Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow impersonator performs in ‘We Care’ concert Saturday


LACONIA — Temple B’Nai Israel brings its practice of “Tikkun Olam,” or “repairing the world,” to the Inter-Lakes Community Auditorium in Meredith on Saturday evening for the latest concert in the “We Care” series.

Jay Gates will conjure up the musical stylings of Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow in a benefit for Gilford-based Camp Resilience, which assists military veterans.

Tickets will be sold at the door, with complimentary snacks and desserts available at 7 p.m. and the concert beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Don Morrissey, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, heads Camp Resilience. The non-profit provides training and counseling to former service members who are transitioning to civilian life.

“It’s interesting and amazing that a nonprofit devotes so much attention to raising money for another nonprofit,” Morrissey said. “It’s incredibly generous.”

Camp Resilience offers retreats for veterans in which they gain training in computer skills, resume writing, life skills and assistance with issues like post traumatic stress syndrome and addiction.

A previous beneficiary of the concert series was Lakes Region Community Services, which offers a range of services and has a core mission of supporting people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

Joanne Lang, vice president of that agency, said it has been the beneficiary of money from three concerts, including an Elton John Tribute last year at New Hampton School.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “One nonprofit is supporting other nonprofits and bringing good music to the area.

“These events are very cool for the community.”

Her group has been the beneficiary of $7,000 in net proceeds from previous concerts featuring the Gathering Time Folk Band, the Freese Brothers Big Band and the Yellow Brick Road Elton John Tribute Band.

“The friendships and relationships forged by working together go beyond these three events and we appreciate the members of Temple B’nai Israel for their generosity, friendship and hospitality,” she said.

Other nonprofits that have benefitted from the series are Voices Against Violence and New Beginnings.

Meg Kennedy Dugan, president of Voices Against Violence, said her crisis services agency received funds from an acapella performance in the series last November.

“It was helpful on a number of different levels,” she said. “It provided critically needed funding through revenues from the ticket sales.
“It also introduced us to other people in the community who really care about and support the nonprofits in the area.”
She said her group got $2,100 from that concert and another nonprofit got a similar amount.
Stu Needleman, who helps organize the events in the concer series, said the effort is part and parcel of the Jewish concept of “Tikkun Olam,” which is a Hebrew phrase meaning “world repair.” The concept has become identified with social action and social justice.

The price for a ticket for the Saturday night concert is $27.50.

New models are ready to hit the waves


Cruising the waters of the Lakes Region in style this year, with new makes and models that aim to make the 2017 boating season even better. From affordable water toys to luxury high-powered boats, there are plenty of options available for local water fanatics.

Sports and Marine Parafunalia, located off of Route 11-B in Gilford, has many new water toys for the summer.

The new Wakefoil aims to transform the art of wakeboarding, by providing the feeling of flight while on the water. The aerodynamic structure allows riders to experience gliding above the water at any speed, weather condition, or in any water. The Wakefoil 139 Board is currently on sale for $1,399.99.

Those looking for a relaxing boating experience may want to check out the Hurricane Skimmer 120 Propel, as it operates as a recreational hands-free cruising kayak. The Skimmer features a sharp entry-flared bow for enhanced glide and smooth travel in choppy water. The newly updated structure of the boat also provides seat sliding adjustments for proper on-water ergonomics and a port-side steering mechanism that handles easily via finger-tip control, according to Bart Jefferies of Parafunalia. The price of this product is currently $2,599.99.

Instead of a magic carpet, Parafunalia offers a Water Carpet, made of closed-cell foam. The Water Carpet can act as a portable beach, and ranges in size from 6'x8' to 6'x19.6'. Prices for the Water Carpet begin at $250.

HK Powersports of Laconia has stocked up on new high-speed watercraft that aim to maximize speed and enjoyment for lake-goers this summer.

The 2017 Yamaha EX Sport and EX Deluxe are new to Yamaha's Wave Runner line-up this year. These models are made with a smaller fiberglass hull, and a 110 horsepower 4-stroke engine.

"It is the most affordable, reliable, full featured watercraft among all brands of watercraft," said Lisa Whalley of HK Powersports. Starting price of these models is currently $6,599.

The Yamaha line continues with the 2017 Yamaha GP 1800. As Yamaha's newest muscle craft, it can reach up to 260 horsepower. It is deemed the lightest, fastest machine on the water, according to Whalley. The Yamaha GP 1800 is available starting at $13,999.99.

Irwin Marine of Laconia has new boats in stock this summer that will allow boaters to glide through the waters with ease, according to Bill Irwin, vice president and manager of sales at Irwin Marine.

The brand new Sea Ray SLX 310 provides a large hull to maximize comfort and space. Paired with technological advancements the boat is known to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. The SLX 310 can carry up to 17 passengers, and offers new standard dual touch-screen electronics display, which is enables multiple control functions. New this year is a submersible hydraulic swim platform, fiberglass hardtop and an electric bimini top that goes all the way to the transom.

Going along with the Sea Ray line, Irwin Marine is also offering a the new Sea Ray 190 SPX. At 19' 6" in overall length and a maximum capacity of 11 people, this new model is both powerful and affordable. It starts at $28,995 at Irwin Marine.

Irwin Marine will be offering test rides on the new Sea Ray SLX 310 during the Sea Ray demo days on Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11.

water carpet

The O'Brien Water Carpet is like a floating beach. Anchor it to your dock or take it to open water. (Courtesy Parafunalia)


With Wakefoil, the feeling of flying is no more than a boat ride away. Hydrodynamics meets aerodynamics in the sleek design of the Wakefoil. It allows you to effortlessly cut through the wildest wind chop and slice through the calmest of sheet glass, all while floating you high above the water. (Courtesy Parafunalia)

hurricane skimmer propel

While heavy polyethylene barges often require a trailer for transport, the 59-pound Skimmer 120 Propel can easily be moved from your car top to the water and back again by hand and delivers as a recreational hands-free cruising kayak, too. (Courtesy Parafunalia)

05-26 Sea Ray

Sea Ray SLX 310 can carry up to 17 passengers, and is available at Irwin Marine. (Courtesy Irwin Marine)

05-26 Yamaha Waverunner

The 2017 Yamaha EX Sport and EX Deluxe are new to Yamaha's Waverunner lineup. (Courtesy HK Powersports)

05-26 Yamaha GP 1800

The 2017 Yamaha GP 1800 is Yamaha's new Muscle craft, and boasts 260 horse power. It is the lightest, fastest machine on the water, according to Lisa Whalley of HK Powersports. (Courtesy HK Powersports)

05-26 SeeDoo RXT-X 300

Sea-Doo has the RXT-X 300, which came out last year, and is flashy and fun. They have the new 300 horse power in their GTX line and their ultra sporty RXT line. (Courtesy HK Powersports)

 05-26 Sea Ray 190 SPX

The Sea Ray 190 SPX outboard is new for 2017 at Irwin Marine. (Courtesy Irwin Marine)

Byron Hedblom's extraordinary life

Local man left lasting legacy in three boats which still cruise Lake Winnipesaukee


LACONIA — Byron Hedblom, the son of Danish immigrants who worked his way through college while holding down a full-time job with an engineering company in East Boston, has left a lasting legacy on Lake Winnipesaukee where three of the ships he built, the M/V Mount Washington, the Sophie C and the Doris E, remain in service with the New Hampshire Flagship Company.
"Without him, these ships wouldn't be here. It's a phenomenal legacy that he's left," said Jim Morash, captain and part-owner of the company, who worked with Hedblom during the time the Mount Washington was lengthened in the winter of 1982-83.
"Both he and Doris were very good to this young kid at the time," he said. "As my family has been associated with the lake and Bear Island for over a hundred years, he knew many of my relatives. It was a great time listening to the old stories Byron, Murray Ryder and Brian Avery told during the coffee breaks. I will cherish these memories forever. Byron lives on as long as the Mount Washington, Sophie C and Doris E continue to ply the beautiful waters of Lake Winnipesaukee."
Hedblom brought a family spirit to the cruise line which still is evident and Morash still runs into people today who worked with Hedblom during the 1940s and 1950s and have strong memories of the remarkable Hedblom family.
Hedblom was born in East Boston on June 12, 1904, the son of Carl Gustave Hedblom and Sophie C. Hedblom (maiden name Jensen), who had arrived in New York in 1898. During the 1920s he worked for the Bertelsen and Petersen Engineering company which later combined with the Atlantic Works in East Boston. While working as a supervisor of outside jobs, he attended Northeastern University at night, studying math, geometry and machine design.
On May 26, 1925, while supervising a contract to build an innovative new style of steel barges, an incident occurred which Hedblom recalled "could have changed my life forever and probably did." A large section of one of the barges was being lowered into position when it caught on an obstruction. Byron was pinned in a corner and both his legs were crushed.
At the Boston relief station where he was taken, the prognosis was that it would be necessary to remove both legs below the knees. But his father Carl arrived and intervened, insisting that the best surgeon in Boston be found. Byron was rushed to the Boston City Hospital emergency ward, where he spent 13 weeks with both legs in suspension. Both legs were saved. For the rest of his life he would walk with a very slight incline to one side, a distinctive trait that made him immediately recognizable from a distance to friends and family.
He would go on to found General Ship & Engine Works, with his father as a partner. Starting with a machine shop powered by an old tractor, he grew the shipyard into a thriving business which was contracted to build and repair ships for both civilian and military use. He also supervised the building of the Mount Washinton II.
When the side-wheeler Mount Washington burned at the Weirs Beach dock in December of 1939, Capt. Leander Lavallee, then in his 70s, was determined to replace the lost hull with a new, faster and bigger ship. After securing local support and forming a new corporation, he purchased the Chateaguay, a 203-foot-long ship with an iron hull in Lake Champlain for $20,000. The crew from Boston General Ship & Engine Works dismantled the Chateaguay hull, cut it into twenty sections and shipped it by flatbed railroad car from Shelburne, Vermont, to Lakeport.
They reassembled the pieces, constructed a new steel superstructure and outfitted the ship with two 750 horsepower steam engines, boilers included. The new vessel grew in the welding method of construction and was launched Aug. 15, 1940, with a length of 205 feet, a beam of 32 feet and a draft of 7 feet. Christened the S.S. Mount Washington II, the new ship would sail through some rough financial waters in the beginning, as the final bill for performing the phenomenal feat would exceed $125,000.
Within a year, to clear the indebtedness, the ownership was passed to Boston General Ship & Engine, which formed the Winnipesaukee Steamship Company, with Byron and Carl Hedblom each holding an equal number of shares. The company logo, and the ship's flag, would be a Danish flag superimposed with a W for Winnipesaukee.
Because of fuel shortages, the ship could not be operated until after World War II, and its engines were taken as part of the war effort.
It was around the same time that Byron Hedblom saw an advertisement for 65 acres of land for sale near Weirs Beach, and bought the plot on which he would build the Hedblom family home.
Two smaller vessels were added to the Winnipesaukee Steamship Fleet: The Sophie C, named for Byron Hedblom's mother and christened by his oldest daughter Dory, and the Doris E, named for his wife, and christened by his oldest granddaughter, Wendy.
Hedblom recalled, "We were being pushed (at the end of WWII, in 1945) by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission as to when we would resume operations by the Mount Washington. We answered, as soon as engines could be obtained. (The Mount's engines and boilers had been taken by the Navy for the war effort).

"We decided to build a 65-foot boat to run short excursions from the Weirs to Wolfeboro, until the Mount Washington was running. I designed a vessel to carry about 150 passengers. We had a General Motors diesel engine, which we could convert from Electric Generation to Direct Reversing Mode. We also had steelworkers available for the job.

"We built the hull in the Mead Morrison shop, installed the engine and trucked it to New Hampshire where we finished it. We installed the superstructure in New Hampshire, launched the boat fully completed and named it 'Sophie C' in memory of my mother.

"We had a trial trip on VJ day in 1945. It was very successful and it went into service immediately. At the same time, we built a 45-foot service boat for carrying men and materials to ships away from our plant. The boat was called 'General.' After it was completed and tried out, my father said send it up to Lake Winnipesaukee, it's too nice to use for a service boat. We all made very good use of it. We were also sponsoring a Little League Baseball team. Our foreman electrician took care of the running of this operation and did very well."
The General served as Hedblom's private excursion boat until he reworked it and launched it as the Doris E in 1963.

In the aftermath of the war, Hedblom built a house at the Weirs that was initially used as a vacation home. The Hedbloms and their three girls, Dory, Janet and Carol, relocated from Boston and moved in permanently in 1952.
This extraordinary home, with its inspirations from naval architecture, became central to the memories of three generations of the Hedblom family. For children and grandchildren alike, the house on Scenic Road became the interior decor of memories and the surrounding 65 acres of fields and forests the familiar landscape of dreams.
Today, what is known by the family as "Meme & Dindy's House" is a bed and breakfast, the Lantern Inn.
The Hedbloms ran the Winnipesaukee Steamship Company from 1941 until they sold it in 1972. Hedblom was called out of retirement in 1982-83 to help with the project which saw the Mount Washington lengthened from 205 feet to 230 feet.
His extraordinary life spanned nearly 104 years, and he enjoyed it to the fullest until the very end.
As his eldest daughter, Dory, put it on the day of his passing, May 3, 2008, "He had a great sail!"

Sophie C The Sophie C at the dock. (Courtesy photo)

GrandOpening Grand Opening. The extension of the Mount, 1982. (Courtesy photo)

SophieLaunch Doris Ann Hedblom christening the Sophie C, 1945. (Courtesy photo)

ByronBryanByron Hedblom, right, with Bryan Avery, captain of the Mount Washington. (Courtesy photo)

MountThe Mount Washington II reaches the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee for
the first time on Aug. 25, 1940. (Courtesy photo)

mount and sophieThe Mount Washington and the Sophie C at the dock at Weirs Beach. (Roger Amsden photo)

Byron Hedblom and the Mount WashingtonByron Hedblom at the Weirs with the Mount Washington. (Courtesy photo)

Doris-E The Doris E cruising on Lake Winnipesaukee. (Courtesy photo)

sophie c 2The Sophie C at Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee. (Courtesy photo)