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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Littleton preserves its sense of place

By JOE McQUAID
October 15. 2017 9:11PM




It was overcast when I drove to Littleton one day last week, but from what I saw of it, the foliage was looking pretty good in the North Country and probably still is this week.

But Littleton is always worth the trip up I-93, no matter the weather. It won’t be long until ski season, come to think of it.

I’m not much into inclines in my declining years, but my old buddy George has taken up the sport, and he is older than dirt, so I may have to give it some thought.

I was in Littleton for books, not bindings. The public library (a pretty lively place itself) had hosted a summer authors’ series, and Meagan Carr and her crew kindly extended it to let me yak about my Cog Railway memoir.

Littleton was a welcoming place 50 years ago, and it doesn’t seem to have changed. I was reminded of a story that correspondent Kim Haas wrote for the Sunday News recently about Dover. That city is featured in a new book about places across the United States that seem to thrive no matter the times.

The author, who had toured nationally with a band, found that the secret sauce to vibrant communities was a commitment to the place by many of the residents and businesses therein. Sounds simple, but it requires work and persistence. Dover has that. So does Littleton.

The North Country, overall, has that sense of place and personal investment. The North Country Public Safety Foundation is another example. It provides all manner of assistance to first responders. Its annual awards dinner, which I was privileged to attend last year, will be held again this month at the Omni Mount Washington Resort.

They are not at the Mount Washington anymore, but still a part of the North Country’s fabric are Cathy and Joel Bedor, former Cog Railway and Mount Washington Hotel owners. They have traded in overseeing that huge place for one just a wee bit smaller.

OK, their Adair Inn in Bethlehem has just 11 rooms, but its story is as colorful as any of the grand hotels, and their attention to detail just as sharp. (Their inn is known not only across the U.S., but in Europe.)

The Bedors, both from Littleton, are also supporters of the library and of other efforts that help make a community what it is.

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.


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