The Entertaining Family of New Hampshire’s Alex Philbrick aka Preston

I hope that my readers have been following this season’s American Idol television show.  It is not often that a New Hampshire resident can be found placing so prominently in the entertainment field.  And no, I have not forgotten the likes of New Hampshirites Tommy Makem, Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith), Mandy Moore, or Tom RushAlex Preston (birth name Philbrick) is more than talented enough to join this illustrious group, even if he may not have actually been born in New Hampshire, just raised here. Let’s claim him as our own either way.

Photograph of Alex Philbrick aka Preston from American Idol web site

Photograph of Alex Philbrick aka Preston from American Idol web site

As of this past Wednesday, Alex remained within the group of six contestants.  Since each week one contestant is eliminated, in a few days we will know if he continues with the competition for another week.  His songs have been selling well on iTunes (I have purchased three of them myself) demonstrating a much larger audience than those who tune in to watch the show.  Whether Alex goes on to win, or not, he has already proven himself to be a great singer and unassuming showman.

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New Hampshire and the Easter Bonnet

I am not making a claim that New Hampshire invented the ‘Easter Bonnet.’   Easter PostcardHead-gear has been worn by women as far back as the Middle Ages, and probably much earlier in both cold and warm climates. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to think that when the weather became milder, that women would exchange their heavy hats for lighter, prettier ones. Exactly when the wearing a special bonnet for Easter became popular, is completely unknown.

In 1821 the Burnap sisters of Merrimack, New Hampshire were making and promoting beautiful “Leghorn Bonnets” out of local grasses.  However, even though their father was a minister, I found  nothing that specifically connects these hats to the Easter season.
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New Hampshire Missing Places: Antlers Tea Room, Wonalancet

I came across a series of postcards–”The Antlers Tea Room, Wonalancet, N.H.” they read.  One shows a rustic log cabin in a clearing, the second apparently the inside of the wonalancet tea room advertisementsame building with a collection of thin, antique furniture, a lamp and a stone fireplace.  A guitar rests on one of the wooden benches.  As for the ‘antlers’ part of the name, one of the chairs in the photograph appears to have pokey antler arm rests.  Possibly the unseen remainder of the room had actual antlers hanging on the walls.

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Merrimack New Hampshire Poet and Author: Hannah Eayrs Barron (1809-1891)

IT IS FIRST RATE TO BE A YANKEE

Mrs. Hannah Eayrs Barron, poet and writer, born Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. New Hampshire on 24 November 1809. Photograph from her book of poetry.

Mrs. Hannah Eayrs Barron, poet and writer, born Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. New Hampshire on 24 November 1809. Photograph from her book of poetry.

That we are yankees is first rate,
And natives of the Granite State;
We love this place as well we may,
So near the banks of Nashua.
By and by comes vacation,
Then we’ll have more recreation.

This term of school we’ve all enjoyed,
Our time it has been well employed;
We’ve learned to read and learned to spell,
And aimed to say our lessons well.
By and by comes vacation,
Then we’ll have more recreation.

We know our parents will be glad.
For we can count and we can add;
We multiply and we divide,
Much to the credit of our guide.
By and by comes vacation,
Then we’ll have more recreation.

We hope to shun all naughty ways,
And learn some new thing every day;
The hill of science we will climb,
As fast as we have strength of mind.
By and by comes vacation,
Then we’ll have more recreation.
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Now gloomy winter shews his hoary head . . .

bird with berryon winter

Now gloomy winter shews his hoary head,
And nature’s face is with confusion spread;
Stern Boreas rambles forth with blust’ring sweep,
T’ explore the continent, and storm the deep:
A while he ranged with despotic sway,
Till vanquish’d by the genial lamp of day.
The forest now appears with rueful mien,
The groves display a like ungrateful scene:
No chearful verdure beautifies the field,
Nor can the vales their wonted odours yield:
The open lawns, with each dilated plain,
No semblance of their former bloom retain.
Now humid vapours, fogs and mists arise,
Which choak the air, and shade th’ envelopt skies;
Impetuous rains in fable streams descend,
And various meteors in the aether blend:
The rapid floods, which from the mountains pour,
With voice like thunder thro’ the vallies roar:
Whilst echo does the noisy din provoke,
And joins the discord from each vocal rock.
The silver ponds now shine in glittering mail,
And frozen clouds discharge the pattering hail;
A coverlead of fleecy snow o’erspread
The towering hills, and cloathes the naked meads.
No warblers now chant forth their sprightly strains,
Nor with soft notes divert the list’ning swains;
No pleasing object entertains the fight;
Nor rural walks nor sylvan shades invite:
No more we trace the mazes of the grove,
Tho’ once our calm retreat, and seat of love;
But now, with brisk wood fire and nut brown ale;
In friendly social mirth, ourselves regale.

New-Hampshire Gazette, Portsmouth NH; 12-24-1756, Issue 12, Page 3

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