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.

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