en Clark loved climbing onto the boughs of the large, spreading trees and in the treehouse his father had built for him in one of them. At two, Clark and his sister, Betsey, watched their father clearing ten acres of an overgrown pasture to put in a peach orchard, dangling their legs from the tail of a pickup while eating hot dogs grilled on the brush piles.
These, said the thirty-two-year-old junior partner of Clarkdale Fruit Farms, were among his favorite memories of growing up on the Deerfield farm.
But he didn't think he'd want to come back to the farm after college any more than his father,Tom, had wanted to return to the farm when he left for college. The family tradition had even deeper roots, with Tom's father, Fred, rejecting a farming life as well. Fred, who'd left to become a coal salesman in Shelburne, returned in 1946 to the farm his father, a physician named Webster Clark, had started in 1915 only after Webster announced he was retiring and offered "first refusal" rights to his son before selling it to a stranger.
hortly before leaving Warsaw for Gdańsk, I shaved my beard down into a moustache. I dislike the way a moustache looks on my face, but my girlfriend Kaja, a native Pole, is inexplicably enchanted by it. She says it makes me look like a man from a more civilized time, the kind of man you meet on a train, who takes you dancing, who sweeps you off your feet as “The War” winds to a close. A time, she never hesitates in adding acerbically, where a talented member of her gender could expect to rise to the highest levels of the secretarial pool. Moustaches are not often seen in Poland today. Most men my age go in for a shaved head and stubbly face to compliment Adidas-emblazoned outerwear or fleece pullovers from Tesco. You will sometimes see, however, a moustache riding the face of a certain type of Polish man, invariably clad in a short leather jacket, strutting with arms out to the sides and a cigarette in one hand, 50-ish and stocky. I don't fit this latter description, and I was already tired of being stared at by the Polish youth for not adhering to their standards of appearance.
or the last two months, you probably haven't walked into a bookstore without seeing a soft lake-at-sunset with a transposed blue jay — the cover of Jonathan Franzen's new book, "Freedom" — lining the walls. While it is no surprise that a new tome by a great author takes Barnes and Nobles' center stage, the Franzen frenzy doesn't stop there. On August 12, Franzen became the first author in the last decade to reach the cover of Time. Oprah selected "Freedom" as the first book in this season of Oprah's Book Club, even after the controversy that arose between Franzen and Oprah over his last book, "The Corrections", a novel he felt uncomfortable having Oprah endorse. President Obama even got an advance copy to read while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard this past summer. Franzen's recent measure of ubiquity is not interesting for mere ubiquity's sake. Even if we don't think we read much anymore, most can still recognize names like J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, or Jodi Picoult. What is interesting about Franzen is his ability to gain popular prominence as a "serious" novelist.
n September 28, 2009, 25-year-old U.K. resident Gee Atherton found himself walking through the cramped, crumpling shacks of Santa Marta, a slum located on one of the steepest habitable hills in Rio de Janeiro. His destination was the blue inflated arch advertising Red Bull at the top of the hill. As he stood under the shadow of the mystic Christ the Redeemer monument, scanning the narrow streets of the slums that stretched for hundreds of meters below his feet, he could only think of the race that lay ahead. He mounted his bike and pointed his front tire down the course — not towards the trees on the leeward side of the mountain like one would usually expect from a professional mountain biker, but towards the city itself. Atherton, along with his brother Dan and eight more of the world's elite professional mountain bikers, had traveled to the Santa Marta favela ("slum") for "Desafio no Morro" ("Challenge the Hill"), a downhill mountain biking challenge sponsored by Red Bull energy drinks. This "bonkers" race through the favela — adjective supplied by Dirt Magazine — would teach its thrill-seeking participants two lessons about their sport: that every inch of the earth is a potential challenge and, consequently, that mountain biking can be used as a gnarly form of diplomacy.