Howard — Remember Pollyanna?

By Elizabeth Howard

If you haven't read the classic novel, written by Eleanor H. Porter and published in 1913, you may have seen the Walt Disney film, released in 1960, and featuring Hayley Mills in the title role. The movie was a box office success and catapulted Hayley Mills to stardom. You have probably not seen the silent movie that was made in 1920 and featured Mary Pickford.

Eleanor Porter was born in Littleton, New Hampshire in December of 1868, grew up there and attended Littleton High School. In 1990 the National Organization of Women recognized her as "A Notable Woman of New Hampshire".

There is a bronze statue of Pollyanna on the lawn in front of the stately Carnegie Library on the Main Street in Littleton. She is sporting a bonnet and wearing a long full skirt, her arms outstretched in a gesture of pure happiness. If you haven't visited Littleton recently, you will love the Main Street, which received The National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center Award in 2003. Stop at the Littleton Diner for a stack of pancakes, walk past the Pollyanna statue and then enjoy cafes, a music emporium, probably the world's largest penny candy store and tempting mid-Century modern furniture and antique shops.

Pollyanna came into my mind late last Friday afternoon. I had spent the morning trying to sort through the events of last week. One shooting. Two shootings. Five policemen killed during a peaceful demonstration in Dallas, Texas. According to a report published by the Council on Foreign Relations "the United States, with less than 5 percent of the world's population, has about 35–50 percent of the world's civilian-owned guns, according to a 2007 report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. It ranks number one in firearms per capita. The United States also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world's most developed nations".

Gun control is almost meaningless at this point. Our country is filled with not only guns, but military assault weapons. Now we must figure out what has gone so terribly wrong and work to restore basic civility.

On Friday morning I felt sadness and hopelessness. I have been fortunate enough to travel across the globe and to many remote communities in developing countries. People admire the United States. They look to us, as a democracy, as an example of how people from diverse backgrounds can live together, peacefully. I am not certain what they think now.

Pollyanna was an orphan who helped people find goodness in every situation. She brought joy to individuals, however curmudgeonly, and looked at the world through a crystal prism. In true Disney fashion, she sprinkled wonder dust where-ever she went. That is until she was in an accident and lost the use of her legs. Then she was unable to find anything to be glad about. The community rallies around Pollyanna and as the novel ends she regains the use of her legs and has an appreciation for walking.

It sounds trite but perhaps the week of violence we have just come through will help us realize that something must change. Perhaps in our despair we can find the goodness and will that is required to move forward.

Poverty, homelessness, job instability, the divide between the haves and the have-nots, religious intolerance, too many firearms, veterans returning after spending years fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, too many young men being incarcerated, then ignored in overcrowded prisons, racial tension, drug problems, obesity that leads to health issues... it isn't just one problem that must be solved and these problems cannot be solved by one political party or a few individuals. We are at a point where we must all work together as individuals, within our communities, in our states and nationally and let go of our fear and intransient positions.

When a word becomes part of the lexicon, through popular usage, the individuals editing and writing dictionaries begin reading and tracking it. I thought that "Pollyanna" would be in the Oxford Dictionary. It is.
There are two definitions: One is a "person who is able to find apparent cause for happiness in the most disastrous situation." The second is "a person who is unduly optimistic or achieves spurious happiness through self-delusion."

I hope I am not self-delusional about what we can achieve working together after reflecting on the events of last week.

"...Fear could not be cast out, but by love. ..." writes Alan Paton in Cry the Beloved Country.

Elizabeth Howard's career intersects journalism, marketing and communications. Ned O'Gorman: A Glance Back, a book she edited, was published in May, 2016. She is the author of A Day with Bonefish Joe, a children's book, published by David R. Godine. She lives in New York City and has a home in Laconia. You can send her a note at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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FINN'S GARAGE Automotive Investments?

For most people the idea of investing in automobiles or other vehicles is completely foreign. It might even seem like an oxymoron. Most people experience the everyday car buying experience, buy the car, drive it, it depreciates, then sell or trade it. This is how most people view the automotive industry. However, there is another side to the car business.

There are people that buy, sell and trade vehicles, like stockbrokers trade stocks on Wall St. I am just returning from Barrett Jackson's Inaugural Northeast Collector Car Auction. This is their first event in the Northeast, and was held with record attendance at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. While I was there, it occurred to me that my experience with many different people in the hobby varies greatly from the experience of the general public.

Among the bidders at the auction, there are a variety of reasons for their attendance. Some are there selling, some are there to buy a new "toy," and, as I mentioned, some are there to invest. Let's just cover that aspect for a moment.

Just like stocks trade, cars and other specialty vehicles trade at different levels, there are people who just buy certain brands or models, there are others who will buy multiple cars and cost-average the purchases, and there are groups that pool their funds to buy ultra-high-end rare pieces. The equivalent of penny stocks would be lesser expensive classics, often bought, enjoyed for a short time, then resold.

The other end of the spectrum would be cars such as a super rare one-off Ferrari, sometimes street cars, sometimes race pedigree. These are the cars that are only traded between elite buyers, collectors or investment groups. The price tag for these vehicles starts in the millions. They are often purchased by a consortium, put away in a literal vault, and held until the market value meets a level the investor would accept as a favorable return on investment. If you watch some of the great television shows, featuring classic cars, or auctions you will often hear terms such as "blue chip" or "investor grade." These are the safer bets, if you will call them that. Just as any investment, there is always risk, the upside to investing in vehicles, is you have a tangible item that you can enjoy, and view while it appreciates.

Now, this arena is not for the faint of heart, the automotive market is fluid. It goes up and it goes down. There are people like me who live the hobby every day, and even I can't predict all the trends. My specialty is antique and mostly American cars. I can't give you advice on Porsche or Ferrari, but I know a guy who has his finger on that pulse, and that is why you will find us all networking at all times to assist our customers and clients intelligently and diligently.

If you are contemplating an investment in vehicles, or even thinking of buying or selling a classic, antique or specialty vehicle, I'd love to meet you. This hobby is fun, family friendly and offers many positive experiences. As always, get out there and enjoy your cars, hope to see you on the road!

Denis Finnerty Finn's Garage Meredith NH

07-14 63Ferrari250GTO

This 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO traded hands to undisclosed buyers for $52 million at auction in 2013. (Courtesy photo)

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E. Scott Cracraft - Christian dominionism

Since the late 1970s, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians with conservative theological and social views have become politically powerful. Many would have the public think that all they want to do is to defend conservative "family values" or that Christian calls to execute gay people or women who have abortions is just a "fringe" formation. A first glance, it seems that their agenda is limited to things like teaching creationism, stopping abortion, or opposing same-sex marriages.
But the agenda of many on the Christian Right goes much further than just defending their own values and beliefs and more than will admit it believe in imposing Old Testament laws against gays. This is due to the Christian Dominionist movement. Even some well-known evangelists, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have betrayed their sympathies for this little-known movement.

Many, whether they will admit it or not, are part of or heavily influenced by Christian Dominionism. They want to impose there values on others and to erode our traditional separation of church and state and have Christians take over in politics, education, the economy, the media and in the law. They sincerely believe that God wants evangelical and fundamentalist Christians (and not all of them!) to have "dominion" in different spheres of American life.

This is nothing new in American history. The English Puritans claimed that they were building a Christian "city on a hill" in America, a Calvinist "utopia." Contrary to myth, the Puritans did not establish religious freedom in this country. They established it for themselves but were not willing, at least during the early Colonial Period, to grant that freedom to others.
Only men who were church members could vote and not every man could join the church unless he could prove he was one of the Calvinist "elect." Try to be a Quaker or worse, a Catholic, and move into Boston in the 1640s!
The Puritans were a "Christian" society and very narrow in their definition of what that means. The civil and criminal laws were often based on the Old Testament and called for the death penalty for blasphemy, adultery, homosexuality, or even too much talking back to your parents. Some Puritans who took more moderate views were run out of Massachusetts.
A more radical version is Christian Reconstructionism. It published The Institutes of Biblical Law. John Rushdooney, a Calvinist theologian, advocated for a nation where the laws of the Hebrew Bible are literally enforced: the death penalty for adultery, homosexuality, and blasphemy.
The preachers who have recently made the news by calling for the death penalty for gays are in this category. What is interesting is that at least some only want to execute gay men since the Bible does not specifically say to kill lesbians. One wonders what THAT is all about!
Many Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionist believe that Christianity and democracy are "incompatible" and favor a theocracy where the only participation in government would be people who believe as he does. He even advocates the reintroduction of slavery, since that is in the Bible!
The British colonies, and many of the states after independence, had religious tests for holding office. In some states, you could not serve if you were Catholic or Jewish (there is a strong element of anti-Catholicism in American history as well as in the agenda of many Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionists).
Today's Christian Dominionists, like the Puritans, frequently subscribe to a very narrow Calvinist theology in which a few are the "elect" and the rest of us are the "damned." They believe they can make America a Christian country again (in spite of the fact that we were never a Christian country).
Ted Cruz, the last to drop out of the GOP race in favor of Trump, was actually more dangerous than Trump to the doctrine of separation of church and state. Cruz had close personal and political ties to the Christian Dominionist movement although he was too savvy politically to draw attention to it.
The Founders envisioned a society where church and state would be separated. There is no "religious test" to hold office. Government cannot endorse or fund any religion while allowing the greatest freedom of exercise in the democratic world. This heritage has been beneficial to both government and religion. Let's keep it that way.
(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, taxpayer, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)

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Never at a loss for words — Used book sale is a reflection of the community

Never at a Loss for Words....
Submitted by Katie Small of Bayswater Books

There has been a great deal of sorting, alphabetizing, and organizing used books around Bayswater lately as we prepare to hold our third annual used book sale. Over the past year, thousands of pre-loved books have come through our doors by way of donations; some older, some newer, some fiction, some non-fiction, some hardcover and some paperback. All will end up in the same place from Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 24 – on sale, awaiting crowds of browsing readers on our porch.
Bayswater's used book sale donates a portion of its profits to the Meredith Altrusa Literacy Fund; a local non-profit organization that provides books, reading services and financial assistance to libraries and school reading programs throughout the Lakes Region. We are very pleased to be able to make this donation to such a worthy cause. The sale does more than provide an avenue to sell books, however. It has become a Center Harbor community summer event, a date to mark down on the calendar, and an opportunity to stock up on books for a fraction of the usual cost while taking part in a taste of what makes this area such an inviting place to be.
You see, the individuals in our community are just as different and unique as the used books that they will purchase, and they come from just as many places. Our porch will host customers who are wise with age, some who have just learned to walk, some with summer homes who come back to our community in the warm months, and others who live locally year-round. They will be joined by individuals just beginning to enjoy books, some who are fervent readers, some who have one particular author that they cannot live without, and others who are seeking a new genre or literary challenge. This giant sale is a reflection of our community – supported by the community.
If you are in the neighborhood from July 22 through 24, you are almost certain to find your next read, but in addition, you may just receive a small dose of what it means to be a part of the community of people who donated these thousands of books, helping to create this affordable summer event. For more information, call us at  603-253-8858 and as always, you can check us out at and on facebook. The sale starts at 9:30 a.m.!

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Lakes Region booming over the Fourth!

By FRANK ROCHE, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc.

Some say it was the weather, while others said it's an improving economy and lower gas prices. No matter what position you take, there is one thing that's certain, our Lakes Region enjoyed impressive crowds over the long Fourth of July weekend. My take on it is that the Lakes Region has evolved into a premiere summer destination market, which draws from a larger demographic audience each year.

As I drove around the Lakes Region distributing our real estate magazine, I was so impressed with the quantity and quality of events and activities taking place over the big weekend. I was seeing license plates from numerous states, with families out completely immersed in all of the wonderful activities our Lakes Region offers.

I stopped at Gunstock Mountain Resort and could not believe the parking lot, it looked like the middle of ski season. Cars were extended out beyond the main parking area and there were long lines of families leading into the ticket office, purchasing passes for Gunstock's popular zip lines, aerial tree top adventure park, Segway tours and children's Discover Zone. There were mountain bikers and the campground was completely full. Additionally, there was a major craft fair, with all sorts of handmade offerings on display. The new Landing Zone outdoor restaurant was full of tourists overlooking the Discover Zone, while zip liners were flying past overhead. I took a look at the new state of the art mountain coaster, which is nearing completion, and I was amazed to think of Gunstock has accomplished. The Mountain Coaster at a cost of approximately $2.6 million will be another major attraction and draw for the Lakes Regions premiere resort property.

Greg Goddard the General Manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort has done a phenomenal job in bringing Gunstock to the level that it is at today. His vision and execution has been spot on. He has taken what was once primarily a winter resort, into a year round, first class family destination. Greg's vision and implementation could not be possible without the quality, hardworking employees he surrounds himself with at Gunstock. The resort has brought families off the lake and tied them into the outdoor adventure experience that so many of us are looking for. It is truly a first class operation and provides an economic boost to the Lakes Region.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to take in a Keith Urban concert at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion. The Saturday show was a huge success, where he sold out, and on Sunday the event was nearly sold out, too. As I looked around the amphitheater, I saw thousands of cheering and happy fans, enjoying a world-class concert. I saw license plates all the way from California coming into the venue and I talked to two couples from Toronto, Canada, who were taking in their 126th Keith Urban concert. They absolutely loved the Lakes Region facility and I was completely blown away to see how far they traveled. I have got to say that Bob Harding, the developer of Meadowbrook must be looking down from the heavens with a big smile on his face, because he sure created one fabulous cultural facility that has been a tremendous draw to the area.

When I drove through Meredith, there were lines coming out of the town docks and children waiting to get ice cream. There were 6,000 rubber ducks that were launched from the top of the waterfall, at Meredith Mills Falls for the 26th annual Lions Club rubber duck race. There were 100s of boats floating on Meredith Bay enjoying the fireworks, similar to what you saw in Laconia at Opechee park for a huge Fourth of July celebration. In Wolfeboro, tons of boaters at the town docks milled around the oldest summer resort in America and there were waiting lines in the many restaurants and pubs throughout the entire Lakes Region. Going through Weirs Beach, the parking lots were overflowing and the beach was completely full of tourists enjoying wonderful summer heat. Likewise, at Ellacoya State Beach in Gilford and Wellington State Park on Newfound Lake.

The Lakes Region's 273 lakes, ponds and rivers offer so much to explore, with our unspoiled towns, villages and myriad of hiking trails webbed across our old velvet hills. It's not just our natural resources that make up the Lakes Region. It's the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere which we here in our beautiful Lakes Region and the multitude of events and activities that keep drawing families back year after year.


Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia and can be reached at 603-279-7046.

07-09 Wolfeboro waterfront

The Wolfeboro waterfront. (Courtesy photo)

07-09 Keith Urban

Keith Urban played two shows at the Bank of New Hampshire pavilion last weekend. (Courtesy photo)

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