White Mountain Chronicles: Remembering the Crawford House contents auction of 1976

Editor's note: The Mountain Ear was founded by Jane Golden Reilly and Steve Eastman in May 1976. The award-winning news weekly and lifestyle journal of Mount Washington Valley was sold by Eastman to Salmon Press in March 2005. Its last issue was in December 2014. Eastman — who died at age 58 from a brain tumor in April 2008 — always wanted to publish an annual book, hoping to call it "White Mountain Chronicles." In collaboration with Eastman's wife, Sarah W. Eastman, brother Tom Eastman (who worked at The Ear from 1979 before coming to The Sun in 2007) and former staff writer Karen Cummings, The Conway Daily Sun is publishing some of those stories relating to local history. Find them as they originally appeared on mtearchronicles.com. The following story originally was published in The Mountain Ear in the July 30, 1976, edition.

By Jane Golden Reilly

For a moment, it was like the old days. Crowds of people, laughing, conversing, enjoying themselves, bustling in and out of the stately portico and strolling the spacious grounds. That same aura, that hint of excitement that once welcomed presidents, artists, poets and the wealthiest of fine families hung in the crisp, clean air of Crawford Notch.

But a certain sadness accompanied the day’s activities.

KHS Graduation 2017: Salutatory Address

 

By Nina Badger

Good morning everyone. I am so honored to be able to speak to you all today. I’d like to thank everyone for being here: my classmates, the staff, and all of our friends and families. You have all been so important in our journey through high school, and we are forever indebted to you.

I think we can all agree it has been four years of growth and change. We can also agree that this past year in particular has been one not only of growth and change, but also one of volatility and divisiveness. The recent presidential election is a clear example of this. Most of us identify as either Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent. Some of us are pro-life and some are pro-choice. Some think that a four-year college is a necessity for success, others disagree. These and other controversies elicit strong emotions...and if you publicly support a particular viewpoint, you may quickly be compartmentalized by nearly anyone to whom you speak. But since when has your political affiliation defined your character, your morality or your potential for success?

A really important person in my Kennett life once told me that “any barriers based on color, for instance, can be melted away by unity of purpose.” He was specifically referring to racial barriers during his time in the military, but I think we can substitute any word in for color: the barriers of political affiliation, of social beliefs or of material wealth. They can all be melted away by a unity of purpose. I should hope that we do not exist solely to bash each other in the comments of biased Facebook posts, rather that we are all here trying to make this world a better place by forming meaningful relationships.

So why has the criteria for the people we call friends become so limited? Why are we asking who they know, the candidate they support, or their income? Why aren’t we asking if they are compassionate, if they are loyal, or if they are working toward a common purpose for the betterment of everyone? I think it’s easier to slap a confining label on someone and dismiss them based on something they post on social media that we find offensive, or with which we disagree. It is much easier to hide behind a screen than to engage with someone in person.

Unity of purpose requires human connection, which in turn requires vulnerability and empathy.  People have so many layers; a particular idea or social media post may only show one. By generalizing and labeling people we don’t even know, we may feel ‘safer’ for a short while. But if we do not connect, in person, with people who have different opinions we may never grow, will never admit when we are wrong, and we will never hear and appreciate other perspectives. And, without unity of purpose, we may not achieve very much.

Most of you in this audience probably know Barry Chisholm. If you have not had the honor of making his acquaintance, I know him as the Kiwanis advisor to our Key Club, but also as one of my biggest role models. For those of you that know Barry, you are probably not surprised that the quote about a unity of purpose was from him. You may be surprised, however, as I was, about his 27 years in the Air Force. And I can attribute that only to my own stereotype about people in the military: serious, tough and calloused after viewing humanity at its worst. Yet there is Barry, the gentle, friendly and altruistic man sitting here today. I could not be more wrong about that stereotype, and I have found that my perspective has changed, and my world has become a little bigger.

Speaking of people that I admire... there’s another role model of mine sitting here today, who happens to be retiring this year. Mr. (Jack) Hadam is one of a kind. Be it his endless puns, his space music, or, above all, his genuine dedication to teaching, Mr. Hadam will be truly missed. Mr. Hadam is the first teacher with whom I’ve ever talked politics. He’s also the first one with whom I have, shall we say, kindly disagreed. And I have grown to love it. Hearing his perspective has explained a lot for me, but it has also made me question myself. And though I skipped lunch a few times to debate our different interpretations of the Constitution, I am confident that we share many of the same morals. We both hold honesty and our families close to our hearts. Mr. Hadam has shown me that supporting a specific party is just one of those layers- there is so much more to people. It is his integrity, not his political affiliation, that matters the most to me.

Jack Hadam and Barry Chisholm are just two examples that I could give of times when I have been utterly, completely wrong about someone. And I’m sure all of you in the audience now could recall similar experiences. People like to pleasantly surprise you. So why is it that we often look for mirror images of ourselves in the people we allow in our inner circles? It’s up to us to start acknowledging that an argument is not always a bad thing. Differing opinions generate vitality and change, whereas it seems that conformity lends itself to stagnation.

So my message to you, Class of 2017, and to everyone here, is to start changing the nature of the questions we ask. To start asking questions that connect, not alienate. Go beyond the assumptions we’ve made before we have even asked the questions. Separate from your screens, and engage with people of different opinions face to face (like, maybe your older brother or little sister!). And listen. Really listen. If we are to accomplish great things through a common unity of purpose, it will be because we made strong human connections to remove barriers. Start looking at all sides of the story, stop looking for the easy way out.
 
I’d like to end with a quote by Isaac Asimov: “Your assumptions are your windows to the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”
 
Thank you, and congratulations to my classmates!

 

KHS Graduation 2017: Principal's Address: Class of 2017, talented, insightful, creative and kind


By Principal Neal Moylan

Parents, relatives, friends, community and school board members, faculty, administrators and students, welcome to the Kennett High School Graduation for the Class of 2017. Every class that takes the four-year journey through Kennett High School develops a personality and characteristics for which they become known. This particular class is best known for its compassion, school spirit, can-do attitude and genuine care for one another and their community. They developed a reputation amongst the faculty and staff as one of the nicest group of young men and women that we have had here in many years. For those who criticize public education and the younger generation they only need to spend a day with these students to know our future will be bright, exciting and filled with great achievement.

To the parents and friends of the Class of 2017, I ask you to look at this special group before you. They have grown and blossomed in four short years; their accomplishments are amazing and should give us all hope. They will become the doctors, engineers, politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, community volunteers and most importantly they represent the fabric of our community and the engine of tomorrow. Our future is in their hands and we can take comfort knowing that the young men and women in the Class of 2017 are smart, hardworking and confident in their future success. It is clear that at their very core, they are kind, compassionate and talented.  

To the students of the Class of 2017, your class has carved an indelible mark on the glorious tradition of Kennett and you have set the bar high for other classes that follow. This is a special day and one that represents a watershed moment in your lives. You are about to close one chapter of your life and enter a future filled with exciting opportunities. Some of you will continue with formal education, at colleges and specialty schools; others will enter the military or proceed directly into the workforce. I have no doubt you will all make a special mark on the world in much the same way you have at Kennett.  

As one looks out at the chaos in the world today, it would be easy to be pessimistic, discouraged and even fearful about our future. Yet, as I look back on the accomplishments of the Class of 2017 we should all be filled with great hope. Many of you have already earned college credits through the New Hampshire Collegiate system or from other colleges such as Georgia Tech University and Harvard. Your class is comprised of, AP and Merit scholars, scholar athletes, athletic champions, talented dancers, artists, singers, musicians, poets, skilled tradesmen, computer programmers, builders of tiny houses and even a mayor. You kept the Carroll County trophy in our trophy case, and again dominated on the New Hampshire ski slopes with both the boys and girls teams emerging as the Nordic skiing state champions, you continued the dominance of the girls’ alpine skiing, running our tally to seven consecutive state championships, you jumped your way to the state ski jump title and added another state championship on the ice winning our fourth hockey championship.  

Among you today are state champions in instrumental and choral music, champions in graphics, robotics and many, many more academic and career and technical accomplishments. Your machine tool classmates worked with NASA and manufactured flight certified hardware in our machine tool program, those parts are now circling the globe aboard the International Space Station. Six seniors recently traveled to meet with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, making our school one of three high schools in the entire country to now manufacture life critical hardware for NASA. I am sure some of you will succeed in your goal to work for NASA as engineers or flight hardware designers. Heaven forbid should we ever hear those fateful words again “Houston we have a problem” we can all rest comfortably knowing our former Kennett NASA students would surely be a part of the NASA rescue team.  

Five members of your class earned their LNA medical certifications, seven more seniors completed their ASE automotive certifications and six more aspiring teachers have already worked in the classrooms with our students in the elementary and middle school. Amongst our graduating class today are nine students, who have completed their high school requirements in 3 years, demonstrating the grit, determination and singular focus which will carry them far in life. Your classmates were the leaders of our amazing Key Club donating five times as much money as any high school Key Club in New England, performing thousands of hours of community service and again being named the top Key Club in our region.

Graduates you have shown compassion, strength, tenacity, understanding and empathy for others. You have demonstrated the ability to listen and shown a willingness to change your mind in response to new evidence or information. You have shown grace under pressure academically, socially, and when personal problems and challenges emerged. Your presence on this stage today is a testimony to the courage and determination of your spirit and character. Your can do attitude.

All of you have faced challenges at Kennett and have had to adapt and overcome problems.  You have demonstrated that you have the ability and character to achieve success, build on those experiences as you enter the next phase of adulthood.

Graduates, you will need all these talents, skills and attributes as you go forth in your life; for you enter a world that is in desperate need of your services, energy, ideas and passion. We seem to be a nation divided with anger and bitterness, each news cycle increasingly brings new and unimaginable horrors and events.  Rather than a nation united we are drifting toward a nation divided, characterized by intolerance, hate speech and racism, tearing apart the concept of the United States as the great melting pot, an ideal and belief which has made our nation great and helped create the Great American Dream.  

Reports of fake news, allegations of political tampering by foreign powers and dictators who threaten our nation and the world seem to be the new normal. This country and our world is in need of your ideas, your leadership and kind, positive energy.

You have no doubt heard on the TV, radio or read on line, how things were better in the old days. The old days had their fair share of horrific problems and generations of Americans just like you met them head on and responded with strong, compassionate leadership. Now it is your time, you have the potential to continue to make our future bright, exciting and filled with wonderful possibilities. We can’t live in the past or live in fear, rather we must live in the present with great optimism for a bright and rewarding future.  Things will get better, but the only way that will happen is through people. I challenge you to go forward and use your talent and intellect to create real, positive and lasting change. Your schooling here may be over, but your education continues.  Outside this campus there is a world filled with opportunity and challenge. With great challenge, come great opportunity. Your success depends on your character, work ethic and attitude. It is easy to be successful when things go as planned but that will not always be the case. The true test of an individual is not how they react when things are going well but how they react when things become difficult. You will find that life is unpredictable and not often fair and your ability to achieve success rests with how you react when faced with adversity.

In order to achieve things that you’ve never accomplished before, you must be willing to work harder and do things that you have never done. Do not give up when times get tough. Life rarely works out as expected and while it is good to make plans, be prepared to let them go and make new ones. Even the best plans look different at the end than they did at the beginning.

And so, as our newly minted Eagles prepare to spread their wings and soar, graduates let me leave you one parting message. Stay open to new ideas and embrace the possibilities that come when you are a life-long learner. Find something that you are passionate about, which gives you a strong sense of purpose. Work hard, for a strong work ethic will carry you far in life. Whatever accomplishments we have in life are usually the result of hard work and help from family and friends. The only thing achieved in life without effort is failure. Finally, say please and thank you, good manners are always appreciated, hold the door for others, as I have done for so many of you, volunteer in your community and remain honest and kind.    

I hope you remember your years at Kennett as some of the best times of your life, where you embraced life with gusto, and learned to love, laugh and live life to the fullest.
It has been my privilege to serve as your principal, and I thank you for that opportunity. I wish you all the best of luck and success in your future endeavors!      

Congratulations to you, the graduates of the class of 2017!

 

KHS Graduation 2017: Valedictorian Address

 

By India Drummond

Good morning,

It's an honor and privilege to be here today. Thank you to my supportive family and friends, to all the curious and engaging teachers I have had here at Kennett, and to my ever-inspiring coaches. Thank you for guiding me along the way and never giving up on me. The oft-used phrase applies here: "I could not have done it without you."

Wow, our last time all together. We've had a lot of lasts lately: our last time rushing to our cars to beat the buses out of the parking lot at the end of the day, our last trek up to the third floor, our last black day, our last white day, and, more importantly, our last Monday! However, when we leave here today, we will once again be entering the land of firsts, just as we did when we started high school four years ago.

I don't know about you, but I clearly remember my first day of high school. Maybe it's because I was so nervous. Coming from the White Mountain Waldorf School, I had only five classmates, and here I was about to join you, 150 freshman I didn't yet know. It would be my first time navigating such an enormous building with so many different classes and so many new teachers, my first time getting grades, and, most importantly, my first time not going outside to play a fast-paced game of soccer after lunch. I thought, and yes worried, about all of these changes waiting for the bus at the end of my driveway that humid late-August morning.

As it turned out, there would be many more firsts in high school than I could have predicted as I checked and rechecked to see if the bus was coming. At the beginning, these firsts were extremely nerve-wracking. During freshman orientation, all us incoming ninth graders assembled in the gym, and I remember walking in and not seeing a single person I knew. Then there was the technology. I was used to writing everything by hand, so this was my first time typing or using a computer (I typed one-handed for months).

There were the little things as well, like what to wear on my feet, or how to pack my lunch. At Waldorf, everyone wore sneakers or mudboots in order to be ready for wading in the brook or a good game of capture the flag. As for my lunch, did high schoolers even use lunch boxes? Turns out lunch boxes were in, mud boots were out.

I survived my first day of high school, and so did you, or we wouldn't be here today. After that big first — our first day — none of our subsequent firsts seemed as scary, and through them, we have gained valuable experience. As freshman, we learned quickly that no one uses their locker; as sophomores, that the driver ed teachers will terrorize you with horrific videos; as juniors, that if you take the SATs, you get free food (still not worth it); and, as seniors, that you can totally arrive at school after 7:30 a.m. and still avoid the "walk of shame" to the front of the school. Looking back after four years, our firsts are now our accomplishments.

Now, we are about to experience another big first. We are going to leave what we know, and some of us will travel far. It might feel like the first day of high school all over again, but remember: we've done it before, and we can do it again. Just think of all we've overcome and achieved to be here today. Let's embrace our firsts and welcome the opportunities they bring.

On my first day of high school when the bus finally pulled up to my driveway, I found that, despite all my trepidation, I was excited. I feel the same way now, about to enter the "real world." Change can be scary, but it's just another challenge, another time when an open mind and heart, and, yes, hard work, will see us through. As we step aboard this bus to the next stop of our lives, let's view this first as an adventure, and make the newness our own.

Congratulations Class of 2017! We did it!