GREETINGS FROM THIS reporter in a condo, as the coronavirus pandemic grows in our beloved New Hampshire and we all try and adapt to the new normal.
I’d like to add to my story on local groups making protective face masks that ran in Friday's edition. I'd reached out to many groups, but one person I did not connect with in time for that story was Dr. Teresa Smith de Cherif, a part-time resident of Windsock Village of West Ossipee who works for the Tilton Clinic of the VA Medical Center of Manchester. She is trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, including pandemic preparedness.
On Friday, she told me: “We are calling our group WISH of Health (WI = Windsock Village; SH = Soaring Heights; of = Other Friends). It’s a group of volunteers and neighbors, including a lot of retired military retirees,” said Dr. Teresa.
A 2002 graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine with an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and a graduate degree from Columbia University, she said she got her work ethic from her parents and grandparents.
Sewing is in her skill set. During her medical training years in South Africa and Ghana, from 2003-13, she started a women’s sewing project that helped African women start a cottage industry of making medical uniforms out of hand-dyed African fabric.
With the encouragement of her boyfriend, Retired Marine Lt. Col. J. Gregory Vince and friend Carl Tyler, she put together a virtual town hall on March 23 for Windsock Village and Soaring Heights residents and friends in nearby communities. “The outpouring of support was amazing,” said Dr. Teresa. “We had more than 70 people take part in the call.”
The team of 18 volunteers has made about 130 cloth masks since Windsock Village resident Lindalee Lambert fine-tuned the pattern for the N95-style respirator masks made from fabric.
"We use a very tight woven cotton fabric, especially batiks," Dr. Terry said. "We have people cutting and sewing, and then our retired military types are helping to putting in metal nose bridges into the masks. They can be used again and can withstand high laundry and dryer temperatures.”
She also offered a prototype for a facial shield that Windsock Village resident Ann Cady (herself an Army veteran) came up with on how to create a facial shield out of plastic that can be interchanged, using recycled 2 liter clear plastic soda bottles and headbands. Cady has a YouTube video about it.
Dr. Teresa is sending the masks to Lakes Regional and Franklin Hospitals in Laconia and Franklin, as well as to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. To get involved with the effort, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write WISH of Heath, P.O. Box 670, West Ossipee 03890.
KUDOS TO CANDIE TREMBLAY, named the winner this week of the WMWV 93.5-FM “Song of the Year” contest, with the Bartlett resident’s “My Angel” topping the ballot count among this year’s five finalists (selected from an original field of 44 entries).
“A lot of people can pick up an instrument and play a cover; it’s really something else to write a song,” said station owner Greg Frizzell when interviewed by Roy “the Skiing DJ” Prescott for the announcement of the winners at noon on WMWV Tuesday.
As for Candie, she was ecstatic when I called her just after she spoke with Greg and Roy on the air.
She wins $1,000, and her song gets into the rotation at the station’s playlist.
“Given all this with the coronavirus, I lost all of my gigs, all of my performing income, so this comes at a great time and is helpful,” said the talented singer-songwriter, who wrote the song in tribute to her husband, Seth Allen, who was supportive of her when she went through some health challenges a few years ago.
“He was wonderful to me (hence the title to the song, “My Angel),” said Candie, who audiences will recall was the star of Conway’s Fourth of July celebration in North Conway’s Schouler Park last summer. (She’ll be back this summer with her own band, put together by Ray Ryan).
Her song was produced by Maison Real of Spain. “I had made contact with him through Spotify. I wanted it to be radio ready. I gave him direction but gave him creative license. He did an amazing job,” said Candie.
Frizzell thanked Blue Moon Brewing Co,/Amoskeag Beverages for once again sponsoring the contest, now in its seventh year, and all of the musicians for entering.
Coming in second were past winners the Starlight Honeys (“Haven’t Been Alone”); third, Parish Dawe, (“I’ve Been Good”); fourth, Bennett and Perkins (“Stella”); and fifth, Brackettology (the bluesy piano tune “Twinkies”). To listen to the winners, go to wmwv.com.
IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute one and all, including Dan Andrews and Sasha Pietkiewics (today); Linda Burns and Kim Beals (4-5); Little Angels Service Dogs' Darlene Davis Drew and Celtic musician Dexter Harding (4-6); columnist Tom McLaughlin (4-7); Dennis Egan, Gene “the Swami” Pelzar and Silver Lake vocalist Carol Kramer (4-8); plumber Tom Smith and keyboardist Steve Brown (4-9) and dedicated volunteer Sandy Kurtz and esteemed bootmaker Peter Limmer (4-10); and all others.
HANG IN THERE. We will get through this, thankful for one another and appreciative of our valley way of life.