Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Piano in Every Room (Almost)

Rosamond van der Linde
The Merrimack Library will host Rosamond van der Linde on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 pm. She will talk about her delightful memoir, A Piano in Every Room. Copies will be for sale for cash or personal check.

In 1969, after searching fruitlessly for a summer piano camp for their five children, Ms. van der Linde and her late husband, Rein, founded their own camp, Summer Sonatina, in their 12-room house in Bennington,VT. Rein was an accomplished pianist and faculty member at Bennington College, and Rosamond was a gifted teacher. The camp quickly became a sought-after experience. As it grew, so did their piano collection. Pianos occupied every spare corner of the house and garage.

As the school expanded  a larger space was needed, so the van der Lindes moved their family of seven into a large mansion in 1978, eventually filling it with 35 pianos, the Sonatina camp, and Sonata, a camp for adult pianists. And then they....

But, wait, I won't write another word. Come hear for yourself. There are so many remarkable stories of the van der Lindes, and the family matriarch tells them far better than I can. Adults and teens will be delighted and astonished at the accomplishments of this family of pianists and the far-reaching legacy of their school.

Registration is recommended by visiting our online calendar, emailing, or calling 424-5021. (Please note that this is a lecture, not a musical performance.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dissent Among the Puritans

The year is 1637. Ann Vassall, wife of William Vassall of Essex, England, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, welcomes you to your new home in the Bay. You are one of the roughly 20,000 English immigrants to come to the New World between 1620 and 1640, a period now called The Great Migration. Her words of advice and narration of events going on in town might make you wish you had stayed in England or looked toward New Hampshire or Connecticut as a place of settlement.

Living historian Linda Palmer, in Dissent Among the Puritans, takes you back to the first decade of the Puritan colony to show what new settlers could expect. All was not rosy in the New World, as you will see. Those who came for "religious tolerance" openly opposed any religious opinions that deviated from the Puritan viewpoint. Palmer follows up her portrayal of Ann Vassall with a colorful slide presentations which shatters some of our commonly-held stereotypes about the Puritans and chronicles the dissent of her husband, who was despised by minister and magistrate alike for his liberal ideas about civil liberty and religion.  This program is suitable for adults and teens.
This event is presented with a Humanities-to-Go grant from the NH Humanities Council, which connects ideas and communities. Registration is strongly recommended by visiting our online calendar, emailing, or calling 424-5021.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where were you when the Old Man fell?

How did you learn the terrible truth? Did you hear it on the radio, see it on the TV news? Did a friend call with an astounding announcement? Did you drive by and look up, as you always did, then pull over in shock?

I remember picking up the morning paper with a giant black headline proclaiming "IT'S GONE!" The Old Man of the Mountain, the very symbol of New Hampshire, had fallen from Cannon Mountain during the night. The glue, cables and turnbuckles that had stabilized the fragile face for decades had finally failed, sending tons of rock sliding to the foot of the mountain.

In the decade since New Hampshire's most recognizable icon lost it's grip in Franconia Notch, there has been much discussion on how best to memorialize the Old Man. Maggie Stier, a field service representative for the NH Preservation Alliance, will visit the library on Wednesday, May 1, at 7 pm to talk about the Old Man's history and future. Her slide show, The Old Man of the Mountain: Substance & Symbol, will demonstrate the unique ways in which the Old Man has inspired the NH state of mind, how preservationists worked to keep the formation in place for decades, despite the best efforts of time and weather to bring it down, and how the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund is creating a memorial to help visitors recreate the experience of viewing this majestic sight overlooking the Notch.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Merrimack Public Library, with a Humanities-to-Go grant from the NH Humanities Council. Adults and teens will enjoy this free program. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended by visiting our online calendar, emailing, or calling 424-5021.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eat Your Yard

John Root is a man of many interests. His first visit to the library was in 2009, when he talked about crop circles and shared some stunning photographs. In 2010, he returned with a portable keyboard and the audience sang along to music of the Gaslight Era. On Wednesday, April 24, at 7 pm, he'll be back once again for Edible Perennial Gardening and Landscaping. His slide show will illustrate how you can grow more than the usual annual crops in your yard. Topics will include organic cultivation of fruit trees, berries, nuts, and other edible perennials. Handouts will have sources for plants suited for New England, and there may be some plants for sale for cash or personal check.

We recommend you reserve a seat by visiting our online calendar, emailing or calling 424-5021.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Liberty is Our Motto!

The Hutchinson Family Singers of Milford, NH, were among America's most notable musical entertainers of the mid-19th century. Their songs advanced social reform and political causes such as abolition, temperance, women's suffrage and Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign.

On Wednesday, April 10, at 7 pm, entertainer Steve Blunt will present the living history program "Liberty is Our Motto! Songs and Stories of the Hutchinson Family Singers." He will portray John Hutchinson, the family patriarch, who will sing and tell about his musical family. He'll share the songs of the Hutchinson Family and invite the audience to sing along. Lyrics will be provided to such chestnuts as "The Old Granite State" and "Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground."

This event is brought to Merrimack by the Friends of the Merrimack Library with a grant from the NH Humanities Council, which brings the thrill of intellectual discovery and the power of ideas to people around the state. Adults and teens are welcome. Registration is strongly recommended by visiting our calendar, emailing, or calling 424-5021.