People and places we 'stumbled' upon this week 

Sherry Farrell

Finally, things are starting to look up in so many ways.

“The days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine” — I didn’t mean to drift off into those song lyrics by the band America from 1972, but they seemed to fit.

The sun is a little brighter, the temperatures are edging up and more and more people are being offered the vaccination. Most importantly our virus numbers are going down.

As we have been stumbling around trying to find our way through this last year and especially last few months. I have been wanting to share some really great places that we stumbled upon, which are close to home. Our title this week came from our own local Stumble Inn Bar & Grill. Technically, it’s in Londonderry but to me it’s right on the Derry/Londonderry line on Rockingham Road.

John decided to order take out a few weeks back and we all agreed that the steak tips were award-winning in our book!

They buy all their meat from Mr. Steer. Not only is the quality exceptional, but there is also something about how they grill them.

I think John does a great job grilling, but even he agrees that these topped his!

Mashed potatoes like Sam’s mashed from the Capital Grill in Boston and delicious grilled chicken, too. The best part, and the real shocker for us, was the price — just around $15! 

Last month, John and I were out for one of our stumbling around our towns long drives to nowhere and John said, “Hey, sometime we have to try that place, it gets great reviews.”

He was talking about Paisanos Pizzeria at the Derry traffic circle. Right on the corner of the road that leads to our Hampton Beach when we go “the backway” as my dad would say.

Parking is a little tricky, but everyone figures it out, and boy is it worth it. We decided to give it a try for a Sunday Celtics game at Bart’s house.

Most importantly, the nicest man answered the phone to take our order and was patient with my 20 questions for our first time ordering.

Everything was rated a 10-plus. The crust was perfection! My margarita pizza choice was one of the best I have had (you know that one can be tricky and you never know what you are going to get when you open the box).

Bart’s favorite sausage and mushroom A-plus. And they had chicken wings of every flavor — we were so pleasantly surprised. John picked another winner!

We love stumbling around what I call “Old Londonderry” or “Old Mammoth Road. Our senior center is there, our old post office used to be there, and now for the last several years, Harrington Flowers has been where the little country store used to be.

When I was a young teacher in town, I bought a condo with great state low-income financing at 9 Wyndmere Drive, which backed right up to the rail trail.

On our wedding day, Aug. 6, 1993, I walked over to that little store and ordered a delicious egg sandwich. I remember the woman at the counter asking me what I was up to for the day. I smiled and said, “Well, I’m getting married in a few hours at St. Jude’s Church.”

Harrington Flowers has a wonderful woman working there named Linda Trapane and so far we have never met, but I hope we will. Linda is one of those people that always goes above and beyond and no task is too big or too late for her.

We stumbled upon each other last year when a bride had called Harrington Flowers and had a major problem that Linda was trying to help her with. Linda went to the trouble of reaching out to me as town clerk to see if I could help.

Together we figured it out and Harrington sent our office a beautiful bouquet to thank us for our help. Linda has been my go-to for many last-minute ideas that I have when I just need to say thanks to the great people that I am surrounded with. She works wonders with my small budget for these gifts from the heart.

A place I haven’t stumbled upon in a few years is our own Aviation Museum right at the original control station at Grenier Field at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport! It’s located right next to the runway at 27 Navigator Road.

I have to thank my dear friend Lois Dziergowski. Lois volunteers for many things, but when she told me about the great work and people at the Aviation Museum, I knew it had to be on the top of our list.

At the end of the month, our family from upstate New York will be visiting and we can’t wait to take them there. They have a flight simulator, large models, props and many exhibits for visitors of all ages to enjoy. They are a nonprofit and they have great hours too. They are open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. They have a volunteer open house coming in April where you can learn more. 

By the time you read our story this week our local town elections will be over. Hopefully, our voter turnout was much higher than we expected. I know with spring right around the corner, many of us will start to cleanout attics, sheds and garages in the name of spring cleaning.

I have had a personal quest for a few years now, but I need your help. Back in 1892, our Secretary of State provided every city and town with a ballot box, which was to be used at the polling place for paper ballots. It was the responsibility of the town or city clerk to care for and properly store their town’s ballot box.

A few years back, Secretary of State Bill Gardner sent out a beautiful poster to each town that had the 33 original ballot boxes that are still located in towns throughout our state. Towns like Rumney, Sandown, Windham and others have their beautiful, first-in-the-state official boxes.

Our towns of Londonderry and Derry are among the ones that cannot be located. I know in my heart that these historic boxes are most likely sitting in someone’s barn or other storage area, probably forgotten about, or the owner is not sure what it is or why it’s there.

My biggest fear is that they may have been used as firewood throughout the years.

If you could help us spread the word, or if you happen to stumble upon it, please let us know. 

Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a long-time resident of New Hampshire.

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