[an error occurred while processing this directive]


  Field Notes From
ZipUSA: 05641

<< Back to Feature Page

ZipUSA: 05641 On AssignmentArrows

View Field Notes
From Author

Margaret G. Zackowitz

ZipUSA: 05641 On Assignment

View Field Notes
From Photographer

Cary Wolinsky

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Brian Strauss (top) and Mark Thiessen


ZipUSA: 05641

Field Notes From Author
Margaret G. Zackowitz

Best Worst Quirkiest
    I loved haunting Barre's Hope Cemetery. I went there nearly every day. The oldest sections, especially, are serene and beautiful. It's touching that so many people came to this little town—from so far away—for the granite. And now the granite is all that's left to remind us of them.
    My favorite memorial was the one for a baby named Alfredo Columbo. He was born in 1917 and died just a year later.  His grieving father carved the headstone, which features a chubby little angel grasping flowers, flying facedown towards the Earth. I had to get down to a year-old baby's level to see that the face of the angel is that of a grown man—the sculptor's face, one historian told me. Maybe he put it there so Alfredo could always look up to see his dad.

    Barre is a bad place to be a vegetarian. There are fast-food restaurants at either end of Main Street and not a heck of a lot of healthy in between. Everybody eats meat here; nobody really understands why somebody might not want to. Many times, I ended up back in my hotel room with a jar of peanut butter. That could be why, when I turned in my expense account receipts, I was asked, "Is this all?" Once, I tried to order a salad with my dinner. The waitress asked if applesauce would do.
    Another time one of my interview subjects informed me that he only had time to talk with me over lunch. "Great!" I told him. "Where do you want to eat?"
    "New Hampshire," he said.

    Maybe it's just a function of Barre being such a small town, but word travels fast there. One afternoon I was washing clothes at a local laundry and started chatting with some ladies who were doing the same thing. "Oh, we know who you are," one said after I introduced myself. "You were having breakfast with the mayor at Soups & Greens this morning."
    And I had been. So much for my journalistic anonymity. I really wanted to ask them what I'd eaten!

© 2003 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe