• First Pro Sports Games

    Mike Moffett

     by Mike Moffett
    Weirs Times Columnist

    Recent Facebook postings remind us that 2017 is a year for Red Sox commemorations—this being the 50th Anniversary of the pennant-winning 1967 Impossible Dream Boston team that created the modern Red Sox Nation. While young Sox fans have no recollection of that magical year they should better appreciate Boston’s baseball heritage through the anniversary dates the team will be highlighting as the season unfolds.
    Some of these Facebook postings from old-timers including reminiscences about first trips to Fenway Park.
    My first trip to the Boston ball-yard was on August 9, 1972. My bleacher seat cost $2 and Rico Petrocelli hit a home run as the BoSox beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2. When I played golf with Rico last summer I asked if he remembered that game and he confessed he had no memory of it—in contrast to my vivid recollection.

    Weirs Times columnist Mike Moffett as himself at a 2005 Celtics game with Lucky the Leprechaun.

    Continue reading  Post ID 2639

  • A NH Child’s Winter In The 1940’S


    by Robert Hanaford Smith, Sr._DSC2528
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    In past columns I’ve written about scenes from my childhood during the spring, summer, and fall, so it seems advisable now to share some of the winter experiences while we are still in the season.
    New England country roads with dirt (sand and gravel) surfaces became sledding trails for the boys and girls of my era. Actually those I played with called it sliding. We used sleds, with an occasional toboggan or traverse, but we went sliding on the roads and in the fields when the conditions were right. Our sleds were of the flexible flyer variety with metal runners and frame underneath wood slats with a wood handle for steering. Packed snow on the hills of a dirt road surface as the result of being run over by car tires became a good place to use our sleds. The limited vehicle traffic travelled our Dana Hill Road at slow speeds and if we met one on a ride down the hill we simply turned into the snow bank beside the road for a quick stop. There were times when our school recesses became sliding times as we took our sleds up the hilly road a quarter of a mile or more and slid down to the schoolhouse where the teacher had stopped traffic heading up the hill. The town sanding dump truck was not a welcome sight for us. In those days the bed of the truck was lifted to let the sand slide out, sometimes assisted with a man with a shovel at the back of the truck. Slippery roads meant that it was time to get out the tire chains for cars and trucks. If the conditions were right in the hay field below our house, meaning a crusty surface strong enough to support sled and child, we would slide there after school. Sometimes the sleds runners would break through the crust and stop abruptly, with the rider continuing to slide by himself on the snow.

    Robert Hanaford Smith’s oldest brother, Raymond,Jr. who had the nickname “Skip”, with his sister Virginia (now Virginia Haas) who being the only girl was called “Sister”.

    I have experienced the inevitable facial scrapes and bruises from those episodes. Large pieces of cardboard were found to be safer substitutes for the runner sleds under certain conditions. The eastern side of our field provided a steeper but shorter hill for sliding, but we had to maneuver between the apple trees and there were saplings along the edge of the field. One Christmas I had received some new lumberjack style heavy wool winter trousers with black and red checks and wore them as I slid down the hill among the apple trees,into the clear at the bottom of the hill, continuing into the saplings beyond which stopped me. Somehow, maybe from a nail from the sled, my new trousers sustained a large tear in them. I cried as I returned to the house, knowing that my parents weren’t going to be pleased with what I had to show them. I wasn’t hurt; the crying was to exhibit remorse, and maybe it did hurt a little, but I escaped the application of any additional pain applied as punishment.

    My boyhood winters were not all play, there were chores to do, such as sawing and splitting wood, filling the kitchen and sitting room wood boxes morning and evening, feeding, watering and bedding the animals, cleaning out the tie-up, and shoveling snow after the storms, washing dishes, and sometimes hanging up wet clothes to dry. If the weather was thought warm enough they were hung outside even in winter.I do recall times when I found my union suit (longjohns) frozen stiff on the clothesline.
    I had siblings, so we shared the chores, and sometimes they were related to our 4-H projects. One of my memories is that of mixing grain and warm water in a pail in our kitchen and feeding the pigs twice a day. By the way the tie-up was that section of the barn where the cattle were tied up and spent a good part of the winter. Cleaning it meant shoveling the manure out of an open window onto the manure pile in back of the barn. In the barn yard there was a concrete water receptacle for the cows which was in a wood enclosure. We used an axe to cut through the ice which sometimes built up considerably during the winter months. Milking the cow was another of the jobs that we boys had to learn to do, along with separating the cream from the milk and operating the churn to make butter.
    A lot of activity took place in and around the barn. One winter’s day I discovered a red fox curled up in the snow behind the barn sleeping and decided I would find a way to kill it, so I found a brother (maybe two) to help me dispatch it. We found a long wooden pole and plotted to sneak up to the fox and whack it on the head with the pole, hoping that would kill it. (I remembered visiting our neighbors in past years, the Leslie Smith family, and walking through a shed with multiple fox and probably other animal pelts.) On approaching we realized that the animal was not sleeping, but already dead. The dead fox was taken to Leonard Huckins who skinned it for us, so we had our own fur pelt, which the last I remember was stored in a bureau drawer.
    We slept upstairs in unheated bedrooms on rope beds with cotton filled mattresses and on the really cold nights soapstones were heated on the wood stove, wrapped in newspapers, and used as foot-warmers. After school I sometimes visited the cellar to grab an apple to eat while I read about a famous person in one of the orange covered book series by a publisher I don’t remember and/or listened to a radio adventure program such as “Sky King” or “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon”. Saturday nights we ate beans for supper and sometimes had leftover beans for breakfast on Sunday morning, and maybe bean sandwiches for lunch on Monday. Of course, Saturday night was bath night when the galvanized metal tub was brought out and placed on the kitchen floor beside the stove with its’ water reservoir where enough hot water was available. On Sunday evenings, after the Sunday afternoon church services at the schoolhouse, we popped popcorn on the stove which was eaten with milk with perhaps a sour pickle on the side. If the static on the radio wasn’t too bad we listened to “Amos and Andy”, “George Burns and Gracie Allen”, “Jack Benny” and “Our Miss Brooks”. And I must not forget school, since that dominated weekdays from nine a.m.to three p.m. The black chalkboards and the squeal of the chalk writing upon them, the desks with the built in inkwells to supply ink for our pens before the ball-point ones arrived, the long settees used for group activities and guests to sit in, the wood stove with the circular medal enclosure around it, and the making of valentines for every pupil during craft times are all part of my memories. There was a contest for the best valentine, but everyone knew that Peter Emmons would be the winner, not because he was the teacher’s nephew, but because he was the most artistic person in school.
    So there is a quick sketch of my childhood in winter though much more could be added. I have some closing advice to the sledders, though. Be careful and don’t take foolish chances. Know where your sled will stop before you start and never try to slide under a barb-wire fence, it’s not worth the risk, even though some have successfully kept their heads low enough to survive that stunt.

    Robert Hanaford ,Sr. lives in New Hampton.

  • “At Large” – Women’s Caucus Show

    Art Girl

    By Kimberly J.B. Smith
    Contributing Writer

    A spectacular show of large artworks is on display at the Gateway Gallery at Great Bay Community College at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth now through March 26. The gallery serves as the entryway to the college complex.
    This is a juried show and 16 selections were chosen from 50 entries. Juror, Dr. Annette Cohen, selected pieces that were cohesive, masterful and educationally interactive for Great Bay students. Dr. Cohen is also an art professor at the college.
    Artists worked in various media that inlude fiber works, paintings, mixed media, encaustic works and more. There is a wide variety for all aesthetics.

    Wen Redmond’s “Breaking the Surface” at the Women’s Caucus For Art show Great Bay Community College at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

    Here are a few of the highlights of the show.
    Wen Redmond presents a digital fiber collage titled: “Breaking the Surface.” Visually challenging in its beauty and detail, this piece contains 9 major sections with detail pieces in the center section. Subtle stitchery holds the 9 panels together. There are many undulating and whirling organic shapes. The colors represent a wide span of values. Some sections appear metallic and others look almost molten. It is truly a masterpiece.
    For those who are following the artistic trajectory of Deb Claffey, you will be pleased to see a piece by Deb in encaustic, graphite and pigment stick. “Silent Cherry Blossom” is full of subtleties within the interaction of the flora. The layering of medium is incredible.
    A unique look at portraiture is presented by Marcia Wood Mertinooke. “Little O’s Surround My Toes” demonstrates an expertise in application of paint that is one of a kind. As for portraiture, a moment in time is captured, as opposed to an accounting of an individual’s visage.
    M. Robin Cornwell takes fabric printmaking to a new level of craftsmanship in her piece titled, “Lily Patterns.” A longtime printmaker, Cornwell’s works are hand printed with her hand cut stamps, hand dyed and meticulously stitched to perfection.
    There are many more pieces to take in, each offering a unique artistic statement and original approaches to media.
    Many groups of professionals come to Great Bay for meetings and they all walk through this high traffic exhibit area. The location of the show is a win-win for business groups and other organizations who often visit the Green Bean restaurant. Schedule yourself a treat, and artist’s date, and come enjoy the show!

    Kimberly J.B. Smith is an artist and art educator. You can see more of her work at her website www.KimberlyJBSmith.com. and also on display at the Meredith Public Library through the month of February.

  • Some Things

    A Fool In NH Column Heading


    A couple of weeks back I confessed that I didn’t have many ideas to write about. This week it’s a different story. It seems that being outside in the fresh air, cleaning up after yet another snow storm, can really clear out the mind and the sinuses.
    Here are a few ideas and random thoughts I had that I would like to share with you.

    The National Weather Service gives names to every tropical depression and hurricane. The Weather Channel even gives names to winter storms. I suggest we give numbers to bad weather systems and people’s names to nice weather systems. I think that forcing some folks to always being reminded of having the same name as devastating storm (I’m talking about all you Sandys out there) is a psychological burden. Instead we should be lifting people up by having their names related to something nice. ( “Pleasant system Brendan will be over our area for the next several days making for great weather. We are keeping an eye on system number 5647 which could being heavy rains and winds next weekend.”)

    Speaking of weather, I think it would be a good idea that the weather folks should stop predicting snow in estimated inches like “six to ten inches” leaving us to wait and see where in this range it will fall. Instead they should predict it in levels of aggravation. For instance, 1-3 inches would be “no aggravation,” 4-6 inches would be “bit of a pain”, 6-10 inches would be “okay, that’s enough” and 10 plus inches would be “A giant pain in the butt.” So, weather forecasts could go something like: “Laconia will have no aggravation from this storm while it will be a bit of a pain for the seacoast and a giant pain in the butt for the White Mountains.” I think this would help us all mentally prepare a little better and not be so focused on the specifics of inches. Continue reading  Post ID 2632

  • Right To Wrong

    Ken Gorrell

    by Ken Gorrell,
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    It’s time to name names. It’s time to take off the gloves and fight back against those who hurt our state. It’s time for the NH GOP to draw a line in cement and demand that those who run for office as Republicans either toe it or run under a different banner.
    A few weeks after we elected a Republican governor while maintaining Republican majorities in the House and Senate – something nearly as rare as a blue moon – I penned an essay for these pages supporting Right to Work legislation. Last week, thanks to nearly three dozen Representatives whose actions define “RINO,” the Right to Work Senate Bill 11 died in the House.
    Passing RTW would have made NH a shining beacon in New England, helping us compete regionally for jobs. As I wrote a few months ago, attracting and retaining job-creating businesses and young people looking to get ahead in life requires being business-friendly. Compared to forced-unionism states, the unemployment rate in RTW states is lower; median incomes (after adjusting for the cost of living) are higher; and governments spend and tax less per capita. Right to Work must be considered a foundational issue to the GOP.
    After the disappointing vote, National Right to Work President Mark Mix reminded supporters of choice in the workplace that “from 2005 to 2015, real private sector employee pay and benefits in Right to Work states grew by nearly 17% — almost a third more growth than forced-unionism states saw as a whole, and more than double what New Hampshire saw individually.” That is what some who call themselves Republicans voted against.
    But it’s worse than that. After failing to pass the Senate RTW bill, the “GOP majority” House voted to ensure its own RTW bill could not be brought up for discussion or a vote this session. So, in the Live Free or Die state, employees will continue to be compelled to pay into union coffers…coffers which provide generously and one-sidedly to Progressive causes and Democrat candidates.
    The Democrats voted in lock-step against Right to Work. That’s no surprise for a party that consistently puts organized union interests ahead of workers and taxpayers. But what more evidence of being on the wrong side of a vote do some Republicans need? When your ideological opponents are “all-in” on an issue, you better get out, and fast.
    It’s time for the new leadership of the state’s GOP to not just come out strong about voting against issues that are foundational for conservatives. It’s time to actively and forcefully work against those who damage the party by failing to uphold its principles.
    The state GOP should work now to identify viable candidates to challenge wayward Republicans in the 2018 primary. Those candidates should be assured they will receive state party financial and ground campaign support – money and people to pound the pavement and knock on doors to help them get elected. There aren’t many issues that require ideological purity, but Right to Work is such an issue.
    To say this anti-worker and anti-business vote demonstrates a lack of leadership in the House would be an understatement. We are poorly served yet again this term. Governor Sununu made it clear that this was a key vote on an issue of great importance to the state. Speaker Jasper and his House leadership failed to deliver; whether by incompetence or intent is anyone’s guess. We deserve what we tolerate, and the time for tolerance is over.
    Here are the names of so-called Republicans who voted against Right to Work, who voted to hurt our state’s economic competitiveness:
    Crawford, Karel (R, Ctr Harbor), Merner, Troy (R, Lancaster), Pierce, David (R, Goffstown), Proulx, Mark (R, Manchester), McCarthy, Michael (R, Nashua), Hopper, Gary (R, Weare), Klose, John (R, Epsom), Woitkun, Steven (R, Danville), Chirichiello, Brian (R, Derry), Dowling, Patricia (R, Derry), Katsakiores, Phyllis (R, Derry), Milz, David (R, Derry), Tripp, Richard (R, Derry), Webb, James (R, Derry), Willis, Brenda (R, Derry), Morrison, Sean (R, Epping), Guthrie, Joseph (R, Hampstead), Pearson, Mark (R, Hampstead), Bean, Philip (R, Hampton), Welch, David (R, Kingston), Bove, Martin (R, Londonderry), McKinney, Betsy (R, Londonderry), Doucette, Fred (R, Salem), Chase, Francis (R, Seabrook), Janvrin, Jason (R, Seabrook), Khan, Aboul (R, Seabrook), Tilton, Rio (R, Seabrook), Scruton, Matthew (R, Rochester), Laware, Thomas (R, Charlestown), Gauthier, Francis (R, Claremont), O’Connor, John (R, Claremont), Grenier, James (R, Lempster)
    Along with Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, these names should be engraved on a GOP wall of shame.

  • Sweet Gliding at Gunstock

    The view from Gunstock’s summit over Lake Winnipesaukee to Ossipee and White Mountains is certainly grand on a clear day. Mount Washington’s white summit cone was visible! The Panorama high-speed quad chair closes promptly at 4 pm so plan to arrive early for night skiing if you plan on visiting the summit. Buy lift tickets in advance on-line and save for the best deal at Gunstock.com.


    by Amy Patenaude
    Outdoor/Ski Writer

    Lots of bright white snow and blue skies tempted us to skip out of work after lunch to go skiing. After all it was Valentine’s Day.

    Charlie on the trail above the Gunstock Nordic Center. The Gunstock Nordic center boasts 50 kilometers, over 30 miles, of cross country and snowshoe trails

    Charlie and I were able to get on our way by 1:30 and the drive to Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford was just an hour (about 40 minutes from Concord). We pulled in front of the Nordic Center and I jumped out of the car and ran inside to buy trail passes. To celebrate Valentine’s Day the mountain offered a special deal—trial passes and lift tickets were 2 for 1!
    With passes in hand I jumped back into the car and we drove to the ski area’s main parking lot and parked near the Snow Groomer/Maintenance Sheds. We parked here instead of at the Nordic Center because I planned to do downhill skiing later while Charlie would continue to cross country ski. From here it is just a short walk to the trails and to the ski lifts.
    We put on our cross country ski boots and dressed at the car. I forgot my light jacket but lucky me Charlie just happened to have an extra one in his bag. I used my no wax skis and Charlie rubbed some old extra blue wax on the kick zone of his skis. We walked a short distance past the sheds to where the Nordic trail crosses the road. We put on skis and headed up the Cobble Mountain Trail.


    Yours truly with my Valentine out cross country skiing on the Cobble Mountain Trail at the Gunstock Nordic Center.


    Yours truly enjoying kicking and gliding through the forest and around Cobble Mountain on Gunstock Nordic’s finely groomed trails.

    Oh, the trail was groomed wide for skating and a pair of perfectly cut grooves, nice tracks were made on one side of the trail. This season’s bounty of snow is making for excellent cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
    We kicked and glided up the trail. My skis were okay but didn’t kick strong since the snow was still somewhat cold and powdery. Charlie’s skis kicked like a mule and yet his skis glided fast in the tracks too. He was giddy for so easily finding the perfect wax. The Cobble Mountain Trail is very skiable. The trail doesn’t climb all the way to the summit but climbs and then rolls down and then wraps its way around circling the peak through the forest.
    At the far end of the Cobble Mountain Loop we turned and followed the Rock Loop where the low and soon to be setting sun reflected brightly on the snow covered marsh at the forest’s edge. The short loop’s scenery was nice and once again we were back into the forest skiing our way around the mountain and working our way back to where we began. The loop we made around the mountain is about 5k (3 miles).
    Back at the road crossing at the sheds I clicked out of my skis and wished Charlie a happy ski. He continued up the trail and I ran back to the car.




    The Gunstock lodge’s lights shine at night. Every Tuesday Night is 2 for Tuesday–two can ski for $34! Night skiing hours are 3 pm to 8 pm, Saturdays until 9 pm. Snow conditions are at their finest right now.

    I admit I was in a hurry to get on the Gunstock’s slopes. The Panorama lift closes at 4pm and I wanted to catch at least one ride to the summit. I don’t think I have ever so quickly changed my clothes and equipment.
    People trying to walk fast in ski boots while carrying their skis look silly. No doubt I looked silly, there is nothing graceful about it. I awkwardly clomped along to the far side of the parking lot trying to get to the ticket booth at the lodge.
    Luckily I was able to walk right up to an open register at the ticket counter. I was greeted with a smile. I am certain I am not the first Ski Nut to run in and try to get a ticket with no time to spare. As the ticket was printing I said I hope to make the last chair to the summit and she replied, “I know.” My face was red and I felt foolish but I was still hopeful I’d make it. She handed me my ticket and as fast as I could say “thank you” I was out the door.
    I placed my lift ticket between my teeth so I could grab my skis and I continued my hustle up the hill to the lift. I began to lecture myself for not allowing enough time. I could see a ski patrolman standing near the lift. A lift attendant was taking down some ropes. Skiers and snowboarders were still sliding up and loading the lift. Yikes!
    My heart was beating fast as I clicked into my skis and I fumbled to attach my lift ticket. Whew, I made it. At the last moment another skier glided up and joined me on the chair. He was happy to get one more ride.
    On Gunstock’s summit there was little wind and the view north over Lake Winnipesaukee to the mountains was grand. This was the reason I didn’t want to miss the lift to the summit. There were at least a dozen other people just hanging out on top enjoying the view too. Mount Washington’s white cone was visible far away and the Ossipee Mountains looked like they were hugging the other side of the Lake.
    I chose to take the natural snow covered ungroomed Recoil Trail. I picked my way down over the moguls. Nice. Thank you Mother Nature for the cool snow.
    I went over to the Ramrod Quad and did a couple of runs: one down the race trail and another the trail next to it. The snow was soft and easy to turn.
    I skated over to the Tiger triple chair and took a few more runs over there. A high school race was finishing up on Tiger and race training was happening on Cannonball. So I decided to traverse over to the Pistol lift and the terrain park.
    As I neared the last turn to the lift I caught a glimpse of Charlie cross country skiing towards the main lodge. The lights were on and it was starting to get dark. I skied right up to him and surprised him. That was good Valentine’s Day luck that he didn’t’ have wait and look for me.
    We had hot chocolate in the main lodge together and then I went back out for a little more.
    I took a few runs over on the Tiger lift. In the short time I had been away they had groomed the Tiger Trail and opened the trail. Nothing like skiing a freshly groomed trail. Laconia and towns far away had a warm glow like distance Christmas lights.
    T’was a fine day for cross country skiing and a fine night for skiing.
    Skiing is sweeter than a box of chocolates.
    Have fun.

  • Prep School Hoops

    Mike Moffett

     by Mike Moffett
    Weirs Times Columnist

    Granite Staters rightly take pride in Concord High grad Matt Bonner playing 12 seasons in the NBA. But did you know that no less than TEN alumni from Wolfeboro’s Brewster Academy have played in the NBA? Check out Brewster’s web site. The school’s captured four National Prep Championships since 2010, as well as five New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Class AAA Championships since 2008. Over the past decade, Brewster’s averaged over 30 victories per year (305-50) for a winning percentage over .860. The Bobcats have captured six regular season NEPSAC Class AAA Championships since 2008. And Brewster’s advanced to the National Final Four in each of the past eight years.
    Besides Brewster’s ten NBA alumni, over 50 others have played professionally in other leagues around the world, including the NBA Developmental League—not to mention the numerous Bobcat grads who’ve played college ball at every level.
    Who knew?
    Brewster head coach Jason Smith is in his 17th season as Brewster’s head hoop coach, having compiled a 414-109 (.792) record during his first 16 seasons.
    But our Lakes Region prep school basketball universe includes much more beyond Brewster. Continue reading  Post ID 2619

  • 90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewing


    The word ‘Imperial’ brings to mind a combination of royalty and more than enough. Imperial is reserved for the best of something. Other forms of the word imply princely orientation or supremacy. In the beer world, it implies ‘bigness’ as in this is a big beer or ‘look out, this is a strong beer’. But in the case of our focus beer this week, it suggests a brew that imparts the strength of malt, hops and quality that is reserved for the top shelf of beers. So, we take a look at the middle strength beer offering from our friends at Dogfish Head Brewing.

    Dogfish Head was one of the early leaders of the craft brewing enterprise. Among their vast offerings of great tasting beers, Dogfish was the front-runner in the making of great brewing skill. Located in their massive brewery in Milton, a suburb of Delaware, Maryland, Dogfish’s owner, Sam Calagione, has over the years, created some of the most interesting and creative beer recipes that have helped shape the craft beer industry since 1995. They were the first to create pumpkin-style beer. They were also the first to innovate continuous hopping of India Pale Ale beers. Their 60 minute, 90 minute 120 minute IPA’s are still revered as leaders in the IPA craze. They cater to the hop-heads of America with their unique and interesting hopped brew sensations.
    90 Minute is a continuously hopped IPA, meaning that during the brewing process, they add hops vigorously against a strong malt balance. The result is a 9% ABV beer that drinks smoothly considering the amount of hops and malt. This golden delicious treat reveals a flavorful blend of bite and sweetness, supported by just the right mix of blended grains. It is strong yet mellow. It bites back and is malty at the same time, with a medium mouthfeel and rewarding flavor profile that beckons for another visit. The reference to minutes is the amount of time they boil in production. The longer the boil, the more hops that are added. This 90 Minute IPA is produced year-round as is the 60 Minute version.
    BeerAdvocate.com has officially rated 90 Minute IPA as ‘Outstanding’ and awards it a 94 out of 100 and the Bros give it 96. Other followers are rating it as high as 4.89 out of 5.0.
    You can find both at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia as well as other fine beer providers. 90 Minute IPA joins its cousin, 120 Minute (if you can ever find it) in a celebration of hop goodness and tremendous flavor!

    Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com

  • Walden And Chinook


    by Robert Hanaford Smith, Sr._DSC2528
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    The students of the New Hampton Literary Institution (now New Hampton School ) along with interested townspeople, were outdoors on the campus eagerly waiting for the arrival of some special visitors. It was late in the winter of 1923-24 with snow on the ground and as the students, including my Dad, kept watch towards the south-east, a team of sled dogs came trotting down Shinglecamp Hill around the Mansion corner onto Main Street towards the excited audience. Once on Main Street the dog-sled driver prompted his dogs to sprint at full speed until they arrived at their destination when his shouted orders brought them to a stop in front of Meservey Hall. This was not only a new observance for the gathered crowd, it also brought to the thoughts of the boys reminders of the Alaska gold rush and the poems they had read by Robert Service and the books of Jack London. Moreover, the driver of the team was none other than the colorful Arthur Walden of Wonalancet in Tamworth, New Hampshire and his lead dog was the soon to be famous Chinook.

    Walden had driven his dog team from his home at Wonalancet to the New Hampton School in order to give a speech at the school assembly. He was promoting sled dog racing and is credited with bringing the sport to New England. My Dad’s account of that occasion said that every boy and girl who had a Brownie camera had a field day as Walden talked of his Alaskan adventures. The headmaster at the school at that time was identified as Dr. John Shaw French. Walden, after giving his speech, returned to the team of seven huskies that pulled his sled and headed back up Shinglecamp Hill to begin the long trip back to Tamworth .
    Arthur Treadwell Walden was not a native of either Alaska or New Hampshire. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 8, 1871. His father, an Episcopal clergyman, moved the family to Boston in 1890 where he became the minister of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Arthur didn’t like it in Boston, so spent much of his time at their vacation home in Tamworth, New Hampshire and went to Alaska in 1896. That was the year that gold was discovered and the Klondike gold rush began, so Walden became a freight-runner up and down the Klondike River. He was introduced to sled dogs, as they were used as carriers, an event that led to his life-long interest in sled-dog training and racing.Walden returned to New Hampshire, married Katherine Sleeper in Tamworth in 1902. Arthur and Katherine were proprietors of the Wonalancet Farm and Inn where Arthur began the breeding and training of sled dogs for racing purposes. In Continue reading  Post ID 2612

  • Ukraine—Europe’s Forgotten Conflict

    John Metzler

    by John J. Metzler
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    UNITED NATIONS -The rumble of artillery and the cracks of Kalashnikovs shatter the Winter chill. The refugees, the displaced and the injured have become part of the broken landscape which reflects the agony of previous battles. Yet the wider silence is broken by the unwavering voices who remind us that this is not beleaguered Syria in the Middle East nor Sudan in Africa but Ukraine in Europe.
    Ukraine’s smoldering conflict has flared up again with a sharp upsurge in fighting in the disputed Donetsk region in the east of the country. Russian backed rebels have attacked Ukrainian government positions along the unstable ceasefire line. A ranking UN official asserts, there’s been a “dangerous intensification of the conflict.”
    A Security Council meeting, sponsored by Ukraine, set the stage. Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, who serves as the Council’s President for February, stated “Altogether 20 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 134 were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces and Russia-backed militants since the beginning of this year in the area around Avdiyivka.” He stressed that Moscow-backed forces had broken the Minsk ceasefire accords and were destabilizing Ukraine’s sovereignty. Russia blames Ukraine for starting the recent round of fighting.
    Nearly 10,000 people, military and civilians have been killed since the conflict began in 2014.
    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s debut address before the UN Security Council condemned Russia’s “aggressive actions” in eastern Ukraine and warned “Until Russia and the separatists it supports respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, this crisis will continue.”
    Amb. Haley lamented that it was “unfortunate” that she had to condemn Russia during her first Security Council appearance, adding “we do want to better our relations with Russia.” Continue reading  Post ID 2610

  • You Have No Idea

    A Fool In NH Column Heading

    I hate to admit it, but I am at a loss about what to write in this week’s column.
    I’m sitting here at a local sandwich shop eating a turkey sub / hoagie / grinder / hero (to cover bases of all those who are strong supporters of politically correct sandwich names), yellow note pad at the ready, just waiting for the flood of inspiration to come forth like some long, dormant volcano. I have been here for a while now and nothing much is happening, unless you count the mayonnaise dripping off my chin.
    I’m not really sure what it is that is keeping me without any ideas. Maybe it’s this stretch of arctic weather we’ve been having after such a nice long stretch of above average temperatures. I haven’t gone outside much, so there hasn’t been much I’ve seen to inspire me.
    Even inside there hasn’t been much to fuel a creative idea. Nothing’s been broken in the house for me to make worse by trying to fix it which is always good for a column or two.
    I was going to write about the latest meeting of F.A.T.S.O., my winter support group to help new transplants adjust to their first winters here, but we had to cancel because it was too cold and there was a threat of bad weather. (Some of them just don’t get it.)
    I could write about the latest happenings with the legislature in Concord, but it’s been pretty much the same ole, same old. The same old legislator wants to try and pass the same old casino bill..again…Zzzzz. (I am told just a couple more years of trying this and this legislation will make it into the Guinness Book for most failed attempts….Now that might be a column.)
    I could chime in about all of the protests and yelling and screaming that have been going on across the country since the last election, but I won’t. You can thank me later. Continue reading  Post ID 2608

  • Skiing With The Sun Valley Gals

    Sun Valley Gals, Yours truly and Sharon LaVigne on top of Bald Mountain, elevation 9,150 feet. There was plenty of Sunshine, blue sky and snow for us. A run from the summit to the base at River Run drops 2,400 feet. This year Sun Valley is experiencing record breaking snow depth!


    by Amy Patenaude
    Outdoor/Ski Writer

    Sharon and I bought the Mountain Collective Pass last March. We went to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada the second week of December. We also made a day trip to Stowe, Vermont a few weeks later. By using our pass for these ski trips we received more value than if we had purchased lift tickets and every outing after that would be a bigger bonus.
    The Mountain Collective Pass provides two day lift tickets at 24 resorts and since we signed up early we were given a bonus day (we used it at Whistler).
    Charlie’s brother Billy lives in Sun Valley. Billy told us he has not seen this much snow in all the 30 plus years he has called Sun Valley his home.

    Our outdoor/ski columnist Amy Patenaude poses with “the only celebrity we met at River Run Lodge. Do you think he really worked at Clark’s Trading Post?” River Run is in Sun Valley in Idaho where Amy went on her latest skiing adventure.

    Sun Valley is part of the Mountain Collective.
    My friend Sharon is a snow bird and leaves our beloved New Hampshire for the sunny golf courses and beaches of Florida. Sharon is an awesome skier and loves to ski. In her college days she was a ski instructor at the upside down mountain King Ridge (now a Lost NH skier area in New London).
    Sharon had never skied Sun Valley. After Billy’s intel we got a good idea!
    Sharon and I both were game to go and talking Charlie into coming along was easy. We met at the Avis car rental at the Salt Lake City airport and we were on our way by 11:30 in the morning.
    The drive from Salt Lake was 5 hours. We lucked out with good weather and the posted 80 mph speed limit seemed rather reasonable with the straight pavement ahead of us as far as our eye could see.
    As we entered Ketchum we could see Baldy’s slopes rising up from the River Run base. The snow banks were high and it snowed the day before we arrived.
    Sharon stayed at the iconic Sun Valley Lodge and Charlie and I stayed with his brother a few miles away. We went out for a light supper but Billy wasn’t able to join us because he was busy with his new job as an Uber driver.
    In the morning Charlie drove and dropped us off at the River Run base lodge. The lodge is absolutely magnificent with large log beams, wide open spaces and large crystal chandeliers that hang from the high ceilings. The staff is courteous and attentive—in fact when we asked an employee where the bathrooms were she insisted to show us the way. Even the wood panel door cubbies to store our boot bags were lovely.


    Sharon on Bald Mountain’s summit ridge heading towards the bowls. Wide open snow filled bowls with some nice open tree skiing down lower made for some dreamy skiing

    Lift tickets at Sun Valley are over a hundred dollars a day if you buy them at the window. Yikes! Happily we were armed with our Mountain Collective Pass!
    We hit the snow big time at Whistler. On our day at Stowe we arrived to find 3 to 5 inches of sneaky snow—snow that was not predicted in the weather forecast. Now, at Sun Valley we hit the jackpot again! The snow was fresh and the skies were blue and we were the luckiest skiers in the world.
    The high temperature for both days was 15 degrees. The snowstorm delayed some flights at the airport, the locals thought it was cold and we were skiing mid-week—a perfect storm for no lift lines and near empty trails
    We were among the first in line to ride the Roundhouse Gondola and then we slipped onto the Christmas high-speed quad to the summit. On top of Bald Mountain, elevation 9,150 feet, we had a big panorama including the snow capped sharp Saw Tooth Mountains.

    Yours truly popping out of Lefty Bowl. Sun Valley rarely has lift lines and there is so much terrain often I was the only one on the slope I was skiing.

    We took a warm-up run on College, a long groomed run all the way back to the River Run Lodge, a 3,400 foot vertical drop. The squeaky snow made for soft turning fun.
    For two days the snow stayed soft, the temperature stayed cold and the sun shined on us.
    We had great days together on the slopes and in the bowls. On Seattle Ridge we skied Gretchen’s Gold, Muffy’s Medals and Christine’s Silver. Off the top of Bald Mountain’s ridge we skied Kaitlyn’s Bowl and near Warm Springs we skied Picabo’s Street. Yes, all these trails are named after the resort’s own Olympic Medalists.
    Each of the lodges offer different food. We learned this too late to plan our meals. I did eat a giant Idaho baked potato with all the fixings and Sharon had a super deli sandwich on top of Seattle Ridge. While having coffee at the summit Lookout Lodge we took note that this little lodge specialized in Mexican Food.

    The Roundhouse is perched high up on Bald Mountain with a grand view of Ketchum and Sun Valley. Since 1939 guests have been enjoying the view along with fine dining and good libations. Here we are with a couple of members of the Ancient Skiers, a group of skiers from the Seattle area, they were kind to share their table with us. Skiers and Non-skiers can take the gondola to reach the Roundhouse.

    The skiing could not have been better and the miles and miles of trails and bowls are so much that it wasn’t possible for us to find and ski every trail. But we did try!
    The long continuous Warms Springs Trail has to be one of the best trails top to bottom and then we found the steeper Limelight!
    Meanwhile, Charlie was having fun on the cross country ski trails. He skied the Wood River Trail along the Wood River from Ketchum to Hailey and back. He also spent a day up at Galena Lodge. We were a couple weeks too early to race in the Boulder Mountain Tour—a XC ski race from Galena Lodge to Ketchum.
    Two days passed too quickly. But we made the most of it and were too tired to ski more, almost making it until the lifts closed both days.
    Apres ski we swam in the outdoor heated 102 degree swimming pool at the Sun Valley Lodge, went window shopping and had supper at some nice downtown Ketchum restaurants.

    Sharon, Billy and Charlie enjoy 2,2,2 for breakfast–2 eggs, 2 French toast and 2 sausages at the Kneadery in Ketchum. We worked up an appetite skiing but it was too much.

    Our second night Billy took us to the most popular restaurant on Main Street, The Pioneer Saloon. Decorated with stuffed local game trophies, old firearms and a long ago prospector’s fur coat this place is the real deal western saloon. The prime rib is famous.
    On our last morning we all enjoyed a big breakfast at the Kneadery, which claims to feature the finest in Rocky Mountain rustic home style cooking. Sharon, Charlie and I all ordered the 2, 2, 2—two eggs, two French toast and two sausages. Good thing Billy showed up late since our breakfasts were also Too-much. Billy asked for an empty plate and we easily filled it for him. Charlie confessed with a big smile on his face that he had eaten breakfast here the previous two days.
    The ride back to Salt Lake was uneventful and went by rather quickly since we all had great stories to tell.
    Onwards to Alta and Snowbird to use two more days of our ski pass! Yes we did and we sure had fun hitting the jackpot again.
    How’d we do it? We flew out early on Tuesday morning from Boston and returned the red-eye on Sunday night and made it back to work before 10 am on Monday. We missed 4 days of work total and I didn’t miss a night of ski racing at Pats Peak.
    Have Fun.

    Amy Patenaude is an avid skier/outdoor enthusiast from Henniker, N.H. Readers are welcome to send comments or suggestions to her at: amy@weirs.com.

  • NH’s War-Time Farm Census


    by Robert Hanaford Smith, Sr._DSC2528
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    Late in the year of 1944 New Hampshire newspapers printed the following report: “The agricultural resources of the United States at war will be measured with the taking of the coming Census of Agriculture, scheduled to begin the first week of January, 1945. Basic information on agriculture, including statistics on farm acreage, crops, livestock, farm labor, and other items related to farm operations will be obtained.”
    The census was planned by several government agencies, including the Bureau of Census, United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the War Food Administration, and the preparation for the census and the choice of questions took many months. The actual collection of information was to take place during the months of January, February, and March of 1945. The census during a time of war was seen to be particularly important in providing for postwar planning.

    Questions to farmers would include what type of road passed by their property, if the farm had a telephone and radio, and inquiries about farm machinery and household appliances.

    That 1945 farm census had a direct influence upon my life as a six year old child because my father, Raymond C. Smith, was appointed to be the state supervisor for New Hampshire. The district office was established at Room 219 at the Forestry Building in Laconia. Roland E. Bunker of Barnstead was appointed to be the state’s assistant supervisor, which resulted in a permanent friendship being formed between my Dad and his assistant. Miss Mildred Smith was the office clerk. Raymond C. Smith was promoted to the area supervisor for the District of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont when the previous supervisor, Garnett R. Brown of Washington, D.C. had to resign because of illness, and the District office was moved from Portland, Maine to the Forestry Building in Laconia. Mr. Bunker was promoted to be the supervisor for New Hampshire. Continue reading  Post ID 2593

  • Attack Of The DIPAs – Part 1


    Two of anything is usually more fun than one…
    I remember as a kid that in the summer, you could order a two-headed ice cream cone with two of your favorite flavors. How much better can it get? Or the constant TV ads selling a product that you probably don’t want, then they say; “…but wait, call right now and we will double your order free!” Well, if you get the second one free, you might be enticed to call. The point is that double of anything is usually better. How does that relate to beer you ask? The new craze of Double India Pale Ale or DIPA is all around us and here we will learn about two of the newest to be brewed right here in NH from Great North Aleworks and Henniker Brewing.
    Great North Aleworks is a 20 barrel brewery located in Manchester and owned by Rob and Lisa North, both from Canada (aka Great White North). During 2013, Rob worked at Newburyport Brewing in Rhode Island while making plans to open their own brewery in 2014. Rob’s renowned IPA just won a silver medal in a recent national beer competition. You can find these in 12 and 16 oz six packs cans or get growlers at their Manchester brewery. Visit them at or their website at www.greatnorthaleworks.com.

    Continue reading  Post ID 2590

  • Blue Jackets

    Mike Moffett

     by Mike Moffett
    Weirs Times Columnist

    NEWS ITEM: A recent 16-game win streak gave the Columbus Blue Jackets the best record in the National Hockey League.
    Yes, it’s true. My Blue Jackets are finally on top. A “Cinderella” story, to be sure.
    There aren’t many of us Blue Jacket fans around. Truth be told, the Bruins are my favorite NHL team, but I’ve always been a closet Blue Jacket fan, going back to when they joined the NHL in 2000.
    I like the idea of a major league pro sports team in a “small” town like Columbus and I like their team name. “Blue Jackets” honors Ohio’s considerable Civil War heritage—kind of like “Patriots” honors New England’s Revolutionary War heritage. (When it comes to the Civil Wat, I’m definitely a fan of the North.
    My favorite Blue Jacket is #13, right wing Cam Atkinson, the NHL leader in power play goals. My man Cam is a New Englander, hailing from Connecticut—which, like Ohio, was on the right side in the Civil War. Goalkeeper Sergie Bobrovsky has a sparkling 1.97 goals against average at this writing. A hot goalkeeper can take a team a long ways. My man Sergie was born in Novokuznetsk in the old Soviet Union back in 1988. Presumably he’s extolled the virtues of freedom and capitalism in his old homeland. I love it.
    My Blue Jackets have been loveably hapless throughout most of their history. They did make the playoffs twice, but were quickly eliminated with first round losses in 2009 and 2014 respectively. But their recent win streak—one shy of the all-time NHL record—could be a harbinger of future success. May they not only win their first playoff series, but advance to the Stanley Cup Finals (assuming the Bruins aren’t viable).
    I’d love to see my Blue Jackets face the dreaded San Jose Sharks in the Finals. While the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and his fellow poo-bahs may prefer a New York/LA or a Boston/Chicago Final, I like the idea of two small markets making it to the Finals. San Jose actually was in the Finals last year, losing to Pittsburgh, so a classic Columbus/San Jose showdown is quite possible.
    Actually, Columbus has a population of almost a million—the 15th largest city in the country. And San Jose is even bigger, with over a million inhabitants. But if we can’t have a Bruins/Blackhawks final, then bring on the Blue Jackets and Sharks.
    As Cinderella said, “Dreams do come true!”

    Sports Quiz
    What is the maximum time limit allowed to look for a lost ball in golf? (Answer follows)

    Born Today …
    That is to say, sports standouts born on January 26 include baseball catcher/actor/announcer Bob Uecker (1935) and ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (1961)

    “I gave (pitcher) Mike Cuellar more chances than I gave my first wife.”—Earl Weaver, Baltimore Orioles manager

    Sportsquiz Answer
    Five minutes.

    Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He’s co-author of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is mimoffett@comcast.net.