New Hampshire’s Fastest Six Year Old
On January 1, 2008, six-year-old Hunter Santo of Salem had no idea what the next 12 months would bring to his life. This year would be his first calendar year racing motorcross; it would be his “Rookie Year.”
Since wintertime in New England poses its challenges for riding time and racing opportunities, Hunter would have to make a weekly trek to the State of Connecticut. This is the home to one of the world’s largest indoor motorcross tracks - Mototown USA.
As to be expected, in his first couple races, Hunter finished in the back of the pack, but by week three began moving up in the standings. Over the next four months and by competing in dozens of races, Hunter Santo found himself at the top. In only his first motorcross series, ever – Hunter was the Mototown 4-6 Senior 50 CC Champion!
During the month of April as the winter series was coming to an end, the New England Outdoor motorcross series was ramping up from Connecticut to Northern Maine. As a rookie, Hunter pursued his early season racing with the Maine Motorcross Series, as well as the Canaan Motorsports Series. With the winter experience under his belt, Hunter Santo took the New England Motorcross circuit by storm – winning 15 of his first 20 motos. This confidence continued all through the spring and transitioned into the summer and fall series across many tracks throughout all of New England.
This excitement for the sport became obvious as Hunter enjoyed some multiple win weekends sometimes racing numerous races on different bikes in different 50 cc MX and 50 cc Jr MX classes.
This success led to his second Championship of his first year. On September 13, Hunter celebrated as the Canaan Motorcross Series 50 CC Novice MX Champion, winning the final race riding his KTM 50 SX racebike.
Hunter also participated in the New England Regional Championships on Labor Day weekend, which brought in well over 1,000 racers from as far south as the Carolinas. This is about who is who in New England and East Coast motorcross. What a weekend it was for Hunter, taking a fourth place and two third places, qualifying him for his first post race interview under the Honda Factory Tent. With microphone in hand, this little motorcrosser acted like an experienced veteran, thanking his mom and dad, his sisters and his mechanic, Gus Bone.
As the season finally came to an end in late October with his last race in the NEMX Fall Series – Hunter reminisced about his rookie year in motorcross.
What a year 2008 was:
- Mototown 4-6 50cc Sr Champion
- Canaan Motorcross Series 50cc Novice Champion
- New England Motorcross Fall Series (NEMX) 4-6 50cc (2nd Place)
- 50 First Place Moto Wins
- Over 100 (Top 5) Finishes
When asked what he learned from racing this year, he told his Dad, “I learned to do my best, I learned to never, never give up and I learned to have fun.” Words of a true champion.
Senior Tea Dixie Cups
by Robyn Hatch
Peter checks out his collection
One of the most interesting teas that took place at the Salem Senior Center was presented by Stephen Leone. His topic, believe it or not, concerned Hoodsie Dixie Cup lids. He explained that his passion for collecting these little lids came from his mother and blossomed to where it is now, after 35 years of intense work and collecting. He brought in many samples, starting from 1932 with animal pictures, to each year until the pictures ended in 1954. He showed each year, with how they varied from war scenes (1934) to Bob Hope (1944) to an increase in size to 3 1/2 inches (1946), Judy Garlin (1948), to 1954 when they came out with 3D images. Prizes were given out with lid collections, and colored photos of movie stars was the top prize. He had many of these beautiful photos that would be impossible to get from present day movie stars. In 1997, Hoodsie sold to a new company and Stephen didn’t talk much about that...except that the new lids now curl and aren’t half what they use to be. Much ice cream history was also discussed and much of this information is probably taken for granted today. It is so amazing that something as small as a Hoodsie Cup brings so much joy and interest to the collector. Stephen’s collection also makes you take a much larger look and feel for the importance of some of the items we all experienced in days-gone-by.
Stephen, thank you for saving a bit of history for all to enjoy! Good job, and keep this collection safe!
WMUR Meteorologist at Kelley Library
Josh Judge, giving his presentation
Kelley Library in Salem anxiously waited the arrival of the famous WMUR Meteorologist Josh Judge. To a sold-out crowd, he laughingly explained many myths and misconceptions of being a weatherman. He explained, as a forecaster, he has to put the whole weather forecast together himself for each broadcast — meaning each map, each statistic, and more, to go on the television. As a weather person, he explained there is much “pre” work that goes on before, and he laughed when he explained his last 10 minutes before show time is spent putting on his make-up. Still laughing, he told about the bright lights and the reason for the make-up is to look a little more human and not so washed out. Josh also stated that, as a forecaster, he goes on many radio stations with the up-to-date weather news. He prides himself, as with the WMUR weather people, as being as accurate as possible even with the weather being as unpredictable as it is. Josh took time to answer questions from the crowd. He left everyone with a much better understanding on the importance and technical aspect of his important job. Thank you, Josh, for taking the time to spend with Salem!
David Catanzaro (fourth grade) anxiously waits with his questions.