2004-05-13 Michael Edelstein's Visit to NH
Michael Edelstein's Visit to NH
In March 2004,
Edelstein (currently a Friend of the FSP) and his wife Janice took a
trip to visit NH. On his return, Michael shared his experiences through an
interview with FSP Member Services Director
Tim Condon: Who are you two?
Michael Edelstein: We are a libertarian couple who live in San Francisco and Tiburon, CA.
Ludwig von Mises defined liberty as "freedom from government". Well, in that case, we love liberty!
What are the dates and times you traveled to the Free State?
We traveled to NH by United Airlines red eye on Thursday night 18 March @ 1150 PM. We stayed until Monday morning.
Are you married, do you have kids?
We're married. Janice has two lefty adult daughters. They're bright despite their sheep-like political views.
What are your educational backgrounds?
Janice has some college and I have a Ph.D. in psychology.
What do the two of you do for a living?
I'm a clinical psychologist and author (www.ThreeMinuteTherapy.com). Janice is a retired Tandem systems analyst.
Where did you fly out of?
SFO to ORD to MHT on UA. (-;
How did you get around New Hampshire once you got there?
What research did you do about NH before you took off for there?
I'm somewhat familiar with NH. I lived on the East Coast (Brooklyn, NY) for most of my life before moving to San Francisco. I also joined the LPNH for a few years in the 80s.
I spent two summers at Camp Birchbrook in the White Mountains when I was in single digits. I visited NH during many autumns for weekends of spectacular colors. For a few years, I was part of an alternate lifestyle group, "Family Tree," which had gatherings in Goffstown. I had a friend whom I visited in Deerfield. And my sister lived in Hanover for many years with her husband, a Dartmouth physics professor.
How did you find out about the Free State Project?
Through my active involvement with the libertarian movement.
What did you think when you first heard about the movement?
It sounded much more practical and reasonable than previous similar libertarian attempts at creating free regions. And the individuals involved seemed visionary, grounded in reality, and smart.
How did you get names and phone numbers to contact Porcupines in NH?
Who were the people who were given as contacts?
Many, including Cal Pratt, Eric Knight, Tony Lekas, and Tim Condon. But most notably, Dave Mincin. I had the most phone and email contact before our trip with Dave. He was a delight to plan with and of tremendous assistance.
What was the weather like when you got to NH?
We hit the winter/spring thaw, so we didn't ice-over immediately as I feared we might.
What were your overall impressions of the state?
Beautiful, serene, civilized.
In our travels, just about everyone we spoke with seemed helpful and friendly. Only on rare occasions did we get poor directions or recommendations from the native non-FSPers.
Nothing was particularly notable, with the exception of some bikers and cyclists without helmets, and no sales tax at EMS.
Where did you travel in New Hampshire?
Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Dover, and environs.
Why those places?
Should I move, I wish to live in or near a city. Should Janice move, she prefers a more rural environment. And we only had three full days, so we could not venture far from Manchester Airport.
Thinking of buying a place there?
This is certainly one option.
Who were the people you met with in NH who are involved in the Free State Project?
About ten FSPers at Friday dinner including Amanda Phillips, John and Rosalie Babiarz, Martin Ekendahl, Tony and Alicia Lekas, Cal and Karen Pratt.
Also, about twenty FSPers at the Seacoast lunch meeting in Dover including Michelle and Jim Dumas, George Reich, Chris Gronski, Julie and Ron DeCarlo, and Gregg Goss
After lunch Don Gorman and Dave Mincin took us on a spectacular tour of Southeastern NH.
Were you surprised by anything that you saw or experienced in NH?
Yes. It was much quicker to drive from one town to the next than I had envisioned from judging by the map.
I did not expect such a wide choice of excellent ethnic restaurants (Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican).
The twenty-person turnout at the initial meeting of the Seacoast Porcs was a wonderful surprise larger than the attendance of some of our monthly San Francisco LP meetings.
Has your opinion changed at all about the Free State Project or New Hampshire in any way as a result of visiting?
The enthusiasm, excitement, and dedication of the new arrivals to the project is a cause for optimism.
When are you joining the Free State Project, and if not, why not? When are you moving to the Free State, and if not, why not?
I'm active with the FSP Northern California Local Group.
I wish to spend time in the dead winter and summer in NH before deciding. If I survive, it's a good sign!
Do you expect to get a part-time place in New Hampshire?
Currently, no plans for this or any other living arrangement.
Where would you be most likely to buy a place in NH?
Closer to the South.
What part of NH did you like the best?
Just about all we saw, with the exception of downtown Manchester which did not seem all that inviting. Nashua and the surrounding area was quite nice.
When are you going back again?
The June Porcupine Festival.