Posted by: guinness222 | June 13, 2010

“Yup,….I’m a city kind of guy!”

     Just getting around to blogging after being back four days from my our granddaughters high school graduation up in New Hampshire. How far “up” is “up” in New Hampshire? Well, boys and girls a few wry comments for your consideration;

       1. Saw more Moose, Deer, Black Bears, Eagles, Ospreys, and God knows how many other animals saw me that I didn’t see, in my entire 65 years on earth in three or four hours!

       2. “Up” there we went out for breakfast at nine a.m., were in Vermont by 10 a.m., at the Canadian border by 10:30, had a brief lunch at 11 a.m. and had desert (ice cream cones?) at noon in Maine! Two countries, three states, and just finished lunch!

       3. So far up those skinny little openings between mountains called “passes” out west are called “notches” there!

       4. So far up we went through a dozen communities and hour and guess what? NO MacDonald’s, NO Burger Kings, NO Chili’s, NO Applebee’s, NO Red Lobster, NO Kentucky Fried, NO Taco Bell’s,nada, zilch, zip! Only places like “Grandma’s home cookin’ Place”, “Uncle Bob’s Clam Place”, “Northland Restaurant”, and “Mary Jane’s”, (all of which were spectacularly GREAT) so this is what REAL homecookin’ joints are like. I could get used to that.

        5.  Since we were from “below the notch” we were considered “flatlanders”. (Guess that’s a tourist who speaks without a Southern drawl)

        6.  Like I said there were so many moose deer and other critters just “walking along”, crossing the road, etc. that oncoming locals cars flashed their lights so you could slow down and not get taken out by a Moose when you came around the bend at 60 m.p.h. (And as a “local” up there you would respond with a “thank you” wave as they went by!)

          Now that you know how far “up” we were, let me tell you about the place and the people. I was, and I mean this sincerely, VERY impressed with the community. By “worldly standards” it was an economic disaster area. The mill closed down years ago, that WAS the “force” that made the community, a “Home Depot” would have starved to death because there was just flat not enough money to buy anything to “upkeep” the places that was not of an “Emergency” nature, including “duct tape”. But the folks were generational, and PROUD of their little community. Their school system was ranked 3rd in the State in quality, out of perhaps 3,000 schools. While my our granddaughters graduating class was only 37, it was every single senior, and every single one of them got some kind of a scholarship, at least one, (some got a “dozen”) not big Harvard, Yale, type ones, but of the 37 graduates 30 were going on to Colleges. And even more importantly they planned on coming back to the community afterwards to be part of their community and do what they could to help it come back. Is that civic pride and having your head screwed on straight or what?

         There were no grandiose displays, shit I was overdressed with good slacks and a Golf shirt, but virtually every citizen in town showed up for the graduation and stayed to the very end. I will admit as a “flatlander” even though my  our granddaughter was graduating, I was getting very, very bored with the scholarship awards, and then it hit me. This was the entire community, giving to their graduates a sense of pride, and what ever they could to show it. Some of the scholarships dated back to the 1930’s, and were not huge, $500, but were given by a former English, or Math teacher, long passed. BUT a member of their local family was still there to hand out the check and give a warm and real handshake to the grad receiving it. The local Commander of the American Legion Post came up and gave a scholarship on behalf of the Legion, and then reached in his jacket and changed hats, literally, to the Commander of the local Disabled Vet’s post, and gave out another one. THEN after he gave them out he turned, snapped to attention and gave all the graduates a full salute, (and a fine one to, just like they taught us in boot camp). Virtually every local business in the town gave a scholarship, and not a single person got up to leave or was giving the “when is this going to end” cough, sometimes heard in Church when the preacher goes on a little too long.

       After graduation, and the numerous local family parties, which are only about an hour or so long, because they just move around house to house, the kids all went to a “Chem Free” all night party with bands, hypnotists, and a flock of other things to do. (Walmart, if you can believe it gave every student that attended the “Chem Free” a $200 gift certificate!)

        Well it was a great little five day  trip, with only one complaint,…..too many trees! Ok, Ok, I rest my case I’m just a “city” kind of guy. (But sometimes you wish you could be a “country” kind of guy, at least for a little while). By the way I can now officially say I have heard the sound of one hand clapping,…..pure silence, particularly at night. Turn out the lights and it is black!

-30-

      Obviously I exaggerate for literary licence, it was fun, I’d go back again, but not for more than a week before a severe case of “cityitis” would begin to show up.


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