Sometimes winter can settle in with a dark thud—we’ve all felt it, at one point or another—and when it does, inspiration is needed like a burst of blue sky and sun. This issue is filled with that burst: in stories of New Englanders following their hearts and their passions, stories that may prod you to […]
By Mel Allen
Dec 13 2018
Sometimes winter can settle in with a dark thud—we’ve all felt it, at one point or another—and when it does, inspiration is needed like a burst of blue sky and sun. This issue is filled with that burst: in stories of New Englanders following their hearts and their passions, stories that may prod you to leave the warmth of the fireplace and see what’s out there waiting to be discovered.
More than 40 years ago, tinkering in his Vermont barn, a young Jake Burton Carpenter designed a prototype for what eventually would become a world-famous company: Burton Snowboards, which remains rooted in the Green Mountain State today [“Up Close,” p. 25]. In his own way, Carpenter was following in the footsteps of generations of Vermonters who transformed discarded skis and scraps of wood into their very own “jack jumpers,” iconic inventions whose story is told in this issue by a longtime fan [“The Joys of Jack Jumping,” p. 20]. I imagine that after learning how much fun can be had sliding down a snow-covered hill on one of these, some of you will be looking at your old skis with new eyes.
In our “Guided Winter Adventures” feature [p. 81], you can follow along on a Maine snowshoe trek that guide Kimberly Truskowski compares to “walking through black-and-white photography provided by Mother Nature.” And that’s just for starters. You’ll also learn what it’s like to saddle up for a snowy trail ride, let sled dogs pull you through field and forest, and hike to the summit of Mount Washington, with its views of a beautiful arctic world.
Inspiration may also spring from learning about people who believed in and nurtured their talent. For instance, in “A World of Pancakes” [p. 44], you’ll likely be enticed by the delectable scallion-pancake breakfast sandwiches created by a trio of Boston siblings: Andrew, Irene, and Margaret Li. What began as a food truck near Fenway Park grew into their restaurant, Mei Mei, where these pancakes take the cake.
“The New Makers” [p. 92] puts a spotlight on up-and-coming artisans whose creative work will be sought after for years to come. Our region has long been known for the enduring artistry of its craftspeople, and the men and women you will meet in these pages are proof that this heritage is in good (and very skilled) hands.
Chances are, you haven’t heard of tiny Olin College [“Big Plan on Campus,” p. 120]. But this Massachusetts school’s innovative approach to teaching engineering is attracting the attention of educators from around the world, who want to understand why Olin’s students are so successful—and, yes, inspired.
Each of these stories is unique, yet they all feature people who thrive on creativity and discovery, and who are making a life that matters to them. A fine way to spend a few hours is to read about how they did it.
Mel Allen email@example.com