Page 11 - AUG2022
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 August 2022
Page 11
someone who seemed to have brought an excessive number of containers, another patron com- mented that perhaps that person had a greater need or urgency for the water.
The anecdotes of evident courtesy with and concern for each other were often accom- panied by moments of joy and friendly banter. One young boy laughed aloud as he watched the stream of water flow from the pipe. “It looks like it is alive!” he exclaimed.
As I witnessed the scene, I was experiencing something like “liv- ing water,” as well. However, it was not coming from the sturdy pipe. I could feel it pouring from the warm hearts of those who were sharing a special time at the Breck-Plankey spring.
Thank you to Todd Westfall, son of Mason Westfall, Lindsey Thompson of the Bristol Con- servation Commission, Lucille Keegan of the Bristol Historical Society, and the many friendly and interesting people I met at the spring.
chlorine-smelling water so prev- alent there.
One man swore his 17-year- old dog would drink only Plan- key water and that it had to be chilled. If offered any other water, the dog would go and sit by the refrigerator. When sharing this anecdote with other visitors, there was much affirmation that pets, especially dogs, exhibited a fondness for Plankey water. Perhaps they could detect an unpleasant odor from a well or municipal sources.
A woman named Karen told how her children called the spring’s bounty “magic water,” and she asserted that she knew for a fact that this water mixed with a fungus called Chaga provided many health benefits. Another frequent guest named Dawn spoke with surety that her 13-year-old daughter avoided other waters because the teen- age girl could “taste” the exces- sive acidity in water not from the Plankey Spring. Scientific analysis seems to confirm what these parents and many other
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spring patrons believe. The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services tests the spring quarterly. The most recent re-
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sults show “ND” (not detected) for all organic and inorganic substances, with the exception of sodium (the salt of the earth).
And so...many sojourns to the spring. They come from Bristol and other towns in the Newfound Region, but, as I noted earlier, they also travel some distances. Tom and Staci make a special trip each Sunday from West Lebanon. Marc and Candace and others come from Laconia regularly. Two women drive from Norwood, Massachu- setts, just to acquire the water. They return the same day!
This writer interviewed many of those who had come to draw water. I wish I had the space to include many more of their in- sightful comments. On Satur- day, a hectic day, my questions were an added distraction for those lining up for water while they tried, at the same time, to improvise fairness protocols for its access and distribution. Nev- ertheless, I was taken with their friendliness towards me and each other. Those in the queue expressed an understanding of the many nuances involved in determining “fairness.” In re- sponse to a rare criticism about
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