by GSA Jyl Dittbenner, Cathedral of the Pines Class of 2014
It was a quiet morning in the Manchester Information Center (MIC). My sister Lyn Gelinas and I, Cathedral of the Pines class of 2014, enjoy volunteering in this center because this is our home, we are lifelong residents of the Queen City. We sit inside the quiet center and patiently await the visitors. Occasionally someone needs information about bus schedules or a restaurant recommendation. On the morning of May 20th we expected a quiet shift like usual. Instead, we were treated to a beautiful (sunny) visit with Chip and Jane from Phippsburg, Maine. They are members of the American Bell Association and wanted to plan a visit for their group (of about 120 bell collectors).
They brought with them the symbol of the group, a bell once used by Ulysses S. Grant - to call workers and family to dinner. Jane regaled us with stories about the bell and how it was used. We posed for a photo with the bell at their request.
Ulysses S. Grant is the face of the fifty dollar bill. Originally named Hiram, he found his name incorrectly listed as his middle name Ulysses upon entering West Point. Never really a fan of his initials H.U.G., Grant went with it becoming U.S. Grant, a more patriotic moniker.
We assisted Chip and Jane with various ideas of things to do and places to see throughout our state. They were considering lodging at the Radisson and asked about the Cog Railway, Antique Alley, Keene and Peterborough area, and the proximity of the seacoast. We shared with them many of the local highlights like the Currier Museum of Art, the Palace Theatre, SNHU Arena, and the NH Fisher Cats. It was a wonderful conversation and sharing of ideas. We look forward to their group’s visit sometime in the future.