Pelham-Windham News

Tots Have Fun with Firefighters

by Lynne Ober

There’s something offered for kids of all ages at Pelham Parks and Recreation Department.  Two days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Pelham tots have their own summer camp.

Every tot got a chance to hold the hose and learned how to turn the water on and off.

“We do lots of activities,” said Tot Camp Director Christine Horgan, who has been the director for three years and was a camp counselor for two years before that.  “Arts and crafts, playing at the playground, water activities, and music activities.  Today we are having a visit from the fire truck.” 

Firefighter/EMT Rob Horne came dressed in his full firefighting uniform.  He showed the youngsters how he breathed with his SCBA [Self-contained Breathing Apparatus] when he went into a fire and let them wear his firefighting helmet.

“That’s heavy,” said one little boy.  “Want to wear my hat?, offering a brown and orange spotted hat.  “It will keep the sun out of your eyes.”

Lieutenant Ray Cashman and Horne came with, what else, a large, shiny, red fire truck that had all of its lights flashing. 

“Who wants to see the fire truck shoot water?” asked Cashman. 

Me.  Me.  Me, answered a chorus of happy voices.

With the youngsters watching Cashman turned on the water and shot water into the sky.  Giggles could be heard throughout the audience.

Then Cashman and Horne got out a hose and showed every one of the tots how to hold the hose.  What to do to turn the water off and on. 

And finally, when it was time for the fire truck to go home, the tots happily waved good-bye and shouted their thank yous.

Fire Fighter Rob Horne let every tot try on his helmet and told them how it was used to protect fire fighters from injury.

Learning About Desert Animals

by Lynne Ober

If you were asked right now to name eight animals who live in the desert, could you?  The youngsters who attended the desert animal show at Nesmith Library can.

Michelle Lunceford, Wildlife Educator, loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for animals, bugs and reptiles.  Michelle is the proprietor of Michelle’s Menagerie and offers four separate shows during which children of all ages not only see the animals, but learn about them and how they survive in their chosen habitat.

Before the show began, Michelle cautioned the children to be silent.  “We don’t want to scare the animals.  They get a little nervous when they meet new friends.”

Telling the audience that she lives with over 100 animals in her home, Michelle began by finding out what kind of pets her young audience had at home.  She told them a little bit about the desert and about the harsh climate that animals, birds, and reptiles learned to survive in.

Her first animal was Razzamataz, a beautiful, large brown bunny.  Razzamataz showed a great interest in the audience.  He intently gazed back at them. 

For each of the eight animals, birds and reptiles, Michelle told the audience how each one survived.  How they built a home; what they ate and how they were colored to help them adapt in a desert climate. 

Michelle Lunceford, Wildlife Educator, holds Razzamatas during the Desert Animals Show.

Steps Towards a New High School for Windham

by Lynne Ober

A search for a Windham High School began with a negative vote on a Co-op High School with Pelham last September.  At the March elections, Windham voters approved a land purchase and authorized the building of a high school.

Warrant Article 2 began “Shall the School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $9,600,000 for the acquisition of approximately 146 acres of land known as Tax Map 20-D, Lot 1500 and Tax Map 14-B, Lot 2200 …” and was over-whelming approved 2877 to 892.

That land purchase has become a reality with the July 26 announcement made by members of Windham’s School Board and Brian Gallagher, SAU 28 Business Administrator that Windham School District has purchased 160 acres of land for $3.3 million dollars.

According to Gallagher, this land was purchased the day before from landowners Harvey H. Champigny of Windham and Shirley E. Novick of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  It is the new location of Windham’s still to be built high school.

Gallagher revealed that a purchase and sales agreement had been signed between the landowners and the school district last year.

The location of the land is off a discontinued portion of London Bridge Road, which is located off Route 111.  This location was hotly contested prior to the election with some people fearing that the land would be land-locked and the school district would not be able to build a road to it.

“Our attorney is completing review of London Bridge Road and he will be presenting a proposal request to the Windham Board of Selectman to reopen the discontinued road in order to provide public access,” Gallagher stated.

Windham voters also approved Warrant Article 3, “Shall the School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $34,220,013 for the construction and furnishing of an expandable Windham High School” by a vote of 2914 to 846.

According to Gallagher the School Board engaged the services of Team Design Inc. Architectural and Consulting Services of Manchester, New Hampshire to assist in the designing and planning phases of this project.

With the land purchase accomplished, the next steps will be to survey the land so that boundaries can be determined.  “Now that the school district has acquired the land, our architectural team will be on site reviewing the property and identifying the best location for positioning the facility.  In addition on going conceptual designs for the facility will be developed and reviewed over the next several months,” stated Gallagher, who hopes that groundbreaking can occur either this fall or in the spring of 2006 with an expected opening date of the fall of 2008.

“The School Board is planning an informational and comment public forum with the Windham community to seek input and comments on the proposed draft designs in September,” concluded Gallagher.

A Childhood Passion Realized

by Karen Plumley

Do you remember the 1950s?  When cars (and kitchen appliances) came in avocado green.  Do you remember white-walled tires, tail fins, leather upholstery, and chrome that shone brighter than the sun?  You know, when gas prices were 23 cents per gallon.  When you could get a hamburger for 15 cents, cruise with your date to a drive-in movie (as long as it wasn’t a hair-washing night) and pay a dollar to see a double feature of “Jailhouse Rock” and “Love Me Tender”.

A 1939 Buickthat has always been in Pelham, used for weddings at The Harris Pelham Inn.

Well, prices may have gone up, but cruising is certainly not dead.  Not if Mr. Charles Beaulieu of Pelham has anything to do with it.  Just keep your eye out and you may see him cruising around in a black 1957 Chevy:  the very same car used by Della Reese in an episode of “Touched by an Angel”.  Or just maybe you might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of him in a 1957 “Elvis Version” Cadillac that he will eventually pass on to his granddaughter, now 4.  Mr. Beaulieu has managed to accrue some beautiful antique cars over the last 20 years.  Immaculately maintained, some unrestored, but most of them restored to the original specifications of the manufacturer, Beaulieu’s display of antique cars is a sight that you may never forget.  Even if you were not around for the golden age of rock ‘n roll and don’t know the difference between chrome and silver plastic, this display will impress.  It is housed on Marsh Road in Pelham in its very own temperature controlled two-story tall building complete with a striking black and white checkerboard linoleum floor, shiny chrome bar and red-topped bar stools, and a life-size Elvis doll prominently seated in the front of an arrest-me red 1959 Chevy.  In the back is a car stall complete with lift, temperature controlled shower for washing, and two vacuum units, one on each side of the lift to avoid having to drag a hose over a car to vacuum the other side.

Original interior od a 1957 "Elvis Version" Cadillac.

Mr. Beaulieu’s passion for cars goes way back to childhood, when he admired these beautiful machines from afar but could not afford one of his own.  “The passion just grew inside of me”, said Beaulieu.  “I bought my first one in 1988, and now we travel to car auctions all over the country about two or three times a year looking for good deals”.  The “we” he refers to is himself and longtime friend Mr. Jimmy Woods, who not only works with him at Mammoth Fire Alarms in Lowell, a business Mr. Beaulieu owns, but also shares his passion for antique cars.  Together they may spend up to 40 hours simply detailing a car, with three hours alone cleaning the grill.  Complete restoration of a vehicle can take as long as two years.  So far they have left the restoration work up to various auto shops in the area.

Looking over the tail of a 1958 Chevrolet, the yellow 1957 convertible is one of only 157 produced that year.

His cars are for personal use mostly, but he does loan one out on occasion to friends for weddings or displays.  You may also see his display at Old Home Day, and he participates in the annual Bike Rodeo and assorted parades.  And he cruises.  “We try to put about 300 miles on them per year to keep them going”, said Beaulieu.  So check around and one day you may look in your rearview mirror and discover that time has indeed caught up with you, perhaps in the form of a 1939 Buick. 

Interior of a 1957 Chevey used by Della Reese.

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