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Help us repair & maintain the Rowe House for future generations

To The Daily Sun,

Being a thrifty New Hampshire native, I am always glad when I can get a good deal when spending money. I think that shopping at the Gilford Farmers Market every Saturday morning (held on the grounds of the 1838 Rowe House from 9-12) is one of the best deals around.

I think of it as getting "two benefits for the price of one."

First, we get the benefit of buying home grown veggies, delicious goodies (cinnamon rolls that sell out way too early), unique pottery and many other items that our local vendors are selling.

I liked being able to have some of my kitchen knives sharpened, two of which go back to a family member who was using them in the early 1900s (they bring back happy memories as I use them). Being a thrifty Yankee, I am not about to throw something away just because it is old (or a bit dull).

Plus, there are special attractions. On Aug. 1 from 10-11 a.m., weather permitting, the Piccola Opera Company will be strolling the grounds, so I am looking forward to being able to enjoy the music. Most days, the 1838 Rowe House is open for tours (free).

It is a brick farmhouse that is furnished as a simple home, such as our grandparents or great grandparents might have lived in.

The second part of this "two for the price of one" is that the vendor's fees are going to help restore the 1838 Rowe House; the wood shake roof will be replaced, repair/repoint the chimneys and some of the brickwork that makes up the house, and improve the drainage on the east side of the building. The LCHIP grant of $26,000 enables us to start the process, but Gilford Historical Society still needs to raise approximately $13,000 to complete the repairs.

The Gilford Historical Society asks for everyone's help in spreading the word about the Gilford Famer's Market. Tell all your friends that they have the opportunity to buy their fresh veggies, homemade bread and rolls and other items directly from the farmers and vendors, cutting out the middleman. They also will indirectly be supporting the repairing of one of Gilford's treasures and maintaining the Rowe House so that the next generation will be able to visit this historical farmhouse to get a glimpse of how our ancestors lived.

Kathy Lacroix


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Laconia lucky to have local treasures like Joan & Larry Frates

To The Daily Sun,

Congratulations to Joan and Larry Frates. For 40 years they have given their time, endless talents and love to the Laconia community, especially to the children. They also raised three wonderful and successful children who all were completely at home in the studio or on the stage performing with their parents. The studio survived all the economic ups and downs of this area and the country. And everything was coaxed with a smile or one of Larry's jokes. That was their magic.

How do I know all this? Simple. I worked for and with them for 12 of the happiest years of my life. In 1989, when I first came to live in this area, by far the luckiest and loveliest thing that happened to me was getting to know Joan and Larry. I had just retired from 37 years of living and working in Boston, where I brought up my three sons and three stepchildren. All were grown and gone by 1989; I was free to take a watercolor class — something I always wanted to do — and also, if possible, find a dance studio that offered adult classes. Imagine my surprise, as I wandered through the Tavern Mini-Mall, at discovering both studios side-by-side. It seemed like fate. But no, it was lunch time. Both studios were closed. Of course I returned later and met Larry, who quickly assured me he didn't mind teaching a rank amateur, which I certainly was. And "yes", he said, "I do know who runs the dance school next door, she is my wife, Joan. And, yes, she has an adult class."

Thus began a wonderful, fun-filled, hard-working 12 years between the three of us. I had had many years of ballet training, dancing and teaching. When Joan discovered that, she offered me a part-time job teaching ballet, which I accepted. Larry offered his incredible knowledge of watercolor and other art, plus technical help, all sprinkled with laughter.

I learned so much from them.

Today there are probably thousands of adults who came under the care and influence of "Mister Frates" and "Ms. Janina", most of who, I bet, remember their experiences with great fondness.

Laconia does not realize how lucky it is to have not one but two local treasurers, as indeed I believe they are. I wish them both great joy in the years to come and send my love and thanks for all my memories.

Patsy Moore


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