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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

December 27, 2007

new hampshire’s highlights


new hampshire has the country’s smallest coastline, FYI.


  1. How many of these highlights have you visited in person? I lived in NH for 9 years and I’ve only been to a couple of these.

    Comment by Lyle_s — December 27, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  2. 1) The Old Man in the Mountain no longer exists.
    2) Deer are endangered.
    3) Rhododendron Reservoir is a myth to lure people to Nashua.
    4) Dartmouth College produces more junk bond traders than any other college in New England.
    5) Lake Winnipesaukee has the highest urine content of any New Hampshire Lake
    6) The Aerial Tramway is operated by ex carnies.
    7) Berlin?
    8) Dixville Notch has been replaced by a Starbucks Express.
    9) Franconia Notch hosts the annual “Kick Meth” festival.
    10) Concord finally passed a law that makes it illegal to beat your slave.

    Comment by oggy bleacher — December 28, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

  3. I spent four years at Dartmouth.

    That was a rad list O G. Thanks!

    Comment by Rolston — December 29, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  4. Here are my top five New Hampshire destinations:

    Gillies – Located in Portsmouth, this remarkable railroad car eatery serves hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries and Banana pie all served to you by a single cook who will also give you advice on the Red Sox starting lineup and how to get laid after midnight. Kenny Hawkins once disarmed a crazy kid (I forget the little punk’s name) who pointed a hand gun at Chuck Knox on the concrete steps of Gillies. Hawkins then went inside Gillies where the cook leaped across the folding bar and KICKED the gun out of his hand then in one swift motion had Hawkins pinned down. (The cook knew Aikido but had missed critical parts of the crisis outside). Chuck Knox proceeded to pound the punk’s head into a car hood while I laughed and ate my crisp grilled cheese sandwich (Wonder bread and American slices). There’s an original mural there too, though not of that particular incident. If you look up at the top of the adjacent building you’ll see “J.J. Newberrys” painted on the wall, evidence of an era long gone. You can smell the history in the greasy wind.

    Fun Spot – Near Weirs Beach and Laconia (lakes district), this family destination is the largest vintage arcade game museum in the world. Feeling nostalgic for Mousetrap or Burger Time? Well, go to Fun Spot because chances are they are the only arcade in the United States that will have a working cocktail cabinet Galaxian (Like the one you played when you were 8 years old at the local Papa Ginos.) Buy $20 worth of tokens and they give you an extra $10 worth! The food in the basement store is horrible. Go to Weirs Beach to eat. Recently, for the first time in 24 years, I stood before a Star Castles game, perhaps the only one of its kind that survived the ‘90s. I wept as I played. Remember that monochrome game you used to play in 1977? The Red Baron. It had a sit down cockpit arrangement and a single throttle/joystick? Yep, they got that one too.

    Mt. Major – An easy hike and a sensible stop on your way from Funspot to Gillies. Work up an appetite for those hot dogs. Located off Rt. 11 you can get up and back in a few hours. 2 miles up, 2 miles down. Views of the lakes and a good workout for your heart and soul. Bring water and mosquito repellent.

    Demeritt Hill Farm – Located in Lee and just one of the many apple orchards in NH, you can pick your own apples or buy a paper bag full of different varieties that all snap when bitten. Also offers pumpkins and corn and blueberries. Cider made on the premises in big wood presses that smell like revolution! If you go on a clear day in early October with a scarf and hat you will see a country worth fighting for.

    Ft. Stark – No trip to the Granite State is complete without a visit to the abandoned coast guard station / WWI fort in New Castle. Take New Castle Ave. from Portsmouth (follow signs for the Wentworth Hotel), across the causeway to the Grand Isle of New Castle (where one 15 year old who will remain nameless was arrested for driving without a license). Continue through New Castle and resist the urge to visit New Castle Common because right around the corner is Rose Lane. You may have already passed it since the only sign is hidden behind some ivy! Double back and turn east on Rose Lane to the dead end parking lot where you will discover Fort Stark, a hidden treasure complete with half a dozen empty cement bunkers to explore and a granite jetty that juts out into New Castle Harbor. Take a walk on that jetty to get the whole effect. Maine lies to the north, Ordione Point lies across the channel. On a clear day you can see the Isles of Shoals several miles over the ocean. This is Land’s End, folks.

    Comment by oggy — December 30, 2007 @ 2:07 am

  5. Unless this sort of thing happened at Gillies all the time, I believe it was Jim Davis who snatched the gun and ran into the trolley. I think the dude with the gun was from out of town or something, he was a real trashy dude and an apparent racist because the dude he was antagonizing (I think his name was something like Sean Felder, not former NFL coach Chuck Knox) was an extremely large black dude. The guy kept saying “I got 357 reasons why you don’t want to fuck with me” and eventually he answered that cryptic riddle by going back to his car to get his gun. I know he had it pointed at the black guy’s head for a short period but something happened where Davis got the gun. I also remember Jim beating up the gunman’s friend shortly afterward between the trolley and the parking garage.

    Anyhow, that was over 15 years ago so I’m sure my account is off all over the place. One thing is for sure, Gillie’s should definitely be on the NH attractions map. Good call, Oggy.

    Comment by Lyle_s — December 30, 2007 @ 7:46 am

  6. My Gillie’s memory: there was an alley out back, perfect for taking a slash. Lyle came running back and said “When I farted, my pee stopped. Do you think there’s not enough pressure for both at once?”

    Another great New Hampshire attraction is Route 95 because it takes you out of there.

    I also am sure to hit the state liquor store on the Route One By-pass traffic circle on my way out. Nothing says home more than that.

    Comment by Rolston — December 30, 2007 @ 10:13 am

  7. I guess I’m no good at multitasking.

    Comment by Lyle_s — December 30, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  8. Wow! Both the Jim Davis reference and the Sean Felder reference brought that incident back to me even more clearly. Kenny Hawkins seems to make his way into all my P-town anecdotes, so my apologies to him. He and Sean Ahern just seem like the logical fall guys, though Jamie Moore has his fair share of indictments.

    Anyway, Jim Davis WAS the kid who grabbed the gun and ran into the trolley and was kicked by the cook. I thought Jim Davis was the one who took the gun out of his car. No. I think there was a kid named Chuck Knox, who was not involved at all, though he may have been a witness. Sean Felder sounds like a much more likely candidate to bash someone’s head into a car hood. You have a good memory Lyle! I’ll buy you a hot dog next time we’re watching a street brawl outside Gillies.

    I considered putting Web’s Point on the list but I really don’t want anyone going there. Anyone remember that party site at the end of Sagamore Drive, near the old dump?

    Comment by oggy — December 30, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

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