Forum: Feb. 11: Save the Historic Grantham Farmhouse

Saturday, February 10, 2018
Save the Historic Grantham Farmhouse

I need to express my outrage over what the Gray Ledges Condominium Association is proposing to do, or not do, to the historic building that it had promised to take care of (“Condo Association Asks to Raze Historic Grantham Farmhouse,” Feb. 4).

I was present at the meetings when Gray Ledges promised to maintain and preserve the historic brick building. That was one of the reasons that this condo development was allowed to come into Grantham. Now that the building has deteriorated, Peter Guillette, president of the Gray Ledges Condominium Association, says it would cost over $500,000 to fix it. And nobody is willing to spend that kind of money because it would be a financial hardship.

I agree with Sheridan Brown that the condo association should have made Earl Thompson, the condominium developer, do what he had promised to do and maintain the building. Thompson’s excuse that he couldn’t get the same kind of bricks to restore the building is like listening to a man trying to sell you a three-legged horse.

How convenient for the condo association that it can have someone just take away the historic bricks. Are they going to sell them? Maybe they can make enough money to put up a new building in place of the one that they are ripping apart.

If this building is allowed to be torn down and never replaced then can every Planning Board rule in Grantham just be ignored? Can people with land in conservation use now slap in a trailer park because they can’t afford to keep their land open? Or does this suggested amendment just pertain to condo associations with a bevy of high priced lawyers?

Do not let an amendment to the site plan approval pass. We should never allow our historic buildings to be just torn down. Stand up for historic buildings in our town, make people follow the rules and have pride in our town. I urge our Planning Board, our Selectboard and the people of Grantham to please not allow this to happen.

Cindy Towle


Trump Is Missing the Message

Does Trump have any sense of moral leadership? Jennifer Rubin’s op-ed piece (“With Bannon Gone, We Can See Trumpism For What it Really Is,” Jan. 11) underscores Trump’s cult of personality: “His only ‘genius’ is in manipulating and conning those looking to justify grievances (usually based on race).”

A chronicle of Trump’s recent statements about immigration and protests affirms his callousness. He shows a decades-long history of insults and discrimination against ethnic groups and protesters: He discouraged renting to African-Americans in the 1970s, disparaged Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” criticized the protests by prominent African-Americans as being unpatriotic, and denigrated immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries.

Responding only to actions of protesters, Trump misses what is most important, which is the message, rather than the act itself. If he had a historical perspective, he might see San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality as a continuation of past protests: Rosa Parks sitting in the back of the bus, U.S. track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their black-gloved fists in a Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He might also recall famous black entertainers and athletes, like Ray Charles and Jackie Robinson, who sought to break down barriers of discrimination.

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis reminded us that, “Those who won our independence ... valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

Bob Scobie


Respite Care Is a Blessing

We are truly blessed to have the Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice Good Day Respite Program, which meets twice weekly in New London and once a week in Lebanon.

Respite care provides both the patient and the caregiver a change of pace, and is especially important if you are a full-time caregiver. It is also great for the Alzheimer’s patient because it gives the person a chance to be with a group and to socialize at a different and more comfortable pace, with no judgment, while going through the various stages of the disease. The program is led by incredible and well-trained staff, as well as local volunteers. There is music, art, food, crafts, chores, games, jokes, laughter and lots of TLC. For a few hours, all is good.

As Erma Bombeck wrote, “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.” For me, that pretty much sums up the Respite Program’s professionals and volunteers.

Gail Matthews

Wilmot, N.H.

An Upsetting Super Bowl Sunday

It started out so normally. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. My husband, Al, makes that shrimp paté his sister taught him how to make in the 1960s. He gets dressed and goes out in a snowstorm for fun and games. I don’t understand sports, nor do I care to, so I stay home, make my baked wild salmon and watch a sitcom.

At 9 p.m. it’s bedtime. Al will be home soon. At 12:15 a.m. I wake up and look out the window for his car in the drive. Not there! Oh, well. Games often go on longer than expected. I check the TV. Yeah, game over. I mean, really over! He’ll be home soon from the 10-minute drive. But he’s not.

It’s late, but I call the host and get the answering machine. I call another friend — answering machine. Where’s Al? Shall I call 911? Shall I call the police? What deep ravine did he slide into?

I need an address to give to the police, so I go downstairs for it. Yes, Al’s door is closed, just like it was when he left seven hours ago. I open his door and turn on the light. There he is! Home in bed!

“Where’s your car?” I ask.

“Oh, I parked it down in the circle so the plowman could clear my space.”

“When did you get home?”

Sometime after 11. I decided to stay until the end. I’m sorry.”

I guess the night was upsetting for a lot of us, even if we didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

Karolyn Bowen

White River Junction