Sean Hurley

North Country Reporter

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam.  An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio.  When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains.

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NH News
2:58 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

"Sailor Jerry" Ad Man Turns To History-Rich Tamworth For Whiskey Distillery

David Grasse outside the Tamworth Distllery.
Sean Hurley

Norman Collins was famous for tattooing sailors. He hopped trains as a kid, joined the Navy, and set up an ink shop in Honolulu where he earned the nickname "Sailor Jerry".  When he died in 1973, he had no idea that one day there'd be a spiced rum with his name on it.

"Here's to life outside the lines. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum."

In 1999, Steve Grasse helped turn Sailor Jerry the man into Sailor Jerry the brand.

"Sailor Jerry is a huge hit."

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Arts & Culture
4:29 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Dinner In The Dark Serves Up A Taste Of Living With Blindness

John Heckman (left) says he's at the dinner to experience what his father does.
Sean Hurley

When you sit down to eat, you probably don’t think much about hand-eye coordination. Try eating without being able to see, though, and that changes.  I recently ate a meal blindfolded at an event held by the NH Association for the Blind at Giuseppe’s restaurant in Meredith.

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Arts & Culture
3:50 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

The Real Dead Poets Society

Walter Skold in the "Poemobile".
Sean Hurley

Since 2009, Walter Skold has been traveling the country visiting the graves of deceased poets. Skold, from Freeport Maine, is the founder of the Dead Poets Society of America. He recently came to New Hampshire to find two graves and to participate in the Dead Poets Remembrance Day at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord.  

In the bright leaves of the Hopkinton Cemetery, Walter Skold sets a movie camera on a tripod and begins to film the gravestone of the poet Joel Oppenheimer.

"I found this one in 3 minutes and 58 seconds today!"

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Arts & Culture
3:40 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

The Beethoven Machine: Can A Computer Compose The Music Of The Future?

Composer Greg Wilder
Sean Hurley

What will the music of the future sound like? New Hampshire Composer Greg Wilder doesn't know yet, but as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports, the Warren resident is hoping to build the machine that writes it.

Greg Wilder and his wife Alison Conard are composers and computer programmers. Together in their log home in Warren they design websites for artists.

But music is at the heart of everything they do and music is the first thing Greg Wilder can remember.

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Inside NHPR
10:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

The Perils Of Listening: A Drive-Away Moment

Just how spooky can a gas pump hose be? Find out.
Credit Mike Mozart via Flickr CC/Filtered on Instagram

We talk all the time about the upside of listening to NHPR, but as you'll hear, there are perils, too. 

Sean Hurley tells the story of what happened to one listener who got sucked into a NHPR story while sitting in her car at a gas station. It all ends well, but it got a little hairy there for a minute. 

Take a listen, and then support NHPR (if you dare):

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Word of Mouth
3:33 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

The New Hampshire Highland Games

North Country
5:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Godzilla Lives In New Hampshire

Godzilla and the Boy
Sean Hurley

Godzilla is 17 feet tall and resides in a cave-like trailer in Dorchester, New Hampshire.  He comes out on New Moons when the sky's at its darkest. 

The boy sat in the back seat and the two old people - his parents - sat up front.

Do you remember where we're going?
To see Godzilla!

The boy was going to see Godzilla who lived at the top of a nearly treeless hill at the end of a long dirt road.

It's like we're driving over the moon...

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Arts & Culture
8:54 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Inside J.D. Salinger's House

The loft Salinger slept in when he first moved in.
Sean Hurley

J.D. Salinger was famously private - and his privacy was often famously invaded - by photographers, journalist, curiosity seekers, film makers. 

That Salinger lived in Cornish is well known.  Less well known is that Salinger had two homes in Cornish.  The first house he lived in for 14 years sits on the hill behind the second.  It recently came on the market and I went to talk to its owner about her home - and about her long time neighbor, J.D. Salinger.

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North Country
1:43 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Counting Loons On Lake Winnipesaukee

Biologist Melisa Leszik steers the boat while LPC Director Harry Vogel looks for loons.
Sean Hurley

Every year the Loon Preservation Committee does a count of NH's loons on Lake Winnipesaukee.  I decided to go out on the lake with them to find out how the loons are doing.

The Director of the Loon Preservation Committee, Harry Vogel, leads me down a forest path toward a boat slip on the northern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee. We'll be touring the lake looking for loons in advance of the population census later in the week. Within moments - maybe it's unavoidable - we're talking about On Golden Pond, which Vogel had just re-watched.

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NH News
9:31 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Hernandez Says She Suffered 'Acts Of Unspeakable Violence' During Kidnapping

Credit Conway Police Department

 

Abigail Hernandez is asking for privacy and "time and space" to heal according to a brief statement issued on Tuesday by one of her attorneys, Michael L. Coyne. 

While few details have emerged since the North Conway teenager returned home on July 20th after a 9 month absence, the statement does finally clarify the nature of her ordeal: "Abby was violently abducted by a stranger.  For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence."

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North Country
1:30 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

N.H. Summer Camp Devoted To 'Writing Up The Mountains'

Kayleigh writes at the summit of Indian Head.
Sean Hurley

When you think of summer camp, you might think of games, crafts, sing-alongs or maybe canoes. But NHPR’s Sean Hurley paid a visit to another kind of summer camp, one devoted to hiking and writing.

We've only just started up the trail to Indian Head, but already 16 year old Brandi is having trouble breathing.

"Tired.  Really tired.  I don't really like having asthma.  It weakens me.  I was down there and I almost threw up."

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Arts & Culture
3:09 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Magnificently Easy - 10 Family-Friendly Walks in N.H.

Steve Smith on the Pine Island Trail.
Sean Hurley

There's no shortage of advice if you want to hike the rugged trails of the White Mountains. But there aren't many guides for those interested in the gentler, family friendly paths that cut through our forests. NHPR's Sean Hurley recently took a walk in the woods with New Hampshire trail expert Steve Smith to compile a list of 10 magnificent - and magnificently easy - wilderness walks.

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NH News
2:59 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Woolly Mammoths in N.H.? Yes!

Dr. Fred Prince and the woolly mammoth tooth.
Bruce Lyndes Plymouth State University

While woolly mammoth specimens have been discovered in Vermont and Maine, there's never been a confirmed finding in New Hampshire.  Until now.  NHPR's Sean Hurley has more.

In 2004, PSU Biology Professor Fred Prince was out hunting arrowheads in Campton when he found - and unkowingly discarded - a woolly mammoth tooth.  When he learned of his mistake a decade later, he vowed to find another and in April of this year, in an old gravel pit in Thornton, he got lucky.

"The specimen was just sticking above the surface of the ground." 

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North Country
1:59 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The Secrets Of Neighbors & The Helicopter In The Barn

What my neighbors see.
Credit Sam Hurley

Today, Here & Now broadcast one of our favorite stories by Sean Hurley, in which he discovers more than he expected about his neighbors. 

They are everywhere. We are surrounded by them.  You are probably one yourself.  Of the range of people you can know in the world, the neighbor occupies a curious spot.  As Sean Hurley writes, here in New Hampshire we have our own special kind of neighbor...and sometimes, they have helicopters.

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North Country
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Who Lived In N.H. 12,000 Years Ago?

A stone's throw from the Jefferson 6 dig site, an iron bed sinks into the grass.
Sean Hurley

Since 1996, the State Archeologist Dick Boisvert has led excavations at sites in Jefferson, uncovering tools and stone shards that tell the story of the Paleo-Indian people who lived in New Hampshire 12,000 years ago.  

By the road is an antique bed frame half-sunk in the dirt. 12,000 years from now a future archeologist may dig it up and speculate that we people of the 21st century liked to sleep under the stars on iron beds - and maybe never guess that the old frame was simply a lawn decoration for a local bed and breakfast.

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