I just came back from my first 4th of July in the small NH town where my Grandmother lives. I was always busy during summers and never visited her in the summer until now. Surreal? Yes. Real? Also yes.
Just a gaggle of white families a breedin’ in the country. Horses, working canons, bells by Paul Revere, lawn mower tractor pullin’. The best moment was when we were eating BBQ chicken in a mess hall and started talking to a young couple with a 1 year old. The mother had a “Martha’s Vineyard” shirt on. My grandmother saw it and said,
“I was there as a kid during a flu outbreak for months while it passed here in town. We were neighbors with the Indian tribe out there and our family station wagon was the first real car they had ever scene!” We figured that was about 1918 she was 7 or so.
Is it true? We’ll never know. My uncle Binny (short for Winfield in these here parts) was the keynote speaker at the tiny fairgrounds, as his grandfather was once before. Of course time changes things as my uncle is a composer, Buddhist, and paraplegic and my great grandfather was a gun collecting shoe salesman. Bin did a great re-telling of the constituional convention, focusing on New Hampshire’s role. They were 9 weeks late because the state treasury had no money and nobody wanted to pay for them to go.
Bin’s best line, “nothing’s changed much here, we still don’t like paying anything to the government. Maybe our motto should be “Live free, or die trying.”
It’s changing fast for everyone else too. Houses 200K and up. Locals being priced out. Commuting yuppies coming upstate to spawn. Same in Kennebunkport, ME. Folks I know are moving out of town and renting their 3bd/2ba houses by the week for $1600 and they’re two miles from the beach in rough woods.