“GRATEFUL” or “GR8FUL” for Our Town

I know I have written to you about places near and far, but my heart will always belong to Londonderry. This week I felt a little like Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz. More than once I clicked my heels together and said out loud “There is no place like Londonderry, there is no place like Londonderry.” It’s always fun to venture out to other places and meet other people, hear their stories, but when you really need help, there is no place like home.

Like Dorothy, all of us just about every day “face” the good and bad unexpected, out of our control things. Often we never “see” them coming. That’s how my yesterday was.

Towards the end of my road this week I knew something felt funny in my eye and around the outside of it. It’s bad enough as we get older the lines and age marks seem to pop up overnight, but if you add to that an odd pattern of red marks and bumps with one huge one under my eye I knew I was in trouble. I tried to cover everything up with make-up. By last night it had gotten worst.

Now what do I do, well of course I headed down to Bart. Bart took one look at it and said you need to see a Dermatologist immediately. I guess the fear to a Dr. was it being near my eye, to me it was the poor students that I would be subbing for the next morning having to look at this all day. To me it looked contagious.

This again is our town. At almost 10 pm I texted Kendra, who, it seems like yesterday, was the best mom’s helper in town. Now Kendra is a professional working with Dr. Zabawski. I asked her if she thought there was any hope of me getting an appointment for first thing, and I mean first thing this morning. Remember I needed to be subbing by 7:45 am. Kendra responded immediately and said call our office at 6:30 am. I did and at 6:55 I was in the waiting area.

That’s Londonderry, that’s community. You don’t need to read all the icky details, but somehow in a matter of minutes, Dr. Z saw me, evaluated the situation, checked my eye with great care, and instructed me on what to do. Here is a picture of “us” at 7:10 this morning. He looks great, me not so much.

If you need a “real” Dermatologist, who will listen and take his time, and cares, call Derry Dermatology, Dr. Zabawski. I really think he has seen it all and I think he can do it all, but if he can’t he will make sure he gets you to the right person. I can’t say enough. Now this is really corny, but even his waiting room is inviting. There is a TV and a good selection of magazines. For the couple minutes I waited, I looked at a People Magazine. I never buy People, but I sure love to look at it in a waiting room when I’m worried and nervous. I have a feeling you know what I mean.

Yesterday as everything was brewing with my face, the irony of life again, I was “Visiting” with a place that can help all of us look and feel so much better but in a different way.

Londonderry resident, Laura Gicoumakis, opened the Everything Essential Salon & Spa; it is located right next to the Workout Club. Laura has a beautiful and difficult story that led her to creating this heaven. I know I have written to you so many times, you never can tell just by looking at someone what they are going through or may have gone through before they crossed your path. I always try to remember this when I’m driving or someone is snarky in a store. They may be flying pass you because they just got horrible news. We just never know.

Look at this picture of Laura.  Her smile lights up the room. She looks beautiful, happy and healthy. When Laura, her manager and dear friend Kim Colotti and I sat down to talk, she shared with me what led her to Everything Essential Salon and Spa. Laura is a “recent” breast cancer survivor. One minute she was going for her simple yearly mammogram and the next the horrible reality that she had cancer. Laura learned a lot about having to become your own best advocate and listening to your own voice. I won’t go into too much detail here, but I know Laura’s story will help many down the road.

She decided that she wanted to create a place that would offer all the services we all need to help us all feel and look our best. The name says it best, “Everything” “Essential”. Stop by for a Visit, when I “walked in on them” without an appointment they could not have been nicer. Warm smiles and excitement to share “Everything Essential” with me. I have a feeling you may find some of your old stylist and nail technicians there. 20 stylists and technicians, many right from Londonderry, have made this their new home, once you walk through the door you’ll see why! Oh on March 22, they are planning to have an open house.

Double Oh I forgot to mention that they even have a medical message Therapist Monica on Staff. That’s how I heard about one of our Newest Businesses in town. When I saw the massage room, I hated to leave. Cost very low, and I bet you know someone that maybe could use a gift certificate too.

Well I’m going to end with a couple of my favorite places in town and I just want to thank them for being here and making my “not feeling so great week” better.

Giovanni’s Roast Beef and Pizza. I have to thank Teddy, for making my families dinner Wednesday night! It was late after a basketball game, my face was hurting and I had nothing planned for dinner. Mackensie said “Mommy can we just call Giovanni’s on the way home?”. We don’t do this a lot, but that request was like a breath of fresh air.
I called as we were driving home, Teddy answered, who in my book will always be one of the great devoted men in Londonderry. He’s always there and always goes out of his way to help, support our kids, and he hires many of them too! We all put in our order, and for less than $25 dollars we had a feast. Somehow it even made me feel better. No waiting at home, no mess, and very little cost. Look at this picture. You know we left overs!

Giovanni’s recently catered a huge 50 birthday party for a friend, and the food. I just paused to make that symbol with my fingers together where you raise them to your lips and then kiss! It’s kind of like a “Bravo”. Amazing…

Again, thank you to Teddy and his great staff who even at 8pm were smiling and happy to see us.

And last but not least. I am so Gr8tful that Christine at Coffeeberries does not charge me by the hour. I have sat there so many times, alone or with friends, and felt no pressure to rush or leave. God Bless Christine even during the last snow storm Kerry and I felt as though we were in the Swiss Alps as the snow came down, we lost track of time and over stayed our visit. Christine and her staff are wonderful.

Coffeeberries is a haven to so many of us to talk things through, sit quietly, write or read, even just look at our phones. Now I did realize this week that I’m a creature of habit more than I ever realized. I have always just gotten the best coffee there every visit. This week my friend Donna and I were catching up and we started talking about tea. I completely love tea. Donna told me that she picks out her tea and Christine will put the appropriate amount in a Tea Sack I think it’s called that allows your tea too steep to perfection but the best part is you can throw it out when you are done.

How did I miss this all these years? I once paid $4.00 for a cup of tea at the mall (once). At our Coffeeberries, a large cup of my favorite blended tea would be no more than $2.00. Here’s a picture of Christine showing me how it works. You can buy your own box of these too, so you can use them with your loose tea at home.

For Christmas I asked for a fancy, make one cup of your own loose tea at home contraptions. It works great, and I do like it, but the clean up is such a pain. Little pieces of this and that in my garbage, in my drain, and many still left in the container too.

If you see me sitting at Coffeeberries, stop by and say Hi. I’ve been struggling with whether I should mention this here, but yes I am running for our Town Clerk Tax Collector Position in town. People have asked how do I see this position, and this little quote might say it all:


With A Gr8tful Heart Sherry

The amazing thing about being part of Visit Londonderry is that I never know exactly where a week will lead. Even though I have lived here since the 60′s, grew up at Kendalwood Condos, taught at the High School, and raised my family here, each day I learn something special about our community. One thing is for sure, Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play! Each week I will share with you some of the amazing businesses and things I have learned about Londonderry.

Sherry is an account manager for the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center.  You can follow her at Twitter.com/Sherry_CVC

You can visit the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center, where “Business is Good. Life is Better!


A Letter in Support of John Robinson

Editor’s Note: With the approaching elections, we will publish all candidate position papers and Letters to the Editor.

I have had the pleasure of working with John Robinson since our sons were in Cub Scouts, then with the ALERT team and as an elected official on the School Board. John has always acted with integrity, without hidden agenda and in a transparent manner. John listens to all who approach him and asks meaningful questions to clarify the position. He has always shown respect for all who approached the Board and has always allowed any citizen to speak before the Board. He truly values the input from the community and aggressively seeks it out.  While he and I don’t always agree I respect his opinions and I know that he has the best interests of Londonderry and its citizens at heart. Please join me in supporting John Robinson for the Town Council on March 11.

Thank you,
George Herrmann
24 Otterson Rd.

Please note: Personal attacks or libel comments towards any candidate in the comment section will not be tolerated. These comments will be removed at the discretion of the site’s administrator.


Trimming the Orchard Trees

Driving around Londonderry, you would think that the orchard workers have little to do in the cold winter months of New England. Seeing as there are no fruit on the trees, and no spray work to be done. The birds all flew South for the winter, and the orchards are all covered with white fluffy snow in Londonderry.

Nothing to do except for one thing; trim thousands, tens of thousands, of branches, twigs, limbs, water sprouts and suckers from the apple trees in the orchard. Apple trees do not care for themselves. To see a great example of this drive by the old orchard on the west side of Gilcreast Road across from where the Reverend Morrison house once stood.  Now the orchards trees at Woodmont.  The trees become snarled and resemble briers and brambles more than they do the majestic fruit producers we know they can be.

Apples need light and air circulation to grow large and clean skinned. By opening up the tree, these changes will stimulate growth and health of the fruit as it develops later this year.  Thank you gentlemen, without you we would have no fine Londonderry fruit come this fall.


Bullying in Sports Needs to be Stopped

Meredith Farrell is a Sports Communications major at Marist College. She was a four-year varsity athlete at Trinity High School. Table Talk is her unique female perspective on sports.

Bullying is a very hot topic.  It is unacceptable in our schools.  It is unacceptable in the workplace.  It is unacceptable in every aspect of our lives.  Yet, is it acceptable in the NFL? Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin are two names that have constantly been linked together ever since Martin decided to leave their team, the Miami Dolphins, due to alleged bullying from Incognito. Martin’s departure created lots of attention around this story simply due to the shock that a player in the NFL would be bullied enough to cause him to leave his team and his job. Early this week this hot story grew as Incognito tweeted, “I would like to send Jonathan my apologies as well. Until someone tells me different you are still my brother. No hard feelings :) ” Incognito’s bullying is believed to be race related and physically threatening to Martin and the official report has stated that there was indeed a pattern of harassment occurring. This story has been analyzed over and over again, but the real issue that needs to be discussed is bullying as a whole and the role it has in all levels of sports.

In recent years bully awareness has become more and more prevalent; yet it is still a horrible problem.  The story of Martin and Incognito has made us all aware that bullying doesn’t end on the playground. It is an issue for people of every age and in every profession.  If a professional football player can be bullied by a teammate it is proof that even those that we look up to as being the biggest, the strongest, and the toughest are suffering from physical and emotional bullying.  No one is safe from the threat of bullying.

Before we continue to discuss the issue of bullying lets take a look at the exact definition of bullying. To bully another person means to use superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her to do what one wants. In terms of school ground bullies, a bully is typically described as someone who intentionally uses aggressive behavior towards another.

Bullying occurs in every aspect of our lives. It begins during our childhood, during rec sports leagues, and on the school playground. Bullying in sports destroys the spirit of competition as well as the ability for every child to learn that hard work pays off.

Bullying begins from the minute children begin to interact and it starts in sports the moment a competitive nature is formed. Bullying can occur in three different ways: physical, emotional, and social. Physical abuse can include anything from throwing a ball at a player with the intent to injure, to taking a player’s belongings or even purposely tripping a competitor during the duration of a game. Emotional bullying involves all forms of name-calling, racial slurs, and threats of any kind. Finally, social bullying is related to any intentional isolation or shunning of a player and refusal to allow them to participate in team activities. All of these aspects of bullying have negative effects on athletes of all ages including causing the athlete to play tentatively, feel nervous, miss games when they feel threatened, or even quit sports all together. In addition to all of these worries, athletes are often nervous to report the bullying because they feel ashamed and embarrassed that they are not being accepted. Do not be mistaken, all athletes are at risk of bullying. Even those who are gifted are becoming popular targets due to the bullies hope that intimidation will remove the skilled athletes allowing the bullies to look better.

Sadly, bullying continues after our grade school days.  Hazing throughout college athletic programs seems to be becoming inescapable. This all sounds extremely cynical and I do apologize because that is not my intention; however, the story of Martin and Incognito should be taken as a warning and a reminder that bullying is a part of our society and it is up to us to be aware of it and fight against it.

One of the most popular forms of bullying is hazing. Hazing is the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of some sort of initiation. Countless stories of hazing have been reported that have resulted in great harm to victims.  These horror stories have even included stories of death as well as some sufferers choosing to end their lives. In a study reported by civischools.com 95% of student athletes who feel they have been hazed have chosen not to report it to campus officials.  Of that 95%, 36% claim that they don’t report it because they feel there is no one to tell, while another 27% say that they don’t tell anyone because they feel that “adults wouldn’t handle it right”. Hazing is something that has gone unnoticed for years, luckily laws have been but in placed and the real threat of hazing is being recognized. Yet, despite recent success with hazing, something must be done to help students feel comfortable reporting problems they are facing. It is also important to note that although deaths and suicides have occurred due to hazing, other harmful struggles that are emotional can affect victims for the rest of their lives.

Hazing is usually very humiliating for those affected and it is almost always done to victims who are simply trying to fit in and find a place where they belong. Therefore, it is important those adults on campus who are given the responsibility of handling these issues are aware that their primary goal in handling the situation should be to prevent the victim from experiencing anymore unnecessary humiliation.

Starting college is a huge transition for any freshman, but it is an even greater change for college athletes.  Freshman athletes are struggling to fight for positions as well as desperately trying to be accepted by their new teammates that they are undoubtedly guaranteed to spend countless hours with over the course of their four-year careers.    Hazing in college sports often goes over looked because of the business like environment and strong competitive presence, but college athletic departments need to be more aware of the possibility of hazing occurring right under their noses. This can be done simply by slightly monitoring players’ behaviors and being on the lookout for any suspicious or anxious behavior in college athletes.

Hazing is a very specific type of bullying and it can be extremely harmful to those involved, yet bullying can be as simple as leaving one player out of team activities.  This can be as simple as not passing the ball to a teammate because she isn’t considered cool or popular to the rest of the team or teasing a player who is unable to run a sprint as fast as everyone else. The real question is who has the right to decide who is cool or who is popular. The truth is no one. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It is up to all of us to stand up to those who make us feel inferior or like we are worthless because if we don’t we are helping those bullies continue to succeed.

I realize that this article is not the typical Table Talk Sports article I usually write.  However, I saw the story of Martin and Incognito as an opportunity to raise awareness about bullying in sports and I hope that I have been successful. Bullying is not going away unless all of us make the decision to fight it head on. In a recent poll 86% of children age 9-13 admitted to seeing someone else being bullied and deciding not to say something out of fear. In another study it was found that bullying stops in 10 seconds, 57% of the time when someone intervenes on behalf of the victim. 90% of students say that they don’t like to see someone else get bullied, yet less than 20% try to stop it. All of us can help stop bullying; however, it is important to know how to handle it. If you have any questions about how to handle a bullying situation in the best way, I have included a list of websites that are very helpful.  We all have a responsibility to stop bullying in sports as well as in every aspect of our lives.





Kids Coop Theatre presents Disney’s “Little Mermaid, Jr.”

It may be hard to think of ocean breezes and tropical scenes with the winter we are having so let Kids Coop Theatre transform you as they present Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” on March 7th, 8th and 9th at the Derry Opera House in Derry, NH.

The cast of "The Little Mermaid, Jr."

Talented youth from Derry, Londonderry, Windham,  Hampstead, Pelham, Sandown and as far away as Groveland, MA have been in rehearsal since January to bring to life the tale of a mermaid who wants to experience the joy of walking on the earth.

The goal of Kids Coop has always been to provide the most comfortable and enjoyable environment for the youth of the area to learn the craft of acting, singing and dancing through the many musical performances they produce.  Additionally, as the theatre troop ages, Kids Coop offers opportunities for leadership through the Young Director’s Showcase production, which this show is.  The show boasts some veteran Kids Coop performers as well as three very talented young directors who have worked under the mentor-ship of professional director Jude Bascom.

Director Claire Neville (back left), Choreographer Brenna Morgan (center) and Music Director Sarah Rodgers look on as the actors perform a scene

Claire Neville (Londonderry), who is a 12 show veteran of Kids Coop, is directing the show.  She has previously been an assistant director with her school’s production and acted in many Kids Coop productions having been a part of the theatre group since 5th grade, but this is her first time at the helm.  She said she is a little intimidated by the task but she is finding it very exciting.  From the preview given to the press, she is doing a very fine job.  She said she wouldn’t consider acting or directing as a career but would always want to be involved in theatre productions.  Sarah Rogers (Derry), a 9 production veteran of the theatre group, is the music director.  Sarah was one of the top finalists in the Derry’s Got Talent contest this past summer and shared her talent teaching the students the parts along with the harmony and rhythms of the songs.  When asked about the difference in acting/singing and being the director she noted that while it was different since she is in charge, she sees the actors as peers and respects them as they respect her.  She has a wonderful working relationship with her cast.  Brenna Morgan (Derry) said this is her 6th production.  She said it was a lot of work making the transition from actor to choreographer, “but the members of this cast are so talented that they pick up the moves very quickly.”  She brought some of her own ideas to the production as well as relying on the ideas in the director’s script, bringing a unique feel to the production.  The three directors work with the cast 9-11 hours a week.

Emily DeWolf as Ariel and William DiBona as Sabastian

Ariel (played by Emily DeWolf of Derry) is a challenging part since during a portion of the play the audience will have to rely on her facial expressions and physical movements to get a sense of what she is saying.   Emily has worked in many of her school productions as well as productions with the Palace Theatre and feels quite up to the task.  Ariel loses her voice for the privilege of getting legs and must make Prince Eric (played by Ryan Geary of Derry) fall in love with her without uttering a word. Their romance is challenged by Ursula (played by Grace Cass, also from Derry) acting in her first show with Kids Coop and is encouraged by Sebastian (played by veteran Kids Coop actor William DiBona from Pelham).

King Triton (played by Robbie Chubbuck of Derry) tries to control his daughter and make her understand the joy of undersea life.  Flounder (played by Morgane Vigroux of Derry) and Scuttle (played by Emily Thomas of Londonderry) take part in Ariel’s adventure while Flotsam (Hailey Laskiewicz of Derry) and Jetsam (Zelda Howard-Martin of Londonderry) try to foil her plans. Grimsby (Tyler Vinson of Derry) and Carlotta (Tia Apicella of Groveland, MA) can also be seen in the undersea adventure.

Ursula (Grace Cass) and King Triton (Robbie Chubbuck) waiting for directionsA production of this size, with a cast of 38, depends on the ensemble to bring both the undersea portion of the show and the land portion of the show to life.  Included in the “Kiss the Girl” ensemble are Julia Turk, Alyssa Beaulieu and Amanda Battaglia of Londonderry; Danielle Kuhl of Hampstead; Olivia Hoover of Litchfield, Sam Boyle, Madeline Chase, Rachel Wood, Zoie Laskiewicz, Elora Chase and Ruthie Vinson, and Alexis Webber all of Derry; and Madeleine and Alex Wilson, Cailyn Peddle and Carina Savukinas of Windham.  Rounding out the case are the ‘Under the Sea’ ensemble players: Evie Brunette and Maya Lincoln of Londonderry, Allison Newey of Pelham, Logan Young of Sandown, Isabella Charlebois and Noelle Goyette of Hampstead, Madeleine and Alexander Tveter, Brenna Kimball, Braeden Tremain, all of Derry and Baylee Sutton of Salam.

You can see this wonderful show on Friday, March 7th at 7PM, Saturday, March 8th at 1 and 7PM and Sunday, March 9th at 1PM at the Derry Opera House on West Broadway in Derry.  All tickets are $12 and are available at www.kids-coop-theatre.org.



Great comedy this Friday! The Winery Dogs and John Sebastian just booked!

Dinner Dance With MANCHUKA – Only 30 tickets available!
FRANCIS DUNNERY – Only 8 tickets remain!
ANNA NALICK – Selling Fast!
ED KOWALCZYK - Only 15 tickets remain!
PETER WOLF- All three shows SOLD OUT!
SHAWN MULLINS- Only 4 tickets remain!
Y&T – First show is SOLD OUT! Second show selling fast.
LIVINGSTON TAYLOR – Only 40 tickets remain!
JOAN OSBORNE – Selling Fast!
JON ANDERSON – Only 15 tickets remain!
JIMMIE VAUGHAN- Only 30 tickets remain!
RIK EMMETT – Only 15 tickets remain!
THE ENGLISH BEAT – Selling Fast!

This month’s show with FRANK FM features THE ADAM EZRA GROUP. This free show is SOLD OUT. I hope you were able to get tickets because this band ROCKS!

Featuring PJ Thibodeau, John Morris, and Dave Decker, this is going to be a memorable comedy night!

This Show is SOLD OUT.

Formed in 2012, The Winery Dogs are a super group comprised of vocalist and guitarist Richie Kotzen (Poison and Mr. Big), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Steve Vai and David Lee Roth) and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). They released their self-titled debut record in 2013 and it debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. The album is filled with straightforward rock and roll inspired by some of their favorite bands and their music transcends any of the styles they’re best known for.
Touted as one of the best guitar players in the world, Richie Kotzen also possesses a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and is highly regarded as one of the best in the business. Mike Portnoy is one of the founding members of Dream Theater, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and his laundry list of awards includes 26 Modern Drummer magazine Reader’s Poll Awards, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (a record breaking 12 years in a row), and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (7 times) while in Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold. DRUM! Magazine named him “Drummer of the Year” two years in a row (2011 & 2012) and he won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for “Drummer of the Year” in 2011. As a founding member of Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan helped shape their trademark virtuosic musicianship and stellar vocal harmonies. The band contributed numerous hit songs, including the ubiquitous “To Be With You,” which was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in 15 countries, propelling the band to major international success and record sales in the multi-millions. Sheehan was voted the “Best Rock Bass Player” 5 times in Guitar Player magazine’s Readers Poll. He won the prestigious Player magazine Reader’s Poll for Best Bass Player an unprecedented 14 consecutive times. (Listen)

Over four decades the contributions of John Sebastian have become a permanent part of our American musical fabric. His group The Lovin’ Spoonful played a major role in the mid-’60s rock revolution—You know the songs by heart: “Do You Believe In Magic?” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice.” “Daydream.” “Younger Girl.” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?” “Summer In The City.” “Rain On The Roof.” “Nashville Cats.” “Six O’clock.” “Darling Be Home Soon.” “Younger Generation.” (Listen)