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Return to Rumney: Old Home Day 2011

Everyone’s a winner at the “Fun Run 5K” held during Rumney Old Home Day. Pictured: all the winners from every age category, male and female, pause to mark the occasion with a group photo. Women's First Place finisher overall was Ellen Tieg. Men's First Place went to Jeff Clark. Congratulations everyone! (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
August 17, 2011
RUMNEY—With fanfare and family fun, the founding fathers welcomed everyone home to Rumney this past weekend with a full schedule of events and activities, ranging from a 1950's retrospective at the Rumney Historical Society to a community supper at the Rumney Baptist Church, from the annual "Fun Run" 5K race, to a Book Sale at the Byron Merrill Library and a Yard Sale to raise money for the Haven Little Scholarship Fund. There was something for everyone.

On a glorious, seasonably comfortable Saturday morning, a crowd gathered in the center of the town to watch the annual Rumney Old Home Day Parade and enjoy the craft fair on the Town Common, with refreshments provided by the Russell School eighth grade class.

Leading off the procession through the center of town, just after an escort by Grafton County Sheriff Doug Dutile, was "the band that never sleeps" — at least in the summer. It seems like the Baker Valley Band is everywhere during Old Home Day season, with appearances in each and every community all summer long. The seemingly indefatigable band members may have a chance to catch a snooze eventually, when hibernation season descends upon us in the late fall, but until then, they continue to add the "right note" to festivities throughout Grafton County and beyond.

The parade was a focal point for the day, drawing participation from a wide range of individuals and groups representing all that is special about the town of Rumney. Rock climbers from Rattlesnake were followed by tractors of every color, style, era and size. Dick Barnes on his bright yellow '71 International Farmall Cub created just the right accent to serve as an exclamation point on the procession. Every form of transportation over the years was out in force, from Emilee Zimmer and her reliable horse, Ivy, to the Corner Cuts and Curls' racecar. Select board members Janice Mulherin and Chairman Mark Andrew were walking.

"Our theme this year was 'Discover Rumney,' and as part of our parade, we recognized Rumney veterans, the town selectmen and the Rumney Rock Climbers," said Old Home Day Committee Co-

Chair Gail Carr. "These were just a few of the many people that participated in the parade with trucks, tractors, antique cars, the walkers and the horses. The committee certainly appreciates all the assistance from the various businesses that supported the raffles, the crafters and vendors that came to the common, and all the many departments of the town and school that assisted in making this a very successful day for one and all. The weather was terrific, as well."

Carr and Diana Kindell are the co-chairs for Old Home Day, and said they wanted to thank the committee members for all their tireless hours of assistance with the event. Carr even set her sentiments to verse, reciting a poem dedicated to the team during the ceremonies on the common that included a flag-raising, the singing of the national anthem by Laurel Dodge and a prayer delivered in a booming voice by retired Rev. Robert Decker, Sr., at 92 years of age, a power of inspiration for us all.

There was much to learn and do for the rest of the relaxing enjoyable afternoon. The good folks from the Hamel Fiber Farm in Groton were on hand to demonstrate spinning. They use their own farm-raised wool to manufacture their own yarn and knit warm and comfortable items of clothing in preparation for the hearty New England winters... They are coming soon enough!

Margaret Hoyle demonstrated the antique hand-cranked technique for knitting woolen socks without seams in the toes. Her World War II vintage knitting machine has produced hundreds of brightly colored pairs of socks right here in the Newfound region and Margaret carries on the tradition of knitting socks for the troops serving overseas that date back from that era and even earlier.

Transfer Station Superintendent Sonny Oullette was on hand to educate residents about the importance of their successful efforts at recycling and to show them several examples of products that are manufactured from the materials they take the time to conserve through participating in the Town's recycling program, from carpets made out of crushed soda bottles to test tubes made from glass jars.

The proceedings were punctuated from time to time by the sound of Thunderbirds, reportedly visiting New Hampshire's Pease Air Base this weekend and venturing as far north as Rumney to provide a quick salute while in the neighborhood.

For more photos of Rumney Old Home Day festivities, visit the Plymouth Record Enterprise on Facebook.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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