Tag Archives: Common Man

COVID-19 NH: Hardly Any Outdoor Dining In State Capital, Concord (N.H.)

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

It was 11:30am, on a Sunny (but a tad mild (@60F)), Tuesday — 2nd day that New Hampshire restaurants were open for outdoor dining.

But, it was ALL empty or NOT set up.

We just saw two folks, a mother & daughter — & I drove up/down North & South Main St. as well as Loudon Road.

‘Red Arrow’ diner had picnic tables outside but was only doing takeout — and they were NOT busy.

I was sure (that my friend) Alex Ray’sCommon Man” would not only be all set-up, BUT BUSY. I was wrong. It was empty. Not set-up for outdoor dining. That makes no sense. They have a huge car park ideal for it.

So …


What gives?

Just time?

This week, from what I see, will be kind in terms of weather. No heavy rain. Doesn’t look good.

Stopped by “Dominick’s“, in Chichester, on the way back. Another joint with a HUGE car park. EMPTY with a sign on the door that said “CLOSED”.

I was amused by her (and yes, it is a ‘her’) message on the sign.

Does SHE realize the coded message that was in THE SONG?

Help from my friends‘. HHHmmmm. SMILE.

I am sure. That would definitely help. SMILE.

Related posts:
Search ‘COVID’.

by Anura Guruge

‘Art Harriman’ Leaves Sandwich Fair After 38-Years As Master Of Ceremonies.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Art Harriman, the World record holder for playing the smallest harmonica ever (1″), has been a fixture at Sandwich Fair, N.H., for the 20-years or more that we have been attending.

Monday, October 10, 2016, was, however, his last appearance at Sandwich Fair. It transpires that he has been there, every year, without fail for 38 years! That would mean that he has been there, regaling the punters, since 1978. That is a long time.

I did not know this but it transpires that “Common Man” founder/owner, Alex Ray (who has been providing food at Sandwich for 40 unbroken years), was instrumental in bringing Art to the Fair. Thank you Alex.

My friends, “Annie and The Orphans” have been performing at Sandwich for over 28-years (with a few years gap several years ago). Ironically I called up Art, on the phone, and spoke to him about getting “Annie and The Orphans” back to Sandwich. He was very gracious.

Annie and The Orphans” & Alex Ray gave Art quite the farewell, “Annie …” doing an extended 90(+) minute set. It was moving, but kind of sad. Definitely the end of an era.

Thank YOU, Mr. Art Harriman.

Sandwich will never be the same to us without YOU. We have never known Sandwich without you standing on the stage.

All the photos taken with my trusty Nikon P900.

Related posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘Nikon’ & ‘Six Images’ >>>>

by Anura Guruge

“Enter The Haggis”, Once An Exciting Celtic Rock Band, At The “Flying Monkey”, Plymouth, NH, March 18, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access their Website.

Click here to access their Website.


Click to access YouTube video.

A YouTube video, from 2008, clearly showing what they used to sound like
— a bona fide Celtic Rock Band.

flyingmokeylogoWe saw them, maybe 9 to 10 years ago at an New Hampshire ‘Highland Games‘ — one of the three that were not held in Loon. I think we actually went to those games (under protest because we did NOT like the move away from Loon) specifically to see “Enter the Haggis” and our perennial favorites “The Brigadoons“. “Enter the Haggis” did NOT disappoint. They rocked despite having to perform in a dingy, straw strewn barn. We loved them. We wanted to see them again. BUT they never played at the ‘Highland Games‘ again.

Today, I just happened to see in a Concord paper that they were playing at (Alex Ray’s (as in the “Common Man“)) “Flying Monkey” in Plymouth, New Hampshire on Friday, March 18, 2016. Just wanted to share that with YOU. I watched their latest videos on their Website. They have changed, evolved. The Celtic sound, in my opinion, has been compromised BUT I could be wrong. Anywho. They were once big and exciting. IF we have the time (and with the way the stock market is tanking the money) we might go to see them. But, you can go without us. SMILE.

Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

Ten In New Hampshire: Restaurants (Non-Buffet) In Central NH, Worth The Drive.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

.by Anura Guruge

A series of personal lists to share ‘MY New Hampshire’ with any interested reader.
In no particular order other than trying to intersperse the Chinese restaurants so they don’t all appear together.

The Italian Farmhouse. Part of the Alex Ray, 'Common Man' empire.

The Italian Farmhouse. Part of the Alex Ray, ‘Common Man’ empire.

Restaurants (Non-Buffet) In Central NH, Worth The Drive.

.1. The Italian Farmhouse– Plymouth.

.2. Green Ginger — Tilton. Œ

.3. Mame’s — Meredith.

.4. Red Arrow Diner

.5. West Lake
. Œ

.6. Common Man— Ashland.

.7. Peking Tokyo
— Gilford. Œ

.8. Giuseppe’s— Meredith.

.9. Walter’s Basin — Holderness.

10. Fratellos — Laconia.

Œ — Chinese.

Mame's in Meredith. Classy adult dining.

Mame’s in Meredith. Classy adult dining.

Sandwich Fair, NH, Saturday, October 6, 2012: Some Pictures

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
1/ Sandwich Fair, NH, Saturday, October 6, 2012: We Went, We Had Fun, We Recommend — Oct. 6, 2012.
2/ Sandwich Fair, NH, 2012: This Columbus Day Weekend; Weather A Factor — Oct. 5, 2012.

Click on thumbnail to ENLARGE it to full size and see all pictures as a slide show.

Sandwich Fair, NH, Saturday, October 6, 2012: We Went, We Had Fun, We Recommend.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> Sandwich Fair, NH, 2012: This Columbus Day Weekend; Weather A Factor — Oct. 5, 2012.

Click on image to ENLARGE all pictures to FULL size.

We got there about 9:40 am. The main, free car park on Bean Road/Squam Lake Road leading to Gate C was full. But, it wasn’t a problem. The auxiliary free car park, 200 yards down the road, was empty. That takes you via the quaint little “Murphy’s Bridge” to Gate E — and then straight to the Tractor Pull area. So we started by looking at some amazing antique cars, some old engines and 20 minutes of tractor pulls. That was good. Good way to start the show. Also a guy on stilts and Deanna and the kids love men on stilts. Growing up in Ceylon we would have men in stilts come by the house and do a performance for a few cents. I think it is a bygone era. Performers going door-to-door. We use to get snake charmers, fortune tellers and match makers, à la ‘Fiddler On The Roof’, too.

When we got to the Midway it was 11:20 and they were pushing the $15 ‘all-you-can-ride’ till 2pm bracelets. So I just ended up getting two for the kids and 6 additional tickets so that Deanna and I could go on the Ferris Wheel as we like to do as a family. So we did that. They were having a LOT of problems with the electric for the big rides. I had never thought about it. You can’t run the really big rides off an extension chord. They have huge power generating trucks around the Midway churning out the juice. But, they were having problems. ‘Air Force 1‘, the premier ride, was down for the count. Didn’t impact us greatly as Devanee won’t do it anymore after scaring herself to death on it a few years ago — when we took her and three other friends to the Fair for her birthday, on the birthday, October 10. They had a new ride, an UFO; a fast spinning UFOs with no openings or windows. Devanee, after a nervous first ride, did it twice more. Tesichan rode the carousel three or four times. They did the bumper cars. So I think we got our $30. Other than ‘Air Force 1’, as far as I could see, all the other rides, including the Ferris Wheel, were ‘3 tickets’ each. I think they have come down in tickets — possibly after seeing a drop in attendance when they jacked up prices.

We saw Roderick Russell, the mind reader and sword swallower at the stage. He was good. He said he was famous. I checked him out. He is. He was great. He was fun and yes, I got to get up on stage with him though he wouldn’t let me try swallowing his sword. I saw ‘Mo the Clown‘. I also saw and spoke briefly with Alex Ray of the ‘Common Man’ (who I have known since 1998). He was at his ‘distracted best‘. Enough said. 

Click to check out his Website and read about all his records and exploits. Nice young guy. I gave him some chocolates after the show. He was happy to get them, to sooth his throat.

The weather forecast I posted here was right. It was overcast from the beginning. We got two large showers, the first at 3:40 and the other around 5. Wasn’t a big deal for us. We ducked into the ‘Smith & Hodge Exhibit Halls‘ during the first downpour and the ‘Craft Building‘ for the second. Surprisingly neither was packed with people seeking shelter! For a start, it wasn’t that crowded to begin with, especially for a Saturday. I think many knew the forecast and decided to stay away. After the first shower the place was nearly empty. That was a shame. Felt bad for the vendors. By 5 a few of them were looking rather desperate. Then the sun did come out, but rain clouds threatened, all around. It was warm mid-day but after the rain it got noticeably cool. We all put on jackets.

The art show, as ever, was amazing. Love the quality of the photographs entered for the competition. Wow.

Definitely recommend that you try and get there Sunday or Monday. Good atmosphere. Great bonhomie. Everybody is friendly and is trying to have a good time.

Food prices were the same as last year. So that was two big contrasts with the 2012 Loon Highland Games; you didn’t feel that you were being mercilessly exploited at every turn and they had new things. Bravo.

Yes, we plan to go next year. [P.S., Sandwich, in a huge about-turn from years past, appears to have become a Democratic enclave. Not sure how that happened.]

Devanee playing field hockey with a pig. She, i.e., Devanee, won a pink ribbon for her efforts. We, however, didn’t get to bring one home.