Category Archives: Personal Stories

Our Own Ann Boesgaard

June, 2022
This announcement is from the University of Hawaii:

Aloha kākou!
A new book is out today, called “The Sky is for Everyone”. It features autobiographical stories from 37 women astronomers, including Ann Boesgaard. We have a UH News story posted about the book release, at
And the book is available today to order from most retailers.
Click on that web info, picture and quote.We are all so proud of Ann. What an honor, and what an honor for us to be able to call her our classmate.
6/24/22, Now we have some more from Ann. “That book with my mini-bio is available on Amazon now. Apparently, you can read my whole chapter!!! Chapter 3 only if you go to the kindle edition and click on “Look Inside”. Here’s the first page, Making Things Work.
The pre-dawn night sky was clear.  My husband and I were on the roof of our house in Hawaii at 5 a.m. looking for Apollo 8 on December 21, 1968.  The launch was flawless; the first humans were leaving Earth and going to the Moon!  After the spacecraft had been tracked in the Florida dawn sky, the announcer, almost as a afterthought, told the TV audience that for people in Hawaii, it would take off for the Moon right over our heads.This would happen before sunrise, but Apollo 8 was at a very high altitude and would be illuminated by full sunshine.  We climbed onto our roof, lay down on the sloped wooden shingles with a clear view of the full sky.  We found the spacecraft trundling along in the southwestern sky. When it was over our house, it accelerated to 24,000 miles/hour to escape Earth’s gravity.  Watching Apollo 8 change in speed was incredible!  As it took off for the cosmos, it created a shock wave in the upper atmosphere that spread out behind the spacecraft as a huge conical yellow-orange glow.  A truly exhilarating experience!My 13-year-old self had wanted to go to the Moon, but my gender, eyesight, and lack of test pilot experience precluded that.  Dramatic changes in social norms have taken place since the 1940s and 1950s when I was growing up. Men were breadwinners and women were homemakers and child-rearers.  My father left when I was five, and my mother became a single parent long before the term was invented. After their divorce, our nuclear family consisted of me, my older sister, our mother, grandmother, and great aunt.  We lived in a five-bedroom house in a middle-class neighborhood in Rochester, NY, thanks to the generosity of my mother’s mother.  My mother, who was a math major at Vassar College, worked in the Controller’s Division of Eastman Kodak.  That household of females sent a subtle message to me that women should not depend on men to support them.

Our public grade school was two blocks from home, and we walked to school in sunshine, rain and snow.  All our teachers and the school principal were women.  At that time few women worked outside the home, and those who did were primarily teachers, nurses, and secretaries. 

In kindergarten, I learned the multiplication tables while rehearsing them with my sister as she was learning them in 3rd grade; I suspect this helped train the mathematical part of my developing brain.  A weekly science program on then-new FM radio in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades stimulated the science part. Half-hour programs on specific topics were accompanied by questions to which we could discover the answers while listening.  In addition we were given lists of activities to do; I always did all of them. 

Around the age of seven I noticed adults asked little boys what they wanted to be when they grew up, but they asked little girls how many children they wanted to have!  I became a feminist then without knowing the term.  I resented that girls in grade school had to take sewing and cooking and that we had to give the boys the products of our cookie-making class.


And finally….

From Liz Barrett, September 29, 2021:  After more than 3 years, the sentence for “The Capital” newspaper murderer was handed down yesterday. There is now a memorial in Annapolis.  If you don’t know about this, refer to my post of August 16, 2018 below.  It still hurts.  The 2 young women in the photo, Summerleigh and Montana, were both in my chorus, and their mom was a good friend.  She is shown at the bottom on the right of the five victims who were killed.


My Roommate and Old Friend

My Roommate and Old Friend, by Liz Hottel Barrett, 4/3/2020

What a surprise for all of us on the chat group to hear from Bunny Richards.  She was my sophomore roommate, and we had some good times way back when.  Lord, it has been about 50 years since we’d been in contact.  I found that she is living in a retirement community in Massachusetts, so I called and was so happy to hear her voice. 

In those early days after graduation, she was working (house construction) in Boston where I lived, and we saw each other a couple of times; but we lost touch, and I tried to reach her several times over the past 50 years or so.  No luck.  I knew she was living in Maine, and I have a house on an island in Maine.  In fact, when I co-chaired our reunion (our 40th I think), the reunion committee chairs met on our island, and so I tried to get Bunny to join us; but I never got through to her.  I knew she was living with a woman named Gretchen who always answered and with whom I’d leave a message.  Not being able to reach Bunny was a sadness for me.

I had a special reason for wanting to see her and talk to her and relive some of the silly things we did.  Bunny and I had so much fun together freshman and sophomore year that I assumed it was fun for her, too.  Those of you who were in Mead and then North Mandel must remember some of our hilarious Bunny/Liz stuff.  After sophomore year, we went our separate ways and had very little contact during the next two years, but I assumed we’d remain friends.  I now realize that for Bunny, it was probably not much fun to be at Mount Holyoke.  When we were in college, I knew nothing about homosexuality.  I don’t think I knew the word lesbian.  I never considered it a problem or even a topic of conversation, but then I think many of us were pretty clueless and naïve about much of life and social relationships.  I’ve always wanted to apologize to Bunny. 

I was married in 1962 and had three boys.  After almost 20 years, my husband and I divorced, my older two went off to college, and then my youngest and I had a few wonderful years together.  Seven years younger than his siblings, Andrew was diagnosed with a rare and fatal blood disease at age 12 — learning that he would not live a long and happy life.  During those few years he was my best friend and amazingly artistic, handsome, and personable.  Everyone loved Andrew.  We did musical theater together, our first when Andrew was a little VonTrapp kid and I a nun – with many more to follow.  I have such wonderful memories of our fun together.  After Bryan and I got married, Andrew came out to me.  He was a beautiful sensitive gay guy.  There were many tears.  Through the UU Church, Bryan and I went to workshops on homosexuality, and Andrew was very proud of us and our activism with PFLAG.  We three enjoyed many musicals and dramas, always in Christmas Carol together.  As I am writing, I realize that I could write about Andrew forever.

Andrew died in 1998.  We moved to San Diego for a couple of years where Bryan and I marched together at the Gay Pride parade in 1999.  My son John, wife Bambi, and two-year-old Tucker lived in San Diego at the same time.  What fun for us to be together.  The following year John, age 33,  came to terms with his “suppressed homosexuality”.  This was a very difficult time for him and Bambi while they were readying for two years in Sri Lanka for Bambi’s doctoral research.  (Many of you remember John’s emails from Sri Lanka.)  Something that still makes me sad is that John and Andrew never knew that each were gay.  John didn’t know about himself until after Andrew died  – they could have been so much comfort to each other.  What a shame.

Our last year in San Diego,  I was Co-Chair with Rocki for our 40th MHC Reunion.  Working in San Diego and helping Rocki get used to how to use email and her computer (such hilarious memories of that), we started putting together activities for the weekend.  I felt sure that there were 1961 classmates who might look forward to support from other parents of homosexual kids.  So Bryan and I used PFLAG materials and offered a support group for classmates with homosexual kids or other people in the family. Our workshop was a wonderful success.  We gave support to a classmate who made me feel very good about our entire reunion.

And so I hoped that Bunny would come – over and over I hoped that, year after year.  I wanted to be given the chance to show her and other lesbian classmates that we have come a long way and to apologize for our ignorance.  We are all very different people now, and none of us want to feel that we hurt any classmate during those four years.

That reunion was 20 years ago.  I hope it’s not too late.  I still hope Bunny will come to our next reunion. 

(Editor comment:  Bunny joined the chat group 1/28/2022 — hooray!)

Dottie’s Dream

May, 2019

So in my dream I am at a reunion on campus, showing a much younger alum the far end of campus where I tell her I lived in both Buckland and Abbey.

But I am there searching for the hospital where I am about to give birth!

But I also know I am about to be surprised with an 80th birthday party!  And I don’t want to ruin everybody’s fun making it happen!

But I really need to find the hospital!  So there is Liz Hottel Barrett to help me. (And in real life when we were Girl Scouts at an overnight in Winchester’s Fels park I did get “surprised ” which Liz might or might not remember.) 

Then I wake up, grinning, because I am almost 80, in my 30’s and 12 all in the same dream. And something new and exciting — a baby certainly is that — is about to happen!
Such is the power of dreaming.

My Sister’s 80th Surprise

     Liz Barrett, Annapolis, MD, May, 2019

Cast of other characters include Barbie’s son and my nephew, Dickie; my ex-daughter-in-law Bambi;  my eldest sister, Loie; and Bambi’s boyfriend, Farid.

Background:  My sister Barbie lives alone, in a senior condo in Severna Park, MD, just ten minutes from me.   She has dementia but is in good physical health.  Her 80thbirthday was approaching.   Her son Dickie made plans for the surprise: 40 people were invited for a catered party to be held in her condo’s Community Room.  

As an added surprise for Barbie, my eldest sister Loie, age 88, decided to come visit.  Loie lives in a retirement community in Bangor, Maine.  She has difficulty getting around, uses a walker, is pretty frustrated with her lack of mobility, and yet her mind is still in superb condition.  She is addicted to her cell phone, worse than a teenager.  A flight for her is a rare event, but because it was going to be such a great surprise for Barbie, I asked her to come here. Bryan and I moved upstairs to give Loie our downstairs bedroom and left the party planning to my nephews.

On Friday morning, my nephews, wives, and a couple of children paid a surprise visit to Barbie.  She was beyond excited and called to tell me about it.  We planned a celebratory family brunch for Saturday noon at our favorite restaurant.  Obviously I couldn’t tell her there would be a 4:00 pm surprise party, but I knew the brunch would be a perfect opportunity for Loie to surprise her.

On Friday afternoon Bryan and I were getting ready to leave for the airport to pick up Loie.  At 2:45, I got a text from Loie in Philly telling me her flight to Baltimore BWI had been delayed.  At 3:30 her flight was canceled — we couldn’t believe it.  She could get a later flight at 9:30 pm from Philly to National Airport, about 45 minutes from us in DC; but we did not want her to have to wait 6 hours at the Philly airport – all of it difficult with just her walker and no companion and exhausted.  So in the midst of a huge thunderstorm, rush hour traffic and horrible visibility, Bryan and I drove to the Philadelphia airport to fetch her.  It was a 3 1/2 hour nightmare-of-a-drive for us, followed by a long delay trying to locate her one bag.  My least favorite statement from any customer service rep is now, “I’m not sure where it is, but it’s in the system.”

We arrived back home at 10:30 pm.  I went ahead with the yummy crab cake dinner we were all looking forward to, followed by a dessert of fresh stewed rhubarb with cream.  In spite of our exhaustion, it was all scrumptious and we three had a lovely candlelit dinner.  We went to bed well after midnight, completely wiped out.  Loie announced that she did not want to do anything on Saturday until the party at 4:00 pm.  Her last words: “I don’t want to get up before noon!”  I was disappointed to have to back out of our planned brunch, but I understood.

So Saturday morning I called my nephews to cancel brunch.  Dickie told me that at 3:30 am, Barbie had been taken to the hospital by ambulance.  She had a high fever and a leg so painful that she couldn’t walk.  The doctors didn’t know what was wrong but said she would have to stay in the hospital until they could get a better picture of what was going on.   At 10:00 am, the surprise party and  catering were cancelled, and Dickie began to schedule 24-hour help at her condo before she could be allowed home. I could give her some of my time, but certainly not all…

Barbie still didn’t know that Loie was here from Maine; so early afternoon Loie and I went to the hospital to surprise her.  She most certainly was completely surprised!  Even though she was not allowed to get out of bed, we all enjoyed the celebration with a delicious Maine seafood stew I’d been saving in my freezer.  Though nothing seemed wrong with Barbie, she still had to remain there, a huge frustration for her.  Late afternoon Loie and I left the hospital and Barbie.  A dozen family came over to our house for a delightful back yard supper party around the pool.  The weather was lovely, and we lit the fire pit for the evening.  Bambi brought yummy appetizers and a meal of kabobs from Farid’s restaurant.  More rhubarb for dessert.  It was all terrific for all of us except for Barbie.

On Sunday, we went to the hospital with more stew and entertainment for Barbie.  Most of the day was spent in her room — still no information from the doctor about what might be wrong with her!  Dickie continued to work on the 24-hr care schedule.

Monday morning Dickie called me to tell me that Barbie had returned home Sunday night.  The PT person reported that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Barbie or her leg.  We took Loie to the airport.  End of story.  End of weekend! 

Footnote for Foodies:  if you, too, love Maine seafood like we do, you must try Laura’s Seafood stew at The Red Barn in Augusta (455 Riverside Drive).  You can even get it frozen on their web site — just add cream.  Of course, the shipping costs more than the stew,  and one cup of the stew is 800 calories! 🤗

Hooray for Ann Boesgaard!

Ann sent this email to the chat group on January 14, 2019.

Hello All,
I have just been awarded the highest prize of the American
Astronomical Society.  It’s a lifetime achievement award.
I am amazed and giddy!  Here is the link to the official
press release with 2 photos.
Ann Merchant Boesgaard 1961

Zillions of our class sent their congratulations to Ann:
May I add my CONGRATULATIONS to you, Ann, certainly one of our most esteemed classmates?! Your award and recognition is wonderful. I don’t begin to understand the areas of astronomy you research and have explored , but how great that your colleagues recognize and understand your contributions and expertise and have honored you.  WOW!!! 
Sherry Welles Urner  

Congratulations, Ann. Absolutely outstanding achievement!
Carol Sweeney Benson

Congratulations, Ann!! What a fabulous honor!
Barbara Hartt Hise

Brava, Ann,
What wonderful and truly deserved recognition. I’m proud to be able to
say I knew you when….
Affectionately, Sandy Iger Kohler

Congratulations and thanks for sharing the link with the impressive
story of your accomplishments! Elsa Anderson van Bergen

WOW!  What an honor for you and for MHC and for all of the rest of us too!!!   I am so impressed and pleased to hear this.   Bravo Ann.  You make us proud.  I guess we really are going to have to learn the difference between green stars and blue stars — or was it blue stars and red stars — I can’t remember what you told us at our 50th Reunion!
Judy Marshall Kennedy

Congratulations, Ann, and to think you were one of us way back when.  What a fabulous honor and one well deserved.  Marian Strong Moore

What an amazing honor!  We’re all proud of you -and you could even explain some of it to us at our last reunion. Sending many  congratulations, 
Dee deFerranti Abrahamse

What terrific news!  Loved reading your super-impressive bio too!   Thanks for sharing!
Cheers, Kim Kimball Holmquist

Ann, What absolutely splendid news.  Congratulations on such a prestigious and impressive award – you deserve it!  Loved the bio.
Liz Thornton

Fantastic, Ann!  I really enjoyed reading the press release, too!
Frannie Blair
Wow.  Hooray for you, Ann.  How utterly thrilling!
But really now.  Be honest.  Which is more exciting and fun:  the highest prize of the American Astronomical Society? or playing the Alma Mater on a turkey baster? 
hugs, Liz Hottel Barrett 

Superbly well done and greatly deserved!  Thank you for sharing your good news!  
Cindy Dennett Yee

Ann – Heartfelt congratulations!!! You go girl!!!
Barbara Williamson Bucholtz

What great news and thanks so much for sharing it with us, Ann. Wouldn’t it be fun to listen to next January’s lecture in awe, amazement and warmth in Hawaii?  In spirit anyway. 
Dottie Smith Mann
Congratulations, Ann. We are proud of you.  (No name)
And an amusing discussion from the Kennedy family to all of us:
From Judy to Dan:  WOW.  How about this.  I’m so proud of her.  Judy
From Dan to Judy:  Most impressive.  She’s an extraordinary person, a credit to your class and to Mount Holyoke. We can both feel honored just to know her.  I wonder if they would allow lay people to attend her prize lecture in January 2020 in Hawaii?  Wanna go, after PV?  Dan
From Judy to Dan:  Ann — Would they?  Could we maybe?  Judy K
Being there had also occurred to me.  For the past few years, I have been going to Hawaii in February -extended Presidents Day weekend- to visit my son and his family in Kainui; maybe next year I should go earlier!
Frannie Blair
Ann!   Congratulations for this giant honor!  What an awesome career you have had!  Your MHC class of 1961 is very very proud of you!   Marna Schrader Page
Wonderful news, Ann, and you absolutely deserve it. Congratulations! Let’s make sure that the Alumnae Quarterly gives proper credit to our esteemed classmate.  Jennifer B-C Seaver

Ann, This is such wonderful news!  Affirming a life of excellent scholarship and a passion for understanding our universe.  Congratulations to you!  And thank you so much for sharing.  
~ Bobbi

Anne,  Congratulations on your achievements, honors and life. I have often thought of you over the last ten years, sharing the life of a care-giver.  You came to my mind recently as I watched so fascinated, the PBS Nova program of the Pluto and beyond probe on January 2.  I was particularly interested in the outstanding female direction and participation in that amazing journey. They mentioned Hawaii once and you immediately came to mind.  Wonderful. We are all so proud of you.   Christina Hollister

Dear Anne, You’ve raised the bar.  Congratulations on your incredible award! You’ve given us all great joy with your success.  And wouldn’t it be fun if there were a Mount Holyoke group at your lecture.  Hope that works out.  
All best, Sue Wheatley Carr

P.S. Liz Hottel Barrett and husband Bryan, Bobbi Childs Samson, husband Chris Hamilton, and Frannie Blair all went to Honolulu, Hawaii, for Ann’s award and lecture in January of 2020.  It was an amazing event.  Lucky us!  Web Mistress Liz Barrett.


For Rest, Frannie Blair Works!

Hi, all,
I mid-October I took a break from campaigning for local candidates and flew to North Carolina to join a dozen ex-Habitat volunteers for their annual non-build.  We were from the states of Washington, California, Illinois, and North Carolina; our organizer had found a delightful group featured on Youtube, the Women Roofers of Rutherfordton.  A couple of the younger ones actually did tear off, repair, and replace two roofs during our stay; the rest of us stayed on the ground and painted the exterior woodwork of the local Habitat’s new (to them – it used to be a car repair shop) headquarters, removed from one home and rebuilt at another a handicap ramp, removed and replaced rotten siding, built a sturdy stoop (where a handicap ramp may go next year), rebuilt a set of rotted stairs to a deck, painted the inside of one finished Habitat house, and painted part of another (interior).  The weather was mostly lovely, although rivers were brown from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence; we had a good time with the amazing Women Roofers, most of whom have regular jobs and generally roof on weekends only.  To see pictures, go to the group’s website:  the Sisterhood of the Traveling Stilettos.  Stiletto makes titanium hammers and other tools, and despite the “sisterhood” bit, we have some men among us.  The group is much larger than twelve, so different people go any given year.  I went with them to North Dakota three years ago.  My local candidates won their elections, and I’m already gearing up for the next round because it matters SO MUCH!
Frannie Blair

Annapolis Shooting

Dear friends,

On June 28 I left for a vacation at our house on Sutton Island off the coast of Maine. During dinner that evening in a restaurant in Belfast,  I heard that there had been a horrible shooting in Annapolis.  Later I learned some of the awful details.  

That afternoon someone shot his way into the offices of The Capital  (our local newspaper), locked the back door so that no one could get out, and shot with the intent to kill.  Five people died, and one of them was a friend of mine.  Her name was Wendi Winters, and she was a community news reporter for the paper, something she’d been doing wonderfully well for the past five years.  She was a brilliant and dedicated worker,  volunteer, and mom;  passionate about Red Cross blood drives, ran our local drive every year, and donated blood herself whenever she was able; passionate about women’s rights, most especially reproductive rights; worked hard for our UU Church of Annapolis; worked hard at helping non-profits learn how to get their message out and about to the local press; sponsored mid-shipmen every year;  her four children for years were members of my children’s chorus; all were in ROTC; three of them went to the USNA, and her youngest is still there (the other enlisted.)  

Actually, I could go on and on.  She was a remarkable woman and had recently attended a workshop on dealing with an active shooter.  She grabbed her recycling bins and rushed the shooter.  It didn’t save her life, but it saved others.  

The man who shot her had a long-standing feud with the paper.  Our red flag law doesn’t go into effect until October, but if it had been enacted sooner, it might have prevented the shooting.  Apparently, much of the staff and legal teams knew about his anger at the paper and repeated threats to different employee over the past three years.  How senseless and sad.

The newspaper went right to work getting the paper out for the next morning, and they are more determined than ever to fight for freedom of the press.  I have just returned home and so I haven’t seen those papers yet.  There have been services, memorials, tributes, vigils and something in the paper every day —  a fierce determination to not let this be forgotten.   I hated missing it all.  I need to hug those kids, ages around 20 to 30.  

One of the seriously traumatized reporters has just volunteered to follow and write the story about the trial of the killer.  The paper feels that if they don’t write it themselves (as opposed to the umbrella organization of the Baltimore Sun), then the killer wins.  However, there is serious concern that he will become even more traumatized.

Liz Webfoot Editorial:  Our legislature won’t do anything about guns, and the response from the Republican party is a disgrace.  If any of you are Republicans, I’d like to know what the hell you are supporting and why.  Why aren’t you pushing your Congressmen and Senators to help with this huge gun problem?  I am speaking only for my angry self, but if you think I should remove this paragraph, please let me know.  I’ll do it as long as you will tell me why I should respect the Republican party.  Help the rich get richer?  Stand up for the right to life while our President calls some people “animals” and there’s no problem with the death penalty?  Stand up for the right to life while children are separated from their parents at the risk of serious mental problems?   I’ll stop now.  Maybe I’ll remove this eventually, but not right now.  I’m too damn mad.  7/16/2018

7/17/2018:  As news mounts on Wendi and her heroism, I’ll include it here, and I’ll keep updating, so please scroll down for the latest.  Liz Webfoot.

Slain Capital Gazette 'Hero' Deserves Medal Of Freedom: MD Reps

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Wendi Winters, one of the five slain Capital Gazette employees killed in a mass shooting, should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for facing down the accused gunman with no more of a weapon than her trash and recycling bins, say the members Maryland’s Democratic Congressional delegation. The politicians on Monday sent a letter to the White House urging President Donald Trump to consider Winters for the nation’s highest civilian honor, which has traditionally been awarded by the president to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security of the United States, to world peace, to culture or to other significant endeavors.

According to eyewitness accounts from survivors of the June 28 shooting, Winters armed herself with the closest weapons at hand – her trash and recycling bins – and charged the shooter, shouting for him to stop. It is believed that Wendi’s actions distracted the shooter enough to enable several of her coworkers to escape, said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, in a statement.

“Previous presidents have awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously on dozens of occasions and we believe Wendi is a hero deserving of the same,” the delegation wrote. “She died not only protecting her colleagues, but in defense of the First Amendment.”

The entire Maryland delegation except Rep. Andy Harris, R-District 1, sanctioned the letter. A spokeswoman for Harris told the Capital Gazette he is reviewing the letter.

Maryland’s House delegation led a moment of silence on the House floorin honor of the Capital Gazette victims. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen led a Senate resolution– passed unanimously – in honor of the victims: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Winters.

The full text of the letter follows:

July 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As you are aware, it is the authority of the President of the United States to award the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The President historically bestows this honor to men and women who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security and safety of his or her fellow citizens.

As Senators and Representatives for the State of Maryland, we urge you to consider Wendi Winters for this great distinction. As you may know, Wendi was among the five victims who lost their lives in the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom on June 28, 2018, in Annapolis, Maryland. According to eyewitness accounts from survivors, Wendi armed herself with the closest weapons at hand – her trash and recycling bins – and charged the shooter, shouting for him to stop. It is believed that Wendi’s actions distracted the shooter enough to enable several of her coworkers to escape.

In addition to dedicating her career to the betterment of her community, Wendi’s family is rooted in military tradition. She was the daughter of a Naval Academy graduate and the mother of three Navy officers. She sponsored numerous midshipman over the years. A Girl Scout leader, she also volunteered with the Red Cross and as a youth adviser at her church.

Previous Presidents have awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously on dozens of occasions and we believe Wendi is a hero deserving of the same. She died not only protecting her colleagues, but in defense of the First Amendment.

Again, we enthusiastically recommend Wendi Winters for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and we look forward to your expeditious response.

Aug 16, 2018, editorial comment from Liz Webfoot:  Andy Harris, our Republican Representative to Congress,  refused to sign the letter.  And yet it was he who sponsored Montana (Wendi’s daughter) for the United States Naval Academy.  Disgraceful and political.  Politics doesn’t belong here!   

Montecito Disaster from Kim

JANUARY 10, 2018 — from Kim Holmquist.  Perhaps some of you have been wondering how things are in Santa Barbara, after our most recent blow from Mother Nature.  Here in downtown Santa Barbara all is fine but not so for Montecito.  
I finally spoke with my daughter a little while ago.  They were marooned with no electricity, water or gas on Toro Canyon. All utility connections are just hanging in the air!   They are all okay though and managed to sneak out by all sorts of devious routes which took them 2 hours and are now staying at a local hotel!   Kirsten’s last home (along with several others)  on Glen Oaks was evidently also swept away by mud and  her next door neighbor is missing, presumed dead.  Her son was on Good Morning America this morning and said as much.  Her husband and daughter were able to be rescued from the roof.  Ironically, the home Kir and Darrell owned before has also been destroyed though both are in areas normally considered safe.   She tells me that even what you see on the news can’t adequately describe how really horrible it is.   Many of their friends who have lost everything don’t have flood insurance so they are hoping that the insurance commissioner will declare that this is all tied to the fire  (which of course it is!) and therefore should be covered by their fire insurance. I also just heard from a friend from the hills of Montecito whose house burned because of gas explosion next door!  They fortunately had evacuated the night before.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.   Kim

(January 25, story continues)
This came out in the New Yorker and T.C. Boyle writes so well about our anguish I thought I’d share it with you.  They found one of the missing yesterday, so now there are still two, a two year old child who lost other family members, and my grandson’s best friend whose father was one of the first to be found.  His sister, 14, and a friend my granddaughter’s,  was found buried in the mud but survived.  Now they are wondering if these last two were swept out to sea!

The freeway finally opened on Sunday though exits in Montecito are still closed as they continue to clear the debris.  My daughter and family can’t get home as their utilities aren’t restored.  But every day there are big strides being made, the firemen and police are true heroes, the sun is still shining brightly,  and so we are grateful!   


Judy Kennedy Changes Course

June, 2017.  The following is from a newspaper article about Judy and Dan Kennedy closing the doors of Whitehorse Gear, their business of many years.  For Judy it is a “bitter-sweet” change which gives them the opportunity to renew their lives.  Bon Voyage, Dan and Judy!  May you have many more great adventures.

Judy Kennedy, Whitehorse Press, Customer ID 106748 (

It’s Been a Great Ride!

Since Judy and I founded Whitehorse in 1989, we have had the privilege of serving hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists, helping them find the best information and equipment to make their riding more comfortable and fun. We’ve had a wonderful experience, filled with friendship and adventure stretching from those early days before cell phones and the Internet. And while the essentials of two-wheeled travel have really changed very little over the years, enthusiasm for things like dual-sport riding, metric cruisers, and even heated gear has woven its way into the motorcycling mainstream — and we’ve greatly enjoyed being a part of it all.

It is with mixed feelings then that we have reached a decision to close our Warehouse Store in Conway later this spring and retire from day-to-day business to spend more time enjoying the sort of life that drew us all together in the first place.

So what does this mean for you? For the next couple of months we’ll be offering some outstanding values on our remaining inventory, just in time for you to get well geared up for the riding season ahead. As always, we intend to give you the same great customer service of which we have long been proud. And while the best deals will be found early among our discontinued merchandise, we are willing to special order any items we can for you. Unredeemed gift certificates will, of course, be honored in whatever manner best suits your needs. Give us a call.

Keep an eye out for upcoming marketing emails giving you first crack at the savings. If you happen to be in the area, stop by and give us a chance to help you find what you’re looking for, and let us thank you personally for the many years we’ve shared the road.

Dan and Judy Kennedy, Owners
Whitehorse Gear 
107 East Conway Road 
Center Conway, NH 03813