The true tale of Trooper: the most popular fowl in the citySubmitted by The Concord Insider on January 23, 2007 - 7:00pm.
Above: Hope Butterworth (left) and Jean Tessier pose with a nonchalant Trooper during the handoff in 2004.
While engaged in research for the winter guide, we stumbled upon a dramatic tale of heroism and rescue. To be sure, the story was two years old, but no one else had it. We dug deeper. During a recent visit with the recreation folks, who have a nice view of White Park, by the way, we got the story from director Carolyn Tracy bit by bit, in between skating and sledding tips. In early December 2004, the pond at White Park began to freeze. The wild ducks had long since flown away, leaving one domestic-looking little guy doing his solitary laps. Days passed. Ice thickened, spreading from the edges inward. The phone calls began, Tracy said, and so did the visits from concerned passers-by. The temperature continued to drop. (You’ll have to just imagine the background music.) Finally, one afternoon, Tracy called the fire department, but firefighters pronounced the ice too thin to walk on, she said. ‘The duck will get itself out,’ she remembers them saying. But they didn’t know this duck. Tracy called the city manager’s office and told her sad story to administrative assistant Jean Tessier. Hours passed. “By evening, I said, ‘I’m going to catch this duck,’ ” Tracy said. She went home and brought back a fish net, pulled on a pair of waders. (In case your imagination fails we’ve provided you with a picture.) A neighbor who’d been in on the duck-rescue efforts gave her a pair of gloves. “It was cold,” Tracy said. She and fellow recreationalist David Gill pulled their cars up to the pond and turned their headlights on. Tracy grabbed a pair of skis from her car to use as ice breakers and began clearing a path for the duck to swim to her. Then she busted out the bread, but in vain: “I never did catch him,” she said. The rescuers went home cold and discouraged. But by morning, hope had arrived – straight from the General Services department. “The city manager had called . . . and told them to save the duck,” Tracy said. And they did, dragging a rope across the pond, occasionally snapping it, to run him out. “They must’ve done this before,” Tracy said. Once on dry land, he was captured in an empty grain sack and brought to Tracy’s office. “They said, ‘The duck’s downstairs, what do you want to do with it?’ I called Jean and said, ‘What do we do with it?’ ” Tessier had just the place in mind – a haven run by the city’s friend to all those who are homeless. On the way to Hope Butterworth’s house, Trooper got his name from an admiring Tessier. When they arrived at Trooper’s new home, Tracy said, Butterworth ushered all three of them into the kitchen. “I thought, my goodness, this is the place for Trooper – somebody who will bring him in,” she said. She sounded a little wistful, if you ask us. Tessier’s since retired and moved away, and Tracy’s lost touch with Trooper. She’d been wondering how he was making out in his new digs, so we decided to do a little investigative journalism. We called Butterworth, who told us to come on over. She took us out to the barn, where we found Trooper running with a gang of chickens, roosters, a duck and a goose. He looked pretty happy, if you ask us. Butterworth said Trooper had gotten pretty tight with the other duck, and they did seem to have a strong relationship – waddling together, even going off into a corner to huddle at one point. Butterworth told us something else, as well, something that Tracy and Tessier might find a little more interesting. Trooper, it seems, is a girl.
Meet Sai, the Renaissance manSubmitted by The Concord Insider on January 23, 2007 - 6:56pm.
Sai Shyamsundar, 11, of Penacook is the newest 1st degree junior black belt at Penacook School Karate.
Says Grandmaster Matt Brown (sweet title), Sai moved to the United States with his family from India in 2002. Brown said Sai attends Penacook Elementary and also plays basketball, piano and clarinet.
Brown shared excerpts from Sai’s essay (a black belt requirement): “During these years of learning Karate I’ve learnt self-discipline, concentration and perseverance. . . .
“There were many days when all I wanted to do was watch cartoons, but my parents forced me to go to karate. Now I know why they wanted me to go. If I were still at home sitting around I wouldn’t have made it this far.”
Dick Osborne of NHTI sent this photo to us. He wrote: New Hampshire Technical Institute held a traditional pinning ceremony on Jan. 11 for 19 new graduates of its Practical Nursing program. The graduates, who finished their 12-month program of study in December, are eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, passage of which earns them the professional title of Licensed Practical Nurse.
The Class of 2006 was represented by the presentations of class speakers Candy Gottschalk and Maureen Nelson, and a slideshow highlighting the year, produced by graduate Karen Hadlock. Class member Christine Thibeault was presented with the Award of Excellence for her outstanding academic and clinical performance.
Under the bridgeSubmitted by The Concord Insider on January 16, 2007 - 8:26pm.
Erin Placey of the American Friends Service Committee sent us this photo she took under the Loudon Road bridge recently.
'A minor miracle'Submitted by The Concord Insider on January 2, 2007 - 7:47pm.
When the Concord Insider put out a call for holiday family photos, Carrie Duval helped out as best she could. Said Duval in an e-mail:
I don't have a specific "holiday" gathering, but my aunt's 90th birthday party was close to Thanksgiving, and it provided my family the opportunity to celebrate her life and come together for a rare reunion. The whole family flew to Florida from all across the United States for her party on Nov. 18. She lives in Palm Bay, Fla., with her son and his wife, Roger and Rhonda Pszonowsky.
The birthday girl is in the second row from the front, dressed in green: Dorothy (Dennett) Pszonowsky Hayward. Her children: Roger Pszonowsky and wife Rhonda, Mike Pszonowsky and wife Bea, and Susan Gibson and husband John. Some of the extended family members include Michele, Peter, Gabe, Laura, and Jake Pszonowsky; Gordon and Peter French; Julie French; Stephen French; Andrea Casper; Kendra Miller; Mr. & Mrs. Ron Hayward; John and Carrie Duval and Jeff and John Dennett.
The Hill/McNamara family on vacation years ago.
In the 1960's and 1970's, we used to vacation all over the Northeast, and New England was a favorite destination.
Pictured left to right:
My grandmother Helen Hill, me (George Vreeland Hill), my sister Diane, Ruth McNamara, my brother Nelson, and my mother Dorothy.
My mom always loved to cook.
Check out a favorite recipe (in the recipe section) she used to make when we kids were growing up!
Oh Henry Bars!!
L-R back: Patricia and William Shearer Darcy,Concord, NH; Alice and David Shearer; Marjorie Shearer and Gregory Neubauer with Caboose.
front: Peter Shearer with Buck, Ian Gallagher Shearer (5 weeks), Daniel Gallagher.
We celebrated the adoption of Baby Ian, who, with Peter, Dan,and Buck traveled from NYC.