Although I’ve lived in Vermont for almost all my adult life, I grew up across the Connecticut River. Growing up in New Hampshire, not only did we meet all the candidates, we met all the sub-candidates, too – anyone who was remotely interested in running for president showed up not only in our small town, but in everyone’s small town. Some students set off a smoke bomb in our high school just before Reagan arrived with his secret service entourage.
The best thing about the New Hampshire primary is that intractable streak of curmudeoniness that runs through the state. Voters in my town expected all candidates to have coffee in Linda’s Diner. You didn’t vote for a no show, and you didn’t take excuses. The second best thing about the New Hampshire primary is that it’s just more fun. It’s happening.
I remember (and this was many years ago) standing on a street in Manchester waiting for Jesse Jackson. Behind us, one newsman complained to another, New Hampshire in January! It’s always freezing, and you have to walk forever to find a pay phone!
The rest of us managed to make do.
In New Hampshire the state lunch is a submarine sandwich with a tub of coleslaw.
– Donald Hall