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Ken Schuster

April 24, 2008

Selectman's meetings minutes here.

Diner destinations at 52 mpg

Last week I watched the film, "The World's Fastest Indian," for the second time. I don't often watch a film more than once, but this film is excellent on several levels. It's about New Zealander Burt Munro (brilliantly played by Anthony Hopkins), who spent years building a 1920 Indian brand motorcycle. He brought it to the Bonneville Salt Flats and set the land-speed world record with it in 1967. I've never ridden (driven?) a motorcycle more than 100 yards, but this film gave me an appreciation for them, especially the beautiful classic lines of the old timers.

I was in my SUV today, approaching the gas station at Newbury harbor. I glanced from my gas gauge to the gas prices sign, back to my gauge, then to a beautiful cream-color Harley pulling up to a pump. I U-turned back to the station for a better look.

The Harley's color reminded me of how I drank coffee as a kid, mostly milk with just enough coffee to separate the light tan from the white ceramic mug. A deep-red candy apple stripe, like an elongated backward "C" stretched across the gas tanks from bow to stern, framing the horizontal teardrop "Harley-Davidson" silver-on-red badge. Both fenders repeated the color scheme. The saddle bags were textured black leather with long fringes. They draped softly and looked carefully aged. Anywhere other than at a gas pump, they'd be aromatic. Every square inch of visible metal was spotless, polished chrome that reflected that entire little patch of Newbury. Despite the refined, almost delicate styling, the massive engine was like a tiger in the grass, waiting to launch. Could this beautiful beast belong to a retired high school science teacher?

Newbury resident, Mike Zotto, retired after teaching science at Kearsarge Regional High School for 35 years. His son has a Kawasaki motorcycle, but Mike prefers his 1997, retro 1932-style Harley. 

After Mike bought his classic-style Harley, he said "This looks like an old bike, and ya know, this would look good in front of a diner. So I went to the diner in Claremont, and took a picture, and naturally I had to go inside and eat." He continued, "Right now, I think I've got about 65 diners, all of which I've gone inside and eaten. It gives me a place to go. When you're riding, you like to be going somewhere, and preferably somewhere to eat, and I have a picture album of them." Mike has visited diners throughout Maine, NH, VT, and some in Mass. and PA.


Mike Zotto fills his Harley's tank at Newbury Harbor, knowing that one gallon will take him about 52 miles.

As Mike was getting his "first fill-up this year," I asked what kind of mileage he gets. He said "about 50 to 55 miles, depending on where I'm going." With gas prices approaching $4, driving 84 miles round- trip to the Red Arrow diner in Manchester can get pricey for most cars. Mike could do it on a gallon-and-a-half!


Mount Sunapee Resort delivers donated food

Newbury Town Clerk, Linda Plunkett, said that a pick-up truck full of food arrived at the Town Office, last week, from Mount Sunapee Resort's annual food drive. Skiers who donate food get a discount on their ski tickets. For details about the food relief program, call Mount Sunapee Resort at 763-3500, or Newbury Family Services Coordinator, Gail Bostic, at 763-4940.


Elisabeth von Trapp coming to Newbury

Gloria Whelan, of the Newbury Center Meeting House Committee, said that Elisabeth von Trapp (think "Sound of Music") will perform July 11, at 7:30 p.m., at Mount Sunapee Resort's Spruce Lodge. That's the night before Newbury's Old Home Day. A fund-raising cash bar will open at 6:30 p.m.

That's more than a month away, but I wanted to give you a heads-up, because Gloria said that 95 of the $25 tickets have already sold, and you might want to start working your calendar around it now. Contact details will be available soon.

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