Social Committee: A Day in Plymouth and Ashland

By: Mary O’Brien Waterville Valley Resort GSA Class of 2017 & Sue Geyer, Currier Museum of Art GSA Class of 2010

On a beautiful sunny day, 9 GSAs visited the new exhibit at the Museum of the White Mountains, a part of Plymouth State University (PSU) in Plymouth, NH. It’s a small museum, but always has interesting, thought-provoking exhibits. The director, Meghan Doherty, provided us with some background on the museum and insight on the current exhibit, along with answering our questions.

The Museum’s summer exhibit is “Watching the Seasons Change.” What will our autumns look like when conditions are no longer favorable for the sugar maples? How are we adapting to these changes?  Our changing seasons are examined and interpreted by Abenaki basket makers who are collaborating with foresters to protect the brown ash tree. This exhibit runs June 4 – September 17, 2022.

Of interest was a project being worked on jointly by PSU and the Museum: “Radishes grow in an asphalt sidewalk in Plymouth.” This project is located near the dining hall on High Street. A specific type of radish is planted in small holes in an asphalt sidewalk that needs to be destroyed.  As the radish grows, it will cause the asphalt to crumble and break apart.   The small holes show a silhouette of Mount Washington and other peaks in that area.   Art and science working together!!

After the museum, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Common Man restaurant in Ashland, their flagship location. They were very attentive, and our food was excellent. Our server, Natalia, did a great job taking care of us. We ordered quite a variety of dishes, and everyone enjoyed them. After lunch a few of us wandered across the street into the Common Man Country store, did a bit of shopping and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Below is some feedback from some of our attendees. We hope you can join the next GSA Social event!

“The lobster corn chowder at The Common was full of lobster chunks!…The museum was informative and loved the look into the past and the future.” ~ Kristin

“As always, the Museum of the White Mountains didn’t disappoint. I was particularly impressed with how they seamlessly combined art, artifacts, and climate change in their exhibit.
Lunch at the Common Man in Ashland was absolutely perfect. I shared a meal with another GSA to try two sandwich halves, the tzatziki chicken wrap and BLT with a fried tomato in the middle. YUM.” ~ Kelly

“My experience with the GSA social was great – I learned about Changes of Seasons, and climate changes in the mountains too. It was best spending time with each other.” ~ Denise

“So happy we were able to take part in this social event.  We enjoyed having an opportunity to see some old friends and to meet the new director at the Museum.  The Museum is a great place to take a leisurely visit and have the ability to sit, visit, and ponder the many exhibits at your own pace.  It is on my “rainy day” list.  We will be back again – especially want to see how those radishes do.  We had never eaten at the Common Man in Ashland as we are well-spoiled by their sister restaurant in Lincoln.  Loved my ravioli/bacon/chicken dish and Paul’s favorite, Philly cheesesteak, did not disappoint.  Natalia did a great job keeping us all straight and satisfied.  Thank you to the Committee that put this all together!” ~ Vicky & Paul

Each time I’m with a group of GSAs I wonder why I don’t join them more often. Tuesday’s time at the White Mountain Museum and lunch at the Common Man in Ashland on June 7th was an absolute right in every way. Another reminder of what I miss when I don’t join in. The drive north was a wonder to behold.  NH is a beautiful state.  The introduction and talk by the Director of The White Mountain Museum was a good balance of giving information and raising curiosity.  What I will remember most is that the museum and Plymouth State University are doing an almost unbelievable project to change a macadam path to a garden with radishes destroying the macadam.  I had to see it to believe it.
 The delicious food at The Common Man was second to the stimulating conversation of the GSAs.  My enthusiasm is greater than ever to do more volunteering for festivals and all this summer and fall. Tuesday’s social time with GSAs reminded me it’s the best organization I’ve ever participated in.  Now that’s saying something. I’ve even been in the Peace Corps and participated with a number of wonderful organizations.  Namaste.” ~ Judith

“I was particularly attracted to the tree and leaf displays at the end of the room. The tree drawings were representative of trees in our area: oaks, basswood, cedar, ash, etc. The leaves were all inscribed with enemies of trees, such as insects like the emerald ash borer and fungi, such as chestnut blight. These exhibits were cleverly and artistically done.
We were all fascinated with the project described to us of planting radishes to break up concrete in an area of the Plymouth State U campus. We drove by to see the location. Some of us will go back soon to see if the radish project worked. I will report back!” ~ Roz