Hudson - Litchfield News
8 - May 7, 2010
Remove the Winter Grit & Grime! Full Detailing - Inside & Outside
Thru 5/31/10 (Reg. $175)
The Pluck Stops Here...
150 Lowell Road
Hudson, NH 889-8555
by Lynne Ober
The dining room of Hills House was filled with refreshments and happily chatting audience members as everyone waited for the Benson Program to begin. Historical Society Officer Ruth Parker had developed a slide
Benson Program Presented by Hudson Historical Society
Photo by Len Lathrop
show using photos from three areas. She began with photos taken by Ray Parker between 1949 and 1957. It was amusing and amazing to see the women who visited Benson’s Wild Animal Farm dressed in hats, gloves, and dresses. Not one pair of jeans was visible.
Parker encouraged audience participation, and in the audience were John Ferbert, who worked at Benson’s from 1946 until 1951, and John Simo, who worked there from 1947 until 1951. Both contributed amusing stories about animals and visitors. Ferbert cared for Betsy, the beloved elephant
Rita Souza, LE, CPE
46 Derry Rd #8, Hudson, NH www.everclearelec.com
who lived during that time. He said that Betsy would curl her trunk and he would step onto it. Then, when he called out “trunk,” Betsy would lift him so that he could brush her back. When he was done, he’d call out “trunk” again, and Betsy would gently lower him to the ground. Ferbert also worked in the elephant barn while Benson’s was open because there was only a simple chain between the elephants and the public. Part of his job was to keep the public behind that chain. Simo also had interesting stories about the animals. Although he worked in maintenance, he commented that if you worked on the farm, you would eventually have interaction with the animal residents. One day, he was washing windows in the monkey house. There was about 18 inches between the cage and the wall. While working with his back to the cage, he suddenly felt his shirt being pulled. One of the monkeys had reached through the cage and grabbed his shirt. “That monkey was yanking and yanking. I couldn’t get my shirt back. Finally, I turned enough that I could rap him across the arms. He dropped my shirt. I guess he thought I was a snack.”
Simo said that Vera Lovejoy, who hired
Another Sign of Spring
Ruth Parker answers questions during a slideshow at the Historical Society’s presentation on Benson’s Wild Animal Park
him, was the only person in his life who ever called him Jonathan. There were slides of Vera with her deer, Mickey, who followed her like a dog. Mickey had been abandoned by his mother and Vera had raised him by hand. She bottle-fed him and he formed a deep attachment to her. Her son, Bob Lovejoy, was there, and he could remember that the deer would hop into the car – just like a dog – and ride.
Ruth also had a section of slides from the Provencher years and that, too, brought out stories. People talked about animal and bird shows, about the trainers who worked with the animals and the birds, and the beauty of the place. Esther McGraw worked in the pony ring and would lead pony
rides. She said she started working when she was only eight years old. “It was different back then. You couldn’t do that today.” The merry-go-round had real horses. After a while, they swapped out the horses for ponies. What a thrill it must have been for a child to ride on a real horse. Lee Lavoie, who was taping the show for Hudson Public
Television, coaxed his mother into telling what it was like to ride on Betsy’s back. Throughout the years, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people took an elephant ride. There was a brief intermission, and then, many additional stories were told about this wonderful place that will soon open as a park.
5“ TALL BY 5.75 WIDE $178.50 PLUS 25 FOR COLOR
Te Monday car show started this week at the Lowell Rd. Burger King. Drop by Monday Nights with your special ride.
At C and C Kennel, our dogs play dirty...
Sassy April Lovey
Pet Adoption Day!
Won’t you please join us on
Saturday, May 22nd from 11:00-2:00
at the First Congregational Church in Pelham
LOOKING FOR FOSTER HOMES.
If you are interested in fostering a dog, please complete a volunteer application at our website.
To see a complete listing of our available dogs, please visit www.arnne.org
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anxiously awaiting their
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