After an early rising in New York, Quentin Weld joined Mobile Booth East in Concord, New Hampshire. The air was cleaner, the people nicer and it seemed Quentin was on top of the world.
As the day wore on, things turned sour for our new arrival. Quentin spent a few hours in the same cell as the infamous Toothbrush Twins, two rascals who dug their way out of an Iowa prison only to be captured in Concord, NH. The building is now home to an authentic Mexican restaurant so Quentin’s escape was far less daunting. The facilitators paid the restaurant bill and quietly left.
At Concord’s “Market Days” Street Fair
We sensed some buffalo in the air.
In a covered wagon the fresh meat sat
And we wanted to try this meat, low fat.
A burger and sausage are what we ate.
And now we know that buffalo is great!
We wanted to wash the buffalo down
With something delicious, bubbly and brown.
We saw the writing on this cup
and knew we had to fill it up.
$1 refills, not just for the day
not just for the fair where the children play
$1 refills FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
So your thirst will never cause you strife
‘Cause you can always fill your cup with sasparilla beer.
New Hampshire’s great! I’m moving here!
For a field recording, we visited the Ageless Dreamer Foundation in lovely Dover, New Hampshire. The mission of the foundation is to make dreams come true for older generations who are unable to do so for themselves, and our mission as StoryCorps facilitators was to record some of the stories of the realizations of those dreams.
Speaking of dreams coming true, Winthrop (R) and Alice Loring (L) came with their son, Steven (center) to talk about their 69-year marriage. Although Alice said she would never marry Winthrop, his charm won her over and the two have been inseparable ever since (literally–they held hands throughout the entire interview).
Beth Fischer, the Executive Director of Ageless Dreamer, in her charming glass-blown office.
Laurie Widmark (L), founder of the Ageless Dreamer Foundation, brought her fellow dreamer, Elaine Carlo (R) in for an interview. When Laurie asked what advice Elaine would give to young couples, she simply said “don’t go too fast,” in the bedroom or in a sports car.
Jenna Weiss-Berman, ageless dreamer that she is, has come to the East booth to facilitate interviews for a few days. Above, she rocks the latest fashion trend here in Dover: the Ageless Dreamer Foundation sticker.
The Girl Scouts of Camp Farnsworth came to the StoryCorps booth to share some of their great camping experiences. The camp has served as a ‘home away from home’ for young women for nearly 100 years. And even though many of these ladies are Girl Scouts, you don’t have to sell cookies to be part of the fun at Camp Farnsworth.
Our opening day in Concord, New Hampshire was a huge success. We were visited by beloved former Republican governor Walter Peterson, and his friend of many years, Democratic senator Lou D’Allesandro, who were among the first to share their stories at our Concord location. The Bank of America, our local sponsor, hosted an ice-cream social, handing out generous scoops to grateful passers-by on a bright, hot day.
We think our little silver bullet looks beautiful in front of the gleaming New Hampshire State House, which, incidentally, is the oldest state house in which the legislature meets in its original chambers. New Hampshire residents take their role as predictors of presidential candidates very seriously. And those vying for the presidency are sure to make many stops in town to shake hands and kiss babies. The facilitators were promised that glimpses of the candidates were easy to spot, and sure enough, a couple hours after arriving in the city we caught sight of Barak Obama.
Those who make it their business to trail and question each candidate are dubbed “bird-doggers“ in New Hampshire, and we hope to get some bird-dogging stories while we’re here. That is, if Naomi, captivated by a peek at the senator, doesn’t become one herself.
The historical figures who help guard the booth include Daniel Webster (below, top), General Stark (below, middle), and Franklin Pierce (below, bottom.)
Pierce was the fourteenth president and the only one who hailed from New Hampshire (never mind the fictional president Bartlett from New Hampshire of the West Wing), and he’s a big deal around here. We look forward to the many bits of political wisdom we’ll gain and stories we’ll hear in this leafy, pleasant, granite state capitol.