tour — the event was a huge success and surely did bring community spirit to our area. We had 600 attend the Historic Home Tour and 236 attend the Gala.
<I>New Hampshire Magazine’s</I> well-written article on Sunapee [August 2009] certainly did give the area and tour some nice publicity — I thank you again.
Thank you for such a wonderful magazine about N.H. We always enjoy looking for the newts first and then reading all the articles.
<I>Cheryl and Royd Benjamin
Thanks so much for a wonderful magazine, full of interesting places to go and things to do. Keep up the wonderful work that you do, keeping us informed.
<I>New Hampshire Magazine</I> and all the books in your publishing group are looking very well. It is good to see that you continue to prosper amid the problems that many news publications face these days. I hope that both locals and tourists continue to support businesses like yours and mine that make our New England communities outstanding in the tourism market.
I eagerly looked through the “Insider’s Travel Guide to Lake Winnipesaukee” [August 2009] for mention of our 74-year-young resort [NASWA Resort in Laconia] and was disappointed to find that writers Tim Long and Stacy Milbouer had not yet discovered us.
I wanted to drop you a personal note so that you would not remain unaware of the institution that my family created on this lake three generations ago. No other resort offers 50 docks, water recreation activities, Camp NAZ for kids, lakeside guest cottages and a hotel and restaurant. We invite you to add the NASWA Resort to your list of “must sees.”
<b>“Best” Letter of the Month</b>
When I met my husband, 16 years ago, he’d been working his way up the ranks at a well-known garden center just over the border in Massachusetts. He worked tirelessly, seven days a week. He was soon their top salesman and he knew, early on, that he wanted to own that place some day.
Within a couple of years after we met and then married, he became the general manager. Shortly thereafter, the original owner handed the business down to his son, who left the store in Johnny’s capable hands while he ran the landscape division.
As we began to contemplate starting a family, his insane work schedule began to wear on me and I wondered aloud (many, many times) if it was really necessary to work 80 hours a week. He assured me that the end would justify the means when he realized his dream and bought the garden center from the son. We moved to Amherst in 2001, pregnant with our second child, his work schedule still a cause of occasional bickering but the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter, as the son grew anxious to sell the business.
And then suddenly, without warning, the light was snuffed out.
Someone else came along, wined and dined him and the son sold it to him. To someone else. It was an incredible blow. We felt like we’d been sucker-punched.
After a few weeks of wallowing in anger, self-pity and pain, I knew we needed to redirect our energies toward something positive. We’d heard rumors that a little garden center just three miles up the road was for sale. It wasn’t much to look at. We went for it anyway and finally passed the papers on 11 December 2007. Johnny sold his first Christmas tree on 12 December and life has been a whirlwind ever since. He still works crazy hours but, this time, he’s close to home and it’s a family business so we see much more of him than we ever imagined we would.
We have a bazillion plans for the place but most important to our success is getting the word out that we are new owners with quality nursery products and great customer service. When John opened the Best of NH package, it took a few minutes for the enormity of the moment to register. When he called to tell me the news, he was at a loss for words. I will never be able to thank you enough for giving him that moment. It suddenly and unexpectedly gave justice to the previous 16 years. Amherst Garden Center & Flower Shop had only been open for a year and a half when you came in, but you saw the magic. And we are so grateful that you did.
(I think the word’s out now!!)
<I>Debby Cochran, Co-owner
Amherst Garden Center & Flower Shop</I>
<I>Editor’s Reply: Wish we could have published your entire letter with details that made a great story even better, but we are happy to have played a part in the happy ending. Notes like this make all the work we do on the Best of NH seem quite worthwhile.</I>