Ready for Oh-Eight?
Above: illustration by Bic Parker
Moose-watching, bird-watching — they’re popular pastimes in New Hampshire. And every four years, you can even try spotting a future president.
Grab your binoculars — the candidates are coming. Actually they’ve been here since shortly after the balloons for the 2004 primary deflated, but the time for spotting the crop of candidates for 2008 is growing short. The primary is just around the corner, though at press time we still don’t know how far around. By law, the primary has to be one week ahead of any similar contest and — with the ongoing leap-frogging of states to the head of the line — N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner hasn’t set the date. Four years ago it was in late January; this time around it’s likely to be early January or even December, which would be an election history first.
If you’re among the people who like to shake the hand of every candidate (there are some who come from all over the country to do it), knowing where and when to go helps. A prime place is at the Secretary of State’s office during the two weeks that candidates are required to file their candidacy — this time around, it’s from Oct. 15 to Nov. 2. You can stand in the hallway outside Gardner’s office with a mob of media and other candidate spotters. Though the candidates can mail in their filing papers, they usually show up in person to take advantage of the exposure.
A great Web site for candidate spotters is www.nh2008.blogspot.com — it has everything you need to know, including when and where the candidates will be appearing. Also check out the state party Web sites:
Democrats, www.nhdp.org; Republican, www.nhgop.org. They post candidate visits, too, though it’s a bit spotty. Other sites that provide the latest primary news and commentary (but not candidate schedules) are www.nhinsider.com and www.nhnewslinks.com.
If all else fails, you can hang out at traditional stopping-off points for candidates: Aside from the Secretary of State’s office during the filing period (see Oh Eight story), the Merrimack Restaurant on Elm Street in Manchester is a great place for spotting.
The Art of Politics
The parade of candidates through N.H. is a golden opportunity to see where they stand on some of the issues that don’t always come up in debates and sound bites. The ArtsVoteNH coalition investigated the major candidates positions on the arts. Here’s what they learned.
Street Smarts [A quickie guide to Fitzwilliam]
It’s a classic New England village with one of the prettiest historic commons around — pretty enough for “Good Morning America” to choose it for a live broadcast. It’s also a great place for shopping, especially if you’re looking for antiques. A lot of people don’t know about its treasures because it’s tucked away in the southwest corner of the state — it’s definitely worth the trip.
Nobody’s quite sure just how many antique shops there are in Fitzwilliam, but Gary Taylor is right when he says there are enough to make the town a “mecca for antiques.” Bloomin’ Antiques, which Taylor and his partner Robert Camara run, is in a historic house that sits on the edge of the common. Their specialties are pottery like the Wedgwood Jasperware shown above, artwork, furniture and early hooked rugs. (585-6688)
If you’re having trouble finding the absolute right dining room set, stop by Fitzwilliam Hardwood Furniture (52 Rte. 119). Not only is there a large selection of American-made, all-hardwood furniture to choose from, owner Steve Wilder says you can request custom changes: “Tell us what you want and we’ll make it.” He doesn’t do pine or Colonial; his styles range from Shaker to Mission, but it’s mostly traditional.
Keep a sharp eye out for Bequaert Old Books (37 Rte. 119) because it’s easy to miss. On three floors there are 50,000 old, used and rare books (the most rare is Ruskin’s “Stones of Venice”) — something for every book lover. Lucia Bequaert, who runs the shop with her husband Frank, says they are the largest dealer of radio history books in the country. They also do a large Internet business (www.beqbooks.com), with 6,000 books for sale at any one time.
New and “gently used” clothing is just one of the many things you’ll find at The Itinerant Peddler (intersection of Rtes. 12 and 119). Quilts, antique radios, cards, gift wrap, wildlife photography, artwork, pottery, lampshades, books, glassware, jewelry — you name it, they probably have it. As owners Pam and Tom Lavoie say, the shop has a blend of “the old, the new and the handcrafted.” Some is on consignment; some the work of local artisans.
Down Rte. 119 a quarter mile toward Rindge you’ll find Crossroads at Fitzwilliam, a complex of shops that includes the International Emporium. Store manager Amity Jones calls its wares “eclectic.” They’re fair-traded and not expensive — a Pashmina shawl can be had for $20. There are also scarves, textiles, jewelry, clothing and glass from all over the world. Also at Crossroads is a N.H. Magazine Best of NH winner — Sunflowers Café (585-3468), which has great food and live entertainment on weekends.
When you need a break from shopping, stop by the late-18th-century Fitzwilliam Inn. Sit on the porch rocking chairs and then have an elegant meal (Wednesday through Sunday)— all homemade, seasonal and, as much as possible, local. You have a choice of two dining rooms (one has three levels) or, for more casual dining, the fireplace pub. Innkeeper Rich Kelly says six rooms are available for lodging year-round (www.thefitzwilliaminn.com).
Etched in Time
Artist Chauncey Ryder found inspiration in the hills of New Hampshire.
Thank you for sending me a picture of your print by Chauncey Ryder titled “Hills of Antrim.” It is a wonderful example of Ryder’s work and appears to be in an excellent state of preservation.
Chauncey Ryder (1868-1949), known as one of New Hampshire’s eminent painters, maintained a studio in Wilton, N.H. Ryder was born in Connecticut and studied art in Chicago and Paris. Finally settling in New York City, Ryder found representation by the prestigious art dealer, William MacBeth. Ryder was a member of the National Academy of Design and his work is included in many prominent collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art.
In the early 1900s, Ryder began to travel throughout New England, eventually purchasing a home in Wilton. There he would spend most every spring, summer and fall until his death in 1949. Ryder was known for his landscape paintings in oil, yet found much enjoyment and success in etchings such as yours. He preferred dry point etching, a process in which he would use an etching needle to cut his design directly into a copper plate. This copper plate would then be wiped with ink and pressed to paper.
Your print is an excellent example of an important New Hampshire artist. We regularly have both paintings and etching by Chauncey Ryder available for sale in our antique shop. Your piece has a replacement value of $550.
— Jason Hackler, manager/owner of New Hampshire Antique Co-op in Milford
(www.nhantiquecoop.com) 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.
Curious about an antique you have?
Wonder what the porcelain you inherited from Grandma is worth?
Send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are markings, please take a clear photo of them as well. Only one item a month can be featured. If it’s selected, we’ll have expert Jason Hackler tell you what it is and appraise it.
Rochester to Meredith
Enjoy the lakes — and all that surrounds them — before the ice arrives.
By Barbara Radcliffe Rogers
November is not New Hampshire’s prettiest month. Colorful leaves have all fallen, leaving only brown oak and beech leaves clinging to branches and the dark greens of conifers to liven the mostly gray landscape that waits for snow to make it beautiful again. Tourist attractions have closed, but trails are there for hikers (views are better without foliage in the way) and shops are ready for the holidays. A November drive can combine early Christmas shopping with the last hikes before snow covers the trails.
Leave downtown Rochester on Wakefield St. (Route 125), heading north along the Salmon Falls River, which forms the border with Maine. In Milton the river flows through Milton Pond, on the right. On the left, as the road crests Plummer’s Ridge, two perfect farms crown the ridge, their big farmhouses attached by lines of outbuildings to even larger barns. These comprise the New Hampshire Farm Museum (www.farmmuseum.org), which has weekend events throughout November and December, as well as a country store filled with historic crafts and reproductions.
In Union, Route 153 leads left to Middleton, where a right on the un-numbered King’s Highway leads through Middleton Corners and into South Wolfeboro. Follow Route 28 north (straight ahead) into Wolfeboro, whose welcome sign proclaims it to be “America’s Oldest Summer Resort” — and rightly, since Royal Governor John Wentworth built himself a summer mansion here before the Revolution forced his untimely departure.
Just past Kingswood Golf Course and the first views of Lake Winnipesaukee are the three buildings of the Clark House Museum (wolfeborohistoricalsociety.org) and the attractive Topside B&B (http://topsidesbb.com/index.html). Although the Clark House and Wright Museum (www.wrightmuseum.org) are closed in November, local shops are open, including the League of N.H. Craftsmen Gallery (64 Center St, 569-3309, www.nhcrafts.org). On North Main Street, Hampshire Pewter (569-4944, www.hampshirepewter.com) has nativity sets and Christmas tree ornaments crafted in pewter.
Restaurants are open, too: El Centenario (14 Union St; 569-3445) serves authentic Mexican dishes and Dockside Grille (569-1910) serves burgers, sandwiches and seafood platters. Follow the lakeshore on Route 109 to Mirror Lake and Melvin Village, where a well-marked trail on the right leads uphill to Abenaki Tower, with views across the lake. Turn left when Route 109 meets Route 25, stopping at Moultonborough’s Old Country Store (476-5750) to see the smallest known Concord Coach and their little museum upstairs in the store.
Less than half a mile farther on Route 25 is the left turn marked to Marcus Wildlife Sanctuary and the Loon Center (476-5666, ww.loon.org). Open all year round, the center has a shop with well-chosen gifts for nature enthusiasts of all ages, and a network of trails that lead through the woods and along the shore of the lake.
Route 25 continues into Center Harbor, where Keepsake Quilting (253-4026, www.keepsakequilting.com) at Senter’s Marketplace claims to be America’s largest quilt shop, with hundreds of handmade American quilts. At the same intersection, Bean Road leads, in about 2 miles, to a right turn onto an unpaved road that leads in turn to the trail up 2,000-foot Red Hill. At the top are 360-degree views over Winnipesaukee, Squam, the Belknap and Ossipee ranges and Mt. Chocorua.
Route 25 continues on to Meredith, scenically set at the far end of Meredith Bay. At the junction with Route 3 is Mill Falls Inn & Marketplace (279-7006), with several good shops. Innisfree Bookshop (279-3905) is one of an endangered species: independent bookstores that carry reading material that local readers want. Opposite is Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts (279-9909), a spacious gallery of fine American-made crafts, including jewelry, wrought iron, hand blown glass, fiber arts, pottery, leather and fine art. The Gallery at Mill Falls (279-3123) specializes in the works of local craftsmen. Great Northern Trading Company (279-8181) is the place to go for gifts and home décor from nautical to rustic.
And if you can’t wait for Thanksgiving to have a turkey dinner, Hart’s Turkey Farm (279-6212, www.hartsturkeyfarm.com) is just down Route 3.
Length of trip: 68 miles
Take a Spin
A Hampton Falls flight instructor has added a more down-to-Earth ambition — empowering pedestrians.
You’ve probably seen a Segway out on the streets, especially if you’re in Manchester, where the inventor Dean Kamen has his business. It looks like fun, but who can afford to buy one with a pricetag of $5,000? Thanks to Kathryn Stewart, you can take a spin on a Segway for as little as $65.
The Hampton Falls resident set up a Segway rental business two years ago after taking a ride — or glide, as Stewart terms it — on one in Maine. “I loved it almost as much as I love flying,” says Stewart, a pilot and flight instructor. She figured that, just as people rent planes because they’re too expensive to buy, they might want to rent a Segway. After buying six early models, still small enough to fit in an SUV, she created Seacoast Fun Rides. The company delivers the Segways (up to five), trains the user and then picks them up at the end of the day. A supervised two-hour ride is $65 per person; per day, unsupervised after a proficiency check, it’s $85-$95 depending on the model; per week, $350-$375. Mileage is extra.
Who rents them? They’re used for individual fun, for parties and for fundraising. Stewart says a school teacher used one to chaperone a dance. A woman who was weakened by chemotherapy used one to get around while she recovered. Whatever the reason, you can now get a taste of 21st-century transportation that’s affordable. For more information call (603) 772-9041 or visit www.seacoastfunrides.com.
Going to the Dogs
If Fido rolls in the mud and you can’t get to the groomer, who ya gonna call?
Call Debbie Lee. Her Paws on the Go mobile home is loaded and ready to travel to you with shampoo, clippers and everything else needed to spiff up your pooch. She even carries her own hot, clean water. Lee says her service, which she thinks is the only independent mobile grooming service in the state, is especially useful for the elderly, handicapped and people with more than one dog. It also means not having to drag quivering, hair-shedding dogs into the car. Call (603) 769-0002 for more info and appointments. Lee operates in a 50-mile radius around Milford.
What happens next? It’s a question fans of Ruth Doan MacDougall’s Snowy Series were asking and now — with the publication of the series’ fourth book, “The Husband Bench” — they have their answer.
When MacDougall, of Center Sandwich, began her beautifully written series with “The Cheerleader,” a national best-seller, the central character was cheerleader Henrietta Snow, or “Snowy.” It is a coming-of-age classic that follows Snowy and her friends through the drama and hilarity of being teenagers in the 1950s.
Two sequels later the focus is on Snowy’s best friend, Beverly Lambert. She’s now 60, facing the challenges of career, aging and getting back together with husband Roger, from whom she had long been separated. Plus, something important happens that takes everyone by surprise (we’re not telling).
Surely, it won’t be long before readers are again asking, “What happens next?’ They no doubt want more because MacDougall displays a deep understanding of the phases of life and there is much to learn from the tales she tells.
You can buy the book [Frigate Books, $17.95] online, in bookstores and on MacDougall’s Web site, www.ruthdoanmacdougall.com.
Way of Remembrance
A Nashua woman extends the network of caring in time of war.
It’s not really possible to replace the loss of a loved one lost to a war, but comfort can come in many ways. Personal notes from friends and family are welcomed, but Yvonne Ametller Dunetz of Nashua had an idea that would allow anyone to reach out to those in need — to show concern and appreciation for their loss.
Dunetz started the Gifts of Comfort project as a non-profit collaboration between businesses and citizens who want to show they care; she got help from Senator Judd Gregg’s office.
A gift box is sent to grieving families. In it is a book written by Dunetz, “Until Death Do Us Part, A Letter To Our Loved Ones,” a royal blue coral fleece blanket, a 1.5-ounce tin of an herbal blend of chamomile and lavender tea to provide a relaxing and soothing feeling, a Swiss gold tea infuser, a humanity bracelet and inspirational booklet, a crystal votive candle holder and candle, and a personalized gift card.
Dunetz was inspired by a mother with tears in her eyes who said, “We need that book for the families of our soldiers. Nothing is being done to let these families know the people of America care about them and their loved ones.”
The box can be sent to a designated family or one can be chosen from their list. The cost is $100. For more information, visit www.giftsofcomfort.net.
— by Susan Laughlin
Spreading the Word
How a nonprofit group brings the love of a good story to children all over New Hampshire and Vermont
Duncan McDougall helps children fall in love with words.
As executive director of the Children’s Literacy Foundation, a nonprofit group he started with a group of friends a decade ago, McDougall brings the power and love of reading and writing to young children throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. “Our mission is to nurture the love of reading and writing,” says McDougall.
The foundation, which receives no federal or state support, relies solely on local businesses, individuals and social organizations such as Rotary clubs.
With these donations, the foundation helps two main groups of elementary school-aged children — those in rural areas and those who are at a high risk of growing up illiterate. This is accomplished with 12 programs that include visits from Vermont and New Hampshire authors and illustrators, three-day workshops with authors and poets, provide new books to libraries, homeless and women’s shelters, low-income housing developments, children of inmates, children from migrant or refugee families and much more.
With these and other programs, says McDougall, the foundation reaches about 11,000 children per year.
When the foundation heads out to rural libraries, they bring $2,000 in high-quality children’s books selected by the school. The presentation of the new books turns into a special celebration complete with an animated storytelling. After the performances, says McDougall, they sign up anywhere from 10 to 75 percent of the children for their first library cards. For more information visit www.clifonline.org or call
— by Erica Thoits
A Flowering Career
Gary Matteson jokingly calls himself “an agricultural busybody.” Indeed, look at what he’s doing — and has done — for farming, both in New Hampshire and the country, and you see what he means. A quick look at the farm-related experience on his curriculum vitae shows he’s now working in D.C. on the farm bill for the national Farm Credit System, having recently left a position as a director of First Pioneer Farm Credit. He’s also been active with the N.H. Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture, the Governor’s Farm Viability Task Force and N.H. Made, which promotes N.H. products. And then there’s his full-time business in Epsom — raising winter crops of anemones.
Do people ever think you’re raising sea creatures instead of flowers?
It’s a frequent misunderstanding. Aside from the sea anemone, people also confuse anemone with “an enemy.” It does require some clarification.
How many flowers do you grow?
In a normal year we grow 300,000. We downsized by two-thirds this year because we don’t have our kids working for us anymore. It’s been a family farm and, if we had to pay someone a salary, it wouldn’t work.
It’s tough to be a farmer …
Yeah, but there’s an upside, too. We get great satisfaction out of creating beauty and helping people communicate their deeper feelings. I like to think that, when people give anemones, the flowers have a certain language for things that are hard to put in words.
The work you do goes well beyond growing flowers — what do you hope to accomplish?
I’m trying to do new things, to push the ability of those involved in agriculture to think of new ways to make a living and allow new enterprises to spring up through good public policy.
Do you worry about farms surviving?
Farming has changed and will have to continue to adapt to market opportunities. The trend is toward smaller farms and dealing directly with the public. I believe the future of agriculture is selling farm products retail rather than wholesale and also selling the farm experience, like picking apples and Halloween hayrides. About two-thirds of the state’s agricultural income is from the three southernmost counties. It may seem incongruous, but that’s where the customers are.
How much conflict is there between farming and development?
When there’s less space between farm and non-farm land use, it can grate on everybody. People smell the manure pile, hear a tractor running early in the morning. We have to talk about the benefits of agriculture — a local food supply, open space, a wildlife habitat, a watershed as green pastures serve as filters. We need to make those qualities more apparent.
A Global Mosaic
True bards and poets can cast spells upon the minds of listeners to open doors into different times and places. The performing duo of Randy Armstrong and Genevieve Aichele works that kind of magic in “World Tales Volume II: A Mosaic of Stories and Music from Around the World.”
Collaborating as a duo since 1992, Aichele’s compelling storytelling and multi-instrumentalist Armstrong’s mastery of the international syntax of music have the ability to take listeners on a trip to lands both familiar and exotic. Indeed, the auditory travels on this CD span from South of the Border to the Far East.
Along with numerous school programs and drumming circles, Armstrong teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy and Plymouth State University. Aichele, a resident of Portsmouth, is the artistic director of the New Hampshire Theater Project and an adjunct faculty member of the Plymouth State University Graduate Program. Both serve as artists-in-residence at many schools and community organizations in New England and have received numerous grants from the N.H. State Council on the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“World Tales” also features guest storyteller Billy Teare, who shares stories from his home of Ireland. His rolling brogue curls around a story with an accent and emphasis that is sure to engage any listener. Highly recommended for all ages.
— By Kristine King