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Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

May 8 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


A New Englander by birth and formal education, an internationalist by vocation and informal education, Lou Salome met John Lamson by following two forks in the road that led to the same junction; the first took him to the Athenaeum; the other to the bosom of RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara.

John was one of three proprietors who sponsored Lou to join the Athenaeum, his second home. The others were Larry Benedict and Ronan Donohoe. Thank you John, Larry and Ronan. John’s ties to RAIN touch the very founding of the organization, which Lou joined at the same time the Athenaeum welcomed him.

Lou Salome was a journalist for thirty-five years, twenty-five of which were as a national award-winning editorial writer/editor at the Miami News. Ten years were as a foreign correspondent for the Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers, which explains his internationalist education. He is the author of two books. A third will be published soon.


John Lamson is a retired U.S. diplomat. He grew up in Newington and Portsmouth, and became a Department of State management officer assigned to posts in Nigeria, France, Belgium, Niger, and Latvia, as well as Washington, D.C., for 21 years before retiring and returning to the Seacoast. For three years, Lamson taught at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.


While serving in Niger, John hosted friend and Newington resident Bess Palmisciano. This trip became the impetus for Rain for the Sahel and Sahara, a Portsmouth-based non-profit organization that has partnered with rural and nomadic Nigeriens since 2001. RAIN will honor John and Lee Lamson’s service at the annual RAIN Dance event on Thursday, May 23rd 2024.

Discussion begins at 5:30 in the first-floor Sawtelle Reading Room. Space is very limited. To reserve your seat(s), online registration is below. If unable to keep your reservation, please call (603) 431-2538 to release the seat for someone else.

NOTE: Online registration ends 24 hours before the program begins; thereafter, please call (603) 431-2538, if space is available.

Image: Courtesy photos.


May 8
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA
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Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

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