Lovell Town Column: Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library a vital part of the community

For those who wondered why I didn't include the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library in my column last week, I didn't forget. I saved them for this week. The library has been a part of my life since coming to Lovell. That is where I made my first friends, like Peg Mason, Irene Zeller, Ginny Snyder and, of course, librarian Sally McAllister.

Since my arrival in 1989, the library has grown into a vital part of the community. It isn't just a library but, in a sense, a community gathering place. Under the direction of Library Director Anna Romer, the library has grown. As it grew it became evident that it needed more space. That and the fact that it needed handicap accessibility. An addition was needed.

I was on the board and we all knew this was a big task for a little town, but as someone said to me, "You're a small town but you all pulled together and raised the money." With the help of a local authors, known to many, and building contractor Gary Crowell, we have the beautiful building that is in constant use.

To keep the library vibrant, the board plans many fundraisers which requires many volunteers. The board members dig in and work hard to keep the library the place to be in Lovell. One of the biggest fundraisers is the August Arts and Artisan Fair. This requires lots of planning, including the jurying, the raffle, the used book sale, the food for the lunch in the cafeteria, parking and general help. This is all done by volunteers who know the importance for supporting the library.

If Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library doesn't have the book you're looking for, the desk attendant can contact Minerva Library Catalog for you. This service is amazing.  All the book delivered to our library shows how easy it is to use. Computers are available and are used a lot by summer visitors staying in town.

Throughout the year, the programs continue week after week. It's great fun watching the students from the New Suncook parade from school to the library to learn the mysteries of the library, and visit the special children's area. These same children and visitors from away can take part in the summer reading programs.

The ladies gather for knitting throughout the year; the gardening group meets, plus takes care of the library garden; the writers group meets. In other words, there are constant programs available at the library. You can even keep in shape with the yoga, go to a yard sale waiting for the Old Home Days parade. If the library doesn't have a program fitting your needs talk to Anna.

Oops, almost forgot the most dedicated group: Those steady cribbage players who meet first week after the fair until they decide to quit.

During the summer season, the library is available to the Greater Lovell Land Trust for their popular nature talks. This, along with the library’s own special guest speakers, gives the community plenty to do.

Am I proud of our library? I guess so. We lost one of our longtime workers Ruth, who had to move to be closer to her husband. We still have the best and most helpful people who take care of our library so we all thank you for making our library a true treasure.

VFW booth
For those visiting the Fryeburg Fair, don't forget the Fryeburg/Lovell VFW booth. Stop up for a quick lunch, hot or cold depending on the weather.

Coming soon
For those who play cribbage, start practicing your 15-2, 15-4 and a pair is 6. Cribbage at the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library will start up the week after the fair on Wednesday, Oct. 12, starting at 9 a.m. Everyone — those who play well or those who would like to learn — are invited to join the group for the fun of it. Hey, Dennis, check in.

Thrift shop
The Lovell United Church of Christ is holding a $2 bag sale until Oct. 1. The thrift shop is open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, located on Route 5 in Center Lovell.

Ethel Gilmore Hurst can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fryeburg Town Column: Great Pumpkin-themed Maize now open

The Maize at Sherman Farms, just over the river in East Conway has opened for the season. The Great Pumpkin is this year's theme. The corn maze is open on weekends through Columbus Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from Columbus Day through Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hometown Heroes weekend takes place on Oct. 1 and 2. Police, fire and medical personnel enter for free with proper identification. This is Sherman Farms way of saying thank you to those who serve our communities. I've enjoyed the Maize activities with my grandchildren for the last three years and know it to be a great place to have some family fun.

The Fryeburg Fair is almost here. This is a wonderful opportunity to support all of the local non-profit organizations, churches, rotary clubs, etc. This year, I'll be working in the agricultural building, so be sure to stop by to say hello and enjoy the displays, beautiful art work, photos, quilts, giant pumpkins and so much more.

The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Met Opera Live in HD series is returning to the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center for the 2016-17 Season. Located inside Fryeburg Academy's state-of-the-art theater, the live simulcast's high-definition picture and surround sound audio makes it seem as if you are actually watching the performance inside New York City's famed opera house.

"Tristan and Isolde" opens the Met season on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 12 p.m. in a new production by Mariusz Trelinski (the director responsible for the 2014-15 season's double bill of "Iolanta" and "Bluebeard's Castle"), and will be well-served by a cast of Wagnerians: Nina Stemme as Isolde and Stuart Skelton as Tristan, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting, in one of his rare appearances at the Met. The estimated run time is 4 hours and 47 minutes, including two intermissions. Please note that there will not be a catered lunch before this opera.

The valley's own award-winning White Mountain Cider Co. will be catering this season's operas starting Dec. 10. Lunch will be served in the lobby during the hour before each opera.

Joe De Vito is returning to host his always informative and entertaining Opera Lecture Series every Thursday before a Live in HD show at 3 p.m. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, provides an inside look at the upcoming opera's music, story, composer, and more.

"The moon and stars above, the gentle earth below, gather in the harvest, as the seasons come and go."

Robin Johnson can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Eaton Town Column: Eaton Village Store to offer an apple-picking opportunity

News from Kate and Justin from the Eaton Village Store: "Thanks to the amazing support of our customers, old and new, we had a great first summer at Eaton Village Store. Now we need a few days of R&R to gear up for the next busy season. The store and diner will be open with food on a limited basis this Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The post office is open as usual." To Kate, Justin, Poppy and Ruby, enjoy your time off. You deserve it.

There is a sign-up sheet at Eaton Village Store for apple pickers for Sunday, Oct. 2, in the afternoon. The apples are coming at last, and here is an opportunity for Eatonites to join in the picking. Eleanor Jenkins would welcome any willing folks to come Sunday afternoon, Oct. 2. Come join in, help put some apples into the barn and take some home to cook up. Then return on cidering day, Oct. 29, for the ciderfest. The view is fine and company good. You may email Eleanor directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Albany Town Column: Covered bridge taking a pounding

By Mary Leavitt and Dorothy Solomon
All three selectmen were busy at the Wednesday meeting. Sheriff's Deputy Michael Santuccio reported to the selectmen about about the sheriff's work in Albany. He left a written report about tickets written and arrests made. The deputies have established a good relationship with many in this community, and generally all is going well.
Forest service representatives were in primarily to discuss the problems with the Albany Covered Bridge. According to them, the bridge had been damaged by vehicles about seven times this year and needs to be repaired. They believe that the damage was likely from vehicles hitting the barrier at the top of the bridge. It seems one sign at the Kancamagus Highway side says the clearance is more than eight feet, while at the opposite end the clearance is just over seven feet. Though the forest service is willing to help with the cost of fixing the bridge, it can't be done at this time due to budgetary restrictions. The selectmen, Curtis Coleman and the forest service people will get together to take care of the new signage.
The selectmen discussed how to deal with contracts and have decided to send them to Primex to be looked over to make sure all is correct.
Waldorf School: Join the fall Needle Felting workshop at the school today from 9 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 3 p.m. and make a pumpkin using a barbed needle and natural wool roving. This would make a perfect fall seasonal display. A $20 fee includes all materials.
Gibson Center: Call (603) 356-3231 to make an appointment for answers to your computer questions.
Library: At 6 p.m. on Monday, come and watch the Back to School 1980s movie, "Heathers." At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it's Story Time for 2s. At 5:30 p.m., it's Sensory Story Time. At 6:30 p.m., there's a book talk on "Weathering Shame." On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., it's Story Time for Wee Ones, and at 4 p.m. there's robotics for grades four through six. Also at 4 p.m,. the Lego Club meets, and at 6 p.m. join the teen writing group. On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., it's Story Time for 3s and 4s. At 6 p.m., meet with the Chess Club.
UNH Cooperative Extension: Coming up quickly is another season of slow-cooker classes. If you have a child attending Conway Elementary School, you and your child can join the Family Cooking with Nutrition Connections. The classes meet Mondays, Oct. 17 to Nov. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. Call either Cathy Baker at Conway El at (603) 447-3369), or Joy Gagnon at (603) 662-8901. If you are a participant at the food pantry at the Brown Church, there is also a four-week slow-cooker lesson series beginning Wednesday, Oct. 19, and each Wednesday until Nov. 8. They meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. To join, contact Mayanne at the church office at (603) 662-8901 or Joy Gagnon. Each of these programs are funded in part by Memorial Hospital.
President and CEO of Memorial Hospital, Scott McKinnon, an Albany resident, invites the public to the ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the largest renovation of the hospital in years on Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards there will be a tour of the addition.
Though it's early, do put the Albany Birthday Dinner on your calendar. It will be held on Nov. 5, a change from the original date due to changes at the Darby Field Inn. The cost will be $30 per person, and that includes the meal, tax and gratuity. Mark Donaldson, owner of Darby Field, would appreciate reservations made for the event at least two weeks before the dinner. Darby Field has a seating capacity of 50.
Bernadine DeBois had a great week. She had loads of visitors. Eddie, his wife Wendy, and grandson Tylor Brousseau from Irvine, Calif., came visiting, as did daughter Diane Leroux of Waterford, Vt. and Bobbie Brousseau from Canine, Vt. Sherri and Trevor Stanley of Concord visited over the weekend and everyone enjoyed the buffet at the Peking Restaurant.
Dancers take notice. The Mount Washington Valley Stompers have begun their fall and winter sessions. They will continue until Jan. 16 at the American Legion Hall on Tasker Hill Road each Monday from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. The caller is Jay Silbe. The cost is $7 per person. All are welcome even if you don't have a partner. Refreshments will be served.
If you rather do contra dancing, that has also started but is still open for new dancers every Saturday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the congregational church. There is live music, and the caller is Brian Ricker. The cost is $7 per person.
Fall is here and the trees are beginning to turn. Get out and have a great week.