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‘Laffy’ Gosselin, according to his neighbors, was a genius

To The Daily Sun,

We saw the letter from Michelle Monahan of Florida today (Saturday, Aug. 20) and thought we ought to answer it.

We own the house that Lafayette A. Gosselin and his wife Anne built in Meredith, beginning in about 1957.

While we never met "Laffy," we know he passed away in 1980, and his wife decided to sell the house and move to Florida to be close to their daughter. They also had a son. We never met Laffy, or his son, or his daughter, but we have a bunch of second-hand stories passed along to us by various neighbors who did know him. We bought their house on Winnipesaukee in September 1980.

Lafayette A. Gosselin, according to neighbors, was a "genius." He built things. He supposedly was a weather technician on top of Mount Washington. He built the house himself, with a little help from his friends. We speculate that he may have been 30 (days) on/30 off on the mountain, so he had time for projects. Neighbors said he built his own boat, a launch.

The original house was built in 1957 and expanded later by adding an enclosed front porch, an exterior concrete porch and patio, a well-head shed, and in 1971 when he retired, a breezeway and attached two-car garage.

He was also a ham radio operator. We found antennas in the attic and there was a 40-foot antenna tower in front that was removed just before we bought the house. There was a CB base station antenna so he could use CB radio on the lake. The TV had a giant rotor antenna.

He used the garage for his workshop, and after he retired he reportedly built grandfather clocks, which he sold at the house. We still have his router table and workbench, plus we have various old pieces of wood that may have been destined for future clocks. We vaguely recall seeing one or two of his clocks when we were originally shown the house. One of our New Hampshire neighbors might still have one.

Then there's my "twilight zone" moment — somehow I was destined to buy this house. Way back in the 1960s when I was in high school in Minnesota, stereo was the new big thing. I built my own from kits and my own designs, took them to science fairs, There was an article in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics about how to build a stereo cabinet for turntable, records, amplifier, etc. In the back of the mag you could send away to the author to get plans for his home-built stereo amplifier. I wrote away for the plans, in my memory it was L.A. Gosselin in New Hampshire, and included his address and ham radio call sign. I was about 15, and had just gotten my novice ham radio license. So, I built my own stereo cabinet, motivated by his article, for my parent's living room. When we moved into the New Hampshire house, Anne had left behind some stuff, including Laffy's cabinet, turntable, and amp. I recognized them after a month or so. I was absolutely shocked.

When my parents sold their Minnesota house, we brought my stereo cabinet to New Hampshire and had both of them. Thus I've always felt we have had his "permission" to modify and improve the house as we have done over the years.

I don't know if there are any family or friends who knew the Gosselins (who are) still around, but this might help with Michelle's quest.

Maury Stauffer


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America is great, and with your help can be greater still

To The Daily Sun,

First, hat's off to Alyssa Ball on your successful race at Alton Old Home Days. Your determination and positive attitude is an inspiration to us all. Second, Kudos to your parents and sister Alex for their love and support. I don't know any of you but I suspect there are a lot of smiles, love and laughter in your home in spite of your challenges. And third, thanks to Todd Welch for telling us about Alyssa's victory and your positive message which was such a welcome change to the naysayers and negative voices we so often see in our daily paper.

Let's not kid ourselves. As individuals and as a society, we have problems and challenges we need to take on. The opioid drug crisis here and elsewhere is devastating people's lives. That more than half of our local children qualify for free or reduced price meals is, to me, unacceptable. Homelessness and the current health care system need to be addressed. War, famine, drought, disease and devastation are claiming lives across the globe. The list of problems and challenges we face locally, statewide, across our nation, and throughout the world is long and at times overwhelming and sometimes seemingly hopeless. But here is the good news.

Fortunately, there are many individuals and organizations dedicated to making things better. Those who are involved with and support the Got Lunch! program are helping to ensure that our kids are getting nutritious meals and not going hungry.

Numerous social services agencies are helping those in need. Our law enforcement and emergency responders are making our neighborhoods better and safer places to life. The Santa Fund is outfitting hundreds of children each year with new warm winter clothes. The Laconia Area Community Land Trust just opened Rivers Edge as their latest project to provide affordable housing for all who need and deserve it. These are just a few of the countless organizations and individuals who work tirelessly to make things better for our seniors, our children, our veterans, our neighbors and all citizens of this great country we live in.

They spend their time taking action and creating positive solutions to our challenges instead of spending time writing letters to the editor criticizing, blaming, shaming, whining, fault-finding and preaching. It's worth pointing out to those of you who continuously spew your negativity and criticism, that you accomplish nothing in doing so. Those who agree with you will still agree. And those with different beliefs, principles and attitudes will only become more steadfast in their disagreement and opposition. I have no doubt that you will continue to write and you will continue to make no difference whatsoever.

It is difficult in the current political climate, and with where we are in the election cycle to speak of anything without it coming across as political. But the view I am wanting to share is not a political message. Regardless of whether you are right wing, left wing or anywhere in between, can we agree to put our efforts into making things better as opposed to trash-talking and criticizing others? Can you decide that you want to be an active part of the solutions and not the problems? Can you commit to contribute to rather than contaminate the efforts being taken to improve our society and the quality of lives? Can you truly see, be grateful for, and celebrate all that is good instead of being mired in the muck of negativity? Can we recognize, appreciate, be grateful for, and support the many positive initiatives being taken to make this a better community and a better world?

Alyssa, her family, Todd Welch and many others teach us a lot, if we're willing to listen and learn. My hat's off to them and the many other men, women and children who make this community, this country and our world great and on our way together to be greater still.

Paul Charlton

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