If the NHADA had a flag waving in NH, it would be lowered to half-staff as we mourn the loss of one of our most treasured pioneers. Margaret Scott “Scotty” Carter died very suddenly on Wednesday, June 10, with her daughter, Melissa Alden, at her side. Scotty and husband, Win, were stalwart supporters of NHADA from the early years, and she was truly one of the great ladies of the business, and the state. Tireless volunteer, devoted wife, mother and friend, Scotty embodied all the values and qualities we women strive for, and she will be deeply missed by her many friends in and around the business. Her presence on Market Street in Portsmouth, keeping her shop and living upstairs, along with Melissa and Melissa’s husband, Jack Kane, has been vital for many, many years. Melissa will be alone at the helm now, continuing in that wonderful shop which has been a “must” on the lists of dealers and collectors visiting the seacoast. On a personal note, I share a valued friendship with Melissa, our NHADA Secretary, and often shared with Scotty my genuine respect for the daughter she raised – comments that only another mother could appreciate. She always grinned with pleasure at that, and I guess, along with the many things we will all remember, my most treasured memory will be her glow of pride at Melissa’s kindness and success. Ronnie Bourgeault graciously hosted a memorial reception for Scotty at Treadwell House in Portsmouth on Thursday, June 18.
What follows is my column written before Scotty’s death:
Soon we will be unveiling this year’s edition of The New Hampshire Antiques Show, NHADA’s homegrown event, celebrating 52 years of tradition and quality: August 6,7 and 8, at The Center of New Hampshire in Manchester, NH. If you are under 30 years old, bring your ID and you get in FREE. It’s been a challenging year for dealers, but be assured that each of us has been scouring the highways and byways, and, yes, the attics, to surprise you with treasures. Many of the exhibitors will keep one very special item under wraps until 10 AM on Thursday the 6th, so that show-goers have first crack at it. So, please come and say “hey”, and have a great time at our show. We can’t wait to see you.
My big vacation for the year was in late May when I made my way to southern Maine to a very special B&B in York for a few stolen days. The Morning Glory Inn is a gem, part very old house (purportedly moved from the Isles of Shoals centuries ago!) and part very 21st century with vaulted ceiling , library loft, gorgeous gardens, an outdoor area for each of the three room/suites, and bountiful, creative breakfasts. Hosts are Bonnie and Bill Alstrom, perfect innkeepers. I had the place to myself for three rainy days, and it really was wonderful. I know. Who enjoys rainy days in Maine? But, really, I did. Between the warmth and coziness of the inn, and the companionship of Melissa Alden, NHADA Secretary extraordinaire, and co-owner with her mother, Scotty Carter, of M.S. Carter Antiques in Portsmouth, I was completely content. (It would have really been perfect with Eno along, but he was keeping the pack at home fed and loved.) Melissa and her husband, Jack Kane, know the area like the back of their hands, and were the best tour guides ever. Melissa and I spent a whole day on the road, going across to Cornish, to the Cornish Trading Company and the Nan Gurley and Peter Mavis’ shop, Plain and Fancy. We kept bumping into dealer friends, catching up on the latest buzz, and hitting foodie spots, like Krista’s in Cornish. (M and I arrange our day around good meals!)
It was wonderful, and Melissa made sure she travelled the back roads, so we went through Effingham, NH, and Wakefield, and other old towns hidden away from traffic and mayhem. A high point was meeting Kippy Carswell at his barn shop in Union, NH. Now there’s a great guy, proud wearer of the ubiquitous NH red suspenders, shopkeeper for well over 60 years. Fred (aka Kippy) is one of NHADA’s founding fathers, and a nicer person you will not meet. He reminisced about the good, old days with Dick Withington and other revered NH forerunners in the business. And….we found a few treasures tucked around the barn. I highly endorse this route. Of course, there are always fresh goods at York Antiques Gallery, Bob and Debbie Withington and Rocky Mountain Quilts in York, so don’t miss them. I came home refreshed and relaxed, and thank all the folks who made it such and small and sweet holiday, especially Melissa.
Welcome new members: Donald Olson, Rochester, NH, Doug Ramsey, Hadley, MA; Michael Rouillard, Sterling, CT; and White Birch Antiques, Tom Mugford and Dan Reidy, Goffstown, NH; and Irma and Emily Lambert, Wenham Cross Antiques, MA.
Have you signed up for Canterbury ? We have a great list, but really want to fill the field with members who have asked us for a NHADA sponsored event open to everyone. This is it, and a more beautiful spot could not have been found. Please support this terrific show. September 27, 2009, Sunday, at Canterbury Shaker Village. (Here is a partial list of Canterbury dealers.)
See you in Manchester. Please stop by my booth, and bring some good news for this column.