Chester Chatter: Swimming in the music of summer

By Ruthie Douglas
© 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC

Growing up, my family’s source of entertainment was simple and mostly inexpensive. Come summer, on warm evening, we went to the music concerts at Riverside, where the school in Springfield is now located.

Click image to enlarge

The band — the town band, played selections to suit everyone. Instead of clapping, you honked your car horns.

Sundays, we mostly went over to Vilas pool in Alstead, N.H. My mother packed the big picnic basket full of food, enough so we stayed the day until closing. Some times we went to Hapgood Pond for the day.

We also went on long drives in the country and stopped for ice cream cones on the way back home.

We went picking berries and apples and peaches. My mother made short cake and canned some for the winter months ahead. We had a huge garden, which we all helped with. My father told us it was entertainment. Life was mostly like this for many families.

Sorrow and celebrations

George Douglas, my brother-in-law for 60 years, died this past week.  He was a true native Vermonter, who lived in Chester all his life. A farmer and a logger, he pretty much lived off the land. We thought of him as Zane Grey.

Our thoughts are with Asta Spafford on the death of her husband Francis. Francis was a long-time resident of Chester. Son Gunnar, who serves in the Marine Corps, has been home to be with his mother.

Speed and Doris Westine had all of their children home recently. Daughter Pam and her daughter were up from Florida; son Jeff and his son were here from Connecticut. The family, including sons Mike and Kurt, went out to dinner at the Black Rock Steak House in Springfield.

Haley Smith and Mike Carmody are the parents of a new baby girl. She has been named Ensley Marie and joins a brother, Ayston. Congratulations to all!

Thank you Chester Ambulance Service

I recently got to know first-hand about our volunteer ambulance service here in Chester. We are so lucky to have these folks. How professional, sweet and caring. They are great. I also have to thank Steve Hart for picking me out of the Post Office bushes.

  • This week’s trivia question: Who owned and operated Flamstead Ties?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Esso Gas Station was located on the corner of Route 103 and 11, where Endless Creations painted pottery studio sits now.

Street Talk

Have you been shown an act of kindness recently?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Cynthia Prairie says:

    Great suggestion, Dolores. We’ll be doing that now in the cutline of the current Ruthie’s Attic photo.

  2. Dolores Kennett says:

    I wish you would publish the answer to what is in Ruthie’s Attic, just like you tell us the answer to your trivia question. Most things I know, but there are a few I do not. Thank you in advance.

  3. Taffy Brown Kilroe says:

    My parents, Roy and Lola Brown, made the move to Chester just as I was about to enter junior high school(many, many years ago!). It was a wonderful town to grow up in, and I am thankful for the many friendships I have maintained over the years. Dad had ‘Brownie’s Garage’ and Mom was a stay-at-home mom. Life was much simpler then; there was the Chester swimming pool, although I recall riding my bike to Sweats Bridge to swim in the brook. The annual alumni day parade was a big event! Thanks for your posts!

  4. Kenny Forbes says:

    Sorry for your loss Ruthie. Thank you so much for your articles and thanks to The Chester Telegraph for picking you up. Living in Colorado you bring me a little touch of home.