I was never good at networking. Despite the years spent in business and even a stint as president of a local industry group, I just don’t do it well. Or maybe I sneak by on the outside but for the most part I am hating it inside.
One of the community service donations the store made was to our New Hampshire Public Television station. The channel is starting a new series titled Our HomeTown and they chose Peterborough for the pilot episode. There is more to this than you would think because Peterborough’s tag line is Our Town, as in the play by Thornton Wilder which he wrote when the playwright spent a retreat at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough. There’s an odd mix of culture in this little ‘burg’s history. From Marionette Operas and the renown Peterborough Players Professional Theatre, to a famous folk singer hang-out, Peterborough has had some inspired citizens.
NHPTV came to town Monday night for a premier of the pilot and a reception graciously donated by Marzano’s Trattoria. It was a stellar marketing move on the part of the restaurant and they really shone with lobster stuffed mushroom caps as my favorite free appetizer. The screening was next door at the Peterborough Community Theatre, the oldest theatre in New Hampshire. I also learned we have the distinction of the very first public library in America.
Luckily I was smart enough to bring a networking genius as my date. She knows everyone and has all the back-stories to prove it. She introduced me to the wife of the late governor, a life long resident. “Well, she said, “Not really as my parents moved here when I was 2.” Amid the din, I leaned in close to hear her. She was barely as tall as my shoulder but was impeccable dressed in a channel suit. Note to self, drag out the suits!
“Did you know my mother?” I asked during a pause in her story.
“She was a year behind me in school. Lovely girl!” From there we journeyed back to my grandparents, the house at the corner of routes 101 and 202 that my great-grandfather had built, and she held my elbow as her eyes shone and she remembered life from 70 years ago.
The uniqueness of the pilot for the series is their format. It isn’t about a town really at all. It is stories from residents, memories of massive changes caused by natural disasters and of people who left their mark in small ways and large. The show airs on Friday, March 27th on Channel 11 at 8:30 for local folks. It will be available, along with many out-takes of stories, online on Saturday. It is an interesting half hour view into a piece of what it means to be American, not just from New Hampshire.
The obvious question after you watch it is, “Where are they filming next?” And though you would expect something upscale, a wealthy coastal town such as Hampton or Portsmouth, you would be surprised to learn they are headed to Colebrook, New Hampshire. Colebrook is a town of roughly 2,500 hearty souls in Coos County, (that’s pronounced COE AUS) in the Great North Woods Region. You won’t find it on any tourist maps.
I love my little corner of the world!