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Volume 20 Number 42 April 30, 2010 16 Pages

Zachary Tompkins Memorial Fund

Scores with Selectmen

The community came together on

Tuesday night when Hudson voted unanimously to join forces with the Hudson-Litchfield Bears Youth Football and Cheer Association to build the Zachary Tompkins Memorial Field on a town-owned parcel of land at 9 Industrial Avenue. The Hudson-Litchfield Bears and

the Tompkins family are joining with the entire community to build what might be called a field or a stadium, but more likely a complex, which, as pre-posted, will be built without tax dollars. Various fundraising events and donations of both money and material and sweat equity will fund the project. Presenting the initial ideas to the selectmen were Mike Tompkins, Zachary’s dad; Mike Roberts, the HYFC

President; and Len Lathrop. The site will allow for a stadium field with stands for spectators, a concession stand, and bathrooms. Also on the site will be practice areas, which, in the

Zachary Tompkins Memorial Field tentative concept

engineer services are being engaged to survey and design the complex. Also presenting on

spring, will double as a baseball field for Youth Baseball. On-site parking is planned. With the affirmation of their project, the Bears and “Zach’s Team” will meet for conceptional review with the Hudson Planning Board on May 5 and professional

Mike Tompkins, Zachary’s dad, shakes hands with Selectman Massey


Tuesday night were members and associates of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), who will assist the team(s) with asbestos decontamination and abatement from Brownfield Grants as the project

Selectman Coutu was very gracious as he supported the project, and notes that this would be one of the largest community projects in Hudson in a long time. Lathrop thanked all the selectmen for their

support in this project, and Town Engineer Gary Webster for the direction he has provided. Zach was a unifier of people who bonded relationships with whom he came in contact. Teachers, friends, and family all speak in terms of “respect,” “kindness,” and how Zach believed that it was better to give than to receive.

And today, the community of Hudson

is giving back. They are giving back in never-before-seen numbers of volunteerism, enthusiasm, and energy. For more information on the Zachary M.

Tompkins Memorial Fund, visit the “Zach’s Team” Website at www.zacharytompkins., or send an e-mail to

Convention Center

and Casino


by Doug Robinson

The proposed gambling bill that would have brought a casino and convention center to the Green Meadow property “busted,” as lawmakers voted against going forward with the project during a House vote this past week.

While the NH Senate had approved the gambling bill, the NH House defeated the bill by 54 votes. As issues mounted up against the bill, including a publicly stated veto by Governor John Lynch, lawmakers decided to go back to the drawing board, in a bi-partisan effort, to rectify the issues at hand. As estimates of New Hampshire’s budget shortfall are estimated to approach in excess of $200 million, and may end up closer to $300 million this year, lawmakers are seeking ways to increase state revenues. The destination Convention Center and Casino was estimated to net the state several hundred million dollars in tax revenues. Jay Leonard, attorney for Green Meadow, stated that the issues at hand are “too many gambling sites proposed, too many slot machines proposed, and the regulations for the disbursement of the revenues needs to be reworked.” While the estimated revenue of the facility would produce $413 million, the town of Hudson would receive an estimated $9 million in revenue, and the State of NH would receive approximately $130 million. Another “$6 million in casino revenue would be divided among the state’s 10 counties, and another $3 million would be given to the surrounding towns of Nashua, Litchfield, Londonderry, and Pelham.” Another one percent would go to support the commuter rail system, should it come to Nashua.

According to Leonard, lawmakers wish to lower the number of slot machines across the state from 17,000 to 9,700, 3,250 of which the new convention center would have.

Leonard believes that New Hampshire lawmakers will

work together in an attempt to create an amendment to the upcoming budget, which would allow the gaming bill to address the current concerns.

Hudson’s Own Master Model Maker Knows His

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

by Doug Robinson

Hudson’s Larry Mitchell has a “man cave” unlike any other. This master model maker’s “man cave” does not have the huge plasma television screen attached to the wall, nor does it have the large, lush, leather sofas. However, it does have few stools to sit upon, an overstuffed chair draped with an American flag that was personally crocheted for him, and a small chair that rests two teddy bears—one wearing an American flag T-shirt. A small blanket stating “Freedom Isn’t Free” drapes the back of this chair. And yes, like all great “man caves,” there is a refrigerator filled with refreshments. Plastered on the walls are posters, letters, and awards of a time gone by—from 60 years ago. A neatly pressed Navy uniform hangs proudly on a hanger, complete with cap and awards. Overhead, hundreds of airplanes from the World War II era, all built to scale, hang from the ceiling. Fighter planes, training planes, bombers, Japanese Zeros, and various prop planes that took off from both by land and by sea have been hung by wires that are hard to see. The planes appear to be floating and flying, as if captured in the moment of time. Each plane has been meticulously painted to the finest detail. Men stationed at machine guns, men riding on the wings of the planes, and pilots and co-pilots have been placed in cockpits. Planes have been professionally decaled with not only the symbol of the United

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staff photos by Doug Robinson

Mitchell’s manmade city

States Navy, but they also been painted with the number of kills that each plane has shot down. The walls of the “man cave” are rich with the history of America’s Naval ships. The New Jersey, Saratoga, and Arizona ships have been built to scale, and these ships have more planes sitting on their top decks. Planes smaller than your hand have been completely painted and decorated to simulate the planes of many decades ago. “I have always loved planes,” commented Mitchell. “I wanted to be a pilot. At 17, I joined the Navy and I was attached to a carrier to the Navy Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 67 (CASU). I was a cook, and I fed the guys. One day, a friend said to me, ‘here, put this parachute on,’ and up we went in his plane. We took off from the flight deck for a training mission. I will never forget those three long hours of diving and twisting and turning. I thought I was going to fall out of the cockpit, as I did not even have my harness on to keep me in the cockpit. I did not know how to shut the top of the cockpit. The pilot even shot rockets. And then, we had to

Larry Mitchell in his museum of memories

land on the ship. I was never so happy to get back to my kitchen.” “I even painted the mustache on the driver for the Budweiser

wagon,” continued Mitchell. “There must have been over 1,000 small pieces to this model. I made it for a friend and he has loaned to me.” Below the planes and covered in clear Lucite boxes are models of the vintage cars that Mitchell used to own. “This is the car I had when I dated my wife,” chuckled Mitchell, as he pointed to 1949 Mercury. Replicas of a 1941 Chevy Club Cooper, 1958 Edsel Citation, and a hard-top Ford complete his collection. Turning the corner of Mitchell’s “man cave,” the museum of memories continues to a second room. In here and, again, built to scale, is a complete city through which his trains could travel. Complete with a beach, woods, bears, police cars, fire trucks, and a sailor kissing his girl goodbye, Mitchell’s trains inspire and awe the onlooker. The train station and buildings host the finest attention to detail. City streets are lined with all types of vehicles, and curtains drape the windows of the buildings. On one end of the manmade city, sunbathers enjoy the beach, while on the opposite end of the city, Santa Claus can be seen giving out presents. The local movie theater plays The African Queen while a tow truck lifts a car in need. Dozens of trains come alive and the lights of the city illuminate as Mitchell throws the power switch and the trains begin to move forward. Mitchell’s “man cave” is not just about planes, trains, and automobiles. It is museum of love, rich with memories, created by a master model builder.




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