March 2023. Grace Metalious was the author of Peyton Place, a title and a phrase that immediately found a place in the American lexicon. The real Peyton Place is Gilmanton, New Hampshire, a town lost in the woods between Concord and Lake Winnipesaukee. Grace led a troubled life—fame made things worse—and if she was looking for a quiet place to spend eternity, she found it in the woods of Gilmanton.
The Meeting House Cemetery where she is buried is covered in two feet of old snow. I’m the only one who has been here recently. There are no footprints about. Even the deer and rabbit tracks are days old. As I moved from grave to grave and stone to stone, it occurred to me that if I dropped dead here no one would find me until the spring melt. With that happy thought, I trudged back to my car on the side of a road that had no traffic. It was peaceful. No one is going to bother Grace. At least until August.