Each fall I spend a happy hour or so with the Friendship Club of Laconia. We meet at the clubhouse at Levitt Park. The senior group meets every week and usually has a speaker or some special event, like Bingo. They take bus trips together. Enjoy special luncheons at area restaurants. These are folks who love life, love to socialize and love to laugh. At every meeting, there’s the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lord’s Prayer, the singing of America …

A little town meeting humor. In a town that shall not be named, the head table (so to speak)—select persons, town clerk, tax collector, and other dignitaries—got an attack of the giggles when they noticed a typo on the town budget. In the category of “Public Works” the “l” had been omitted. File under: We all revert to age twelve sometimes. Jenn at the conference for the New England Agricultural Teachers Association aka NEAT tickled my funny bone with …

Sometimes it’s just a word that strikes a chord. In a discussion of town meetings past (so what else is new), a voter recalled a selectman explaining the situation with the sand truck. He said, “We can probably get another year out of it but it’s tender.” Tender. A word used to mean, go easy. We can limp along but only with special care. Applies to machinery and to people. Punky. That’s another old word used to mean . …

Frugal’s Just Another Word for Cheap Many years ago in a small town not so far away, “Mrs. Smith,” who was never happy, gave (according to a friend who lives in said town) a “fiery speech to the select board about how the tax rate was getting so high people like her were going to have to move out.” The road agent was on hand. Usually a man of few words, nevertheless he came up with several for the …

Bob worked in heavy equipment — bulldozers, wreckers, big trucks, little trucks. He said, “We’d get equipment out of Pease and fix it for them. The boss — Gibson Motor and Machine — he wanted to get the equipment back to Pease that day. “He says, ‘Christ, don’t go sleeping on the job.’ We said, ‘Jack, you know damn well we aren’t sleeping.’” Jack had a glass eye. He took it out and put it on a lower rail …

Fabulous time in fabulous New Boston last week. Full house to talk about Town Meeting in New Hampshire. Dean Marden reminded me of a story I’d heard before, in part. I trust his version. In Hanover, town officials got the idea of charging $10 each for a head tax. Dartmouth students, and there were a lot of them, had to pay up. They did. Which made them eligible to vote in local elections and at the town meeting. They …

On the darkest and longest night of the year —  December 20 — I attended a select board meeting in O’ Little Town of Northwood (where I live) to report on it for the local on-line paper — forumhome.org. It’s a great little paperless paper run entirely by volunteers. During a lull in the meeting (there are many, like when they sign manifests and approve tax rebates), a story came to me. I hadn’t thought about it in a …

The photo is of my family enjoying a Christmas gathering at the homestead on High Street in Danbury, New Hampshire, circa 1960. Traditions change. The homestead is long sold from the family but the good memories persist. Now I make new memories and enjoy new traditions. For the last seven years, I’ve spent one December evening telling stories at the beautiful Rosewood Country Inn in Bradford, New Hampshire.  The owners put on a big feed and the locals and …

Hello, Nashua. Thanks For the Stories Returned to the Nashua Library to tell stories and invite them. Always a warm welcome in Nashua. A number of stories bubbled up. These were three of my favorites. One is morbid and political and timely. Always a good combination. The second is a kid’s story of honesty and mild violence. Not bad. And in the last one Auntie becomes irate! And rightly so. Carol’s friend requested this as her gravestone epitaph: “Here …

So many stories flying at me like fuzzy, friendly bats. And this one of particular interest during this Halloween season. From Goffstown, a discussion at town meeting of the deteriorating road through the cemetery — a hilly cemetery, a fairly steep hill — the voters seemed undecided. Should we spend the money to repair the road or leave it be another year or two? Superintendent of Cemeteries Leo Root spoke eloquently to the question. He said, “You can decide …