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By Tom Eastman

Yet what another big week it has been here in this valley in the shadow of Mount Washington, with the arrest Monday of alleged Abigail Hernandez kidnapper Nathaniel Kibby, 34, of Gorham — a week after now 15-year-old Abby's arrival back home in North Conway Sunday, July 20, after having been missing since Oct. 9.

The two weeks of news was capped by an unexpected, nearly hour-long visit to the offices of The Conway Daily Sun by Abby and her mother Zenya Hernandez and family-friend Amanda Smith Thursday.

Young Abby was composed, measured and friendly — and said she wanted to be seen as a normal teenager. She especially enjoyed checking out the newsroom's Ice Box One refrigerator, the one that has all the past presidential candidates' autographs on it, and the photos alongside it showing the candidates signing the white refrigerator.

We gotta tell ya — you just never know how the day will turn out when you work at a daily newspaper. Today was certainly a case in point.

From requests from “Nancy Grace” and ABC to NBC, and even Japan TV, the phone has been ringing off the hook here at The Sun.

Be sure to read reporter Daymond Steer's story in today's issue for more about the unexpected visit.
•••
SALUTING THE SHAW BROTHERS: In other news of the week, about 300 people gathered at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds last Saturday, July 26, for the 12th annual Kennett Alumni Picnic. Alumni from 1932 through 2014 were in attendance, including Ruth Twombly, 100, Class of 1932, and about 30 from the Class of 1959, which celebrated its 55th reunion.

Among those on hand from that latter class were Rick and Ron Shaw, of The Shaw Brothers, the valley natives who have spent a career liking to “teach the world to sing” in “perfect harmony.”

Rick and Ron have retired from an active performance schedule, but they said they still occasionally play for small groups.

Many classmates gathered at Carol and Ted Kramer's on Sunday on Silver Lake for more reminiscing and good times. The Shaws were there as well.

Many alumni also were hosted at the Pizza Barn by classmate Don Meader Friday night.

“Our furthest traveler came from Arizona — Laura Jean Caddick Beeler,” said ’59 classmate Ted Kramer.

At Saturday's alumni gathering, the Shaws were presented a proclamation sent by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

It was presented to the Shaws at the fairgrounds by Ted.

Wrote the Governor:
“Be it hereby known that I, Margaret Wood Hassan, Governor of the State of New Hampshire, join with my fellow Citizens in extending my personal congratulations to Rick and Ron Shaw. In recognition of your extensive musical contributions to the State of New Hampshire. Your numerous musical influences, including creation And recording of a state song, New Hampshire Naturally, will continue to leave a legacy.  The State of New Hampshire is fortunate to have you in the community and is grateful for your commitment to
Kennett High School, Mount Washington Valley, the University of New Hampshire, and the entire state.  On behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire, I commend you for your dedication and hard work, and wish you all the best in the future.”

It followed a proclamation read at the Oct. 16 governor and council meeting. In that proclamation, the Governor wrote:

“Whereas, Rick and Ron Shaw, professionally known as The Shaw Brothers, have been performing together for more than 50 years; and
Whereas, Identical twin brothers, Rick and Ron Shaw were born and raised in New Hampshire, getting their musical start as undergraduates at the University of New Hampshire in the early 1960s; and
Whereas, In 1962, Rick and Ron Shaw joined with classmates Dave Craig, Hal Brown, and Fred Corbett to form The Tradewinds and, after earning top honors at the National Inter-Collegiate Music Competition, decided to pursue a career in show business. The group then gained a manager, the services of a booking agency, a record label, and a new name —The Brandywine Singers; and
Whereas, Over the next few years the group recorded two albums, several singles, and performed at more than 350 colleges and universities in North America as well as most of the nightclubs, state fairs, and festivals in between. They also made appearances on such television shows as The Mike Douglas Show, the ABC Hootenanny Show, and the ABC Wide World of Entertainment; and
Whereas, The Brandywine Singers broke up in 1966 when Rick was drafted and Ron joined another group. After the completion of Rick’s military service, both brothers taught school for a year; and
Whereas, Rick and Ron Shaw soon tested the waters of show business again, performing with The Hillside Singers, most notably recording the famous Coca-Cola jingle I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, prior to beginning a career as a duo — The Shaw Brothers — in 1974; and
Whereas, Over the years, The Shaw Brothers toured in countries around the world and performed with many notable stars including Bob Hope, Ed McMahon, Jerry Lewis, Della Reese, Jim Nabors, Wayne Newton, Buddy Greco, Joan Rivers, Johnny Mathis, Eva Gabor, Bill Cosby, Judy Collins, Josh White, Oscar Brand, Mama Cass Eliot, The Kingston Trio, The New Christy Minstrels, The Brothers Four, Mary Travers, Tom Paxton, John Denver, Don McLean, Don Williams, Crystal Gayle, Tommy Makem & Liam Clancy, Jud Strunk, and Marshall Dodge to name a few; and
Whereas, The Shaw Brothers composed New Hampshire Naturally which was officially designated as the New Hampshire state song; and
Whereas, Throughout their long and storied career, Rick and Ron Shaw have remained true to their New Hampshire roots and have served admirably as Granite State musical ambassadors to the rest of the world;
Now, therefore, I, Margaret Wood Hassan, Governor of the State of New Hampshire, and the Executive Council, do hereby commend Rick and Ron Shaw for their great success and wish them all of the best in the future.”

We join others in saluting Rick and Ron.

Whether for outdoor shows at Cranmore, to countless other benefits held throughout the state, they have been true goodwill ambassadors for the Granite State.

Thank you, Rick and Ron, for all you have done — and for always being true to your school — and hometown.
•••
IN OTHER MUSICAL NEWS, don't miss the annual Jackson Covered Bridge Dance, set for this Saturday, Aug. 2, featuring the Jonathan Sarty and the White Mountain Boys, along with a barbecue by Sweeney Sensations, and a kids' activities table. The music is to be performed from 7 to 11:30 p.m.
For more, visit www.JacksonNH.com.
•••
MORE MUSIC: Matty B's will feature My Bossman's Car, featuring the music of Nick Phillips, tonight, Aug. 1…ARTS JUBILEE: We enjoyed the music of Don Campbell at the Dan Fogelberg tribute last Thursday, July 24, as well as that of Jonathan Edwards of “Shanty” fame July 31. The concert was moved indoors to the Eating House, due to the threat of thunder boomers and rain. Many danced to “Shanty” and “Don't Cry Cry Blue,” and all were spellbound by the ever-haunting and poignant, “Sometimes.” Edwards played barefoot, and played one encore with his two bandmates. The series continues with the New England Symphony Orchestra Aug. 7 with fireworks, and the always excellent Roomful of Blues Aug. 14…MOUNTAINSIDE MUSIC AT ATTITASH: In other musical news, the Mountainside at Atittash Saturday afternoon summer music series continues with the Dean Machine as part of the annual Blueberry Fest Aug. 2; the Pat Foley Band Aug. 9; and the Blue James Band Aug. 16. The series continues with the Gravel Project Aug. 23; the Jonathan Sarty Band Aug. 30; and Livin' the Dream Aug. 31.

In addition to live music from 3 to 6 p.m., a variety of craft vendors will be at Attitash every Saturday 10 a.m to  4 p.m. Admission is free to all dates in the Mountainside Music Series.
Its sister resort, Wildcat Mountain features Jonathan Sarty and his band as part of the Mountainside at Wildcat Series Aug. 30. 

For further information, call Attitash at 374-2368 or visit www.attitash.com or Wildcat at 466-3326; www.skiwildcat.com...DAM JAM: The Denmark Arts Center and SPACE Gallery is to host Dam Jam 2014 Aug. 2 from 3 p.m. to midnight at Bicebtennial Park on Route 160 in Denmark, Maine. Visit www.thedamjam.com for more information.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS TO one and all, including Audley Williams and his musical partner Nancy Ray (both 7-31); Visiting Nurse's Sandy Ruka and Donna Marie Famigllietti Dolan (also 7-31), yours truly (Tom Eastman), Marilyn Miller, Jerry Garcia, Francis Scott Key, Dom DeLuise, and watercolorist Linda Gray (all 8-1); car and ski guy Kevin Clarke, Joan Wrigley and Joel Rhymer (all 8-2); Brownfield innkeeper Kevin Early (8-3), the ever-beach lovin' Kim Lamond, mountain biker Alex Couture, the angelic Theresa Morin, White Mountain Hotel and Resort's Carol Sullivan, and Tracy Barker Diogo (8-4); former valley resident Jim Simpson and Ed O'Halloran of Badger Realty(8-5); Julie Nixon's Smith College freshman roommate Alexa Kimberley-Bryant, C.J. Foote and Karen Albert (8-7); Connie Harger (8-8) and all other fellow great Leos out there.

HAPPY 40TH TO CSRR: While we're at it, happy 40th birthday to the Conway Scenic Railroad Monday, Aug. 4 — former president Dwight Smith will be there at 10:30 a.m. Monday to ride the train, as will his son and daughter-in-law, who both worked on the railroad that first season. There will be all sorts of specials, cake and face painting as well.

AND HAPPY 30TH since the last Volvo International was held,. It was featured in our front page story in last Saturday's edition. It's been 30 years since the last Volvo was played on the clay courts at Cranmore.

Many readers posted their memories of the tourney on the Sun's Facebook page. Merry Fortier of Canterbury shared her thoughts below:
“I immensely enjoyed the ‘Remembering the Volvo’ article!  I grew up in Chocorua and volunteered as a driver for several years. The players were exceedingly polite and  loved the Valley. I particularly remember how chatty the Gullikson twins were, and how nice Vitas Gueralaitis and Ivan Lendl were. I also remember driving film reels to the Portland TV stations! Great fun and great memories!”

SOX TRADES: So, what do you think of the Red Sox trades July 31? See Sports for all of the lowdown.

THAT'S ALL FROM THIS August farm stand. The first of the native corn is here, so be sure to get yours at a local market near you, and enjoy! One month until Labor Day, folks — get yours while the living is good!

Also — be sure to pick up your latest spiffy copy of the Sun's all-new North Conway Magazine, on the news stands now!

•••

REVISED BY TE 8-1-14 1 P.M.

 

7-24valley-voice jimmy-keysBritish funnyman Jimmy Keys (above) impersonated Sir Elton John and others in his comedy show at the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson this past Tuesday night. He will be at Hobbs (539-2000) in West Ossipee Aug. 17 and back at the Door Aug. 18. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — “Abby's home.”

It's a headline that we had long hoped to have been able to write, and for this past Tuesday's edition of The Sun, we got to do exactly that.

Like the rest of the valley, we are overjoyed with the news that missing teen Abigail Hernandez returned home to her family Sunday night. It's been the talk of the town — and the state and beyond.

Channel 9 and national media have been in town, interviewing people on Main Street in North Conway with their cameras, including Dennis O'Neil and friend Sharon Roberts in front of Horsefeathers Monday night, and Peter Patel at Valley Food and Beverage.

Word had it Brian Hill of Hill's Florists received a floral order this week from Dr. Phil to be delivered to Abby.

As the FBI's Kieran Ramsey told us Monday afternoon, the details about how she came home, where she has been and under what circumstances will all “come out in the wash” in time.

Read more...

7-17-valley-voiceHoot Night host Jonathan Sarty was joined on stage by Steve and Ann Frost of Jackson's three young granddaughters (Lilah, Natalie and Mia) on “Country Road” at Tuesday's Hoot, held at the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson. Quipped Jonathan, “I've gotta say: It's too bad for all the other performers, because they're going to be a tough act to follow!” (COURTESY PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

SO, HOW'S YOUR POST FAB FOUR “morning after” going?

“We Saw Her Standing There” (and just about everyone else!) last night, as Arts Jubilee kicked off its 2014 summer season of five concerts with a Beatlemania Tribute that set a high bar for the rest of the season.

Bob Halligan Jr. of Ceili Rain fame portrayed a right-handed Sir Paul McCartney on stage, as he and his fellow mop-topped Lads from Liverpool musicians rocked through sets that covered the Beatles' hit-packed career.

Master of ceremonies for the show, fittingly enough, was Beatles fan Mark Johnson of WMWV 93.5-FM. Mark interviewed Bob at the studios when he got into town Wednesday afternoon.

From “She Loves You” to “Yellow Submarine” and “Revolution,” you had to love all the phases of their song list.

I posted a notice on Facebook to remind fellow Fab Four fans about the show, and asked friends to list their favorite Beatles songs — a tough task for anyone, but hey, why not start a dialogue, right?

Mine is “And Your Bird Can Sing,” a John number.

Read more...

7-10-valley-voice---dennis-and-daveyMusician Davey Armstrong (right) and musical duo partner Dennis O'Neil are shown at the Shannon Door, where they perform Saturdays (they're at May Kelly's Fridays). Davey is shown with his USA hat, presented by friend Ram Harvey after the Scotsman earned his American citizenship on July 4. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

AH, THE BEST OF SUMMER is here and the living is easy, at least here in Mount Washington Valley this past week, with blue skies, fair breezes and tons of activities following the rainy Fourth of July.

Topping it off July 11 through 13 and again July 18 through 20 is the return to the Conway Scenic Railroad of every young rail fan's dream, Thomas the Tank Engine. CSRR event director Susan Logan tells us that new this year is an “Austism Friendly” train on Sunday, June 20, at 3:15 p.m.

For further information, call (800) 232-5251 or visit www.ConwayScenic.com/events.

MUSIC GALORE: The music scene is definitely heating up as we head toward the middle part of July.
Yours truly was given the supreme bucketlist honor, for example, of getting to guest conduct the MWV Band in its first weekly evening concert at the North Conway Community Center bandstand this past Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m.

We did John Philip Sousa's “The Washington Post March,” which was the same song I was asked to do for the Arts Jubilee Pops Concert in 2011. I went casual this time (alas, no tux) but I did finally get to tell my conductor joke, the one I had wanted to tell at Arts Jubilee but got cut off due to time constraints. It's the one that goes:

Q: “What's the difference between an orchestra and a passenger train?”
ANSWER: “A passenger train actually needs a conductor!”

BADAMP, BUM … RIM SHOT!

Each park concert has a theme and will feature a guest conductor from the community.  

SAU 9 asst. supt. Kevin Richard will do the honors July 15. He will lead the Mount Washington Valley Band in “The Colonel Bogey March” which was composed in 1914 by F.J. Ricketts, a British Army Bandmaster.  The tune became popular in the 1957 film, “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.

The concert will even feature the Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, highlights from the Broadway musical “Grease” and more.

In the weeks to come, other local “celebrities” will lead the band including Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, and George Cleveland, director of the Gibson Senior Center.

ARTS JUBILEE: 1964 BEATLES TRIBUTE: The MWV Band will be the opening act at 6 p.m. when Arts Jubilee kicks off its 32nd season July 17 at Cranmore.

“Beatlemania Stage Show,” will feature Bob Halligan Jr. of Ceili Rain fame, playing a right-handed Paul McCartney as one of the Fab Four as they work their Beatles magic in honor of the Liverpool Lads' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV 50 years ago in January 1964.

“We're hoping that Bob (Halligan) will be stopping by our studios when he comes to town Wednesday before Thursday's show,” said WMWV 93.-FM program director Mark Johnson this week.

Halligan, the ever-cheeky and beloved band leader and singer/songwriter has long been a fan of the station, and the valley, in the years since then station dj George “Mountain Mouth” Cleveland discovered Ceili Rain and introduced their spirited, spiritually uplifting, well-crafted pop music to the valley, which ultimately led to their first of six appearances for Arts Jubilee in 1999.

It will be a real treat to get to see Bob on stage as Paul as he, John, George and Ringo (or at least musicians portraying them) take to the stage. See you there with your lawnchair at Cranmore at 6 p.m. July 17!

CORMAC'S NEW CD: In other musical news (and there's a lot of it this time of year), the Bradley Park Tuesday Night Concert Series kicked off in Fryeburg Village July 8. The shows are held in July on Tuesdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. and presented by the Fryeburg Business Association.

One of our all-time folk favorites, Cormac McCarthy, performs there this Tuesday, July 15. Tune in to WMWV 93.5-FM at noon time to hear his live interview and a sampling of his wonderful newest CD, “Collateral.”

He'll also be at the Sunday Concerts by the River summer series behind The Other Store in Tamworth Village July 20 from 3 to 5 p.m., and at Chequers Villa July 25.

Cormac is a New England regional gem — he would be a great addition (hint, hint) to the Cold River Radio Show series. As Jeff McLaughlin, of The Boston Globe, writes, “"A distinctive songwriter with a warm, powerful, inherently melodic baritone, a fine guitarist and a devastating wit ... enormous writing gifts, capable of putting chills into your spine or a silly grin on your face..." From the zany “I Want to Dress You In Pink Flamingos” to the bittersweet Hank Williams tribute, “Blue Cadillac,” we wholeheartedly agree.

For more, visit www.cormac-mccarthy.com.

MIDDLEGROUND CD RELEASE PARTY: The Concerts By The River show in Tamworth from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, will feature a CD release party for Peter Heimlich and Cindy Duchin's of Middle Ground's new release, “Open Door.”  

COLD RIVER: The next Cold River Radio Show is set for the Theater in the Wood on Observatory Way in Intervale on July 13 at 7 p.m. The lineup will feature The Allen Estes Trio as the headliner.
The show's solo singer will be Melvern Taylor of the Fabulous Meltones. Comedian/storyteller David Neufeld and author Monica Wood will also be featured, with Wood discussing her latest book, “When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine.”
Host Jonathan Sarty and the Cold River Band will also entertain, with Jonathan interviewing guests as well. Visit www.jonathansarty.com/coldriverradio for further information.

HOOT: Kudos to birthday high school musician Reilly Parkhurst and her dad Dan and bandmates, as they played some Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones tunes at this past Tuesday's Hoot Night at the Wildcat Tavern. Reilly celebrated her birthday with a house party at the stage they have constructed at their Eaton Road home stage Saturday.

YANKEE DOODLE DAVEY: Congrats to Scotsman/Jackson resident Davey Armstrong of the Celtic musical duo Dennis and Davey, as he earned his American citizenship on July 4, and was sworn in with 101 fellow new Americans at Portsmouth's Strawberry Banke that day.
The next day, he and musical partner Dennis O'Neill performed as usual at the Shannon Door Pub for their Saturday night gig (they're at May Kelly's, local fans well know, Fridays). At one point, fan Ram Harvey arose from the crowd, and presented Davey with a USA baseball cap, which Davey proudly wore as they went through their rousing set, which included a patriotic tune or two. Davey and Becky's college-age son, Chris, joined Dennis and Davey for some Chicago harmonica blues, much to the crowd's delight.
Among the fans there were two young brothers, one of whom is named Tyler, 10. Confined to a wheelchair due to a medical condition, he showed a real gift for clapping with great rhythm as he sat in front of the stage, taking in the music. (I told him he ought to become a drummer, which brought a big smile to his face).
Dennis and Davey asked to have their photo taken with the young fans, making for a nice night of music and camaraderie, followed by the spectacular and very well-attended Jackson July 4th fireworks on the 5th.
It's too bad that the North Conway fireworks were impacted by Friday's heavy rain. Better luck for the kickoff to the Town of Conway's 250th celebration on New Year's eve Dec. 31!

And kudos to all who participated in the Conway Village parade, and the first-ever North Conway Chili Dog Eating contest for the Wounded Warrior Project. Sarah Verney of the MWV Chamber didn't come close to the 9.5 hot dogs that winner Ed Camerino of Lowell downed, stopping at just two and one bite, but she won the fund-raising title with $600.

GOOD TIME CHARLIE: It's always tough to lose friends and family.
A beautiful celebration of life was held at St. Andrew's-in-the-Valley in Tamworth on a sunny Sunday afternoon July 6 in memory of late Wildcat Ski School instructor and Chocorua Lake Association board member Charlie L. Worcester (1959-2014).  “Good Time Charlie” was remembered for his zest and his ability to spark any dinner party with spirited conversation. They also spoke of his compassion for children, especially the young Dana-Farber cancer patients who used to come to Wildcat every end-of-ski season courtesy of then owners, the Franchi family. Charlie once hoisted a young patient on his shoulders and skied with him from the summit just so he could take in the beautiful view of Mount Washington and Tuckerman Ravine across the notch from The ’Cat.
The last time I saw Charlie was at Weston's Beach last summer — as I walked across the sand, thinking I was about to spend the afternoon reading my Whitey Bulger book alone, I heard a loud voice boom out, “What? You mean they let the paparazzi here?”
I looked out across the sand to see a man waving for me to come on over.
It was the always horn-rim bespectacled and ever-chatable Charlie, of course, sitting with three bikini-clad pretty ladies. “Join us!” said Charlie, which I gladly did.
Like the late Doug “The Rooster” Campbell, Charlie always was more alive than anyone else. It was sad to lose him at such an early age, but I know I will think of him every time I ski at Wildcat — or take to Weston's with a new book.

Without Charlie's gift of talking up the ladies, of course, I am sure I will be reading that book alone. He was never shy, that was for sure, and we'll miss him because of that love of life.

WE ALSO salute good-natured and always gracious former Starting Gate Ski Shop co-owner Bill Krim, who died after a battle with cancer at age 79 July 3. Along with friend Brett Russell, he ran the shop there at the base of Cranmore with style and a good word for everyone.
Visiting hours will be at Furber and White July 17 from 6 to 8 p.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. July 18 at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church.

HAPPY B-DAYS to one and all, including (belatedly) 1968 cross country ski Olympian Jack Lufkin of the Attitash Grand Summit, the Obs' ever upbeat Krissy Fraser, Furber and White's always kind Charlie Sutton, and Cranmore operations manager Rick Oaks (all 7-9); MotorSports Plus' auto-body artist Jim Savoie and World Cup mountain biker Peter Ostroski (both 7-10), and Mary Case (7-11).

WORLD CUP FINAL: That's all from this World Cup soccer grandstand. If you can stand the excitement (and admittedly, that's bound to be tough!), be sure to check out the final between Germany and Argentina Sunday, July 13, at 3 p.m. on ABC-TV. Can't you just feel that World Cup Fever kicking in, big time? Almost makes up for the lackluster Sox. At least we've got the fabulous Jeff “The Redstone” Locke to cheer for, right, baseball fans?

7-3-valley-voice---chili-dog-contestTO THE (CHILI) DOGS: Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce staffers will be supporting office manager Sarah Verney (fourth from left) as she goes for the record in chili dogs eaten and funds raised in North Conway's Chili Dog Contest, set to be held in Schouler Park as part of the Town of Conway's Fourth of July festivities Friday from 5 to 5:30 p.m. as a fund-raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Lending their support (from left) are MWVCC staffers Melody Nester, Mary Seavey, Matt Parker, Jaimie Crawford and executive director Janice Crawford. (COURTESY PHOTO)By Tom Eastman

HAPPY  FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL YOU fellow firecrackers, and here's to a Happy 238th, Uncle Sam!

For a complete round-up of all local Fourth (and Fifth) events, see the article found elsewhere in this issue of The Conway Daily Sun, or check our Facebook page for updates.

As of press time, despite weather impact fears about Hurricane Arthur here and elsewhere in New England Friday, everything was a go for local events and fireworks in Conway on the Fourth, according to Conway Parks and Recreation Department director John Eastman.

“We'll post updates on our Conway Rec Facebook page, on our web page, and on WMWV 93.5-FM (356-9930), but we're going for it. We're on,” said Eastman Thursday afternoon.

Friday's Conway Village parade is set for 1:30 p.m., after which the focus shifts to North Conway's Schouler Park beginning at 3:30 p.m., with the Abby Miller Band performing at 5:30 p.m., the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast  from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the fireworks at 9:30 p.m. A rain date for the fireworks only is set for July 5, but as we said, John Eastman said Thursday it's still a go for Friday as of press time.

CHILI DOGS: Among the Schouler Park activities is the Chili Dog Eating Contest from 5 to 5:30 p.m. for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Project.

“I hear at Nathan's annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island that the reigning champion likes to fast for three days and then gulps down water to stretch his esophagus,” said co-organizer Jason Stretch of Importech (447-3873), who is presenting the contest with Dave Hausman of Big Dave's Deli (356-3283).

“We're hoping that people will come by our booth at the park and make donations,” said Jason Thursday, “so that this can grow and become an annual event to help our Wounded Warrriors.”

Among the entrants that we know of is petite and ever-sweet office manager Sarah Verney of the MWV Chamber. Sarah is seeking pledges to try and raise the most money, conceding ahead of time that she probably won't get the honors for most chili dogs downed, given her small size and equally small appetite.

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