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10 - November 25, 2011 | Hudson - Litchfield News Carving a Carousel for Others to Enjoy


by Doug Robinson Hudson’s Leo McClure has always been a


carver. His wife Joanne has always been a painter. So it seemed natural to drive down to Pennsylvania to learn about making a miniature carousal. “I’ve always liked the horse carving and


Joanne has always enjoyed the painting, so we went online and we found a group called the “Miniature Carousel Builders Association.” The people were very friendly and they invited us into the group. We went to visit them in Chambersburg, PA and before the weekend


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closed, we had purchased a carousel to build, complete with 30 horses and two chariots” commented Leo. Both Leo and Joanne believe that there is a need to take care of one of America’s heritages. Carousels are part of that heritage. Carousels date back to as far as 500AD. Riders sat in baskets which had been suspended from a central pole. As the carousel spun, the poles would travel up and down. In the 12th Century Turkish and Arabian horsemen used the carousel as a training platform to prepare their riders to strengthen them to prepare for actual combat as they wielded their swords. Carousels were also used as a training device for the ring-tilt, consisting of wooden horses suspended from arms branching from a central pole. Riders aimed the spear rings placed around the circumference as the carousel was moved by a man, horse, or mule.


Carousels first were seen in the United States during 1840s, appearing in Philadelphia, Coney Island, and country fairs. The use of carousels expanded in America when owners built them at the end of railroad lines. The thinking was that the trains offered traveled six days a week, however, on the seventh day, the trains were idol. At the end of the train line, a picnic area was created, lakes were filled, and parks would surround the carousal. Canobie Lake Park in Salem was built on this model. The park, built in the early 1900s sits at the end of a rail line, in a park, on the shores of a lake. For Leo and Joanne, the


idea of the miniature carousel has been centered on continuing the education of America’s heritage. After eight months of carving, assembling, painting, adjusting, and fine-tuning, Leo and Joanne display their miniature carousel at nursing homes, malls, and carousel shows. “I am the builder and she is the painter. We have traveled as far as to Erie, PA, and to museums in Ohio and New York to show our carousel.” Having grown up in rural Vermont, Leo learned from his father that if did not have it in life he would have to build it. “I did not have any classes, I just learned how to do it. I can carve hard woods, blood woods, African imported hardwoods, and black ebony. Many of the fire engines and boats I have built have left over pieces from around the house-like curtain rods, pieces of tin, scrap wood, molded and put together to work. Woodworking was my thing.” Both Leo and Joanne believe that today’s kids are forgetting about America’s Heritage. “They don’t make anything today. With cell phones, TV and games, they do not make anything. When you find somebody who does the crafts like we do, you have a gem in the green. Their lives will be full and they will never be lonely. Today, the interests of the McClure’s have


grown to the making of quilts and teaching area children how to sew, build, and work with their hands. They donate their quilts to David’s House, Kids in Transition, and for the oncology patients at Nashua’s Hospitals. They also made a Quilt of Valor. “I love to teach knitting and


I teach you women how to cook,” commented Joanne. “I work individually in private lessons or in a small group continued Joanne. When someone asks me how to do something, I am in seventh heaven. As a kid, I was not allowed to go out and play kick ball or football. Life was slower than, and maybe better. I want kids around me.”


ID Theft- continued from page 8 consumers.


2. Look for the lock


A secure website starts with “https://” instead of “http://.” Secure sites will also have a small lock icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. Never give anyone your credit card through email. PayPal, however, is still a good, safe way to make a payment. 3. Don’t share too much No store needs your social secu- rity number or your birthday. In the hands of the wrong person, combined with your credit card number, serious damage can be done. Always give up the least amount of personal infor- mation possible. 4. Check billing statements Check statements for credit and debit cards, and monitor checking accounts regularly. If you see any charges you don’t recognize, address the matter immediately. Don’t pay credit card bills until you know all your charges are accurate. You


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have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems. After that, you might be liable for the charges.


5. Use stronger passwords With so many online accounts - banking, credit cards, email - it’s common practice to recycle simple passwords that can be easily re- called. Use uncrackable passwords, especially when banking and shopping. Your password is weak if:


* It uses


numbers or let- ters in the order they appear on the keyboard (“1234” or “qwerty”) * It’s the name of your


kids, pet, favorite team, or city of birth * It’s your birthday, anni-


versary, date of graduation, or car license plate number * It’s “letmein,” or, especial-


ly, “password.”


7. Think mobile The National Retail Federation predicts that 25


percent of adults will do online browsing with their smartphones to find gifts. Buck this trend and download store-specific apps like those for Amazon.com and make your purchase without go- ing to their website. 8. Stay at home


Do all online shopping at home so you know you’re using a trusted, secure network. 9. Enroll in an identity theft


protection service Having a service provider you trust is important. Advanced technology and helpful cus- tomer service are “musts” for identifying and remedying any


fraud issues. Protection 1 is now offering identity theft protection in every new HomeCore Solution home security package at www. Protection1.com. 10. Use insurance Just in case you do become the victim of identity theft, hav- ing insurance is vital to help recoup any lost money. Coverage typically costs from $20 to $100 a year as a rider to a basic hom- eowner’s policy or as a stand- alone purchase. Follow these simple tips, and


you can help to ensure your fam- ily - and your property - remain safe year-round.


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