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After his parents moved to Providence, R.I., Adams was song leader of his Hope High School class and later, in his senior college year, led the famed Dartmouth Glee Club. Says a fellow glee club member: "He looked just like a little choirboy, with his pink face and close-cut, blond hair. You almost expected him to sing soprano. And then this big bass voice would roll out, and you knew this fellow was something special." While a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Adams sang in the second bass section of the Washington Cathedral choir. When he was New Hampshire's governor, it was his wintertime prebreakfast habit to cut figure eights on the ice of Webster Lake near his Lincoln home, to the music of Mozart and Chopin, piped through an amplifying system he had rigged up. Today, Adams' invariable custom is to turn on his Scott hi-fi set the moment he gets downstairs in the morning. Yet there is a streak of Yankee practicality even in Adams' devotion to music. Referring to one of the memorable occasions of his life—Paderewski's last New England concert—Adams says: "My chief recollections of the event are that we had to pay $3 apiece for gallery seats and listened to the most stirring rendition of Chopin's 'Revolutionary' Etude that it was ever my good fortune to hear."

Blindly On. Throughout high school, Adams went back summers to the Vermont parsonage of his stern, bearded grandfather, Cyrus Sherman (who raised five children on $500 a year). While there, he worked on the farms, pulling a rake in the hay fields, and developed another passion: love of the New England outdoors. At Dartmouth—before and after a six-month World War I stint in the Marine Corps—he flung himself furiously into the activities of the Dartmouth Outing Club, which he led during his senior year. That year he logged 41 3½ hiking miles, including one 24-hour marathon march from Skyline Cabin, near Littleton, to Hanover, a distance of 83 miles. For the last ten miles Adams was racked by stomach cramps, but he staggered blindly on.

Naturally enough, Adams looked first to the outdoors for his life's work: he got a job as clerk and sealer in the Healdville, Vt. logging camp of the Black River Lumber Co. When the company manager became ill, Adams took over. In 1923 he was transferred to the parent firm, the Parker-Young Co., with headquarters in Lincoln, N.H., and was successively made woods superintendent and general woods manager. Adams' present taciturnity was doubtless conditioned by his days of eating in lumber-company boarding houses. When the dining-room doors were opened, some 125 men elbowed and kicked their way to the table. Because any sort of conversation led to fights, there was a strict rule against talking.

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