Monday, July 9, 2018

New Hampshire - Day 7 - Wolfeboro

Riverbend Campground
Saturday, 7 July 2018
today's route
Everything's only a few miles from everything else in this part of the state, so even though I made a big circle from the campground down to Wolfeboro and back again, I only drove 70 miles total.  But, again, the roads are narrow and wind around a lot and run through lots and lots of little villages and places where there are houses strung along the road without looking organized like a village - with all that my max speed ends up being about 35 mph.  Which is okay because I'm only sightseeing.

When I came into the town of Ossipee, I saw a sign welcoming me and saying they're the "Home of the First Snowmobile."  Turns out they were a kit that would convert the Model T Roadster into a snowmobile, invented in 1913 and eventually sold worldwide.

In Wolfeboro - as you can see the only town of any size in the area - I went first to a laundromat I found online.  That was a surprisingly terrible experience.  It's a new one and the machines are new, but the building is at least a third smaller than it should be so people were practically having to climb over each other to get to their laundry.  The machines were very expensive and quite a few of them had signs saying "out of order."  There were several others, I discovered the hard way, that should have had signs but didn't.  I ended up spending a lot of extra time and money and it really irritated me.  By the time I was done it was lunch time, and maybe it was the PB&J that soothed my ruffled feelings.

Meanwhile I tried to walk the dogs, but we were about half a block from a park, which had a tennis court, and Gracie's super-sensitive hearing where balls are concerned sent her into a PTSD tizzy, cutting both our walks short.

Across the street was a New Hampshire State Liquor and Wine Outlet, which I patronized, partly out of curiosity.  Beer and wine are sold in grocery stores, and these state outlets have wine and hard alcohol.  They told me they can't sell anything with 6% alcohol or less, so no beer.  As far as I was concerned it might as well be Utah for all the selection they had.  I was looking for scotch and they had lots of really expensive single malt but not much in my price range.

I tried to drive into downtown but there was some sort of festival on and half the town seemed to have decided to come, so the streets were clogged with both pedestrians and cars.  I had to make a u-turn, which meant going around a few blocks of very old narrow streets and then try to get back on the main road, but fortunately drivers here are pretty polite so I managed to get out.
Wright Museum of World War II
What I was really aiming for was a place called the Wright Museum of World War II.  The primary focus of the museum was what everybody called the Home Front and there was lots of information I hadn't ever heard.  A sample is included here:

  • Metal became badly needed for the war effort so they stopped using it for ordinary items - toys were made of printed and cut-out cardboard instead of metal; states became creative about license plates - Illinois made theirs of soybeans; some took the old one and restamped a new date on it; some made a new very small piece with the new year on it to be screwed on top of the date on the license plate; some kept the front plate to be used as scrap metal.
  • 1942-45 people conserved gasoline (which was rationed) by using bicycle much more; buses were less expensive to run than trains and, from Dec. 7, 1941-1945, Greyhound logged 3 billion passengers (considering the US population level then, that's amazing).
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts stopped working for merit badges and instead collected millions of pounds of paper, rubber, metal and so forth for the war effort.
  • Today's Tony Award on Broadway was named for Antoinette Perry, one of the most tireless workers for the American Theatre Wing, a group best known for the Stage Door Canteens they held for servicemen; the group originated in World War I, went dormant after the war and was reactivated for WWII.
  • UBoats attacked US shipping vessels near shore in the Atlantic, which they were able to see as their silhouettes passed in front of lights on shore, a fact that resulted in black-outs in some parts of the country.
  • Common expressions: "Don't you know there's a war on?" and "Use it up, wear it out, make it do."
  • Pre-war Lucky Strike cigarettes came in a dark green package, and they were losing women customers because women thought the color clashed with their outfits; Lucky Strike introduced a new strategy - white packages - and said they now came in a "smart new uniform" because "Lucky Strike Green has gone to war!"  They claimed that copper was used to manufacture the green and they were helping conserve copper for the war.  They lied.  About all of it.
  • Beginning in 1942, the government promoted Victory Gardens to free up the usual crops for the military; also there was a shortage of men to pick the crops and trucks to transport them.  But it turned out most of the country no longer knew how to grow a garden, let alone what to do with the veggies once they'd come up, so the government published pamphlets teaching people how to plant, grow and cook the food.  It soon became a sign of patriotism, and by 1944 20 million Victory Gardens had been planted by 3/5 of the population, growing 8-9 million pounds of food.  FDR asked people to forego meat once a week (the forerunner of Meatless Mondays, no doubt).
Also in the museum were some interactive exhibits which I mostly ignored.  But I couldn't pass up one that let me hear 2 minutes of an episode from "The Shadow."  Momma talked about that radio program often and I've now heard a little of it.  What fun.

Also in the museum was an exhibition of photos from the Korean War, taken by Max Desfor who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for them.  They were black-and-white and were extremely powerful.  I was glad I'd had the chance to see them.

I can absolutely recommend this museum to anybody.  There's a lot to see that I just didn't have time for, having left my critters in the RV in the sun (no shade to park in).

We drove back to the campground along Lake Winnipesaukee, for part of the way, and that road is NARROW.  There were several places where I nearly sideswiped myself on the trees or stone walls or other hazards right ON the roadway.  It would have been great in a small car.  Lots of motorcycles out, with the pretty weather.

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