July 04, 2012ALTON — Glenn Currie, a humorist, essayist and poet, spoke to Alton Historical Society during its meeting on Tuesday, June 19.
Currie graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965 and has taken post-graduate courses at Michigan State, Georgetown and Oxford University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1969 and worked in corporate America from 1970 to 1986. Currie and his family returned to New Hampshire and settled in Concord in 1986.
He has been a regular contributor to the Concord Monitor for 20 years and has been occasional contributor to New Hampshire Magazine. Currie has published four volumes of poetry, including A Boy's First Diary, which he read from during his presentation.
Currie also wrote Granite Grumblings – Life in the "Live Free or Die" State, which detail stories of his residency in New Hampshire through the last 25 years.
A Boy's First Diary is written from the perspective of an 11-year-old boy and when reading from the book, Currie took that persona.
Currie read several entries from Granite Grumblings, invoking laughter from throughout the room.
He told the story about taking in a 16-year-old dog and traveling to a "doggie dermatologist," driving the whole time with the windows down.
Currie told the story about cleaning out his parents' house in Stoneham, Mass. and removing food items that were stored for "a nuclear attack."
He recalled climbing though piles of old magazines, newspapers, Time magazines and piles of clothes that were left.
Another story included finding a Reward of Merit, which was something handed out from teachers to students for their effort. Currie talked about a teacher named Eva Brown and presentation of a booklet that was handed out and how today "teachers are pushed into a position where they can say nothing."
Currie talked about the time he had to call the telephone company to disconnect his father's phone line. He was told that only his father could disconnect the number.
Currie then redialed the phone company again and said that he was his father and that he wanted to disconnect the phone line because he was dead.
He talked about a story of his wife's garden and how he calculated the cost of a tomato when time and materials are factored at $143.
Currie also read several entries from A Boy's First Diary.
One of the stories included using a campsite toilet at night and knocking the flashlight and the toilet paper into the toilet.
Some of the other stories included getting kicked out the movies during a Saturday matinee, being forced to eat turnips as a child and clogging the sink, going to the opera, making burnt toast on father's day and having a crush a young blonde but being forced to dance with his teacher instead.
Currie also talked about his solution to fixing the economy by establishing a "Lying Politician's Tax," with different fines for the magnitude of the lie and an "Adultery Tax," where police could write tickets for each offense.
Currie also talked about the exotic winter sports that people in New Hampshire participate in like snowmobiling, ski-jumping, polar bear clubs, snowshoeing and ice-fishing.
Currie closed his presentation with a story about a local store in Concord called Phil and Larry's. Currie talked about the closing of these kinds of stores and how some of the charm of New Hampshire is disappearing.
The above meeting was video recorded and is presently showing on LRPA-TV's Cable Channel 25; visit www.lrpa.org and click on "Schedule" for program times. There is also a DVD available for loan at the Gilman Library, courtesy of Bob and MaryBee Longabaugh.
Tim Croes can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126