Published Date Written by Tom EastmanThis week, we've all been enjoying spring in all of its blossoming glory as Earth Day and the 2012 Friends of Tuckerman Ravine Inferno/Wildcat Wildfire Pentathlons approach. The sunsets this week have had a pink hue, with the spring blossoms set against them making it all look like mid-May, not April. All of which leads to the question: do you think this early and dry spring will mean we're in for a lighter bug season? That would be the only benefit, as the woods are so dry that the entire region has been like a tinderbox, with an acre fire in Sandwich this past week accidentally started by a man who was only mowing his lawn. This weekend's predicted showers hopefully will ease the fire danger. Kudos to all local firefighters for their vigilance so far this spring.
BEEHIVE OF ACTIVITY: A stroll around North Conway Village this April school vacation week not only reveals the blossomy state of things, but also the beehive of activity in the business sector.
Michael Kline and Sal Martignetti, for instance, are busy at work, transforming the former Mountain Top T-Shirt's into the new home of their Soyfire Candle business, which may open by midweek this coming week, according to the ever-entrepreneurial Michael.
Next door, crafty builders Bruce Grubb and Joe DiFiore and crews are transforming the former trading company dining room at Horsefeathers with a major renovation/redecoration. And no, Dave Peterson still isn't saying just what the new theme or look will be, so stay tuned.
Heading to this past Tuesday's MWV Chamber After Hours at Flatbread's, I ran into the father-and-son dynamic duo of Joe and Joe Downs Jr. outside of New England Charms and Imports.
Pulling out my tape recorder, Joe Sr. invited me in for a quick tour. It's going to be a new business named NoCo Imports, featuring Mexican, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese handmade imports and all sorts of cool stuff.
New England Charms (formerly Imports), meanwhile, is moving across the street, near their other business, the Naked Bohemian. New England Charms is now all clothing and jewelry, while NoCo is imports. Naked Bohemian has been moved over, too.
“So, this gives it all more space,” said Joe Sr.
It was a good night to be roving around with a tape recorder, as it turned out. Over at the chamber after hours at Flatbread's, we ran into local golf pro Julie Rivers, who said that Hale's will be hosting golf clinics taught by her and Linderhof pro Ed Bradley April 23 and April 26 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Call the pro shop at Hale's at 356-2140 for further information.
Ever enthusiastic and buoyant, the hockey-and-ski loving Julie is just back from a ski trip to Europe that included stays in Zermatt and St. Anton.
Carol Sullivan of the White Mountain Hotel took to the microphone at that point, to announce that Hale's was opening April 20, its earliest opening in 21 years.
Speaking of golf, April 20 is also the projected date for the Eagle Mountain House Golf Course — the Eagle Mountain House, readers may recall, was recently purchased and is to undergo renovations.
The Wentworth is to open April 27. Meanwhile, Province Lake Golf, Androscoggin Valley, Indian Mound and North Conway are thrilling golfers with their early openings and conditions.
GOLF WITH A VIEW: After taking some gloriously sunny last ski runs at Wildcat Sunday, we stopped by the North Conway Country Club's Ledgeview Grille to enjoy the views from the deck. Stop by and say hi to new food and beverage manager Ken Rokes and enjoy a salad or sandwich, or a cold beverage, the latter of which is served by always friendly barkeeps B.J. Hawkes and Becky Armstrong.
ON THE TOWN: JOKE OF THE WEEK: John McClure, former owner of the always fabulous Redstone Variety, asks: “Did you hear the one about the 25 Irish guys who drowned? Yeah. They were river dancing.” Ouch!...GREAT HOCKEY: The Ham Ice Arena (447-5886) is featuring the Old Man of the Mountains (45 and older) tourney this weekend, April 20-22. It will feature 17 teams and three divisions, including teams from Canada and even a few ex-pros. Stop by to watch the action — it's the best hockey this side of the NHL playoffs. And, speaking of the playoffs, how about those Bruins and Caps, eh? The ice comes out after Sunday, as the Ham makes room for the WMWV Home Show, May 5 and 6...GOOD FOOD, GREAT MUSIC: We stopped by Joe Quirk's Conway Cafe Wednesday evening for the growing-in-popularity Songwriters' Showcase, hosted by Red Gallagher and which this week featured gifted singer-songwriter Tom Dean. Tom played some of his classic solo and Devon2 tunes, including “The Devil and Robert Johnson” and Devonsquare's “Walking on Ice.” Denali MacPhearson and Robert Strong were among the other performers who were all well-received in the nice acoustic confines of the cafe. Be sure to check out the all-you-can eat buffet: we had roast turkey, roast beef, and roast pork, served with gravy, mashed potatoes, string beans and squash. How can you go wrong?...JUKEBOX FUN: A good crowd turned out for last Saturday's ribbon-cutting for the new 1950s-themed Jukebox Junction. Check out the tunes on Saturday nights...THREE VOICES: Head to the Jackson Community Church April 22 at 4 p.m. to enjoy the tunes of vocalists Joe Fay (yes, that Joe Fay), Cathy Dowling, and Susan Brinker accompanied by Judy Herrick. Refreshments will follow...VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Anyone interested in helping out with the 12th annual Friends of Tuckerman Inferno or Wildcat Wildfire Pentathlons may stop by Flatbread's at 5 p.m. tonight, April 20. The races are set for April 21. The ski leg for the Inferno is likely to be down Left Gully. The take out for the kayaking portion has been changed from near Humphrey's Ledge on West Side Road to Glen Ellis Campground. There are still spots available for the Wildcat Wildfire, according to Jake and Al Risch. Call 367-4417 or go to www.friendsoftuckerman.org for the latest...It's that Inferno time of the year. It was on April 16, 1939 that Austrian sensation Toni Matt made his amazing top-to-bottom run in 6:29.2! Imagine — on wooden skis, no less. Of course, we had a lot more snow that year.