The Hooksett, New Hampshire Library

After a few hours of blue highway cruising in southern New Hampshire, the Jolly Swag and I found ourselves on a late afternoon glide path toward Manchester.  The movie of the side of the highway hurried by with but a few milliseconds for each unremarkable frame.

My mind was on autopilot when this image flashed by. 

Hooksett Condo

After I passed, the vision replayed in my head.  The unexpected tableau demanded a second look, even though a couple of miles would pass before I’d be able to find a place to turn around.

For the last year I’ve begun to consider the notion of settling down.  The yearning is still mild—I feel that I have another year or two of wanderlust in me.  But I find myself thinking about what sort of place I could drop an anchor for a few months at a time in transition from full-timing to some-timing.  That thinking, pipe-dreaming really, plays with ideas about how to recognize the sort of community that I’d welcome.

You know, if I had to make a short list of community qualities with a secret code revealing the town that would capture my heart, one might be a super-classy library and all the glorious bookish activities it would mother. 

So while returning up to the Hooksett Public Library, my imagination was abuzz and I recalled for the severalth time the last line of Travels With Charley.

I turned off at the corner and found the driveway toward the edifice, ever more grand as I approached.

Once at the entrance, I spied another building a hundred yards down the driveway and a sign that scrunched my forehead.

 Hooksett Library

Now confused, I parked and walked back to the mystery castle which was absent any signage I walked to the entrance and tugged on the eighty-pound door which, let me into the foyer, where I was thwarted by locked twin inner doors.

Back to the library, where I asked what the story was on the building. 

The building had begun life as a girls’ school and now was a condo.  Yes, quite an elegant way to recycle a school, but insufficient to be an oasis for a rootless vagabond.






About allevenson

Writer (of stories, journals, email dialogues), Reader (of books written by friends, recommended by friends, and works-in-progress of friends), Hiker (never met a trailhead I didn't like), Biker (more scenery for the buck than hiking) and lately, Blogger (about my Year on the Road at
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6 Responses to The Hooksett, New Hampshire Library

  1. Betty St. John says:

    While you are New Hampshire, don’t overlook St. Gaudens. An amazing place!!

  2. David L says:

    You’re beginning to sound like you belong there. Drop the “g’s” on your “ing’s” and you’d be hard to tell from a native. Great shots, BTW, and I am try to read the sign in front of the condo. Looks like a request to vote, it’s the right colors.

  3. Pat Bean says:

    I loved New Hampshire, but spent most of the time in the White Mountains.

  4. Colleen Rae says:

    What a fascinating building, the castle. Interesting that it no longer holds the books. New Hampshire is a lovely state. Love the White Mountains too. Let all of your readers know where you plan to put down roots when the growth cycle happens to you. Until then, we are happy to hear of your merry travels and the marvelous people you run into.

  5. Colleen Rae says:

    Sorry Al. I just reread the last paragraph and now know the castle never held the books, only the school girls…

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