Over the last year or so, we’ve told some pretty cool stories.
Well, actually, all of them have been cool – we did, after all, write them. And usually we try to tell the whole story because if we don’t, it leads to more questions than answers and we don’t want you to think any more than is required. But sometimes the whole story just hasn’t unfolded yet, which is why we decided to catch up with some of the people, places and things we’ve written about to see what’s been going on since they became famous through their appearance in the Insider.
Red River Engagement
In April, we introduced you to Mike Clark and Ryan Foley, a nice young couple who had been together for a little over three years. Clark had picked the couple’s three-year anniversary last March as the perfect time to pop the big question. So he rented out the Stonyfield Farm Culture Cinema at Red River Theatres – where they went on their first date to see The King’s Speech after a bet – created a slide show and got down on one knee. If you missed the story, Foley said yes.
Fast forward to present day and not only are Clark and Foley still together, but the wedding planning is going quite well. They picked a date (June 6, 2015), a venue (Colby-Sawyer College, where they met working in the admission’s office) and even convinced a close friend to make their cake.
“It kind of started right away,” Foley said of the planning. “We’re almost done. Things fell into place really quickly.”
The plan is to get married in a big field overlooking some mountains with about 100 guests and then move inside for the reception, which we can only assume includes dinner, dancing and a group photo with the Insider.
“Fingers crossed for no rain,” Foley said.
As for the dress details, those are top secret, but it didn’t take long to find the perfect one.
“Within the first month of the engagement I found my dress,” Foley said.
Late in 2013, we caught wind of a new store. But this wasn’t just any kind of store, because it was actually located inside an old utility truck. And although its name, The Moonshine Truck, could have been mistaken for some sort of illegal booze ring, it was actually a rolling jewelry store opened by Mary Hopf.
Hopf began by selling earrings, necklaces and bracelets, as well as scarves, purses and other small items, and for the most part has kept the same kind of things on hand. But she quickly realized that hair accessories were what people wanted, and they don’t take up a lot of space. Like any business that sells things, she tries to keep up with what her customers want.
“I’ve brought is some new stuff, gotten rid of other stuff,” Hopf said. “People love the truck. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception in the first year.”
Overall, it’s been a good first year of business, outside of some bumps in the road with permits and being unable to sell in certain places, like York, Maine.
“On paper, the truck makes me look like a carny,” Hopf said.
Hopf tries to take the truck out a couple times a month and has had great success in the Concord area. She even has some faithful followers.
“You haven’t made it until you have a couple stalkers,” Hopf said.
The Place Studio & Gallery
When we first met Christa Zuber, she had a big dream. She wanted to open a studio where anyone could come, pay a sitting fee and create a piece of art.
The original plan was to do it in Abu Dhabi, but when that fell through, she decided to do it right here in Concord. When the story came out in August, Zuber was still generating funding and searching for the right spot.
But on Oct. 17, Zuber opened The Place Studio & Gallery at 9 N. Main St. You can recreate a famous painting on a blank canvas, paint a piece of pottery or even decoupage (which is where you glue things to an object.)
“My goal was to make a relaxing spot for people to be creative,” Zuber said. “And everyone loves the feel of it.”
It’s just a $10 sitting fee, plus the materials you wish to use. You can even bring your own beer and wine. Things have been pretty good so far, but like any new business owner, Zuber just wants to get more people through the front door, like during her New Year’s Eve event.
“It’s just getting the word out about what we actually do,” Zuber said.
Tall Granite Big Band
We told you about the The Tall Granite Big Band right before they played a pair of benefit concerts for the Concord Cold Weather Shelter program in November.
And thanks to us (as well as the talented musicians in the band, we suppose) the concerts were a huge success. More than 500 people attended the two concerts and more than $5,000 was raised.
“It far exceeded our wildest expectations,” said David Dustin, one of the band’s founders. “We didn’t know what to expect, but it was wonderful to watch the church sanctuarys just fill up with people.”
In other news
∎ There have been no signs of our autograph seeking possum since his appearance in the Insider last spring. There have been rumors that he got a movie deal and is now the one avoiding autographs.
∎ We have tried over the last few months to get another turn with the Larry O’Brien (NBA Championship) Trophy and do our own tour of Concord, but apparently you have to be an NBA champion for that to happen. Talk about lofty standards.
∎ And although we’ve tried, we have been unable to locate the new Cheescake Factory that appeared in the Food Snob on April 1.