Published Date Written by Tom Eastman
DO YOU THINK ALL OF THIS RAIN has finally stopped? After this week's dose of steady downpours, at least you know that today has got to be a sunny one, because get this: it has never rained in 30 years for White Mountain Oil and Propane's Bratwurst Broil and Open House.
The Saunders family, Dana Jones and staff invite one and all to the 31st annual social gathering and bratwurst feast. It's set for June 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Conway business, which has been a local Main Street institution for 41 years.
In addition to some great merchandise, soda and bratwurst, this year's event will be headlined by the unveiling of a newly-restored and painted old oil delivery truck.
The truck was located by local wagon collector Sut Marshall at an auction at the Owl's Head Museum in Maine. Sut told White Mountain Oil's Glenn Saunders about it, who went ahead and bought it. Dana Jones tells the story from there.
“Sut found this truck and told Glenn about it. It's a 1941 GMC oil delivery truck — the significance for us is that our company was founded by Ben Saunders in 1941,” said Dana the day before the annual grilling event. “It's in good shape, it's running. I went through a lot of work with the Glen Group to go over the colors (we've painted it in light blue). It's not one of our original trucks but we have worked very hard to make it look like an original.”
Guests will get to see the restored truck Friday, and at future events.
“It'll be on display for the open house, and we will run it in parades and use it as a showpiece for our business,” said Dana, who says the whole and the Saunders family are pleased with the end result.
On the side doors is the original phone number: 9-21. That's it (old-timers will remember those days of simple exchanges).
The bratwurst features a recipe from owner Sonni Saunders' family from Austria.
Grilling from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; door prizes, solar water heating, gas fireplaces, appliances, the Mosquito Magnet ... and yes, now even an old truck, not to mention good company.
We've only missed it once in 31 years (and that was for good reason, two years ago). See you there — and save us some bratwurst!
FROM BRATWURST TO BEARS: More than one observer yelled out to yours truly Thursday as your intrepid reporter was walking past the dumpsters behind the chamber building and Vito Marcello's Italian Bistro, two days after all the flap about the bear that got into one of the dumpsters Tuesday. Things like “watch out for the bear, Tom,” and “Must've been a slow news day, huh?”
Ah, the abuse that goes with the reporting beat, eh?
“Yeah. It was my turn to dress up in the bear suit yesterday,” joked Roger Cummings outside of his glass business behind Taste of Thai with friend Billy Connelly Thursday as we passed by. “ARRRRGH!” added Roger, his paws, er, arms held up to his mouth, bear style.
Channel 9 came up to do a report on the bear-and-the-dumpster story Tuesday, as we did here at the Sun for Wednesday's edition. Channel 9's news desk team joked abut the bear liking the Italian food at Vito's.
Others said the bear was just being a bear — that it's people who cause the problems by not properly discarding of their food garbage and locking up the dumpster top. That dumpster is being replaced with a lock top.
The Root Cellar also posted a photo of the bruin on Facebook. Let's hope that bear and human interactions remain safe.
BOOTS AND BLING: It was a fun week in the valley, in and out of the raindrops. Last Saturday night's second annual Boots and Bling fund-raiser for Starting Point was moved indoors on account of all the rain.
It originally had been slated to be held at Glen Ellis Campground, but the decision was made early Saturday to move it to the Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center, which had an available room.
Led by board president Dot Seybold and members of the Rober clan, everyone blinged up nicely with their cowgirl/cowboy boots, jean jacketss, string ties and hats. Prices went high for many of the items, which included a painting by Joelle (Rober) Fine Art Designs, which went for $2,200. Also auctioned was a guided canoeing naturalist trip with Chris Lewey of Raven Wildlife ($850), and a Conway Scenic private excursion up Crawford Notch for you and some of your closest train buff friends ($721). U.S. Ski Team member and Olympian Leanne Smith's U.S. Championships teal-colored parka went for $975.
“I'm hoping and pretty confident that we made as much as last year, which was $33,000, if not more. We'll know more next week,” said Suzette Indelicato, executive director of Starting Point, which provides services to victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
OUT AND ABOUT: There was a nice gathering in Franconia Friday night to kick off the New England Ski Museum's summer exhibit, “From First Tracks to the Fall line.” Among those on hand was 1972 U.S. Olympian Tyler Palmer of Kearsarge, and Phil Gravink of Jackson, formerly CEO of Attitash, both of whom are being inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame.
The Eastern Ski Writers Association awarded Mikaela Shiffrin (Burke Mountain Academy, East Burke, Vt/) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.) with the 2012 Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award. This is Shiffrin’s second and Cochran-Siegle's third consecutive win.
The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top male and female skiers in the East since 1969. In 1975, the Ski was "lost." Five years ago, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski. ESWA revitalized the honor, this time awarding the top junior athletes from the East, and named it in memory of long-time snowsports journalist Don A. Metivier.
“The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to alpine ski racers that exists today,” says Jim Gregory, chair of the ESWA's Golden Ski Award Committee. “It has been presented to top ski racers from the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit started.”
In one of the evening's highlights, Tyler — who looked great, despite battling diabetes and Addison's — was given a new/old Golden Ski Award: he and Karen Middleton were the first recipients of the award back in 1969. Jim Gregory presented Tyler with his very own Golden Ski to keep, thus bringing it all back full-circle.
ETC.: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE DEPT.: Nice to report that Jen Kovach and former Snowvillage Inn owner Kevin Flynn hope to sign papers later this month to re-purchase the inn. It carries on a trend we have been seeing of late: former owner Gene Pelzar is to re-open the Up Country as the Wolverine Grille by July; the Hoopers bought back the New England Inn (Adam Hooper and Todd Neil were back behind the bar like old times at Tuckerman's when it re-opened last Friday to a packed house; look for Reklis to play there for a grand reopening party Tuesday, June 12); and now Mr. Flynn is soon to be back at the Snowvillage...NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: The MWV Chamber hosted a festive and bubbly group ribbon-cutting party Tuesday night for the Funky Bubble, the Boston Brothers Pizzeria and The Met Gelateria. Take it from us: the soap is good, and so is the pizza and the gelato (especially the mango)...LENNON LAND: Tom Dean and Rex Fowler's “John Lennon Imagined: Beatles and Solo Years” featuring The Nutopians is at Stone Mountain June 8 and June 16, David Bromberg Quartet is there. Call (207) 935-7292 for ticket information...Incredible violinist Joyce Andersen is at Raetha Stoddard's all-new Drylongso Concert Series at M&D's Your Theater June 13 at 7:30 p.m. Call 662-7591 for the scoop...NORM'S NIGHT: In other concert news, friends are presenting “Norm's Night,” a musical benefit for musician Norm Smith, at the Shannon Door Pub June 20 at 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Norm's medical costs and the Dana-Farber Prostate Cancer Research Center. Stay tuned for details. Norm plays at the Shannon Door accompanied by Jeff Hayford June 8...The White Mountain Café and Bookstore in conjunction with the Gorham Police Association is presenting a benefit concert with guitarist Doyle Dykes on Friday night, June 22, at 7 p.m. at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham. Visit whitemountaincafe.com for ticket information...GO EAGLES: Lastly, congrats to the Kennett High softball Eagles, who after beating ConVal 5-4 in the 7th in the Div. II semi-finals Wednesday, play in the finals in Manchester Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's Portsmouth-Bedford semi-final. Play ball — nd ladies and gents, start your engines, because the fifth annual Rally in the Valley returns to Hillbilly's and local roadways, June 9 through 16. Wristbands are just $5, offering all sorts of discounts at local stores and restaurants. You don't have to ride to participate in the week's festivities, notes the Valley Riders' Dick Glines.