He may have been a hermit to the rest of the world, but JD Salinger's neighbors in Cornish, NH, know differently. He valued his privacy to be sure, but the man also got around. He liked the Dartmouth Bookstore in nearby Hanover, favored the Windsor Diner, and was a regular at the roast beef suppers at First Congregational Church, where you could usually find him seated next to the pie table.
“I think maybe he looked like a recluse to the media, but he talked to people, you know," one member of the Cornish Board of Selectmen tells the Boston Globe. “If you knew who he was, you’d see him here and there. You’d see him in the grocery store; you’d see him in the post office.’’ Locals fondly recall sending inquiring strangers on wild goose chases, and they remain protective. When the Globe reporter asked about rumors of an oversize mailbox, one selectman looked at two others and said firmly, "Don't answer that question."