BY BROOKLYN PINHEIRO
If you find yourself cruising down the New Hampshire 103 you’re likely not headed to Newbury, though you will pass through it. As you drive by the couple thousands of people who live in this small town in Merrimack County you’ll bear witness to its claim to fame, the monument behind the local legend of the boy and the chicken farmer.
As the story goes there was a boy who was in love with a teenage girl who lived on a chicken farm. In the ’80s the girl lived in a white house on the side of 103, in proper John Hughes-esque fashion the boy painted his declaration of admiration on a large rock facing her backyard. The love note read: “Chicken farmer, I love you.”
Here is where the mystery begins, no one seems to know if the girl ever figured out who her admirer was, if they ever met, or if the boy raised his fist to the sky after their first embrace. But one thing is sure, the girl grew up and left the rock behind her.
As years went on the writing faded and got covered by growing grass and the story of the boy who loved the chicken farmer passed into memory. But by an act of dedication, years later the rock was cleared of its obstructing shrubbery and re-inscribed with the words: “Chicken farmer, I still love you.”
The lover was back, or perhaps he had never left. Either way the rock and the unrevealed romance re-entered the minds of the townspeople and stuck dear to their hearts. Except for one non-believer who complained, demanding that the ‘graffiti’ be removed. The department of transportation complied and covered the note without lasting success. The ever-faithful lover rewrote his words to the glee of the townspeople who then collected 200 signatures to ensure the canvas be left alone.
It’s been north of 30 years since the boy first admitted his love for the girl living on route 103, across the street from her famous note. But anyone driving through the tree-lined highway need only look to the west side to be reminded that some love lasts.