LACONIA — Nineteen-year-old Eric Freeman is miles away from his native Knoxville, Tennessee home. He's spending this summer in the Lakes Region as a member of the Laconia Muskrats Baseball Team.
Very tall and lanky with short red hair, he seems comfortable in the surroundings of Taylor Community, which is his Host Family for the season.
He and 19-year-old Jordan Sheffield from Tullahoma, TN , share a room in the oldest building on campus – Taylor Home. They eat breakfast and often lunch with the assisted living residents who live there. "I have breakfast with Irene every morning," he said.
Irene laughed, describing Eric as a "good eater, who enjoys his food."
He often helps Mary, "who loves her puzzles," and knows "Beryle is a huge Red Sox fan. She gave me an interesting article about Fenway Park."
Taylor has sponsored two Muskrat players per season for the past few years. "It's such a pleasure each year for all of us at Taylor to be a host family for these fine young guys," said Marketing Director Paul Charlton.
"It's quite something for the players, for Laconia and for Taylor to be part of this program which attracts talented baseball players from colleges and universities all across the United States. We're big fans of Jordan, Eric and all of the Muskrats!"
"The support we received from Taylor Community is incredible," said Muskrat Manager Noah Crane. "It's a tremendous experience for our players and the 28 guys who don't get to stay there are very jealous. The hospitality we've been shown from everyone is remarkable."
The Muskrats are part of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, comprised of 12 teams throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Unlike the aluminum bats used by college ball teams, the NECBL teams play with wooden bats which require more skill to drive the ball deep.
Eric said players found out last fall where they would be spending their summers. Muskrat Manager Noah Crane annually puts out a roster with players' positions."There were guys from my school going to New York, Florida and Nebraska," said Eric.
"The set-up is fine here. We like talking to the residents and Jordan and I both enjoy the ice cream sundaes on Sunday.
Robbie Mills Field, where the Muskrats play their home games, is only about 3 miles from Taylor. He added it was nice to be so close, as some of his teammates were housed 30 miles away.
Eric will be a sophomore at the University of Tennessee in the fall, concentrating on pre-pharmacy and kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement. Jordan will be studying business at Vanderbilt.
But it's not all work. Eric's family was able to visit over the Independence Day holiday and they traveled to Arcadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine and did some hiking in the New Hampshire mountains as well. "We were able to meet his parents, brother and sister. They were a lovely family," said Irene.
"It's fun having them around," said Taylor Home Resident Jeanne.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:54
GILMANTON — The Gilmanton Historical Society presented a guided tour of the town to the Gilmanton School fourth-grade class recently. The field trip is expected to become a regular part of the New Hampshire history curricula at GES.
Historical Society President John Dickey led the tour which began at the Old Town Hall, now site of the Gilmanton Museum in the Iron Works, and continued with visits to various historical sites throughout town.
The following article was written by student Karina MacLeod, about two points of interest along the tour.
"Once the town of Gilmanton had many schoolhouses, 18 to be exact. One schoolhouse, by the name of Loon Pond School, has been restored to its original condition. We learned what it was like to go to school back then. The children would quickly run inside when the school bell rang. They would take their lunchboxes of wood and metal and place them on the shelf in the coat room. The children would sit two to a seat in rows according to their ages. The teacher would ring the attention bell and class would begin. The children being equipped with slates and chalk would practice writing and math and reading with posters with sentences on them called guides. At music time, the teacher would play the piano and the children would sing along. The children would have lunch and recess and then they would repeat math, writing and reading before walking home.
"The Town Hall today is used for meetings, voting, licenses and other things. Many people don't know its history and may not know when and why it was built. In 1784, the Academy, as it was called back then, was built. Ten years after the Academy was built, it was destroyed by fire. The Academy was rebuilt in 1797, only to catch on fire again in 1807. The town loved the Academy and they had it rebuilt in 1808. Ninety-nine years later, three months before its 100th anniversary, the Academy had a play to celebrate the occasion. During the play, one of the oil lamps fell and ignited a fire. The townspeople thought they had put out the fire and cleaned up the oil, but they didn't. For some oil had crept under the stage. After the play everyone went home and went to sleep. Near midnight, the Academy caught on fire again and by the time everyone got there, the flames had burned their beloved Academy to the ground.
"The town loved their Academy and yet again, they rebuilt it nine months after this tragedy. In 1910, the Academy closed till 1920 when it became a public school by the name of Corner School. It taught lessons until the present day Gilmanton School opened and it became as we call it today, Town Hall."
We hope Karina's article will inspire children and families to come explore the museum. Summer hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:46
MEREDITH — The Greater Meredith Program Promotions Committee hosted a formal ribbon-cutting for two new businesses on Main Street. Winni Denim & Supply Co., located at 11 Main Street focuses on denim, featuring top brands such as Hudson, Citizen's of Humanity, Joe's Jeans, Big Star and Red Engine and also carries complimentary items.
Providence, located at 31-A Main Street offers traditional and new age spirituality, unique gifts and women's clothing plus beauty and spa products.
The Greater Meredith Program (GMP) is a nonprofit community economic development organization seeking to enhance economic vitality, historical and cultural heritage, and town-wide beautification.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:41
SANDWICH — Caroline Nesbitt and Vivian Nesbitt, two of the founding members of Advice To The Players, a non-profit Shakespeare company, will be returning to the stage together to perform in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Sandwich Fairgrounds in August.
In the spring of 1999, Caroline Nesbitt founded Advice To The Players to bring Shakespeare into the lives of teens and adults in the White Mountains region. As the company grew, Nesbitt began to dream of an outdoor, summer Shakespeare festival and in 2002 brought her sister, Vivian Nesbitt, along with Becca Boyden, on board to found the summer season on the Sandwich Fairgrounds Stage with a drama camp for children and a production of As You Like It.
Twelve years later, Advice To The Players, truly a "locally sourced Shakespeare company," now provides the Lakes and White Mountains regions with Shakespeare camps for children and teens, professional productions, and more throughout the year. This year, for the annual summer production at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, the sisters are back on stage together for the first time in more than ten years as main characters in The Merry Wives of Windsor, a comedy full of love - or attempts at it.
The Merry Wives of Windsor follows the silly, slapstick wooing attempts of Falstaff, a broke, hedonistic knight, as he tries to get two rich women (played by the Nesbitt sisters) to fall in love with him simultaneously. The catch? Both women are already married! When the women and their husbands figure out Falstaff's plan, the game is on!
"I am SO beyond excited that I get to play with my incredible sister Vivian in Advice To The Players' The Merry Wives Of Windsor this summer. The last time we got to do this was playing the Dromios in ATTP's The Comedy Of Errors years ago." says Caroline Nesbitt. "There are not many great roles for two ladies of a certain age to play together, especially in Shakespeare, and we are so ready to rumble."
"It's a blast to be here in Sandwich with my sister and our Advice To The Players family," Vivian Nesbitt added. "I'm so happy to be back on stage, performing with the group we started more than ten years ago! It's an honor to see how the company has changed and grown over the years."
The Merry Wives of Windsor is directed by Candace Clift, an Advice To The Players veteran actor and director. She and Becca Boyden, the Executive Director of the company, are the ones who decided to bring the Nesbitt sisters back together to Sandwich's stage.
"Caroline and Viv are incredible, fun actors and I am so happy that they're both in the show this summer. When they started Advice To The Players' summer season in 2002, they gave so many kids, teenagers, community members, and professional actors like myself a great opportunity to come together and play with Shakespeare each summer," said Clift.
The family friendly and funny The Merry Wives of Windsor will be performed at the Sandwich Fairgrounds Stage in Sandwich, from August 1-10 at 2 p.m. each day. An evening performance will take place in the Sandwich Town Hall on Tuesday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m. There are no shows on Monday, August 4 or Wednesday, August 6. Adult tickets are $20, $10 for seniors and students and free for 12 and under at the Fairgrounds. Youth tickets (12 and under) are $7 at Town Hall.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:35