Audio Postcards From Around the Granite State

Below is a collection of audio snapshots of some of New Hampshire's most memorable people, places and events.

NHPR's Audio Postcards were awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Best Documentary Category by the New Hampshire Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

This past weekend Concord played host to the first major pond hockey tournament of the season.  The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship is in its fourth year.  But it's said that the nation's first "organized" pond hockey game was played at St. Paul's School in Concord--back in 1883.  NHPR's Amanda Loder stopped by the event at White Park, and sends us this audio postcard.   

Taylor Quimby / NHPR

This past Saturday, I visited Durham New Hampshire for the 700 family yard sale, an annual fundraising event for the St.Thomas More Parish that’s been held every year for more than three decades. When I arrived, parking was scarce – and a crowd of a hundred people or so had already gathered to get a sneak-peek at the goods laid across dozens of tables. I joined the growing throng – and produced this audio postcard.

Sometimes, even thoughtful planning for the end of one's life can't foresee all the possible outcomes.

That was certainly the case for Reverend Canon Randy Dales of Wolfeboro, and his father-in-law. Canon Dales is a vocal advocate for the use of advance directives to maintain dignity in death, with his position formed by four decades of ministry and 30 years of work in a hospice he co-founded.

We continue our series on advance directives in New Hampshire with this audio postcard.

Other Stories In Our Series

Communities Celebrate Old Home Day

Aug 25, 2013
Sara Plourde / NHPR

August is the month when towns all over New Hampshire hold their Old Home Day festivals, featuring fair food, games, entertainment, and kid-friendly events.  Saturday was the big day for Pembroke, south of Concord. 

Pat Fowler is a life-long resident.  She chairs the Old Home Day Parade committee.  “At the end of the day, when I’m sitting back and watching all the families, watching the fireworks and the music’s on Main Stage, you just get that good feeling of family and friendship and community," Fowler says.  "I think that’s what keeps me coming back.”

Abby Kessler

Bog Pond is tucked away off of Route 4a in Andover. The area is a wetland and peat bog habitat. And this past Monday, UNH wildlife program assistant, Emma Carcagno led a tour of the area. The event is part of a summer-long project called "Taking Action for Wildlife" sponsored by the Andover Conservation Commission.

NHPR's Abby Kessler went on the wetland walk and filed this audio postcard.

Logan Shannon

On July 14th, Brian Vickers led a group of professional NASCAR drivers to take the sprint cup at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.  Less than a week later, a group of men and women with absolutely no racing experience took to the same track, in the same six-hundred horsepower stock cars, in hopes of hitting the same high-octane speeds as the pros.  The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a payed sports adventure that lets NASCAR fans get a taste of life in the fast lane… Producer Taylor Quimby was with them in Loudon last Friday, and brought us back this audio postcard.

Creating A Community of Fans At N.H. Motor Speedway

Jul 15, 2013
Amanda Loder / NHPR

This past weekend, thousands of people braved clogged roads and crowded parking lots to watch NASCAR racing at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.  But a small group of fans pitched tents in a grassy parking area for the duration. 

Camping on track grounds has been going on for a long time, but this is only the second summer it’s been legal.   Amanda Loder talked to some residents of this temporary village, and produced this audio postcard.

Rattling In The Summer Solstice

Jun 27, 2013
found_drama via Flickr Creative Commons

Last weekend was the first actual weekend of summer…an event barely noticed by many who’ve been barbequing, swimming and gardening since Memorial Day. Plenty of people do celebrate the longest day of the year in a more traditional way…and we’re talking traditions that stretch back thousands of years -- Carol and Clay Young hosted a fire ceremony to welcome in the solstice in the backwoods of Wentworth, New Hampshire, with a small, but diverse group of revelers. Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue was there and brought us back this audio postcard.

Running From Zombies For a Good Cause

Oct 23, 2012
Adam McCune

Recently, the small town of New Boston, New Hampshire hosted an unusual 5k race, in which runners were chased by zombies or “walkers,” as they’re called in the popular comic book and TV series “The Walking Dead.” But fear not, all the gore was for a good cause, as independent producer Adam McCune found out when he sent us this audio postcard.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

This year, Labor day weekend was a time not just to celebrate workers in America – but to celebrate… Elvis.  Crowds of Elvis Fans attended a three day Elvis festival and competition in Manchester, cheering on twenty Elvis Tribute Artists as they vied for #1 – and a chance to go on to compete in the Ultimate Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Contest next August in Memphis, Tennessee.  

The Croo of Greenleaf Hut: Fun at 4,220 feet

Jul 27, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s White Mountains are known for their fierce terrain and wild weather. But atop the high peaks, there are some comforts.

Since 1888, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high huts have provided hearty meals and a warm bunk for guests. Staff at the eight facilities carry up supplies, and also serve as educators and stewards of the alpine terrain.

To get a better feel for this unique summer job, we sent NHPR’s Todd Bookman up to the Greenleaf Hut.

Courtesy White Mountain History.Org

Almost all of the grand hotels that once brought the North Country fame, fortune and tourists are gone.

But now some of the music that was composed specifically for each hotel has been played and recorded, possibly for the first time in 100 years.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen sends this audio postcard.

Rick Russack runs a web site on  White Mountain history.

Not long ago he was going through some material.

“Stereo views, photographs, postcards and prints, graphic things.”

Public Pianos Help HOP Celebrate 50 Years

Jul 10, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts turns 50-years old this summer. Instead of candles, the HOP is going with…pianos.

Emily Corwin

So far this year in New Hamsphire, more than 1100 people have become new U.S. citizens.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Once upon a time, Laconia Bike Week was a rowdy affair with a lot of drinking and wild behavior.

Confectionary Architects

Feb 14, 2008
Cheryl Senter

For those of you who like a little dessert after dinner, a trip to Canterbury Shaker Village might be in order this weekend.

Everyone has Rhythm

Dec 6, 2006

Since everyone with a beating heart already "has rhythm!” anyone can drum. That could well be the motto of the drum-jam, held the first Friday of the month at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Concord.

This past Friday evening, 16 people showed up... of all ages.

Wanna Sing "The Messiah"?

Dec 6, 2006
Ell Brown

It's hard to imagine Christmas without a choir singing Handel's Messiah.

In recent years a new tradition has developed: the 'Messiah-sing.'

It operates like a pick-up basketball game. Anyone who wants to sing the Messiah shows up at a concert hall with music in-hand. Tenors sit with tenors and sopranos with sopranos. And then -- without rehearsal -- the concert begins.

New Hampshire Public Radio correspondent Doug MacPherson attended one-such Messiah-sing at the Music Hall in Portsmouth.

He filed this audio postcard.

It's Apple Picking Season

Oct 6, 2006
Cheryl Senter

Apple picking season in New England is fast and sweet.

The Pleasant Pond Pirates

Sep 16, 2006

The sound of the ice cream truck's jingle is certainly familiar during the summer, but a couple of young women in Deerfield have come up with another, less common way to peddle frozen treats.

The Gas Dock Girls

Aug 30, 2006

It's back to school time again, and lots of college students from around New Hampshire will be putting in their final hours at their summer jobs this Labor Day weekend.

Equine Feats of Strength

Aug 18, 2006
Cheryl Senter

When it is county fair season, what fair would be complete without those equine feats of strength?

Postcard from the Rock Swap

Jun 27, 2006
Ian Junor

Over the weekend, hundreds of people from around the world showed up in the town of Gilsum, in southwest New Hampshire.

Bike Week's Wall of Death

Jun 14, 2006
Michael Al

All this week, New Hampshire Public Radio is bringing you some of the sights and sounds of bike week in Laconia.

Tuesday's Postcard from Bike Week

Jun 13, 2006

For plenty of participants, Bike Week is nothing short of a Dionysian pilgrimage.

It's Tourist Season in N.H.

May 29, 2006
Cheryl Senter

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer.

And across the state, resorts, hotels, and other tourist attractions are taking care of last minute primping before the onslaught of summer season.

One of those attractions is of course, Hampton Beach on the Seacoast.

On Friday, road crews were still painting lines on a section of Route 1A, that goes along the beach.

But ready or not, the tourists came, as they always do, to enjoy the beaches and the boardwalk, to lie in the warm sun and play in the sand.

How to Ride a Motorcycle in 20 (very wet) Hours

May 26, 2006
Cheryl Senter

While most of the state was trying to stay dry two weekends ago, ten people were dreaming of warm, sunny days and open roads.

Fish Blessed At Amoskeag

May 24, 2006

A Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling

May 12, 2006
Cheryl Senter

Over the past year, New Hampshire Public Radio has been taking listeners to a variety of places across the state.

Faceless Librarian

Thousands of people left New Hampshire this month on a train for the North Pole.