I know, I know, you thought I had vanished (or worse) since it has been 2 1/2 months (since 25 November 2015) that you have heard from me. I have no idea where my time goes. Most of it to my publication, THE WALPOLE CLARION, but time just goes away. Business is good, my projects are good, and LIFE IS GOOD (all things considered).

But, I have a friend with whom “I click.” Actually, I click with a couple wonderful folks, and ironically those folks are lovely married ladies (well, I do have a couple grand single lady friends – no, not that way, sorry – but who knows?).  Kathy and I did go “antiquing” in Laconia last month, and were overdue for another outing. Heading east towards Goffstown was talked about, but potential snow stopped that last week. Today we decided to do something, and trek north to Quechee, Vermont to visit antique centers there, and lunch at Simon Pearce. But crossing the Connecticut River, we instead turned south on US 5 instead of north due to the snowfall. No real plans other than lunch at the Farm Table in Bernardston. It became another grand day out.

SANTA’S LAND – Putney, Vermont. You know my love of the place, and the fun Alex has had there. FOR SALE sign in front for the first time, I just checked $450,000 – who is in with me? Entering Brattleboro on US 5 I mentioned Rudyard Kipling’s home there. Kathy did not know of it – so a U-Turn, and up into the hills. You may remember that BLUE BELLE and I visited there in June last year. Kathy was impressed, and the views and road were totally different without leaves and a covering of snow.

Driving through Brattleboro I asked, “so did you know the Estey Organs were made here?” I thought she knew everything old. “No, she replied.” Right turn, and there we were.


What amazes me is the number of factory buildings sided with slate. Kathy had never seen this either – amazing. Make sure you visit the Estey Organ Museum.

Heading out of Brattleboro on US 5 the next village is Guilford. Well, someone had told me I had to explore there, but on US 5 is only the old mill area. A right turn heading east changed all that. And with the spark of snow enhancing the scenery and views, it was magical.


Built in 1817, the CHRIST CHURCH has a commanding view looking east to the river and New Hampshire.

We then headed out Guilford Center Road to the west. Guilford is big – land wise ! And was this worth the trip entering the small crossroads. How can you not enjoy seeing colonial architecture totally unspoiled?


And, here is the meeting house. As I recall, it was here I was invited to (but did not make it due to the last minute invitation) to see a performance of Tourists Accommodated – I produced and directed this play a number of years ago, and consider that one of my best accomplishments.


Built in 1837, the stone with the plaque in front of the Guilford Center Meeting House commemorates the first president of Tufts University. Note the staircases crossing the front windows. I cannot wait to get inside this structure.

Then, across the street, I flipped out, seeing this sign in front of the Historical Society.


Alright Ray, who the …. is Royall Tyler. Well, his novel, THE ALGERINE CAPTIVE, was first published in Walpole at Isaiah Thomas’ press here in 1797, and became the first American novel ever republished in England. Royall moved to Guilford in 1791. I should have taken a 360 degree video from this spot – the country setting is amazing.

Then, more country back roads – yes, dirt under the snow. Following along streams, I should have taken pictures for you, but if I stopped the car it may have slid over the edge into the brook (or river – we had a discussion as to the definition of brook vs. stream vs. river) Answers please !!!

Arriving back on US 5 and “civilization” we headed south to Bernardston and Kringle Candle and the Farm Table Restaurant. CLOSED until February 11th. “Hey, Kathy, you want to wait, or head to the Deerfield Inn.”


I have stopped before for dinner on the way home from sojourns. Lunch was fantastic. Our server, Nicole S., was tremendous, food divine, but as Kathy pointed out the decorating is not Colonial as we would like, but….

Last minute decision to go to a few antique shops in Northampton that Mimsy and I had discovered in December. I wanted to show Kathy an $850 doll (she is a premier doll dealer in the US).  It was not to her liking, but the shop owner (of about 45 years) was a hoot, and a challenge, and did end up with a good number of C notes following Kathy’s discoveries and purchases.

Deadhead home then on I-91.  I have to get into the swing of travel again. I have had a back problem impinging on some nerves that have impacted on my leg strength and stamina. Another doctor appointment soon, and maybe I can get it resolved. But, the planning is beginning, and I hope I will have a great deal to share with you in 2016.

GOD BLESS, as always, yours, RAY




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  1. Charlie says:

    Ray, thanks for the GUilford highlights. I have to take a look! If the “leg strength” problem is with your left leg, you may have what I call Clutch Hip. Inflammation of the bursa over the hip joint. Just a thought!
    Best, Charlie

  2. Carolyn Norback says:

    lucky you and cathy getting away taking a breather of politics all the time. I’m full of envy.

  3. Chris Burchstead says:

    Where are the antique shops in Northampton? I love to go there, but have never seen any antique stores.

  4. heidimarie7 says:

    Nice reading about your latest adventures; and your photos, wow! Lovely. Thanks, Ray, always a pleasure. Prays for your hip! -Heidi

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