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7-24valley-voice jimmy-keysBritish funnyman Jimmy Keys (above) impersonated Sir Elton John and others in his comedy show at the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson this past Tuesday night. He will be at Hobbs (539-2000) in West Ossipee Aug. 17 and back at the Door Aug. 18. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — “Abby's home.”

It's a headline that we had long hoped to have been able to write, and for this past Tuesday's edition of The Sun, we got to do exactly that.

Like the rest of the valley, we are overjoyed with the news that missing teen Abigail Hernandez returned home to her family Sunday night. It's been the talk of the town — and the state and beyond.

Channel 9 and national media have been in town, interviewing people on Main Street in North Conway with their cameras, including Dennis O'Neil and friend Sharon Roberts in front of Horsefeathers Monday night, and Peter Patel at Valley Food and Beverage.

Word had it Brian Hill of Hill's Florists received a floral order this week from Dr. Phil to be delivered to Abby.

As the FBI's Kieran Ramsey told us Monday afternoon, the details about how she came home, where she has been and under what circumstances will all “come out in the wash” in time.


7-17-valley-voiceHoot Night host Jonathan Sarty was joined on stage by Steve and Ann Frost of Jackson's three young granddaughters (Lilah, Natalie and Mia) on “Country Road” at Tuesday's Hoot, held at the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson. Quipped Jonathan, “I've gotta say: It's too bad for all the other performers, because they're going to be a tough act to follow!” (COURTESY PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

SO, HOW'S YOUR POST FAB FOUR “morning after” going?

“We Saw Her Standing There” (and just about everyone else!) last night, as Arts Jubilee kicked off its 2014 summer season of five concerts with a Beatlemania Tribute that set a high bar for the rest of the season.

Bob Halligan Jr. of Ceili Rain fame portrayed a right-handed Sir Paul McCartney on stage, as he and his fellow mop-topped Lads from Liverpool musicians rocked through sets that covered the Beatles' hit-packed career.

Master of ceremonies for the show, fittingly enough, was Beatles fan Mark Johnson of WMWV 93.5-FM. Mark interviewed Bob at the studios when he got into town Wednesday afternoon.

From “She Loves You” to “Yellow Submarine” and “Revolution,” you had to love all the phases of their song list.

I posted a notice on Facebook to remind fellow Fab Four fans about the show, and asked friends to list their favorite Beatles songs — a tough task for anyone, but hey, why not start a dialogue, right?

Mine is “And Your Bird Can Sing,” a John number.


7-10-valley-voice---dennis-and-daveyMusician Davey Armstrong (right) and musical duo partner Dennis O'Neil are shown at the Shannon Door, where they perform Saturdays (they're at May Kelly's Fridays). Davey is shown with his USA hat, presented by friend Ram Harvey after the Scotsman earned his American citizenship on July 4. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

AH, THE BEST OF SUMMER is here and the living is easy, at least here in Mount Washington Valley this past week, with blue skies, fair breezes and tons of activities following the rainy Fourth of July.

Topping it off July 11 through 13 and again July 18 through 20 is the return to the Conway Scenic Railroad of every young rail fan's dream, Thomas the Tank Engine. CSRR event director Susan Logan tells us that new this year is an “Austism Friendly” train on Sunday, June 20, at 3:15 p.m.

For further information, call (800) 232-5251 or visit www.ConwayScenic.com/events.

MUSIC GALORE: The music scene is definitely heating up as we head toward the middle part of July.
Yours truly was given the supreme bucketlist honor, for example, of getting to guest conduct the MWV Band in its first weekly evening concert at the North Conway Community Center bandstand this past Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m.

We did John Philip Sousa's “The Washington Post March,” which was the same song I was asked to do for the Arts Jubilee Pops Concert in 2011. I went casual this time (alas, no tux) but I did finally get to tell my conductor joke, the one I had wanted to tell at Arts Jubilee but got cut off due to time constraints. It's the one that goes:

Q: “What's the difference between an orchestra and a passenger train?”
ANSWER: “A passenger train actually needs a conductor!”


Each park concert has a theme and will feature a guest conductor from the community.  

SAU 9 asst. supt. Kevin Richard will do the honors July 15. He will lead the Mount Washington Valley Band in “The Colonel Bogey March” which was composed in 1914 by F.J. Ricketts, a British Army Bandmaster.  The tune became popular in the 1957 film, “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.

The concert will even feature the Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, highlights from the Broadway musical “Grease” and more.

In the weeks to come, other local “celebrities” will lead the band including Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, and George Cleveland, director of the Gibson Senior Center.

ARTS JUBILEE: 1964 BEATLES TRIBUTE: The MWV Band will be the opening act at 6 p.m. when Arts Jubilee kicks off its 32nd season July 17 at Cranmore.

“Beatlemania Stage Show,” will feature Bob Halligan Jr. of Ceili Rain fame, playing a right-handed Paul McCartney as one of the Fab Four as they work their Beatles magic in honor of the Liverpool Lads' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV 50 years ago in January 1964.

“We're hoping that Bob (Halligan) will be stopping by our studios when he comes to town Wednesday before Thursday's show,” said WMWV 93.-FM program director Mark Johnson this week.

Halligan, the ever-cheeky and beloved band leader and singer/songwriter has long been a fan of the station, and the valley, in the years since then station dj George “Mountain Mouth” Cleveland discovered Ceili Rain and introduced their spirited, spiritually uplifting, well-crafted pop music to the valley, which ultimately led to their first of six appearances for Arts Jubilee in 1999.

It will be a real treat to get to see Bob on stage as Paul as he, John, George and Ringo (or at least musicians portraying them) take to the stage. See you there with your lawnchair at Cranmore at 6 p.m. July 17!

CORMAC'S NEW CD: In other musical news (and there's a lot of it this time of year), the Bradley Park Tuesday Night Concert Series kicked off in Fryeburg Village July 8. The shows are held in July on Tuesdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. and presented by the Fryeburg Business Association.

One of our all-time folk favorites, Cormac McCarthy, performs there this Tuesday, July 15. Tune in to WMWV 93.5-FM at noon time to hear his live interview and a sampling of his wonderful newest CD, “Collateral.”

He'll also be at the Sunday Concerts by the River summer series behind The Other Store in Tamworth Village July 20 from 3 to 5 p.m., and at Chequers Villa July 25.

Cormac is a New England regional gem — he would be a great addition (hint, hint) to the Cold River Radio Show series. As Jeff McLaughlin, of The Boston Globe, writes, “"A distinctive songwriter with a warm, powerful, inherently melodic baritone, a fine guitarist and a devastating wit ... enormous writing gifts, capable of putting chills into your spine or a silly grin on your face..." From the zany “I Want to Dress You In Pink Flamingos” to the bittersweet Hank Williams tribute, “Blue Cadillac,” we wholeheartedly agree.

For more, visit www.cormac-mccarthy.com.

MIDDLEGROUND CD RELEASE PARTY: The Concerts By The River show in Tamworth from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, will feature a CD release party for Peter Heimlich and Cindy Duchin's of Middle Ground's new release, “Open Door.”  

COLD RIVER: The next Cold River Radio Show is set for the Theater in the Wood on Observatory Way in Intervale on July 13 at 7 p.m. The lineup will feature The Allen Estes Trio as the headliner.
The show's solo singer will be Melvern Taylor of the Fabulous Meltones. Comedian/storyteller David Neufeld and author Monica Wood will also be featured, with Wood discussing her latest book, “When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine.”
Host Jonathan Sarty and the Cold River Band will also entertain, with Jonathan interviewing guests as well. Visit www.jonathansarty.com/coldriverradio for further information.

HOOT: Kudos to birthday high school musician Reilly Parkhurst and her dad Dan and bandmates, as they played some Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones tunes at this past Tuesday's Hoot Night at the Wildcat Tavern. Reilly celebrated her birthday with a house party at the stage they have constructed at their Eaton Road home stage Saturday.

YANKEE DOODLE DAVEY: Congrats to Scotsman/Jackson resident Davey Armstrong of the Celtic musical duo Dennis and Davey, as he earned his American citizenship on July 4, and was sworn in with 101 fellow new Americans at Portsmouth's Strawberry Banke that day.
The next day, he and musical partner Dennis O'Neill performed as usual at the Shannon Door Pub for their Saturday night gig (they're at May Kelly's, local fans well know, Fridays). At one point, fan Ram Harvey arose from the crowd, and presented Davey with a USA baseball cap, which Davey proudly wore as they went through their rousing set, which included a patriotic tune or two. Davey and Becky's college-age son, Chris, joined Dennis and Davey for some Chicago harmonica blues, much to the crowd's delight.
Among the fans there were two young brothers, one of whom is named Tyler, 10. Confined to a wheelchair due to a medical condition, he showed a real gift for clapping with great rhythm as he sat in front of the stage, taking in the music. (I told him he ought to become a drummer, which brought a big smile to his face).
Dennis and Davey asked to have their photo taken with the young fans, making for a nice night of music and camaraderie, followed by the spectacular and very well-attended Jackson July 4th fireworks on the 5th.
It's too bad that the North Conway fireworks were impacted by Friday's heavy rain. Better luck for the kickoff to the Town of Conway's 250th celebration on New Year's eve Dec. 31!

And kudos to all who participated in the Conway Village parade, and the first-ever North Conway Chili Dog Eating contest for the Wounded Warrior Project. Sarah Verney of the MWV Chamber didn't come close to the 9.5 hot dogs that winner Ed Camerino of Lowell downed, stopping at just two and one bite, but she won the fund-raising title with $600.

GOOD TIME CHARLIE: It's always tough to lose friends and family.
A beautiful celebration of life was held at St. Andrew's-in-the-Valley in Tamworth on a sunny Sunday afternoon July 6 in memory of late Wildcat Ski School instructor and Chocorua Lake Association board member Charlie L. Worcester (1959-2014).  “Good Time Charlie” was remembered for his zest and his ability to spark any dinner party with spirited conversation. They also spoke of his compassion for children, especially the young Dana-Farber cancer patients who used to come to Wildcat every end-of-ski season courtesy of then owners, the Franchi family. Charlie once hoisted a young patient on his shoulders and skied with him from the summit just so he could take in the beautiful view of Mount Washington and Tuckerman Ravine across the notch from The ’Cat.
The last time I saw Charlie was at Weston's Beach last summer — as I walked across the sand, thinking I was about to spend the afternoon reading my Whitey Bulger book alone, I heard a loud voice boom out, “What? You mean they let the paparazzi here?”
I looked out across the sand to see a man waving for me to come on over.
It was the always horn-rim bespectacled and ever-chatable Charlie, of course, sitting with three bikini-clad pretty ladies. “Join us!” said Charlie, which I gladly did.
Like the late Doug “The Rooster” Campbell, Charlie always was more alive than anyone else. It was sad to lose him at such an early age, but I know I will think of him every time I ski at Wildcat — or take to Weston's with a new book.

Without Charlie's gift of talking up the ladies, of course, I am sure I will be reading that book alone. He was never shy, that was for sure, and we'll miss him because of that love of life.

WE ALSO salute good-natured and always gracious former Starting Gate Ski Shop co-owner Bill Krim, who died after a battle with cancer at age 79 July 3. Along with friend Brett Russell, he ran the shop there at the base of Cranmore with style and a good word for everyone.
Visiting hours will be at Furber and White July 17 from 6 to 8 p.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. July 18 at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church.

HAPPY B-DAYS to one and all, including (belatedly) 1968 cross country ski Olympian Jack Lufkin of the Attitash Grand Summit, the Obs' ever upbeat Krissy Fraser, Furber and White's always kind Charlie Sutton, and Cranmore operations manager Rick Oaks (all 7-9); MotorSports Plus' auto-body artist Jim Savoie and World Cup mountain biker Peter Ostroski (both 7-10), and Mary Case (7-11).

WORLD CUP FINAL: That's all from this World Cup soccer grandstand. If you can stand the excitement (and admittedly, that's bound to be tough!), be sure to check out the final between Germany and Argentina Sunday, July 13, at 3 p.m. on ABC-TV. Can't you just feel that World Cup Fever kicking in, big time? Almost makes up for the lackluster Sox. At least we've got the fabulous Jeff “The Redstone” Locke to cheer for, right, baseball fans?

7-3-valley-voice---chili-dog-contestTO THE (CHILI) DOGS: Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce staffers will be supporting office manager Sarah Verney (fourth from left) as she goes for the record in chili dogs eaten and funds raised in North Conway's Chili Dog Contest, set to be held in Schouler Park as part of the Town of Conway's Fourth of July festivities Friday from 5 to 5:30 p.m. as a fund-raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Lending their support (from left) are MWVCC staffers Melody Nester, Mary Seavey, Matt Parker, Jaimie Crawford and executive director Janice Crawford. (COURTESY PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

HAPPY  FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL YOU fellow firecrackers, and here's to a Happy 238th, Uncle Sam!

For a complete round-up of all local Fourth (and Fifth) events, see the article found elsewhere in this issue of The Conway Daily Sun, or check our Facebook page for updates.

As of press time, despite weather impact fears about Hurricane Arthur here and elsewhere in New England Friday, everything was a go for local events and fireworks in Conway on the Fourth, according to Conway Parks and Recreation Department director John Eastman.

“We'll post updates on our Conway Rec Facebook page, on our web page, and on WMWV 93.5-FM (356-9930), but we're going for it. We're on,” said Eastman Thursday afternoon.

Friday's Conway Village parade is set for 1:30 p.m., after which the focus shifts to North Conway's Schouler Park beginning at 3:30 p.m., with the Abby Miller Band performing at 5:30 p.m., the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast  from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the fireworks at 9:30 p.m. A rain date for the fireworks only is set for July 5, but as we said, John Eastman said Thursday it's still a go for Friday as of press time.

CHILI DOGS: Among the Schouler Park activities is the Chili Dog Eating Contest from 5 to 5:30 p.m. for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Project.

“I hear at Nathan's annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island that the reigning champion likes to fast for three days and then gulps down water to stretch his esophagus,” said co-organizer Jason Stretch of Importech (447-3873), who is presenting the contest with Dave Hausman of Big Dave's Deli (356-3283).

“We're hoping that people will come by our booth at the park and make donations,” said Jason Thursday, “so that this can grow and become an annual event to help our Wounded Warrriors.”

Among the entrants that we know of is petite and ever-sweet office manager Sarah Verney of the MWV Chamber. Sarah is seeking pledges to try and raise the most money, conceding ahead of time that she probably won't get the honors for most chili dogs downed, given her small size and equally small appetite.


6-27-14-valley-voice-rppbeachThe Red Parka Pub in beautiful downtown Glen hosted its annual Beach Party Thursday, June 19. Veteran bartender Carl Farnum reports that it was yet another great time, with musical entertainment on the sandy dance floor provided by Ben Hammond and the Siesta Key All Stars. They are to return Labor Day Weekend. Performing this weekend is Living the Dream June 27 and 28. For further information, call 383-4344. (PAT QUINN PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

CURLING AT THE RE-OPENED HAM, dock dogging at Settlers' Green Outlet Village, and car racing to the top of the Northeast's highest peak — what more could anyone ask for a late June weekend, as we roar into the start of the summer season and toward the Fourth of July!

While the rest of the world is focusing on the World Cup soccer action (the U.S. plays Belgium Tuesday after losing 1-0 to Germany Thursday), we her ein Mount Washington Valley can turn our attention to those three biggies mentioned above.

The newly-laid down ice is nice at the spruced up Ham, reports new manager Chris Perley, 54, who has traded in putting criminals on ice as a longtime member of the Conway Police Department for his new role of putting skaters, hockey players and curlers of all ages on the gleaming ice of the 1998-built Ham.

He replaces Darrell Umlah, 58, who retired this spring after being part of the Ham from even before the beginning, when it was just a concept in his mind's eye.

Umlah and longtime fellow employees Mike Boivin and others have aided the ever-quotable now retired Lt. Perley in his new role at the Ham over the past month.

“I have learned more about ice refrigeration over the past few weeks than I ever thought was possible in a lifetime. It's always good to get out of your comfort zone and to be the new guy, to learn so you can grow, and everyone has been great to me as I learn,” laughed Perley Thursday.

He said he took the Zamboni for a practice spin around the parking lot the other day before taking to the ice of the Ham a few times this week in time for the start of the Grand National Curling Club (GNCC) Arena Club Championships, June 26 through 29.

Hosted by the Mount Washington Valley Curling Club, this prestigious four-day event will bring 24 teams from the eastern regions of the United States here to compete for the coveted title of Arena Champion.
For further information about the tournament,visit www.mwvcurling.org.
For news about  hockey league signups, figure skating club activities, and public skating times, visit hamarena.com or call 447-5886.
NEW LOOK-UP LINE AT THE HAM: In addition to a newly-added fifth curling house lane at the Ham, Perley reports that the Ham ice surface has a new “Look-Up Line” bright orange, 12-inch wide border line, painted around the circumference of the arena 28 inches from the boards. It creates a 40-inch swath that serves a purpose akin to baseball's warning track to protect players by giving them adequate reaction time when near the boards.

The lane was developed by the Thomas E. Smith Foundation (justcureparalysis.org), according to Perley.

The painted zone gives most players at game speed time enough to look up and react to a substantial impact wen playing near the boards, as well as defenders that they are playing near the boards, noted Perley, who said the ham will soon be issuing a press release with further details about the new development.

“It was used for the Frozen Fenway last year, and it was discussed at both the USA Hockey and NCAA level,” said Perley. He brought the idea to the Ham board, and they approved it. “I am proud to say that we are the first in the state to install it. It is also being installed at Phillips Andover Academy and as many as 100 rinks in Massachusetts come October.”

FROM CHECKING HOCKEY PLAYERS TO DOCK DOGS: In addition to all the curling and skating action at the Ham, and Mount Washington for the 110th anniversary running of the “Climb to the Clouds” Automobile Race, the eyes of the valley turn to Settlers' Green for the DockDogs Competition, June 28 and 29.

Marketing and events assistant  Laura Tuveson  of Settlers' Green says the dogs will be doing their stuff at the Bear Parking Lot near Gap Outlet.

“DockDogs is an international dock jumping canine aquatics performance sport for dogs. It's sort of like the World Cup for dogs,” laughed Laura when we spoke Thursday. “We have been doing our dog day event in the past, so this replaces it. It's a new trendy thing that a lot of retail malls around the country have been picking up on. I saw it at the Patriot Place Mall last year and thought it would be good for here.”

Competition starts at 9:30 a.m. each day and will run throughout the evening hours. This is a fund-raising event for the Conway Area Humane Society,” notes Laura.

Registration is open 8:30-9:30 a.m. or visit settlersgreen.com or call 356-7031.

START YOUR ENGINES: All sorts of media are expected for the “Climb to the Clouds” Sunday, June 29, with practice runs June 27 and 28 to be aired on the NBC Sports Network. The 2014 Rally America National Championship airs  on Saturday, June 28, at 8 p.m. EDT. More details on the Mount Washington Hillclimb episode will follow for the scheduled Aug. 2, 12:30 p.m. broadcast, according to marketing director Dan Houde.

For the complete information, see the article in this issue, or visit www.climbtotheclouds.com or call the Mount Washington Auto Road at 466-3988.

MUSICIANS WANTED: M&D Productions will be presenting Godspell (2012) Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 14 through 30. Rehearsals will begin in July. M&D is looking for musicians to fill the pit band, including drums/percussion, keyboard and guitar.
For more information, contact director Ken Martin, at 733-5275 or music director, Ashley Iwans, at (207) 595-0857.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to one and all, including Hooligans hockey-playing culinary wiz Doug Gibson of the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation(belatedly, 6-26); photographer and great guy Dennis Coughlin (6-27); state Rep. and selectman Gene Chandler of Bartlett, and x-c marketing enthusiast Ellen Chandler, and Lloyd Jones (all 6-28); Lisa DuFault (6-30), and all others out there in readerland…CLOTHING DRIVE: For her birthday on the 30th, Lisa DuFault, by the way, through her Valley Promotions, is asking friends to make a gift donation in her name to Emily Smith-Mossman's second annual North Country Cares Back-to-School Backpack Project. “The program falls under the umbrella of our Valley Promotions non-profit and benefits nearly 200 local teens.  Even a package of pencils will help to outfit students this fall. Donations may be left with Emily at North Country Fair Jewelers in North Conway,” said Lisa…Kudos to the 10 teams who participated in Mountain Top Music's first motorized scavenger hunt, held in the monsoon-like driving conditions June 25. The intended destination was at a private home in Jackson for a BBQ, but that was changed due to the weather to an enclosed cookout on the covered deck of the Shannon Door Pub, reports Mountain Top's Belle Stafford. “It will definitely return next year as a fund-raiser for Mountain Top,” she said…CORRECTION: We mentioned last week that the new Deacon Street Restaurant is going to be a Dave Peterson venture, but he tells us that the farm-to-table, whiskey and martini bar restaurant that is to open at the old Decades location on Seavey Street July 2 is actually being run and owned by Dave's son Rob Peterson and Dave “Stoney” Stone, both of Horsefeathers. They will continue at both venues. We took a walking tour today, and it's going to be nice. Call 356-9231 for further information…NoCo 5 AND 10: Shirley and Phil Alcott and staff tell us they were overwhelmed at the turnout of well-wishers at the North Conway 5 and 10's 75th anniversary celebration June 21. We are re-running the story on the local iconic retail institution in our latest issue of North Conway Magazine, which is due out today...LITTLE FIELD FARM OPEN HOUSE: There was also a great turnout for Colton Dow and staff's open house at Littlefield Farm June 21. It's a fun new farm stand located on Route 153 in Eaton, just north of King Pine Ski Area...That's all from this this curling house, dog dock pier and car race viewing platform. Enjoy the busy weekend here in the valley, where the action never stops!



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