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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Old Man's Been Gone Ten Years.

We honor his memory.

It was on the third of May, 2003, a Saturday morning, that New Hampshire's great stone face, known as The Old Man of the Mountains, disappeared from the cliffs of Cannon Mountain, in Franconia Notch.
Photo source:, via Bing Images
I was watching the CNN news early that morning, over my breakfast.  I heard that the Old Man had fallen during the night, indicating his collapse to be a note of national significance, as well as to us in New Hampshire.  I went and woke Shirl, saying, "Wake up!  The Old Man has fallen!"  She said, "Oh no, not again!"  My father had suffered a broken hip about a year before.  "Not Mac," I told her, "The Old Man of the Mountains.  He's gone!  Let's go up there!"  We were at the viewing site on Profile Lake not 60 minutes later.  We were among the early few of the steady stream of damp-eyed mourners that arrived there on that day, and who have been doing so ever since.
"The Old Man's Song", Copyright Duncan C. McDougall and Burt Kaliski, 2003
Video presentation by Alex McDougall.

That June, at the Annual Conference of the ACBSP in Times Square, New York, Professor Burt Kaliski of Southern New Hampshire University and I decided to meet soon at Franconia Notch State Park to see if we could find a way to memorialize The Old Man.  The song I have uploaded was our contribution.  The tune is traditional, and the voice is that of professional singer Nika Garcia, of Miami, Florida and Boulder, Colorado.  Nika is accompanied on guitar by my eldest son Brian McDougall, her husband. The slideshow was produced by Alex McDougall, our youngest son.

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