A Special Place Called 'Liberty Street'
The northwest half of the first floor had a stone fireplace (now with a deer head over it) and comfortable furniture, all of which we eventually replaced. Sliding doors opened to that part of the deck overlooking Rattlesnake and Diamond islands. The southwest part of that first-floor space had more furniture back then, but later we purchased from an island neighbor an antique pool table for that area. It had originally been in a Boston pool hall. It was in constant use from then on. I can still hear in my mind today the gentle clicking of those pool balls late into our summer evenings.
But I’m getting ahead of my story.
From the deck outside the pool-table area, we looked southwest to Gunstock Mountain, which became the major ski area for our family, and farther on down toward Alton Bay, destined to be one of our favorite lake towns for breakfast, ice cream, and, when our grandchildren were little, miniature golf.
After looking at the three bedrooms and bathroom (one of three on the property) upstairs, we walked through the kitchen, with its six-chair table in the center, to the deck on the east side, where morning sun was streaming through the pines. The view from there, Paul explained, was toward Wolfeboro. “It’s about a 20-minute boat ride,” he said. Little did we know then how many dozens of dinners we were destined to enjoy over there. And, oh, those gorgeous rides home in the moonlight!
During our chats while meandering about, we learned that Paul and Fannie were newlyweds, a second marriage for both, but I couldn’t get them to fully explain their reason for selling–and somehow I didn’t feel comfortable pressing the matter.
Meanwhile, Sally and J.D. had inspected the bunkhouse (a few years later, our son, Dan, would spend his summer expanding that building–ending up with a capacity to sleep 12), and then they proceeded to walk the entire 100-acre island on a path that, a few years later, would be greatly upgraded by members (including us) of the Sleepers Island Association.
“It’s a beautiful island,” Sally said to Fannie upon their return, “but you have the best spot.” Fannie agreed, saying that a friend of hers had bought the entire island in the early 1960s and then divided it into lots for sale. He offered Fannie first choice–she could have whichever lots she wanted. She bought the three surrounding the northwest point.
Now we come to the key moment of my story. It occurred on our drive home to Dublin, New Hampshire, later that day. Here’s how I remember our conversation …