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Dumping On New Hampshire

Earlier today, my unfortunate colleague Jim Addison (well, soon to be unfortunate -- some things take a little time to prepare) linked to a story out of Hollis, New Hampshire. It appears that some people have been using the town's dump as a social venue. Mr. Addison took that opportunity to not only mock my fellow Granite Staters, but to also make some very unfortunate and improper (but, perhaps, prescient) aspersions at myself, as well.

Such things must not be left unchallenged.

My first response was to say "well, that's Hollis for you." Hollis is a suburb of Nashua, and sits right on the Massachusetts border. A lot of border communities have become, essentially, "North Massachusetts," and this is the sort of thing that one can expect from Massholes.

Then I went and read the story, and I have to say that these people are, indeed, living up to the finest New Hampshire traditions.

It's all in the parts that Mr. Addison chose NOT to quote. For example:

But the backlash has been to the 30-minute rule. A big reason for its adoption is the popularity of the dump's "still good" table, where residents disposing of their trash put items that they no longer want but that are still usable. On Saturday a coffee maker, two pairs of cross-country skis, a dresser and a Disney Princess Castle were among the things up for grabs. Some people browse at the table for hours and have their cars parked adjoining it, for easy transfer should they find something they want. That blocks traffic.

"They're here all day long," Peter Carroll said of a number of fellow townspeople, "like seagulls waiting for someone to drop a piece of food."

See? This isn't garbage, this is a free garage sale. This is good old-fashioned Yankee frugality -- "I don't have any use for this any more, but it's still good. I can't stand to throw it away, I'll let someone else have a chance to take it." It's not only environmentally sound, it's just plain good neighborliness.

And on the other hand, why spend good money for something when you can get it for free? And if you don't like it, you can just bring it back and toss it back on the table. I come from a long line of Yankee pack-rats, and I cringe when I see something with some life still in it consigned to the dumpster.

And just because it's called a dump, that doesn't mean it has to be... well, dumpy.

Ms. D'Esopo said she understood why people wanted to hang out at her dump, which she has lovingly decorated with a Pollockesque painting and various stuffed animals she found in the trash, all of which now hang from the structure where residents put their recyclables. Artificial flowers protrude from parking cones, and a small garden lies nearby. Not a whiff of trash is in the air.

"It's a beautiful dump," Ms. D'Esopo said.

Let's see someone say the same about your average big city street. Especially one with street vendors and alleyways.

We have something slightly similar here in Lebanon. At the recycling center (formerly the town dump), there's a big bookshelf that's overflowing with books. Done with some books? Leave 'em here. Want some free reading material? Take what you like. I've done some swapping there, and it's remarkable what you will find. I grabbed a hardcover of "Hannibal Rising" and a paperback of Mad Magazine's Don Martin's "Adventures of Captain Klutz" off the same shelf, and passed on "Watership Down" -- although it's one of my absolute favorite books, I have two copies already. (Having an emergency backup copy of your favorite book is never a bad idea.)

So yeah, Mr. Addison, enjoy your little giggles at New Hampshire's expense. We can take it, 'cuz we know that we are, indeed, "all that and more." Only our native New Englander reticence and modesty prevents us from reminding the residents of those lesser 49 states that we are far more entitled to being arrogant about our home state than anyone else, even Texans.

Well, reticence, modesty, and a determination to not have everyone else come rushing to live here and ruin the state if they only knew how it is here.

And I'd rather live at the Hollis Town Dump than anywhere in Massachusetts.

Flowers, cards, and letters of sympathy to Mr. Addison over his pending unfortunate and tragic accident may be sent any time after Thanksgiving.


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Comments (21)

**grabbing popcorn**... (Below threshold)

**grabbing popcorn**

Poor Jim Addison, I'll miss... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Poor Jim Addison, I'll miss him.

One of my fondest memories of growing up in New Hampshire is going to the town dump with my Dad. The treasures that a young boy could find were amazing. I even once found an almost perfectly good snow ski! Imagine my disapointment when I found out I couldn't convert it to a water ski.

Yup, you could see almost anybody at the dump if you hung around long enough on a saturday, and even though dumping the trash only took about 10 minutes, the trip required at least an hour since one had to look things over and visit with the others dumping trash.

We don't have that pleasure in the west where I live now, it is purely a business transaction. Hurry up and dump, and no looking for things that might have a little use left in them.

"It's a beautiful dump." LO... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"It's a beautiful dump." LOL! I could almost say the same thing about my living room! Well, sometimes...:-)

JT,Have any of the... (Below threshold)
D:

JT,

Have any of these people ever heard of Craig's List? Come on, people, garage sales are sooo 20th century.

The city dump is where most... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

The city dump is where most of these enviromentalists wackos should leave their crazy ideas about this global warming poppycock
depp=true

we are far more en... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:
we are far more entitled to being arrogant about our home state than anyone else, even Texans.
Ha! You're always good for a laugh, Jay Tea. -- A Texan    
I'm with you, Jay. Craigsl... (Below threshold)

I'm with you, Jay. Craigslist and Ebay may be a good way to sell items, but there's no fun like picking through castoffs and searching for treasure.

Years ago I was looking at a table full of junk at a yard sale and discovered a nifty little camera in a tiny leather box. I bought it for a buck and gave it to my Dad. He took the camera out to look at it and there on the bottom were the words that turned it from an interesting piece of junk to a very valuable collectible: Made in Occupied Japan.

I'll never forget that thrill. If I lived in New Hampshire, I'd be very pleased to hang out at the dump with such fine folks.

Other places outside NH hav... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Other places outside NH have something similar, its called Freecycle, and you don't have to stand out in the rain to use it.

JT, you had me through your... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, you had me through your article up to "even Texans". Now you stepped in it. All your credibility went out the window. In Texas, we can fit New Hampshire in a Texans pick up. Texans are not arrogant; we are proud. Self reliant. Leaders, not followers.

I do love the line "a beautiful dump." That is so darn funny. ww

It's not just New Hampshire... (Below threshold)
kevino:

It's not just New Hampshire: my friends from a couple of small towns in Massachusetts do the same thing. Our friend who is a real-estate salesman volunteers at hazardous waste days to meet people and touch base with old friends. It seems to be a social thing in New England small towns.

I wonder if this is how the "Yankee Swap" got invented.

LOLOL, I've got to grab som... (Below threshold)
Kat:

LOLOL, I've got to grab some popcorn, too! This lovely little show ought to be terribly amusing. I will make sure to send some flowers to Mr. Addison's family, if Jay will be kind enough to give us some sort of address ;-)

That dump sounds like a wonderful, quirky, non-boring place - but I admit that, should I find myself in NH, I'd want to go visit JAY's dump: I love books *snicker*

Hm. Now that I think of it, perhaps flowers would be too ephemeral. Jay Tea, what do you think of a memorial plaque for Mr. Addison? Perhaps something which could be enshrined at the dump he maligned in so ungentlemanly a fashion?

[ducks, runs, hides...]

*giggle*

-- Kat

got quite the chuckle out o... (Below threshold)
chiuninho:

got quite the chuckle out of the "even texans" line. as a texan, i hear stuff like that quite a lot: i'm reminded of my little 4-year-old nephew, who was quite a scrappy little guy. he was just *convinced* he was the baddest dude on the planet, and would forever offer to go a few rounds with his 235 lb. athlete uncles. "what're yew, some kind of **chicken**??", he'd taunt. "if yew won't fight me, yer *yella*!!"

his uncles would tousle his hair and send him on his way, undefeated and still champion. kindest to let the tiny little guy have his harmless fun.

that whole "new hampshire" thing is like that. one pictures scrawny yankees shaking their tiny little fists, flexing their tiny little muscles, rambling on about "the size of the fight in the dog, ayuh" in their bizarre, indeciperable pepperidge farm accents.

Chiuninho, that is a great ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Chiuninho, that is a great response. Thanks from one Texas to another. ww

Let the record show that if... (Below threshold)

Let the record show that if you flattened out all our mountains and filled in all our lakes (heaven forfend), New Hampshire would be bigger than Texas.

Significantly bigger.

But, quite possibly, just as boring to look at.

J.

I suppose the good Hollisit... (Below threshold)

I suppose the good Hollisites ("Hollisters?" "Hollisians?") are fully justified in taking pride in their dump. I'm sure it is, in fact, "a beautiful dump." Most people probably wouldn't take the time and effort to decorate their dump.

It's not unusual, though, for people who spend inordinate amounts of time around such places to get the idea that "their dump don't stink." Think Ed Norton in New York's sewers . . . and soooo thoughtful to save all the muss and fuss of "dumpster diving" by just putting the trash on a table for others to peruse.

The only problem is when these socializing scavengers and Dumpster Divas clog up the whole place as they circle and wait for someone to discard a Picasso or a Veg-O-Matic, and the other taxpaying citizens - the inconsiderate utilitarians! - who merely wish to use the "dump" to actually "dump" stuff and get on with their lives - and curse them for having lives to get on with! - cannot get into the place at all. The resulting gridlock would shut down Hollis Road, eventually backing up Nashua, and before you know it the entire East Coast economy is trapped waiting for someone to decide whether that discarded lamp is really a Tiffany, or just a knock-off.

"And I'd rather live at the Hollis Town Dump than anywhere in Massachusetts."

It is precisely this attitude which caused the traffic jams in the first place, isn't it?

Hampshire made #37. Hey, c... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Hampshire made #37. Hey, coulda been worse ...

JT:Boring? Whatchu m... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

JT:
Boring? Whatchu mean boring?

Got news for you,
there many awesomely gorgeous places in Texas.
Like the Lake of Pines up in north east Texas.
Palo Duro Canyon up in the panhandle, second
largest canyon after the Grand Canyon in these
here United States. Mighty pretty.
Lake Amistad down on the border with wind caves filled with ancient native paintings along the
Devils River.
White water rafting along the Red River, although you could find yourself a floating
target in some areas of the border
We even have noodlng and fly fishing here.
Tsk tsk!

JT:Boring? Whatchu m... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

JT:
Boring? Whatchu mean boring?

Got news for you,
there many awesomely gorgeous places in Texas.
Like the Lake of the Pines up in north east Texas.
Palo Duro Canyon up in the panhandle, second
largest canyon after the Grand Canyon in these
here United States. Mighty pretty.
Lake Amistad down on the border with wind caves filled with ancient native paintings along the
Devils River.
White water rafting along the Red River, although you could find yourself a floating
target in some areas of the border
We even have noodlng and fly fishing here.
Tsk tsk!

Apparently, Maggie was post... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Apparently, Maggie was posting from a deep canyon with an wcho-chamber effect ...

Nah, I'm posting from piney... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Nah, I'm posting from piney woods adjacent
to a national forest, some would call it the
sticks. We do have echoes of mocking birds.
Hehe

Let the record sho... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:
Let the record show that if you flattened out all our mountains and filled in all our lakes (heaven forfend), New Hampshire would be bigger than Texas.

Ha! You're quite good at staying in character. But just in case you were serious, you do realize that Texas also has mountains, right? Perhaps you didn't know that we have the Hill Country, an area filled with hills as tall as 700 feet and larger in area than New Hampshire.

As far as interesting to look at, well we have a lot more than fall leaves and some granite hills. We have coasts, mountains, deserts, bayous/swamps/marshes (also known as Houston), black-land prairie, and high plains.

Come on down sometime. I'll forgive you your ignorance this once and buy you a beer or two.




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