About that name

Inspired by a midnight declaration brushed across a boulder along Route 103 in Newbury, New Hampshire, on the way to Vermont, this blog celebrates a funky, back-to-the-earth, even downright gritty side of New England. Remember, our hardworking frugality and curiosity allowed us proclaim ourselves Hub of the Universe. Let me confess, I’m here by choice, not birth.

Just look around and you’ll see — we’re much more than tony Cambridge and Boston Back Bay.

Much of what’s posted here is timeless. Please feel free to comment, no matter the date of the posting. Think of the site as a kind of library.

Here's the inspiration, right along the road.
Here’s the inspiration, right along the road.

There are varied accounts of the origin of the Chicken Farmer affirmation itself in the early 1970s, but I’m fond of the fact that it’s been mysteriously repainted every few years and that somewhere along the way, the word “still” became part of the inscription. Harpist Margaret MacArthur wrote a lovely, albeit comic, song, “Mary Shiminski I love you,” about a similar message painted in 1974 on a railroad trestle over Route 9 in Brattleboro, Vermont, not that many miles to the west. Chicken Farmer, though, feels closer to what I’m doing.

The now legendary inscription now has not just one but two songs of its own. A gentle take by Karen Cardozo-Kane and Patty Morro Miller, as the duo Chattering Magpies, was featured on a Valentine’s Day program on New Hampshire Public Television. The song is included on their Waiting for You album (2001).

The inspiring confession of love has also been used as the title of a collection of poems by Lana Hechtman Ayers and a play by Susanna Hargreaves.

For biographical background on me, please go to Jnana’s Red Barn.

Let's not forget the chickens!
Let’s not forget the chickens!

7 thoughts on “About that name”

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