Reflections from/about the Island of New Castle

Bill Pappou Drew

One of my favorite expressions is “Experience the Joy in the Journey.” Life is full of journeys and, as they say, take an opportunity once in a while to “Smell the flowers.”  

The roadway entrance into New Castle

It began with me and Jim Cerny wanting to find out more about this on-line publication Rye Reflections. We ventured off our island of New Castle and visited the neighboring town’s Library where we encountered a large table with Joy all around it. We were hooked. It has been four years of a once-a-week “entertainment time,” in creating each issue of “Citizen Journalism.”

The group usually numbers about a dozen with each bringing his/her own set of talents, stories, and experiences into the discussion. Never has there been a harsh word or show of disrespect, just laughter and smiles coupled with relevant details, loads of sidetrack information and quips. How fortunate we have all been to have shared.

Hank McFarland, Marge Carroll, Bob Dunn, Marion Dunn, Catherine Stone, Bill Veazey, Al Harper, Ellen Hamil, Jim Cerny

Ellen Hamil, Jim Cerny, Bill Warren, Jane de Constant, Ken Palm, Judy Palm, Hank McFarland, Marge Carroll. Missing is Jack Driscoll and photographer Bill Pappou Drew

Jack Driscoll
As I look over my contributions to the effort, I am in awe at the experiences I have encountered. I relish the research involved and have to keep in mind the tip offered by Jack Driscoll, my mentor, of placing a two or so word statement above the keyboard as to what the objective of the article is so as to not get sidetracked. Most often it doesn’t work, but I try.

Jack has helped me along a bit by making me aware and encouraging me to write. At his suggestion I attended an MIT workshop on storytelling. He tried to make a newspaperman out of this cub reporter but seeing it hopeless shifted to improving upon the way I ramble on in one story and another. I can't thank him enough for the wonderful relationship we have had in being frank with one another. He would say, "You are moving on to third," or "approaching home." I have learned so much, particularly about myself. A writer? Who would have believed it?

I have been fortunate to have made a close friend of Jim. His uncanny ability to find points (needles) of information buried in haystacks of data is beyond belief. His knowledge of photography and the use of the computer invaluable and I feel I have obtained a graduate degree in each. His observations of the world around him - particularly though his photographs - have helped me focus on reflections of the world I live in.

New Castle has been near and dear to my heart for most of my life. My high school yearbook in New York State describes me as being New Hampshire bound and it happened. As soon as I graduated, I "signed up" as a resident of New Castle. It has always been my home, even though I spent some forty years in Nashua at my day job.

Because of this deep tap root, a major portion of my writing has been about the New Castle scene. In preparing these articles, I am deeply indebted to all the residents, both current and former, who assisted me along the way with factual information while enjoying the camaraderie. I have learned a lot and hope the readers of my articles have also.  

My New Castle articles include:

September, 2007
Citizens polish a gem in New Castle
Take on reclamation of Fort Stark at entrance of Portsmouth Harbor

October, 2007
The Great Island gem releases new views  
Volunteer reclamation shines new light on Fort Stark

January, 2008
Making waves with a cookbook – a winter project  
Over 21,000 gifts of experience, history, and local cuisine

Anatomy of a heist: It was history that was stolen  
Low-value items taken at Old Library Museum in New Castle, but ...

July, 2008
New Castle’s backyard hosts man and nature  
A summer day at the Mill Pond where ancient dams lend special effects

August, 2008
One-day opening of Café puts visitors back in time.  
100-year-old Piscataqua Cafe still furnished; woodwork gleams

August, 2008
Marine biology students explore local environment  
Summer school makes use of a NH State Park and tidal waters in New Castle

November, 2008
New Castle: A boatload of Island Pride  
A fisherman's skiff full of beautiful flora, a greeting upon entering New Castle

November, 2009
Fort Stark thrives with a variety of new life  
The rebirth of an abandoned fort provides a home of recreation          

March, 2010
With the passage of time, the last of the forbidden fruit  
A tree with memories succumbs to the force of February's whipping wind

March, 2010
Success: The "Back Channel Islands." are preserved  
An open space and conservation project by the residents of the Town of New Castle

April, 2010
Making a difference in my retirement years  
Residents contributing their talents to the town of New Castle

April, 2010
Competition Day for New Castle DI Teams  
An experience in celebrating creativity and Imagination

"Red sky at night, sailor's delight;" Fair weather ahead.

A view from home


September, 2010