"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The View from on High

I was in the Capitol City most of yesterday, for a legislative leadership meeting as well as another special legislative tour of the State House. I've taken--and given--lots of tours there...and this one was truly special because the Visitor Center director (a constituent of mine) offered to take us up to the Dome...which is restricted. I've been up there once and ever since have longed to return.

I was dropping off some stuff at the House Clerk's Office when I spied pigeons roosting in this niche.

At 1.30 the group of representatives taking the tour assembled in the Hall of Flags. Here is a shot of the stained glass panel (the NH State Seal) over the front portal. It's backwards because it's meant to be viewed from the outside but I liked the way the light was striking it.

We spent a few minutes in Representatives Hall--with which we are so familiar--and then went into the Senate Chamber. This is the John Stark mural, showing him heading off to war. He's the gentleman who provided us with our famous (or infamous) state motto, "Live Free or Die!"

At one time the state Supreme Court met in this chamber, so the decorative motif incorporates the scales of justice.

We then took the secret, scary staircase from the 3rd floor to the rooftop. It was a great day for viewing the green hills surrounding Concord.

Posing with the Dome. It was very windy and my little skirt was flying up like Marilyn Monroe's in The Seven Year Itch when she stands over the subway vent. My colleagues were very amused as I tried to keep from flashing all of downtown Concord!

Looking down on State House Plaza and Main Street from the roof. (This is what the pigeons see!)

Main Street wtih the Merrimack River beyond.

Another narrow, twisty metal staircase leads up into the Dome, added to the structure in the 1860's.

The wooden roof overhead. There's a little staircase leading higher, to the cupola atop the Dome. That part is really, really restricted!

It was a hot and humid day, and the Dome was very oppresive--but oh, the views!

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, next to the State House, from the Dome.

I nipped out of the leadership meeting to meet my FFTNC at the jewellers--she was picking up her engagement ring and the wedding rings, which are gorgeous and perfect. I had a brief consultation with the designer who had design drawings for my diamond earrings and I made my selection. Trotted back to the State House complex for a Chairs & Vice Chairs party at the Upham-Walker House, and received a lovely gift.

The pen-and-ink drawing of the Dome with lilacs is the work of a Majority Office staffer. It is a particularly meaningful memento because I was inside that Dome the same day I received this lovely representation of it.

The FFTNC and I had supper at House of India and returned to the Lodge for her last sleepover night. She was bunking here while attending a 3-day grant-writing workshop
about 45 minutes from here.

I survived a couple of days without eating local fresh strawberries but I acquired more yesterday. Our NH soft fruit growers are having a very, very good year.

In closing, let me extend an invitation...if you happen to be passing through Concord and want a personal tour of the State House, let me know--unfortunately, I won't be able to take you up to the Dome.

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