Thursday, June 4, 2009

Warren, New Hampshire

Deep in the Asquamchumaha Valley, It rises inexplicably from the Warren village commons. Taller than the Methodist’s steeple and towering above the freshly painted Historical Society and Little League ball field, a 1960's era Redstone rocket rises through the meager cover of a young maple tree.

Driving past, my head swivels nearly to the snapping point.

It seems that four decades ago, as Ted Asselin was serving his country in the humid wilds of Alabama, he noticed a field filled with surplus Army missiles. He came to the only conclusion possible, that what his humble hometown, nestled as it is in the bosom of the White Mountains, needed more than anything was a 60-foot tall rocket. It's bigger than a puppy, but you don't have to clean up the mess.

I cannot begin to imagine the conversation that followed as young Private Asselin cajoled, wheedled and begged a spare missile out of the United States Government, but I can only assume his powers of persuasion were formidable.

But I do try to picture a simpler time in America. When it was still possible to load up the truck and drive an intercontinental missile through a dozen states with the window rolled down, the radio turned up and a smile on your face.


Jim said...

I normally do not write comments to the Photo blogs I subscribe to, but I must let you know how much I enjoy your writing style. Thank you for sharing your sense of humor and power of observation. And thank you for keeping an archive, so I can go an enjoy your past articles as much as I have enjoyed your trip across the USA. I only wonder how you move so fast from area to area.

Paul Souders said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for your kind note. Glad you like the words. It's been a fun project, though hard to keep moving this fast. There's an awful lot of windshield time.

alex hayden said...

IS that an icbm in your pants? or are you just happy to see me? (sorry, couldn't resist)

Ron said...

Well written post about the Redstone Rocket in Warren.

I've never heard of the "Asquamchumaha Valley" here in New Hampshire. Where did you come up with that name, if you don't mind me asking. I'm curious.