Get our newsletters
Guest Opinion

In Hinsdale, I squandered while he saved


I recently read a story in a local newspaper about a man named Geoffrey Holt who passed away. He lived in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. I did not know Mr. Holt, but the town of Hinsdale certainly changed my life 65 years ago and certainly not for the better. It still affects my life.

Hinsdale is a small town of approximately 4,000 people. It is located 35 miles from Lunenburg, Mass., where I lived at that time.

One month after graduating from high school I received a telephone call from one of my friends who invited me to go that evening to the horse races in Hinsdale. My initial reply was “no” as many of my relatives were into horse racing and they always seemed to come home with less money than they went with.

Eventually, I changed my mind and was off to the races that evening. After betting on a few races, I remember thinking to myself “Where has this been all my life?” and I was hooked.

Common sense took a back seat when I changed my mind. I eventually went back to Hinsdale many more evenings that summer and over the next few years before I moved to Pennsylvania.

The horse-racing blood moved with me. I quickly found new racetracks to attend, and I still do.

Mr. Holt, according to the newspaper, was a loner of a man. He worked many obscure jobs, dressed like a hillbilly and lived in a trailer park. He was a happy camper and was friendly to anyone he came into contact with. He also was much smarter than me, which is really not saying much as a comparison. But when he passed away he left $3.8 million to the town of Hinsdale.

I can assure the town that I live in not to expect the same results when I pass. It just goes to show that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Or a person by their appearance.

Don Landry lives in Franconia.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.