Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Colonial Crimes

The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England

Exeter, New Hampshire – Join the Exeter Historical Society on Wednesday, January 6 at 7:30 pm (with refreshments at 7 p.m.), for “The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England” by Diane Rapaport, award-winning author and historical consultant. The program will take place at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, and is free and open to the public.

Diane Rapaport presents stories of naked Quakers and other forgotten Americans, bringing them to life in true court cases from colonial New England. On court days in colonial New England, folks gathered from miles around to listen as local magistrates convened to hear cases. In the abundant records extant from these hearings, we experience the passions and concerns of ordinary people, often in their own words, more than three centuries after the emotion-charged events that brought them to court. Rapaport will draw on these records in her presentation to illustrate some of the surprising aspects of life in this period of New England’s history. For more information about the program, contact Laura Martin Gowing, program manager, at the Exeter Historical Society at 603-778-2335 or

The Exeter Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and preservation of Exeter’s past. The Historical Society is open to the public on a weekly basis, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 – 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to noon. Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, PO Box 924, Exeter, New Hampshire, 03833, 603-778-2335,,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Brunch at the Old Salt

Will and Nanny got their picture taken with Santa during the special Santa Brunch at the Old Salt.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Toys for Tots at the Tavern Thursday Night

Thursday December 10

The Tavern at River's Edge in downtown Exeter Hosts the Toys For Tots Event

Truffle starts around 9:00

From Truffle: "Many years running, this is our ONLY seacoast area Toys for Tots evening. We always have a great time with the family of folks here at the Tavern on a normal night....throw the TFT event on top of it and it will be out of control. The food is fantastic, the bar is comfy and the main room gets transformed to a pickin' parlor come 9:00. A suggested donation of an unwrapped toy is all you need to bring.......and yourself of course!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Ladies Night at Arjay Ace Hardware

Ladies Receive 25% Discount, Refreshments, Prizes and More

Exeter, NH – Arjay Ace Hardware is hosting a special “ladies’ night” event that includes a 25 percent discount on items throughout the store, as well as free refreshments, wonderful prizes, gift card give aways, free gift wrapping and friendly, knowledgeable advice.

The event will be held on Wednesday, December 9 from 6:00-9:00 pm at Arjay Ace Hardware, 55 Lincoln Street in Exeter.

“It’s our great pleasure to host a special event where ladies can shop for holiday gifts, decorations and seasonal products – all at a discount. This popular event features amazing prizes, delicious refreshments and a festive atmosphere,” said Dan Jackson, Arjay Ace Hardware’s owner. “We’re happy to provide assistance in picking out – and wrapping – the perfect holiday gifts.”

Customers will have the opportunity to win wonderful raffle prizes throughout the night, including a Keurig Coffee Brewer, a Kitchenaid stand mixer and more. The first 100 customers to arrive at the event will receive free environmentally-friendly CFL light bulbs for a holiday that’s merry and bright.

“During this season of giving, we’re asking our customers to bring a non-perishable food item to the store during our Ladies’ Night event, and we’ll give them a free set of Christmas lights. All food items will be donated to a local food pantry to help those in need,” Jackson added. “We’re committed to giving back to our community and thank our customers for their generous support throughout the years.”

Arjay Ace Hardware, honored as Business of the Year by the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, is a fourth-generation family-owned store that has served the Exeter community for 25 years. They carry the finest brands, including Benjamin Moore paint, Weber, Carhartt, Ace brand and much more. Arjay Ace Hardware employees take great pride in their work, offering exceptional customer service and friendly, knowledgeable advice. In fact, the award-winning Arjay Ace Hardware has been consistently named one of Ace Hardware’s premiere stores.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photo Detective Coming to Town

Exeter, NH…Do you have old photographs hidden in your attic? Are you interested in learning more about the lives of the subjects in the photos and how to preserve these genealogical treasures? Maureen Taylor, “The Photo Detective” will be at the Folsom Tavern in Exeter on Saturday, November 14 at 1 p.m. for a lecture to benefit the American Independence Museum.

Ms. Taylor, called “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by the Wall Street Journal, will be speaking about her techniques for photo interpretation and care. She has authored several books, numerous magazine articles, and appeared on many national television shows such as “Today”, “Good Morning America”, “The View” and “Martha Stewart”. Taylor was featured in The History Channel’s series “The Photo Detective”.

After learning that she was working on a book about the American Revolution, the American Independence Museum invited Ms. Taylor to come to Exeter for a lecture. Her latest book The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, will be published by Kent State University Press in the Spring. Attendees of the lecture will be able to order the book at a pre-publication price.

Admission to the lecture is $10 per person, but a limited number of fifteen-minute personal consultation spots will be available following the event. The fee for the lecture and consultation is $25 and pre-paid registrations are necessary. For more information, to sign up online or to register call 603-772-2622 or visit To learn more about Maureen Taylor, visit

The Folsom Tavern is located at 164 Water Street in Exeter, New Hampshire and is part of the American Independence Museum, a nonprofit with a mission to connect America’s Revolutionary past to the present.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Candy For Costumes This Weekend

Candy for Costumes.
That’s what Activities Director Debby Eastman is calling the costume collection extravaganza planned for Oceanside Center nursing home on Lafayette Road in Hampton on Sunday Oct. 18.
Eastman, who has worked with the elderly in nursing homes for 30 years, said Oceanside residents will collect used Halloween costumes for the Seacoast Family Food Pantry in Portsmo uth.
“I am really excited about this and so are the residents of our home,” said Eastman. The residents will be on hand to collect the costumes, she said.
“We are hoping that the children will come with their parents to drop off their costumes,’ said Eastman. “Nursing home residents seldom get to see children, and they just love it when they visit. On top of that, they miss seeing children trick-or-treating so this should be great.”
Eastman said she hopes this early trick-or-treat event will be a great experience for everyone.
“We hope to get a lot of costumes for the (Portsmouth) Seacoast Family Food Pantry,’ she said. “It can be expensive to buy Halloween costumes, and we hope this will give a hand to parents who are financially challenged.”
The Candy for Costumes collection will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their children. Nursing home residents will be on hand in the lobby to collect the costumes and give the kids a treat.
“I believe the Seacoast community is so generous and I am trusting this is going to be a great day,” said Eastman.
Oceanside Center, Skilled Nursing and Rehab, which is managed by Genesis, is the former Haven Health Center on Tuck Road.
For more information, call Eastman at 926-4551 Ext. 4314.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eat Breakfast with the President

Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast at the Folsom Tavern?
George Washington returns November 7

Exeter, NH…President George Washington visited Exeter on November 4, 1789, and had a light breakfast, known as a collation, at the Folsom Tavern. On Saturday, November 7, history will repeat itself as Mr. Washington returns to greet local families as they enjoy Mrs. Folsom’s flapjacks!

“This is such a fun event; it really appeals to families,” said Stephanie Rohwer, Programs and Visitor Services Coordinator at the American Independence Museum. “We’ll have two sessions on November 7, and children will be able to meet the President, have breakfast in the tavern, make a craft and then take a child-friendly tour of the Ladd-Gilman House.”

Sessions will be at 10 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.; each session, with the tour, will run approximately 90 minutes. Prepaid registrations are necessary as seating is limited and the cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children. Museum members are offered a $2 per person discount. To make reservations, call 603-772-2622, email or sign-up online from the museum’s Calendar page. Please note that online registrations are subject to confirmation and depend on availability.

The American Independence Museum, located at One Governors Lane in Exeter, New Hampshire, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to “Connect America’s Revolutionary Past with the Present.” For directions or more information on the museum and its programs, visit

Sunday, August 2, 2009

AIM Celebrates Purple Heart Day, Honors Military

The American Independence Museum will be celebrating the Friday, August 7th anniversary of the Badge of Military Merit, also known as the “Purple Heart” by offering free tours to all active and retired military personnel.
General George Washington issued an order on August 7, 1782 to acknowledge the meritorious actions of enlisted men. The badge was to be “the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk…to be worn on the left breast.” Three men were known to have received the honor at that time, but there is no surviving written record of others who were honored with the badge.
The museum will be displaying two Purple Hearts that are in their collection, along with other medals and military ephemera. One of the badges is made of faded purple cloth and was acquired by Society of the Cincinnati member William Willey from a barn in Deerfield, NH in the 1920s. The name of the recipient is not known. The World War II medal on display belonged to J. Phillip Webber and was donated by his widow, Mrs. Alice Webber.
All active and retired military personnel are invited to take a free tour of the Ladd-Gilman House and the Folsom Tavern on Friday, August 7 during the regular tour hours of 10 to 4pm. The last tours will begin at 3pm; admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and those under 6 years of age are free. A Purple Heart craft activity will be available for children, and everyone is invited to enjoy special refreshments.
The American Independence Museum is a not-for-profit organization in Exeter, New Hampshire with a mission to connect America’s Revolutionary past with the present through its tours, programs, and special events. For more information on the museum, to become a member or for directions, please visit or call 603-772-2622.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Local Music Show Starts on WXEX

I've heard that Dr. Andy Inzenga, the well-known music teacher at the Cooperative Middle School, is doing a new Saturday morning music and talk show on our very own WXEX, along with Peter Taylor.

The show called "Tayles and the Doctor" kicks off each week at 9 a.m. and includes tidbits and discussion on songs and songwriters from the Rock 'n Roll era as well as the Motown years of the 1960s and 70s.

If you don't happen to have your radio handy, you can now listen live on line at

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Neighbor's on the Radio

My neighbor Sharon O'Connor, of Atlantic Complementary Medical Solutions, will be on the radio in Concord tomorrow. She'll be on the show Your Health Matters on Concord Community Radio WKXL, with host Chris Lauer, of Catholic Medical Center. They'll talk a little about hypnosis for medical purposes, hypnotherapy and how it could help you.
In the Concord area, you can listen to WKXL 1450AM Monday, July 13 at 2:07PM The show will also be archived on line.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Now That The Sun's Arrived, Here's Some Grilling Tips from The Pros

By Lara Bricker
Special to the Union Leader
PORTSMOUTH__After a cold and rainy June, many people are ready to fire up their grills for some summer time grilling.
A number of those people opt for already marinated steak, chicken or turkey from one of the growing number of specialty food shops around the state. But just because that meat is already marinated and seasoned doesn’t mean that grilling it up is a no-brainer, according to Justin Rosberg, co-owner of The Meat House.
A common mistake backyard grillers make with pre-marinated meats is opening the package over the grill, which can cause a “flare up” and burn the meat, Rosberg said. Meat that has been marinated for grilling shouldn’t need extra marinade applied during grilling.
“You don’t need to do anything with it,” Rosberg said.
He suggests placing the steak or chicken into a bowl and then using tongs to transfer it to a grill.
Other things to consider with steak tips that may be very tender to start with is that the “feel test” is not an accurate method to determine doneness. Rosberg recommends using a thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat on the grill. Using a fork to turn meat is not a good idea because it can pierce the exterior, causing the juices to escape.
Rosberg and his business partner Jason Parent, who are both originally from southern Maine, opened their first Meat House location in Portsmouth in August of 2003. Since then, they have expanded to include 10 locations around the state, southern Maine and Massachusetts, where they specialize in top quality meats and overwhelming customer service. “We wanted to bring a fine dining experience into a retail atmosphere,” Rosberg explained.
Both men are avid grillers who cook on the grill year round, which has given them a depth of experience in how to grill well, and what to avoid when grilling.
Before cooking any red meat on the grill, you should let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, said Parent. By allowing the meat to come up to room temperature it will need less time on the grill, Parent said, which means that it won’t become overcooked on the outside while waiting for the inside to come up to the desired temperature. Along the same lines, it is important to let red meat rest after cooking to allow the juices to settle back into the meat.
With chicken an important thing to remember is not to turn it more than twice during grilling, Parent said.
“Chicken can attach to the grill,” he said of overturning.
If you’re opting for a choice steak instead of marinated steak tips, Parent suggests it is important to start with a high quality piece of meat. Cuts of steak that lend themselves well to grilling include ribeyes, porterhouse or sirloins. Filets are not a good choice for the grill because they are too lean.
“You’re going to look for a level of marbling,” Parent said. “Marbling really separates the grading system of beef. Something with a higher level of marbling is going to give you more of that robust meaty flavor that you’re looking for.”
Another thing to consider when grilling beef is that a dry aged beef cooks differently than a non dry aged beef, according to Chris Carragher, the director of marketing for the Meat House.
“You want to cook it a shorter period of time than you with a wet aged meat,” Carragher said, adding that is due to the fact that dry aged beef has less moisture. “When you put it on, it’s going to cook that much faster because the moisture is actually evaporated from the steak already.”
Most importantly, according to both Parent and Rosberg, is to take time to enjoy the experience of grilling.
“We’re in New England, our window of opportunity to truly be outside and take advantage of the warm days and long nights with friends and family, it’s here now,” Rosberg said. “The year flies by so quickly.”
You can find recipes at

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Exeter’s Senior Hand Celebrates Almost 20 Years In Business

By Lara Bricker
EXETER__Wayne Patten developed an understanding of the elderly and their issues at a young age.
The 70-year-old Exeter man was raised to the age of 10 by his great grandparents in a small village in the Kennebec River valley in central western Maine. That early interaction with the elderly gave him a desire to help out other seniors. So when the real estate market dropped in the late 1980s and Patten, then a developer, was looking for a new career, he thought of opening a nursing home.
He returned to college and took classes in gerontology. But when one of his professors noted that only a small percent of the elderly end up in a nursing home, Patten had another idea—home care services for the elderly.
At the time, Patten was the oldest person in his class, but he says that wasn’t a disadvantage as he also received the highest grade. When he approached on of his professors with his idea for a home care company, the woman actually wanted to go in as a partner.
“At that time, 20 years ago, everybody though the in home care industry was going to take off like a rocket,” Patten said, adding he decided against forming a partnership and went out on his own.
The industry did not reach the level of popularity many expected, which Patten attributes to the cost which is not covered by most medical insurance plans.
Patten initially employed a number of senior citizen employees in the business which offers everything from personal assistants to respite care to driving services to housecleaning. As years went on he said it became harder and harder to find qualified elderly employees and most of his employees now are not in that age bracket.
Patten hand picks each employee for the company and all caregivers are subjected to a criminal background check. He employees between 20 to 40 caregivers depending on the time and says he has deliberately kept his operation small.
“I totally believe the bigger you get the less able you are to give people the personal touch approach,” Patten said.
That personal touch is what Patten said sets his company apart from more commercial caregiving operations. He personally meets with each new client to go over their needs as well as to get to know them and their interests. He then pairs the client up with a caregiver whose personality and approach seem like a good match. For example, one client was very interested in chess and hoped to find a caregiver with the same interest. Patten says it took some time but he found a suitable match, with a background in chess, to partner up with the client. One paired up, he strives to use the same caregiver each time for a client.
“It comes down to that personal touch issue, you don’t have a different person every time like you might in a big company,” Patten said.
Patten and his employees know that it can be difficult for elderly when people “barge” into their home and tell them what to do.
“We have more respect than that,” he said. “It is their home. We work directly with our customers and clients providing what they need and want.”
Patten said he is open-minded and follows a “live and let live” philosophy with clients.
“This is why all caregivers working with Senior Hand honor elderly rights,” Patten said. “Our clients are people who earned the right not to be pushed around.”
One of the biggest concerns that Patten hears from the elderly is that they will outlive their savings. And he acknowledges that many elderly need a service like the one he provides but cannot afford to pay for help. With national healthcare policy debate taking place, Patten said he would like to see the federal government include coverage of homecare services in their discussions.
By staying small, Patten has managed to keep his hourly price down, with a range of $17 to $26 per hour, which he says is the least expensive rates in the area. One unique aspect of his driving service is that if the driver uses the client’s car, there is no additional charge for mileage as with some other companies.
Some people in need of assistance may be tempted to place an ad in the newspaper looking for a less expensive caregiver, but Patten cautions that may bring in responses from people who are looking to take advantage of the elderly.
“The fact that the elderly are vulnerable to crooks is no joke,” Patten said.
Though the service is a business for Patten, he said it is one he truly enjoys and take satisfaction from helping people.
“We are also, and most importantly, giving them a sense of safety and security,” he said. “We care, we care about our customers.”
For more information call 778-2400 or

Monday, June 29, 2009

Exeter, An Out of This World Community

This stretch of land in Kensington, near Shaw's Hill, has been a hot spot for UFO sightings and even a "landing zone"
Dan Chartrand, of Water Street Bookstore is a major sponsor of the first ever Exeter UFO Festival, organized by local historian and writer Dean Merchant. The downtown bookstore has a good selection of UFO related books available

Including the book that put Exeter on the map for UFO activity:

Exeter Plans an Out of This World Festival
UFO Festival Touts Town’s Global Role in UFO Sightings
By Lara Bricker
Special to the Union Leader
EXETER__Dean Merchant thinks of Exeter as the “East Coast Roswell.”
The 57-year-old Stratham historian is hoping that the first ever Exeter UFO Festival on Sept. 5 will bring others around to the same conclusion.
“In every aspect, New Hampshire is as important and should get the attention that Roswell gets,” Merchant said.
Merchant is referring to the infamous 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico which many UFO researchers say was the crash of an alien spacecraft, but that the government says was the crash of an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program. Like Roswell, a sleepy desert town before the incident, Exeter has experienced a large number of reported UFO sightings over the years. The most famous sightings in September 1965 led author John Fuller to write the book The Incident at Exeter.
Ironically the sighting on Sept. 3, 1965 wasn’t actually in Exeter, but on Route 150 in Kensington. Exeter teenager Norman Muscarello was hitchhiking back home to Exeter from his girlfriend’s home in Amesbury, Mass., when he saw some flashing red lights in the woods. He returned to the area with two Exeter police officers and all three men reported seeing a hovering object with red lights.
“The Exeter incdents are one of the best regarded UFO incidents for those of us that study the subject seriously that have ever happened in America,” said UFO researcher and author Peter Robbins. “The reports were made by such credible, respectable, decent people that as a rationalist, I was just drawn to it.”
Robbins, author of the book Left as East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendelsham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-up and Investigation, said the sightings in Exeter are a significant piece of UFO history.
“They’re true, they’re documented. They either represent a high level of military cover-up of advanced technology we have or something representative of aliens from other planets,” Robbins said. “If it’s true and there are other intelligences, then there are implications for all of us and it is a very though provoking possibility.”
During the Exeter festival, Robbins will speak about why the subject of UFOs and their implications have been ridiculed since the summer of 1947, when the first major modern sighting was reported.
“It was always treated with a tremendous condescention by the media,” Robbins said. “There is this ridicule factor; it’s extraordinary. For politicians it can be a kiss of death to take UFO’s seriously.”
At an event like the festival in Exeter, Robbins said there is a lighthearted tone, but also an “openness in the air” that enables people to discuss their own experiences.
“I think more and more people are more wiling to say they take this seriously and educate themselves on it,” Robbins said. “But it’s one and two at a time; it’s not happening in droves.”

Merchant, who is also a freelance writer, became interested in Exeter’s UFO connection after writing a series of articles on the topic last year. The more interviews he conducted, the more Merchant started to believe that the Exeter area was still a mecca for UFO sightings.
“The stories just started to grow,” Merchant said. “There’s so many stories you can truly say we live in a hub of UFO activity.”
Merchant believes the number of sightings, and timing of those sightings, is no accident, and the result of several factors at play in the Exeter area. First, he pointed out that the elite 509th Bomb Wing, which was stationed in Roswell at the same time of the incident there, later moved to the Pease Air Force Base. It was after the Bomb Wing arrived at Pease that residents in the Exeter area started reporting sightings of UFO’s, Merchant said.
“The UFO’s followed them,” Merchant said. “That’s why I call it the East Coast Roswell.”
Merchant sees Phillips Exeter Academy as another hub of UFO sightings and says that he has interviewed several people who reported seeing “glowing orbs” around the academy grounds. Then there is the presence of a large area of isolated swamps and power lines, especially in the area off Route 150 in the area of the 1965 sighting.
“Some feel that they draw power off of those lines for those crafts,” Merchant said.
Building on existing interest in Exeter’s history with UFO sightings, Merchant contacted a number of national UFO researchers and speakers, who agreed to take part in the festival. In addition to speakers, the festival will include a writing contest for children, a children’s costume parade contest, a bike tour of the area visiting spots where UFO sightings were reported. Dan Chartrand, owner of Water Street Bookstore, is a major sponsor of the event and is hosting an author’s reception for speakers at the festival. The Incident at Exeter book is always a popular seller at the downtown bookstore, Chartrand said.
The evening will end with a costume ball in the Exeter Town Hall with the band, The Morlocks, where guests are invited to attend dressed as either “earthlings” or “ET’s.” The festival, meanwhile, has already received positive feedback from a number of earthlings.
“It’s getting attention worldwide, which is kind of cool,” Merchant said. “There’s a resurgence in interest in this right now and it’s worldwide.”

For more information about the festival, contact the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce at 772-2411 or

Writing Contest:
Entrants from elementary school through high school are encouraged to write essays of 400 words or less about space or UFO’s. There will be three groups including elementary, middle school and high school. Contest entries should be mailed by July 3 to the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce, 24 Front St., Exeter, NH 03833

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Supply of Lumber for an Ark?

After months of renovations and improvements to the old building previously Wentworth Lumber, the Murphy family opened Exeter Lumber for business on Monday. With everyone contemplating building an ark with the never-ending rain, we now have another local supply of wood for the ark. (And they have a cool drive through warehouse to load up)
Check out the mascot dog, Jacoby below

For the whole story, click here or go to

Thank Goodness for Seatbelts

This bad wreck was right up the street from my house Saturday afternoon. At first glance, it looks like someone must have been seriously, seriously injured. The van which rolled over was our town clerk Linda Hartson and her husband Hal Macomber. From what I understand, both were wearing their seatbelts, which likely saved them from much more serious injuries.
Sgt. Jeff Butts was called in to conduct the accident reconstruction. (See the Do Not Enter sign in the background, previously at the end of the exit ramp from Route 101)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Battle Is Back

I've received big news this week on the annual Independence Festival downtown which despite the name change I will always just call Rev Fest. The battle on Swasey Parkway is back this year! I always loved the battle, albeit a bit loud at times with the cannons, and it's a great event for kids and families to watch. This year's festival is planned for Saturday, July 18.

From the web site for the American Independence Museum:

On July 16, 1776, twenty-two year old John Taylor Gilman read the Declaration of Independence to the townspeople of Exeter. Help us celebrate America's freedom with our popular festival! Join the crowd escorting George Washington down Water Street, listen to the public reading of the Declaration (complete with hecklers!)chat with historic role-players, step to the stirring music of the Lincoln Fife and Drum and delight in the maneuvers and cannon firings of militias. Visit the traditional New Hampshire artisans village, view our original Dunlap Broadside and early drafts of the U.S. Constitution and stroll Water Street to see local arts and crafts. Enjoy plenty of food, music, sidewalk sales and children's activities, then stay for the town's evening fireworks and live band! Sponsored in part by Ocean Bank.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Open Mic Poetry Night Comes to Downtown

A fun event coming up on Wednesday, June 10 at Water Street Bookstore. It's Open Mic Poetry starting at 3:30 p.m. New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter E. Butts will be sharing his poetry. After that, we'll be opening the mic for you to share your own work.

More on Butts from his website:

W.E. Butts is the author of several poetry collections, including Sunday Evening at the Stardust Café, which was chosen as a finalist for the 2005 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry and selected winner of the 2006 Iowa Source Poetry Book Prize, and the chapbooks What to Say if the Birds Ask (Pudding House Publications, 2007) Sunday Factory (Finishing Line Press, 2006), White Bees (Oyster River Press, 2001), and A Season of Crows (Igneus Press, 2000). He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award, and has taught in poetry workshops at the University of New Hampshire and has been a featured presenter at several community events and conferences.

In 2007, he was a visiting writer at Cornell College, Iowa. He is a member of the faculty of the BFA in Writing Program at Goddard College, and is listed in two editions of Who's Who Among America's Teachers. His poems appear frequently in such magazines as Atlanta Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Mid-American Review, and Poetry East, and have been anthologized in The Anthology of Magazine Verse (Monitor Books), Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press, 1999), Open Door: A Poet Lore Anthology, 1980 – 1996, (Writer’s Center Editions, 1996), Heartbeat of New England: Contemporary Nature Poetry (Tiger Moon Press, 2000), Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day (Iowa Source, 2006), and elsewhere.
From the Save the Ioka Group:

On behalf of the team, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in a special community focus group. These focus group sessions will play an important role as we work together to build the cultural center of the 21st century, through the creation of the IOKA Digital & Performing Arts Center.
Thanks to the generous support of the Exeter Fire Department, we have permission to hold these sessions at the IOKA Theater located at 55 Water Street. At this time we have a total of three, two-hour sessions scheduled with a maximum enrollment of 20 participants in each.
The dates and times are as follows:

Saturday May 23 at 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday May 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday May 31 at 1:00 p.m.

With space limited, I anticipate the sessions filling up rather quickly so please R.S.V.P promptly and let me know in which session you are interested in participating. Please note that this is strictly on a volunteer, first-come, first serve basis.
Interested individuals can contact me at or via phone at (603) 770-5282.
Thank you again for your interest and support in the Campaign and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Wendie Leweck,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Learn About Natural Flea and Tick Remedies for Pets

Herbalist Carol Lizotte from Green Gems Herbals will be at White Lily Teas (now behind Serendipity) tonight from 5 to 6:30 p.m. or a free talk about how to keep your pets safe in the spring and summer. She will talk about natural remedies for flea and tick control, parasite protection and allergies. She will have some of her own products on hand at the store for purchase.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Seafood Place Open for Business

I stopped in this week to check out the new R & B's Surf and Turf on Lincoln Street (in the old Circus Cafe place) and could not believe it was the same place inside. These two guys, Richard Cantrall and "Bub" Kershaw spent the past 5 months gutting and renovating the inside, took out 4 dumpster loads of stuff from the building, and reconfigured the space for more seating. They are serving up baked and fried seafood, lobsters, steamers, and handmade chicken tenders. I've not tried out the food yet, but the space looks great. It's BYOB right now and they have wine glasses and corkscrew on site.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

They Did It

I was coming back into town this evening and couldn't resist driving by to see if the light was on at the Ioka.
Earlier today, Marc Murai of the Save the announced that if he raised the $10K needed for his good faith deposit by the deadline tonight, they would light up the marquee. If not, it would remain black.
Well, the light wasn't on, but Roger Detzler was climbing on a ladder to post up something to the effect of "We Did It" when I passed by.
I'm amazed that the group was able to raise the money in such a short period of time. I have to wonder if Clint Eastwood did chip in at the last minute. (See the story from Portsmouth Herald here where Murai talks about how he approached Eastwood).
I will say one thing for this fast paced campaign and last minute entrance into the mix by Murai, it has gotten the interested people in the community fired up. I saw some lady jumping up and down on the sidewalk like a pogo stick when Detzler was putting up the post tonight.
Will he be able to raise the rest of the nearly quarter million dollars by the next deadline? We shall see in the next episode of what is starting to feel like our own Exeter version of a reality show.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ioka Group Issues Last Minute Appeal for $$

Press Release from the Save the group:

The community rally and fundraiser on Sunday May 3 at Swasey Parkway in Exeter drew in a crowd of about two hundred people that gave generously.
"We raised just over twenty-five hundred dollars, bringing our current fundraising efforts up to thirty-five hundred dollars," said Wendie Leweck co-campaign manager. "We are asking the community to donate any amount that is meaningful to show support for what will be the Ioka Digital & Performing Arts Center. Your donation shows our investors that the community does in fact want a performing arts center in Exeter."

Marc Murai, who signed an intent to purchase agreement on April 23 with Roger Detzler, current owner of the Ioka, has until May 6 to raise $ 10,000. If the campaign is unsuccessful in raising that amount, all donations will be refunded. If the $10,000 is raised, the money will be placed as a good faith deposit on the purchase of the theater and gives Murai 60 days to finalize his business plan and present it to potential investors. To show your support visit or contact Wendie Leweck at

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rebecca Rule at Historical Society This Week

That Reminds Me of a Story: Yankee Humor and the New England Storytelling Tradition

Exeter, New Hampshire –Join the Exeter Historical Society on Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30 pm (with refreshments at 7 p.m.), for a presentation by Rebecca Rule, entitled “That Reminds Me of a Story: Yankee Humor and the New England Storytelling Tradition.” The program will take place at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, and is free and open to the public. This program is generously sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

Named “Thalia, Muse of Comedy” by New Hampshire Magazine, Rebecca Rule tells funny, true(ish), close-to-home stories, collected all over the state. Get the inside scoop on dump protocol, town meeting, blue-winged-teal, Perley’s dump sticker, and septic lagoons. Find out about Catherine’s battle with mosquitoes, who’s firing shots from the banks of the Cockermouth River, how come the Chief of Police is sitting in his cruiser half the night at the top of Hoyt Hill, and what some folks think ought to be the new state motto.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ioka Rally This Sunday

A Press Release from Save the Group:

Exeter: Please join us this Sunday, May 3 at Swasey Parkway in Exeter, NH at 2:00 p.m. for a family friendly, town hall-style community gathering, hosted by the volunteers of both the campaign and the supporting community non-profit group.

On April 23 Emmy and Peabody award winning producer Marc Murai signed a preliminary intent to purchase agreement with Immer Besser LLC, current owner of the IOKA ® Theater located at 55 Water Street in Exeter, NH. At that time demolition of the interior of the theater had already begun. The agreement brought an immediate stop to any and all further demolition of the IOKA ® Theater and allows Murai until May 6 to raise $10,000 to put down as a non-refundable good faith deposit, which will be applied towards the purchase of the theater upon the signing of a purchase and sales agreement. Once the deposit is paid, a purchase and sales agreement must be signed by July 9, 2009 or the deposit will be forfeited. During that 60 day period, the plan for the ownership and operation of the IOKA ® as a modern digital and performing arts space will be developed.

This Sunday’s rally will introduce all of our community organizers and supporters and will also serve as an informational presentation to the public on the current progress of the grass-roots campaign. The public will also have the opportunity to ask questions of campaign manager, Marc Murai. Live music and food will be available. So pack up the family or grab a friend and come on down to the Swasey Parkway, because the time has come for You to help save the historic IOKA ® Theater... Once and for all.

To learn more about our efforts please visit or contact Wendie Leweck co-campaign manager at 603.770.5282 or

Thursday, April 30, 2009

White Lily Teas Has Moved (And has special events coming up)

As the Ioka Turns

Last week, the Exeter Theater Company local community group came out with a statement saying they were waiting for more information before endorsing Marc Murai who hopes to buy the Ioka Theater.

The local group has now met with Murai, gathered more information, and released another statement, this time throwing support behind his plans:

EXETER, NH: Earlier this year a group of community residents concerned about the fate of the Ioka Theater, organized to proactively seek a solution and a potential business partner. Last week, New Hampshire resident Marc Murai put together a Letter of Intent to purchase the historic 1915 Exeter landmark. Our non profit community group has met with Marc Murai, and we have reviewed his plans for the purchase and ultimately a new life for the Ioka Theater. We are pleased to endorse the efforts to save the theater, and will be supporting Marc and his team as they move forward with their campaign. Anyone interested in volunteering with the effort, or making a non-refundable non-tax-deductible contribution towards the purchase deposit should contact Marc Murai, at or

Exeter Theater Company Board of Directors:
Joe Pace, Chair
John Merkle, Vice Chair
Peter Michaud, Secretary
Carol Walker Aten, Treasurer
Jay Childs
Ross Dolloff
Betsey Doolan
Mark Paige
Beth MacDonald, Of Counsel

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fiesta Benefit at Seacoast Academy

This press release just came my way from the independent school out on Hampton Falls Road. I personally like the outfits of this gang!

“Viva La Fiesta” Seacoast Academy Plans “Friendraiser”
Under-the-stars Dinner, Dancing and Auction to Benefit Independent Middle School

Hampton Falls, N.H. – An energetic committee of parents at Seacoast Academy has been working throughout the winter months to plan a fun-filled “friendraiser” party on the grounds of the independent middle school on May 9, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

“¡Viva La Fiesta!” will feature authentic south-of-the-border cuisine; live latin-inspired music; original artwork created by the school’s 6th, 7th and 8th grade students; and both live and silent auctions for a treasure trove of services, sports tickets, gift items and equipment donated by businesses throughout the tri-state seacoast area. ¡Viva La Fiesta! tickets ($40 per person, cash bar) are available by calling Seacoast Academy at 603/772-9093. Proceeds will benefit the students, faculty and curriculum initiatives at the school, which is a registered non-profit educational organization, but organizers say they hope the party will also be a celebration of the school’s support from and growing role in the tri-state seacoast community.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ioka's Potential Buyer Makes Statement

The Save The Ioka website wasn't up and running after the big press conference last week in terms of the letter/about me section from Marc Murai. A letter/personal statement from Murai has now been posted.

A video of the press conference can be seen here:

Also, if you happen to tune into Channel 22 our local access station you might catch Murai on his community cable show NH Theater Live. I happened across the show on Friday night.

Here's the intro to the letter from the site

Dear Friends, Family and Potential Save the IOKA supporters,
Allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Marc Murai. I am a father, husband and life-long artist and arts supporter.
On April 23, 2009 I signed a preliminary intent to purchase document with Roger Detzler, current owner of the historic IOKA Theater.
As you may know, demolition has already begun to the interior of the building. By signing the intent to purchase agreement all demolition has come to a halt, for now. This is the last possible effort to save the IOKA Theater. I must raise $ 10,000 by May 6 2009 as a good faith deposit. If I succeed in doing that I will have forty- five days to create a business plan and come up with solid funding to purchase the building. I am in the process of securing a non-profit fiscal agent to ensure that any and all donations will be tax deductible.
Saving the IOKA Theater may seem like an impossible task. I have heard from doubters. Some do not believe. Some do not trust in me.
So why in the world did I sign that intent to purchase agreement? I did it because it was the right thing to do. I did it because as soon as I walked through those hand carved, double wood doors inside the IOKA… I was instantly transported to a magical place. Yes, magical. The exact same magic that Charlie Bucket felt as Gene Wilder opened the doors to his chocolate room. The same magic that Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund experienced when they stepped through the wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia. The same Magic I felt as I walked all by myself down Disneyland’s Main Street at 3:30 in the morning, with no other living person around and just the sounds of my footsteps echoing down the enchanted, glistening streets of the fictional Main Street that we all wish we could have in our home towns. It was that same, overwhelming Magic that Romeo and Juliet both felt as they locked eyes for the very first time, proving to us all that love at first sight is the most powerful force in the universe. It was love at first sight with the IOKA and I’m going to do everything within my power to ensure that she’s given the respect and dignity that she deserves and the unconditional love that she requires if she is to go on living. For the full letter, click here

There was an editorial in the Sunday Herald on this latest news from the Ioka as well. Click here

Friday, April 24, 2009

Community Group for Ioka Releases Statement on Potential Sale

EXETER, NH : As the founding members of the non-profit Ioka Theatre Company, we welcome Marc Murai to Exeter and we are intrigued by the new developments regarding the potential sale of the theater to Mr. Murai.
We are members of the Exeter community -- residents, business owners, and local advocates -- who formed our group (many inspired by our connections through the online social media network Face Book) to give a public face to the community support for preserving the arts and cultural icon that is the Ioka.
While we are watching with interest the proposed sale of the Ioka to Mr. Murai, at this point in time, we are not associated with Mr. Murai, have not signed any working agreement with Mr. Murai, nor have we come out formally to support his plans for the theater. Our organization is not currently seeking any donations.
Any involvement in Mr. Murai’s initiative will be decided after further discussions with Mr. Murai and after further board discussion at our next board meeting. Although we have had a chance to hear Mr. Murai’s ambitious vision for the theater, we have not had the chance to review any plans, and have not signed any agreement for a working relationship.
We wish Mr. Murai the best in his endeavors, and hope that the true focus of this mission, saving the treasure that is the Ioka for the Exeter community, will come to fruition.

Joe Pace, Chair
John A. Merkle, Vice Chair
Peter Michaud, Secretary
Carol Walker Aten, Interim Treasurer

Town Seeking Oldest Resident

The town is once again looking for the oldest resident to pass on the Boston Post Cane.The most recent holder of the post cane has passed away which means the cane will now go to the next recipient, according to Peg Duhamel of the Council on Aging. Anyone who knows of a resident of town they suspect to be the oldest should call Duhamel at 772-3705.

Wandering Into Hannah's Fine Foods

Who knew they had desserts too?? Too bad I'm on the healthy eating wagon for the week...

So I hate to admit this, but I haven't until today stopped to check out Hannah's Fine Foods in the Szanton Block building. I was meeting someone today and had a few minutes, so I bopped in to see what they had to offer. Wow. They've done a great job with the inside of the place and have TONS of options for take away dips, meals and desserts. My favorite friendly local wedding planner, Kathryn Pelletier, was working behind the counter and is a great spokesperson for the place.

I was in a rush so didn't have time to pick up anything to bring home, but am going to make a point to do so this weekend. It looks great. Even if you're not into hummus (though I am) there are plenty of other things to choose from.

Check out their web site:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ioka Update

So I was sitting at Me and Ollie's this morning when the press conference across the street at the Ioka was set to begin.
I decided to head over but got called out on another story.
All I really picked up before I left was that the area press, and independent bloggers, were a bit miffed when they were told to be there and then booted from the theater when they arrived at the designated time. Though they were happy when finally let in to find some baked goods up for grabs.
The gist of the story is that this guy Marc Murai wants to buy the theater and had signed an intent to purchase. He however has no funds at this time and is asking the community to donate $ toward the $10K deposit he needs to move forward.
Some at the press conference raised questions about donating to someone who is not, at this point, is not a non-profit. (Meaning that, as was clarified during a question by Water Street Bookstore Owner Dan Chartrand, that any funds would go directly to Murai at this point, is not tax deductible/etc.)
I'm sure more information about Murai's plans will be forthcoming in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, he's launched a website :

And two stories are up on the local papers:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Second Book Published for Riverwoods Resident

Stephen Richardson, a resident of Riverwoods at Exeter, has recently released his second book titled School of the Sea based on his experience as a merchant mariner from 1937 to 1941.

Details of the book from its publisher Whittles Publishing:

Based on his daily diary entries that provide a vivid and accurate picture of events, the author candidly recounts his development as a merchant mariner from his early years when he served his apprenticeship from 1937-41 on Elysia, built in 1908, a passenger ship on the India run. For the remainder of the Second World War, he served as an officer on cargo ships, leaving the sea with the qualification of Master Mariner soon after a return to peacetime.
At sea the war news is relayed in bits and pieces, feeding the underlying tension that keeps rising to the surface. Daily life is punctuated by terrifying episodes such as seeing ships sunk in convoy or hearing bombs drop beside the ship when in port during heavy air raids and the author also relates the horrific experience of being torpedoed. The extremes of nature that all on board had to contend with - winter storms on the North Atlantic; navigating in convoy through floe ice and avoiding icebergs; fog and the ever-present danger of collision; the extreme heat experienced in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, without air conditioning - are all accurately described. He also relates the problems encountered when sailing on worn-out ships that would normally have been scrapped had it not been for the war, and as a consequence experiencing leaks, engine trouble and bursts of flame spouting from the funnel in areas where submarines were operating!
There are glimpses of the author's moods and thoughts, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and sometimes romantic. He displays a droll sense of humour and there are interesting philosophical comments dotted throughout the book.
School of the Sea is a treasure house of unusual information, the kind not usually included in history books. It's personal, vivid, and entertaining and contains some wonderful descriptions of the dramas and mundane routines of shipboard society; stays in foreign ports; when on leave and the long sequestered life at sea. So much is missing from some existing maritime literature on WWII, where the focus is mainly on danger, excitement and death - this book, like no other, captures every dimension of daily life at sea and in port.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Spa Open House on Friday (They'll have wine and prizes)

Open House Details

When: Friday, April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Much Kneaded Massage LLC, Trisara Facial Spa and electrologist Kristen Landers,
Exeter Crossings, 18 Hampton Road, Suite 8 (the new office building on the corner, third floor)

By Lara Bricker

EXETER — Those looking for a little pampering have a new venue in town for anything from massage to facials to electrolysis.
While the venue is new, the trio of women operating out of the newly constructed professional space in the Exeter Crossings, are familiar faces to many in the area.
Kristen Landers, Colleen Seachrist and Melody Fowler, all worked together at the Exeter Day Spa on Front Street. When the spa closed last fall, they decided to team up in a new space. Each operates her own independent business while sharing a suite of rooms on the third floor of 18 Hampton Road.
"We just felt we needed to do it," said Fowler, who is a licensed massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. "I think the three of us are just so passionate about what we do."
As part of establishing their new businesses, the women are planning to hold an open house this Friday, April 24, as a way to greet both new and old clients who may not have been aware they were still practicing locally.
Fowler offers clients massage and Reiki through her Much Kneaded Massage LLC, Seachrist offers esthetic services through Trisara Facial Spa, while Landers offers permanent hair removal services.
For Fowler, becoming a massage therapist was a true calling. She started massage when she was still in high school and managing a football team, where players often had extremely tight muscles. She now specializes in deep tissue and pregnancy massage.
"I wanted to do something fulfilling with my life," she said. "I love wellness. I just want to help people in a nice soothing environment."
Fowler sees massage therapy as a way to help improve the lives of others.
"I absolutely believe if everybody could have a massage, this world would be a different place," she said. "I'd like to help people improve their lives and their overall wellness one massage at a time."
Seachrist got into esthetics after working in the marketing field for a number of years. "I quickly fell in love with doing esthetics and realized it was my true calling," Seachrist said. "I had finally found my niche."
Seachrist uses Jan Marini, Guinot and Jane Iredale products on her clients, and offers both facial and waxing services. "Providing a quality service and allowing clients to relax to a point of forgetting about their daily stress and routine is a nice feeling even if it's a small part of their day," Seachrist said. "I know personally how wonderful I feel when I've had a spa service, and I want to create that same feeling for my clients."
Landers got into the electrology field after having treatments herself to be free of unwanted hair. "The treatments were successful and gave me the self confidence to feel good about myself," she said. "I decided I wanted to help others gain that self confidence."
She attended the Electrology Institute of New England and is now attending the Esthetics Institute of New England so that she can expand her services to include medical esthetics. Electrolysis is the only proven method of permanent hair removal, she explained.
"Not only is it effective, but also affordable," Landers said. "I use the latest state-of-the-art equipment, and have been trained in all modalities accepted and used today in permanent electro-epilation."
Landers said she absolutely loves her job and being able to help her clients.
"I've seen how it's improved people's lives by enhancing their self-confidence and well-being," she said. "At the end of my work day what better feeling than knowing you've helped someone improve their self esteem."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Newfields General Store Up For Sale

Current owner Nancy Kingston, who bought the store in 2001, recently lowered her asking price to $395,000 for the well-known property in downtown Newfields. Kingston who has been running the store since April of 2005 said the demands of her real estate business were a major factor in her decision to sell the store.
“With the turnaround in the real estate market, it’s getting very busy and I just don’t have the time,” Kingston said.
The store is one of the last small town general stores in operation in the area, she said, known for its specialty items like penny candy, marinated Danvers Butchery meats and Boar’s Head brand sandwiches.
The red building across from the Newfields Town Hall has been a store for as long as anyone can remember and Kingston is hoping that a new owner will keep it a store.
“I’m interested in finding the right person to buy it who wants to keep it a general store,” Kingston said. “It’s successful, it does well; there’s opportunities to make the store more than it is.”

St. Anthony's Bakery is Open

The new bakery in the former Baker's Peel, St. Anthony's Bakery, is open for business. New owner Anthony Antociewicz has spent the past week + painting and doing minor repairs inside before opening back up for business.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ioka Price Going Down

According to the latest real estate listings, the price for the Ioka is now down to $750,000.

It started at $988,000 back when news broke last fall about the closure/sale of the downtown space:

I guess we all have to stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yankee Magazine Writer Coming to Exeter

An interesting book reading and signing is coming up next week down at Water Street Bookstore. Readers of Yankee Magazine will recognize the name Edie Clark from the The View From Mary's Farm feature.

She is headed to our downtown bookstore in Exeter Saturday, April 25 at 6 p.m., to talk about her newly re-issued memoir, The Place He Made.

From her website:

"I'm happy to tell you that, at last, the new edition of The Place He Made is available. The book, originally published in both hardcover and paperback, was declared out of print in 1999 but people have never stopped writing to me in search of this book. Based on this continued interest, I've produced a re-issue of the book and written an afterword which expresses some of what happened as a result of this book. I never expected the kind of response that came when the book was published. Apparently there is a need for books that speak honestly about the experience of losing the battle to cancer as well as the experience of losing a spouse when your lives are still young. It is nearly twenty years since Paul's death yet his special way of being continues to inspire me and encourage me. What has surprised me most is that his special way of being has also inspired others through this book. I never quite realized the extraordinary power of the printed word until The Place He Made was published. The entire experience has taught me a great deal about loss and about grief."

Lyme Disease Documentary At CMS

With tick season fast approaching, how appropriate. A documentary on Lyme Disease called Under Our Skin is being screened at the Cooperative Middle School next week, April 23, starting at 6:30 p.m.

They describe the film as follows:

"A dramatic tale of microbes, medicine & money, this eye-opening film investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic larger than AIDS. Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are "all in their head." Following the stories of patients and physicians as they battle for their lives and livelihoods, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our health care system and its inability to cope with a silent terror under our skin."

For more information go to: where you can watch a trailer for the film

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Lumber Store Coming

I see that the old Wentworth Lumber is slated to become Exeter Lumber, according to the sign out front.
Here's some details from their web site :

Exeter Lumber is situated on a 3 acre site on Portsmouth Ave. in Exeter, N. H. and has been the site of family-owned and operated Lumber and Building supply organizations since 1958.
The Murphy family is continuing this tradition and is committed to serving it’s community with high quality service and materials.
We are a full service Home Improvement Center offering a wide variety of products and services for our customers in the Tri-State Seacoast region. Exeter Lumber dedicates itself to service and dependability. We have a knowledgeable staff with more than 30 years experience in the building and renovation industry, and are excited about guiding customers with their home projects.In hopes of providing a higher level of service and convenience to our customer, we are pursuing the addition of a new 8,200 SF , four lane drive-through building to the rear of Exeter Lumber’s hardware store to assist in the loading and handling of large & heavy building supplies. This unique feature relieves our client of the nuisance of loading large push carts and then one’s own vehicle, which continually remains the primary complaint of shopping at large national chain stores. For those needing delivery, Exeter Lumber can provide what you need when and where you want it.
As the Exeter Lumber family continues to be active members of the community welcoming customers as members of a greater family, it strives to fulfill its mission as a company that excels in service yet remains competitive with a higher quality product-line.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Life Coming to Old Circus Cafe

So I heard today that the long defunct Circus Cafe restaurant on Lincoln Street is going to be a restaurant again.

My sources tell me that R &B's Surf and Turf, a casual seafood type restaurant, is set to open soon in the space. The new owners plan to offer eat in or take out service at the space. I got an advance look at the menu and it looks very similar to the menu at places like Al's Seafood in North Hampton. There's a selection of appetizers like steamers, mussels, shrimp cocktail and chicken fingers. Dinners look to be friend, baked or grilled seafood as well as steamed lobsters.

Stay tuned for full details when I connect with the people behind this new business venture.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Passing of the Baker's Apron

By Lara Bricker
EXETER__After 15 years of rising before dawn to begin baking bread, muffins and other pastries in the kitchen of the Baker’s Peel, Judson Lovering is hanging up his apron.
Lovering a well-known downtown personality along with his wife Susanne has finalized the sale of the business to his longtime employee Anthony Antosiewicz. Antosiewicz, 31, plans to open St. Anthony’s Bakery in the space early next week.
Lovering, 50, said he always looked forward to going to work, where he typically arrived at 4:30 a.m., to bake and greet his regular customers. But the passion and energy he had for the business when he started 15 years ago was starting to wane. About a year ago, he decided to put the business up for sale.
Antosiewicz, who worked for Lovering for 10 years before taking another job five years ago, thought his longtime boss was kidding when he suggested that Antosiewicz should buy the bakery. When he realized that Lovering was serious, he started to think about the proposition.
“It was something I always wanted to do in the back of my mind,” Antosiewicz said. “But I never thought the opportunity would come up. I knew a lot of the clientele here already, so I thought ‘Well, this would probably be a good place to start.”’
During their time owning the bakery, the Loverings were known for hiring local high school students to work in the shop. Antosiewicz was one of those high school students, who started as a dishwasher, after he moved to Exeter from Brooklyn, New York. After he had been with the bakery for a little while, Jud began teaching him how to bake. He started with the breads, then moved onto rolls and then onto pastries.
“Anthony was a very good mixer,” Lovering said, adding that the mixer is responsible for making sure the exact proportions of ingredients necessary for good baking were ready. “That’s the most important job.”
Antosiewicz stayed at the bakery for 10 years, during which he eventually took over the shop with the Loverings were away on vacation. “He knows the ins and outs of the bakery trade,” Lovering said.
The two men worked many long 12 to 14 hour days baking together over the years during times like holidays. Antosiewicz recalled one very busy year when Lovering seemed to stay at the bakery for days without going home.
Five years ago, Antosiewicz took a new job working in the boiler plant at Phillips Exeter Academy. He jokes that he was hired “because I was small enough to get inside the boilers to clean them.”
He put in his last day at PEA last week and has been busy renovating the inside of the bakery space with the help of his father, also named Anthony, a retired police officer from Brooklyn, New York.
Longtime customers of the bakery can take comfort in knowing that all of the specialty pastries and muffins including the trademark cinnamon buns with orange cream cheese icing will remain.
Antosiewicz is bringing the bakery back to its roots in that he will offer the baked goods and bread, coffee and specialty cakes. He is not offering full breakfast as the bakery has done in recent times. He also plans to offer sandwiches for lunch and is installing a free wireless access point for people who would like to use their laptops at the bakery.
Barber Jim Ryan, who has been a neighbor to the bakery space since 1964, said this is the fourth business he has seen open up in the space, which was previously Ceceila’s European Bread and Bakery before it became the Baker’s Peel. Ryan said he will miss Lovering’s frequent trips to the shop where he always livened up the conversation among patrons with his political views.
“He’s been a great neighbor,” Ryan said. “I am going to miss them all, the two kids, Susanne and him.”
St. Anthony’s Bakery is scheduled to open early next week and will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“I’m just looking forward to opening the doors up and having the customers come in,” Antociewicz said. “I’m not looking forward to making a lot of money; I’m really looking forward to serving the community.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adam Roberge Walking to Raise Funds for Programs for The Blind

I first met Adam Roberge a number of years back when I taught therapeutic horseback riding in Newfields. Adam was born blind. My first memory of meeting him was his amazing memory. He could recite off the top of his head the type, model and year of every car that the people at the barn drove, as well as the cars of his teachers, friends and family.
Adam has been a top fund-raiser for several events benefitting the blind and visually impaired over the years. At one point he did a blog:

I just received an email from Adam with news that he is prepapring to walk in the Vision 5K Event on June 5.

Here's the info:
I just recently signed up to participate in the Vision 5K event on June 7 and I want you to join my team! I need you to join my team! This event raises money for four charities right here in Massachusetts whose mission is to raise funds to provide much needed services for blind and visually impaired children and adults. Annually these organizations touch the lives of thousands of men, women and children and help them each achieve literacy and independence.I am asking you to help by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of many! You can make your donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message. If you would prefer, you can also send your tax-deductible contribution to the address below. Any amount, great or small, helps in the fight. I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.Thanks in advance for sharing my Vision!
His page:

Monday, April 6, 2009

A New Brunch Option in Town

Every Sunday that my grandmother, Will and I go to church, we try to have breakfast or brunch. Up until now, there's been no real middle ground. Either regular inexpensive breakfast or enormous, more expensive, brunch at the Exeter Inn (really only for special occasions).

Now, we have another option, that's in the middle, you can also get a mimosa if you'd like, and a nice setting. For the past 2 weeks, we've headed down to 11 Water Street, which is now doing a Sunday brunch. What a great idea.

They've got omelette's that are a bit more dressed up that the usual (such as a lobster one), along with homemade corned beef hash, and homemade muffins. Will requested the banana muffin this week and I had to hold myself back from eating his entire muffin, it was delicious.

You can check out the menu for brunch on their web site:

Pimento's Doing Lunch Now

I helped my husband out with a project last week and in turn he took me out to lunch. We checked out Pimento's which just started offering lunch and it was a nice change of pace. A nice place to get a nice lunch, perhaps a cocktail, and enjoy a quiet moment during the day.
These guys have also been pretty creative in this economy (as many restaurants struggle) by offering nightly specials during the week such as burger night and prime rib night.

You can check out the menu here:

Baker's Peel Changing Hands

You may have noticed the sign in the window of the Baker's Peel downtown. It says they are closed for renovations, which is the case, sort of.
But please stay tuned for a full story on this.

I learned last week that the longtime owners of the Baker's Peel downtown, Jud and Susanne Lovering, are finalizing a sale of the bakery. I understand from Jud that the space will remain a bakery under the new owners who plan to call it St. Anthony's Bakery or something to that effect.

UPDATE: I've finished an interview with Jud and the new owner Anthony and it's actually a nice human interest story here. Anthony worked under Jud for 10 years before taking on another job. He started there in high school washing dishes and worked up to baking bread, then pastries, and then even running the place when Jud and Susanne were on vacation.

So the answer to my question about the cinnamon buns has been answered--they will remain. In fact, most of the pastries that we've all grown to love (though my thighs have not) will be there and Anthony has already been making them for years and knows the recipes. He is not going to do the full breakfast that's been there for the past year or so, but is returning to doing the baked goods, cakes, and simple sandwiches for lunch.

Stay tuned for a full story, but here's one tidbit from a longtime friend of Jud and Susanne--their business neighbor, longtime barber Jim Ryan. Ryan, who has seen 4 businesses in the space next door since he's been a barber, was quick to tell me that he and the other men at the shop will miss Jud's visits and his political discussions. (Though somehow I am sure Jud will still be stopping in for those Jim...)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Better Cell Coverage in Town

This just came my way today. I have always complained about reception in my neighborhood off Route 85, so was happy to see this.

From Verizon:

Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site in Exeter, New Hampshire. The new cell site provides increased wireless voice and 3G coverage along Route 85, Route 101 and Route 111a in western Exeter, as well as the surrounding areas.

Verizon Wireless, originally the first wireless provider to offer 3G speeds, today has the largest and most reliable 3G network coverage area in the United States, giving customers with notebook computers or smartphones the ability to:
· Browse the web faster with quicker page loading times
· Quickly download and play music
· Watch streaming video
· Send emails with attachments
· Download and play 3D games
· Video conference with your contacts
· Rapidly share files

“Verizon Wireless’ 3G network coverage across New England is unparalleled,” said director for Network System Performance for Verizon Wireless, Richard Enright. “We’ve invested billions of dollars into New England believing that even the most sophisticated cell phone is only as good as the network it runs on. Our continued aggressive network investments provide customers with a 3G network advantage at home and on vacation.”
The company has invested more than $50 billion since its inception to increase the wireless voice and data coverage of its national network and to add new 3G services like Mobile Broadband and V CAST. Regionally the company has invested more than $2.4 billion into its New England network over the past nine years, including $240 million in 2008 alone. As the carrier with America's largest and most reliable wireless network, Verizon Wireless cell sites in New England provide 3G wireless data connectivity.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New England: Myth or Reality?

New England: Myth or Reality?

Exeter, New Hampshire – Layers of myth-making are responsible for a New England (both real and imagined) that has its roots in romantic idealism and hard-nosed pragmatism. How to sort through it? One way is to investigate the work of the myth-makers: Robert Frost, Wallace Nutting, Norman Rockwell, and Yankee Magazine. They comprise the people and institutions as responsible for the tourists as the legends.

Join the Exeter Historical Society on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 pm (with refreshments at 7 p.m.), for a presentation by Edie Clark, entitled “New England: Myth or Reality”. The program will take place at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, and is free and open to the public. This program is generously sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

The Exeter Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and preservation of Exeter’s past. The Historical Society is open to the public on a weekly basis, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 – 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to noon. Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, PO Box 924, Exeter, New Hampshire, 03833, 603-778-2335,,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exeter Family Needs Home After Fire

Exeter Family Not Sure Where to Turn After Fire
By Lara Bricker
Special to the Union Leader
EXETER__Sharon and Allan Welch are not sure where to turn after a devastating fire destroyed their mobile home Monday afternoon.
“After Thursday, we don’t really know where we’re going to go,” Sharon, 50, said Tuesday afternoon.
The Great Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross was able to provide temporary housing through Thursday for the couple, their teenage daughter, two dogs and one cat. But after that, the family says they are at a loss for what they will do.
Allan, 51, who works on construction, has been out of work for several months and unable to find a new job, his wife said. Every place that he has applied to for a job has told the local man to return in the spring. Sharon, who works as a LNA at Riverwoods at Exeter, was the sole provider for the family, but says they were just making ends meet with her income.
The family had insurance on their home but it will only pay off the mortgage on the house, not provide funds for them to rebuild. So while they do own the lot at 15 Icy Hill Road where the home sat, they say as of now they don’t have the funds to rebuild there.
Sharon’s older daughter, who is 29, lives in Exeter but with several children of her own does not have any space. A group of the couple’s neighbors are meeting Tuesday evening to talk about how the community can come together to help the family in the aftermath of the fire. At this time, a relief fund has not been established for the family.
Allan was at home when the fire started just after 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in a back bedroom. Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation but they do not believe it is suspicious.
Allan escaped the house with the Shitzu and Puggle dogs, but could not find the family’s cat, Autumn. After the fire was extinguished, the cat amazingly came out alive, Sharon said.
“The cat came flying out one of the windows, she seems to be okay,” she said.
Sharon, who was at work at the time, came home to find her home and all of the contents, including family photos, completely destroyed.
“I was completely devastated,” she said. “I never realized a fire could do that much damage—there’s nothing left.”
Doug Hewitt, Emergency Services Director for the Great Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the agency was able to provide for the family’s immediate needs like housing, clothes and food. They also provided care packets with items like toothbrushes and shampoo.
“All disasters have some sort of an impact on a family,” Hewitt said. “It was very, very difficult for them.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comfort Food in Tough Times?

Stay tuned for Tuesday's Exeter News-Letter where I interviewed Bill Thibeault, owner of the Humble Pie on Lincoln Street, about the increase in popularity of comfort food in these tough times. Apparently meatloaf is flying out of their coolers faster than they can make it up.

Who Drew That Doggie in The Window?

Have you been curious about the paintings along the windows of the new Szanton block building on Water Street? So have I. It turns out they are done by local artist Christine Waniak, who did the dog art on this post. Waniak is hosting an open house/reception this Friday and Saturday in the space. She invites people to come down, see the artwork and watch her actually work on some pieces.

She describes her work as follows:

"Know for my fine detail I have been very proficient as a muralist and also canvas work. Currently working on a book that I am both writing and illustrating. The most common comment I receive about my work is that "it makes me smile", I hope that was your experience too."

For more information about Christine or to see some of her work go to:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arjay's = Business of the Year

Arjay Ace Hardware Named Business of the Year
Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce Honors Store for Volunteerism,
Exceptional Customer Service, Green Practices and More

Exeter, NH – The Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce has named Arjay Ace Hardware as Business of the Year, based on the store’s commitment to community outreach, exceptional customer service, top-quality products, environmentally-friendly business practices and more.

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a wonderful community, surrounded by extraordinary business owners and sup ported by our loyal customers. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by our peers in the community and to receive this prestigious award,” said Dan Jackson, owner of Arjay Ace Hardware. “Our mission is to provide convenience, exceptional customer service, a knowledgeable and friendly team, premium products and an unwavering commitment to the community,” Jackson continued. “We pride ourselves on making each customer feel important and valued.”

Jackson and the Arjay Ace Hardware team were also recognized for their devotion to the community. Jackson and his wife, Arjay’s co-owner, Mandy Jackson, have donated significant time and resources to community projects, including the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, the Festival of Trees, the Ultimate Sports Raffle, the Exeter and Greenland school systems and the Acorn School of Stratham, among others.

Their staff members are committed to giving back to the community, as well, volunteering with the Coast Guard, emergency management teams and as local firefighters. Additionally, they dedicate time to local churches, committees, events and organizations that are personally meaningful.

The store’s annual Ladies’ Night event has become increasingly popular in the Exeter area, and Jackson recently added a food drive component to the festivities. Attendees enjoy product discounts, fabulous door prizes, refreshments, free gift wrapping and can also contribute food to needy families in our area.

Store owner Dan Jackson was presented with the Business of the Year award at a reception=2 0on March 12.

“Dan Jackson works hard to be an industry leader, and is well-respected among his staff, peers, vendors and Ace Hardware management. He is also well-liked and highly admired within the Exeter community,” said Thom Kraus, President of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce. “It was our great pleasure and honor to present him with the Business of the Year award.”

“Dan and I look forward to serving the needs of our community – and our valued customers – for many years to come,” said Mandy Jackson, co-owner of the store.

Jackson holds himself, his store and his staff to the highest standards, which is why the store has consistently won Vision 21 Awards, Ace Hardware’s highest ratings, every year since they joined the Ace Hardware cooperative in 1999.

Arjay Ace Hardware is located at 55 Lincoln Street in Exeter.

Arjay Ace Hardware is a fourth-generation family-owned store that has served the Exeter community for 25 years. They carry the finest brands, including Benjamin Moore paint, Weber, Carhartt, Ace brand and much more, and many of these products come with a lifetime guarantee. Arjay A ce Hardware employees take great pride in their work, offering exceptional customer service and friendly, knowledgeable advice. In fact, the award-winning Arjay Ace Hardware has been consistently named one of Ace Hardware’s premiere stores.