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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #89: Moody Point, Newmarket

What's your point?

At the western edge of Great Bay, where the Squamscott River arrives from Exeter and the Lamprey from Newmarket, across the water from Stratham and Greenland, rests a spit of land called Moody Point. In the late 1980s the Cheney empire began developing the wooded 35-acre promontory with just over a hundred high-end condominiums and single family homes. The developers did a remarkable job ensuring that the construction folded effectively into the natural setting, preserving wooded trails and open-space meadows along the attractive views of the waterfront.

My first introductions to Moody Point came early on in its existence, when I was in high school. Claudia and John Terlizzi owned one of the first three-story condos facing the Bay, and I can remember holiday parties there for Claudia's Exeter drama charges. I can remember being impressed with the quality of the place, seeming the very lap of what luxury Newmarket, NH can provide. Little did I know I'd wind up living there, at least for a summer.

Fast forward to the summer 1998. I was in the heart of my tenure at Ballet New England, and our board member John Terlizzi was headed off for a cross-country bike ride, from the Red Hook Brewery out here in Washington to the one in Portsmouth. Jen and I moved out of our snug Cricket Brook apartment in Dover and house sat for John, looking after the condo and his cats. I remember it as a blisteringly hot summer, especially since that was when we adopted two kittens, Sasha and Dmitri (offspring of my brother's cat, also of a Russian name that I can't recall. What was it, Al?). Kittens have tiny claws like needles, and they would choose the middle of the sweltering night to dash over the bed, and you could either sweat under heavy covers or be tattooed by the frisky new roommates. At the end of the summer, when John finished his ride, we made the move to Exeter.

I'd make regular trips to Moody Point in the years ahead - several of my fellow members of the Durham-Great Bay Rotary Club lived in the development, and we'd have executive committee meetings and social gatherings there. I can't recall the last time I was out there, but at last word one of the cats was still alive, kicking around East Kingston with the Stricklands.

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