LACONIA – American Legion Post #1 paid homage to the memory of a post leader Saturday morning with an event near and dear to their late friend’s heart: a horseshoe tournament.
With clinking and clanking and sounds of metal striking metal and plenty of good-natured kidding, men and women flung the 2 pounders with careful abandon in an event sponsored by the post’s Sons of the American Legion.
The tourney has been known for years as the Pete Sevigney tournament, but former SAL Commander Kip Guay passed away recently and members chose to pay homage to their late go-to guy by adding his name to the tournament.
Many in attendance were seasoned veterans of the friendly competition, but Paige Morrill and his wife Becky were first time participants who knew Kip Guay and arrived from Ashland to take part.
Numerous members of Guay’s family were also in attendance and spoke proudly of the honor of his naming. Joanne Guay, Kip’s widow, smiled brightly at the honor. “He loved horsehoes,” she said. “He had played them his whole life.”
Sixteen-year-old Kianna Ricketts is Guay’s granddaughter and was quietly pleased to be where her grandfather was honored. “This is really nice,” said the Essex Tech student. “It shows that people cared.”
Rich Paquin Sr., who succeeded Guay as commander, remembered him as a man who got things done.
After an hour of horseshoe tossing, participants and spectators took a break, enjoying a fare of grilled burgers and hot dogs, and several people mentioned the competition being named after a friend.
Norm Laramie of Laconia was a lifelong friend of Guay’s. “He was a great guy, I’m going to miss him a lot,” Laramie said. “He did a lot for the Sons of the Legion. When there was something that needed to be done, he was always there to help.”
“He would love to know that he is remembered,” said Tara Provencal.
Paquin referenced the “Start Your Summer Right” slogan on the event’s poster. “That tells the story,” he said. “We wanted to make today a special event for him. He always wanted to be helping out.”
After a hearty lunch, the participants picked up their horseshoes and went back to work…..err play.
“After a bit of weather threat, this day has turned out very well,” Paquin said. “It is a good day. We’ll definitely do another one. Next year will be even bigger.”