Rye General Store: changing times, changing hands Marella, Duffy-Durkin top school ballot Swim & Surf Club hearings resume Serenity Cafe gets boost Ruth Ryan honored Lago? Sound familiar?

Jack Driscoll

When Herb Philbrick lived his three lives he lived in Melrose Mass. on Upham Street, where I lived growing up, three blocks away.

Herb Philbrick testifying.
A while after exposing his undercover FBI role in testimony before the House Un-American Affairs committee, as shown in the adjoining photo, Philbrick returned to his native North Hampton, living on Chapel Road, and bought Carberry's general store on Route 1-A just south of Cable Road and adjacent to Gray Court.

More than 50 years ago when I spent summer weekends in Rye, Herb manned the checkout counter, always smiling and pleasant, as Sunday newspaper junkies and cigarette addicts streamed through. The food counter, frequented during the week by retirees and workers with pickup trucks, had a mix of townies and transients, grabbing coffee and a little breakfast in the early morning. As the day wore on, sandaled beach-goers flowed in and out, buying cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches (before the day of the small coolers). Business was brisk, though prices were high.

Besides "I Led Three Lives" lettered across the front awning, a number of books were propped up in the front display window. His shyness didn't impair his promotional instincts.

Book also had 3 lives, becoming TV series and movie.
The store went through several owners and operators thereafter, until a year ago when Andy Widen, owner of Ray's Restaurant, not only bought what had become the Rye General Store and Grille but renovated it for what looked like the long haul. Perhaps the inclement weather that wiped out the first half of last summer for merchants along the coast led to the closing of the store and the posting of a large sign in the window last November announcing the property was again for sale or lease. As the months have passed by with no sign of activity, the specter has arisen of a key beach store being closed this summer.

Have no fear, real estate agent Bill Graham assures. His company, Wtg Real Estate LLC of Rye, is handling the listing. While he is unable to specify whom the operator will be, Graham asserts that the store not only will be open this summer but it will be open this spring, in April. He further says it will be generally the same type of business it has been in the past,

And so, it would appear that the store once owned by the man who led 3 lives has 9 lives of its own.

Marella, Duffy-Durkin win in Rye

Kristen Marella and Margaret Duffy-Durkin were elected to the School Board in the most contested race in Rye's March 9 election as Priscilla Jenness went unopposed for re-election to the Board of Selectmen. A total of 998 ballots were cast, representing 20.8% of the electorate.

Workforce housing articles passed by wide margins as did all but two other town warrant articles. All school warrants passed. Failing were the Town's Article 10 to raise $19,800 to purchase a vehicle for town personnel use on town business (rather than being reimbursed for use of their own automobiles), 604-352, and Article 12, calling for amended language to the Town Employees' Accumulated Fund. The tally on the amended language was 475 to 433, but a two-thirds vote was required for approval. Click here for complete results.

In Hampton voters reversed last year's results and overwhelmingly agreed to authorize their Board of Selectmen to  extend the sewer service with Rye that affects residents along the seacoast up to Locke Road, The tally was an overwhelming 2,116 to 735. (See article language below).

Official Rye Results:

SCHOOL BOARD (two elected): Kristen Marella, 566, and Margaret Duffy-Durkin, 435; Cynthia Lingamfelter, 373, Jayson Paquette, 214.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN: Priscilla Jenness, unopposed, 814.

BUDGET COMMITTEE (two elected): Shawn Crapo, 623, and James G. Maheras, 443; Mark Galvin, 387.

SUPERVISOR OF CHECKLIST: Jane Holway, 466; Brian J. Murphy, 347, Rosalie Powell Andrews, 83.

PLANNING BOARD (two elected): Mark Galvin, 642, and Jacinthe L. Grote, 633.

MODERATOR: Bob Eaton, unopposed, 867.

CEMETERY TRUSTEE: Frank Drake, unopposed, 861.

LIBRARY TRUSTEE: Victor D. Azzi, unopposed, 797.

TRUSTEE OF TRUST FUNDS: Andrew J. Mahoney, unopposed, 794.

SCHOOL DISTRICT TREASURER: Mark Zartarian, unopposed, 730.

SEWER COMMISSIONER: David M. Adams, unopposed, 793.

HAMPTON ARTICLE 20 Shall the Town of Hampton vote to rescind the direction, as given to the Board of Selectmen by Article 44 of the 2009 Town Meeting, not to renew the "Agreement between the Town of Hampton and the Town of Rye, New Hampshire regarding Treatment and Disposal of Wastewater" upon the expiration of its first renewal period on November 17, 2014, and instead vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to renew said Agreement for an additional 5 year period after November 17, 2014 on the same terms? (Majority vote required). Note: The initial 20-year agreement, which was entered into in 1989, has enabled the Town of Rye to dispose of its wastewater at Hampton's wastewater treatment plant, in return for Rye's initial investment of approximately $5 million dollars to establish a Hampton-Rye sewer connection and Rye's continuing payment to Hampton of a proportionate share, based on gallons, of both a) the use of Hampton's facilities and b) Hampton's capital costs. For the year 2009 these payments rom Rye to Hampton totaled $87,531. Due to the sewer work completed in the course of the Hampton Beach Infrastructure Improvements Project, Hampton's Wastewater Treatment Plan has more than enough capacity to handle the wastewater coming from Rye. By its terms, this Agreement is automatically renewable for successive periods of not less than 5 years unless 2 years prior to the termination date either party notifies the other that the Agreement shall not be renewed.


Rough winter waters move traps around, especially those set near shore. These remains at Odiorne State Park wait for their owner to eventually reclaim them or for removal in an organized shore clean-up. Two owner ID's are fixed to them as plastic tags but don't always survive the wave action. (Jim Cerny photo)



The wet snow that was woken up to on Feb. 16, clung to everything it touched, especially branches and wires


An early sun caused soaking snow showers for anyone who walked under a tree before 9 a.m. After that, the snow was virtually gone. (Jack Driscoll photos)


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March, 2010