This past weekend we headed to New Jersey to celebrate Nana’s 83th birthday.

You would have loved John’s mother Arlean Francis Farrell like we do if you had met her 22 years ago.

Sadly, unexpectedly she suffered a double brain aneurysm. Her world and ours definitely changed that day, but we feel blessed that even though she may get mixed up or not know loved one’s names, she often thinks she is in her teens living at home with her parents, or that she is working in the job she loved most at a foundling hospital in Queens, New York.

A foundling hospital was an orphanage where young children were cared for and protected. No one was better at caring for newborn babies more than Nana.

Just before everything changed, she had been to visit the newest member of our family at that time, Daniel. When a new baby was born she would move in for a week to help the new parents and make sure the little one was off to a great start. Even my mother was grateful to have Arlene around in those worrisome first few days of birth. Arlene had a gift for taking cares of babies.

Even though we have driven back and forth through New Jersey many times, it always surprises me how different things can be from state to state. Taxes of course are just one of the most obvious. Some states have sales tax. We don’t. Some have a personal tax. We don’t. Something John and I always find fascinating is that in this day and age, in New Jersey you still can not pump your own gas at a gas station. Even if it’s at a rest area. You must wait in your car until an attendant comes to your driver’s window and is ready to assist you. They run your credit card, too.

This was established as a law back in 1949 with the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act to promote safety. John remembers it as a child; it’s the way it’s always been.

I just learned from the internet that Oregon is another state with this law. In 1951 the Oregon Self-Service Gas Ban began. Apparently now “lawmakers” politicians are starting to rethink this law. With gas prices going up and it becoming more and more difficult to find dependable workers, people are asking if it’s time to end this law.

In 2018 in Oregon the ban was softened because the legislation passed House Bill 2482, which does allow people that live in towns with less than 40,000 residents to pump their own gas. How the heck did they come up with that and how was it passed? To answer my own question many state fire marshals rank gasoline as the number one flammable liquid. It does always cross my mind when I’m pumping my gas. One thing that really bothers me is when people leave their car running when they are pumping their gas. That is an unnecessary risk to me and I think that should be illegal.

How do these laws come to be change or seize to exist? It all comes down to the candidates that are willing to run for office. Those who dream of being the politicians that represent us and have our families and friends, best interests at heart.

Wikipedia defines a politician as “Politicians propose, support, reject, and create laws that govern the land and, by extension, its people.” That’s why it is our responsibility to get to know those good people who are running in each election.

Our town elections happen in March. Our national elections happen in November and our state primary elections, every two years, fall on the second Tuesday of the month of September. What I have been hearing from many people in our area and I’m so proud of them for taking the initiative and asking is “How do I find out who is running? And where can I go to learn more about them?”

Signs are one way that at least we can get to know candidate names. Signs are popping up all around now. I love all of the different colors and symbols, some only first names with rhymes, some complete full names, stars stripes, all red, all blue or a combo. A unique one we noticed was a yellow sign that John and I saw somewhere in our travels the last few days. Something different and it did catch our attention. My favorite will always be the red, white and blue ones.

A couple weeks ago a dear friend of mine, Frank Cimler, stopped in to say hello and to introduce Gail Huff Brown to us. Gail Huff Brown, as I learned, is running for U.S. Congress. I was very impressed. Gail was here to meet us and learn about what we do and why. We talked about family, and our hopes and dreams for those we love. Gail wasn’t trying to sway us to vote for her; she wanted to give us a chance to get to know her. They say that first impressions are made in the first seven seconds of meeting someone.

We remembered Gail from when she was a news reporter on Channel 5 for over 30 years. She loved it because she knew she could make a difference, and she knew the importance of us being informed. We talked about the media today compared to back then. Gail said that news stories use to require reporters to have three proven sources before any story could run on the air. Today, sadly, with social media and even some news channels, don’t you wonder if they even ask for one proven source of a story? I sure do and it’s so very sad. Lives can be destroyed on simple news making hearsay. More candidates should take a risk and stop in to say hello around our towns, local restaurants and just along the street even. That’s the New Hampshire way.

To help all of us get to know our candidates who are our on our ballot for the Sept. 13 primary, the Londonderry View is inviting all to come on our show on Monday, Aug. 8. Each candidate will be given 10 minutes to help everyone get to know them better.

If you could help us spread the word, that would be great, because we know it’s short notice. We may add additional dates if they are needed.

Candidates just need to email the Londonderry View at londonderryview4@gmail.com.

And we are hoping this will help us to get to know these wonderful candidates that are willing to take such a risk for us.

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.

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