Ahh, granite, it’s that common igneous light-colored rock composed of quartz, feldspar, mica and other minerals. I’m sure geologists and rock lovers everywhere are proud to say that granite is the grandfather of nice countertops.

I recently had a run-in with granite and no, it wasn’t in the form of a countertop, but in the form of a little place called the Granite State, or more commonly known as New Hampshire. Ever heard of it?

On an everyday basis, this state gets about as little attention as a pigeon in Central Park, but a couple of weekends ago it was in the limelight as the most important state in the country. Weeks before the moment of truth on Tuesday the 9th, 10 candidates convened in this state to battle it out in the fight of the century.

Among all of these candidates, there was a very excited Wiltonian in New Hampshire’s presence as well. That’s right, my family and I traveled up there Saturday morning and with every mile we rolled on Route 84 and 495, I was certain that my level of energy had surpassed all of the energy Ben Carson could have ever produced in his lifetime.

The first stop we made on the campaign trail was at a middle school gymnasium in Concord for the one and only Hillary Clinton. First we had to wait in a long line for about an hour to get in while we saw news vans with giant dinner plates on their roofs pull up and set up shop.

Once we got close to the door, a secret service agent, that looked exactly like Edward Meechum from Netflix’s House of Cards, allowed us entrance into a loud and riled-up gym. We had to wait another hour and a half for Hillary to come on stage but once she did, along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, the crowd went berserk.

After waiting two and a half hours for a 15-minute speech, we headed for our next destination, dinner at JD’s Tavern. JD’s Tavern is a restaurant in Manchester in the Radisson Hotel where much of the political hub is located. But what made it special wasn’t the heavenly Parmesan-encrusted chicken, it was the live MSNBC broadcast going on right before my eyes.

All throughout our dinner, we got to see all of the political legends, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Michael Steele and many others. Toward the end of dinner after Chris Matthews’s Hardball broadcast, he came our way to leave. He was walking our way in a mass of fans, and I really had to be a Wilton Warrior to fight the crazed mob. But I finally was able to get his attention and snap a picture with him, and the best part was that he didn’t interrupt me when I said “hello” to him.

The next morning we stopped at a Marco Rubio rally and waited another two hours for him to show up. We were set up in the cafeteria of Londonderry High School while a slightly quieter crowd filed in, but it wasn’t a library by any means. After his robotic speech, I tried to get a picture with him but the crowd was too engulfed in the young Florida senator.

The last stop on our trip was an exciting one. I definitely felt the bern when I arrived for, you guessed it, Bernie Sanders. Although we couldn’t see Bernie in person because Marco made us late (these politicians!), we were able to listen to his speech in the overflow room, which was still a treat. And most of what he said, I agreed with, the change he said he’s bringing this country is going to be huuuuge!


Christian Lovallo is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.