Thursday, July 27, 2023

Tyler & Hudson: A father's questions and a son's curiosity

Hudson at the Kawanhee Inn
chatting about dessert with
his brother. Luke (a.k.a., Kook)

I've been blessed with many thoughtful letters from students and athletes throughout my career.  This morning, I received one from my nephew, Tyler. As he put his son Hudson to bed, they selected a book. This time they chose my chapbook of poetry, Entering Weld––a fun choice since they just returned from a week at camp.  I loved Tyler's retelling of their conversation and especially the way Dad fostered his son's questions...   

Hey Uncle Richie,

Thought you would enjoy this story!

Hudson asked to read a book tonight.  I found "Entering Weld" and told him uncle Richie wrote it.  He said, "can we read it?".  He started off by asking where the pictures were.  Eventually he settled on Winter Sunrise, because it had a picture.  He asked why there's snow and ice in Maine so I went on to explain how the lake freezes in winter.  He asked, "how do the boats go on the ice?", and it turned into a discussion about ice breaker ships.  He asked about the ice breakers in Maine so I explained there aren't any, but there is ice fishing.  He decides we wants to ice fish.  At the end of it we decide on a kids book, but he asked for his moose stuffy before we read that one. 

Long story short, he is already developing a love for Maine and an appreciation for Uncle Richie!

Thanks again for letting us make a mess of the place, I chopped some wood and put it under the Edwards camp by boat house.  Uncle Fred said it's too green so maybe next Winter!

Have a good rest of Summer.


Saturday, July 15, 2023

The Next Generation

The Kents and Samuels without Andrea, Tyler, Hudson, and Kook ;-) 
Click on photos to enlarge

This past week, the Southern California Kents and Samuels came to camp at Burt's Point. During the week, we added a new member to clan, Brooks David Kent. The little guy is the son of Kristin and Ryan Kent; he's the little brother to Calvin.  Yay! Welcome to earth! \o/

Iris Anne calls Luke, Kook. 

He looks calm. Looks are deceiving. 

He looks bombed, but again, looks are deceiving.

The beast. 

Iris Anne and Grandpa (or is it bubba?)


Josh and Iris Anne... what a great dad. 

The Beast Eater

Kawanhee Inn lawn  

Chowing down like Kook

Andrea and Luke

A talk about dessert

"More bread, please," says The Beast

Mom and Huddy

Victoria and sweet Irish Anne

Pam and Fred

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Hiking with Tom


Today, Tom and I had our yearly hike. And again, we chose Whitecap. Always, our hikes include a wide range of topics that, at times, verge on gossip. What was supposed to be a roasting-hot summer's day turned out to be more moderate thanks to the hazy skies caused by Canadian wildfires. We talked about our current book projects, wondered how our friend Maja was doing in Washington State; we discussed national politics, dogs, and different hiking trails. Spurred on by Tom's new book project we discussed the foundational beliefs that guide our teaching practices... we also talked about the  things that wake us up at night. We spoke about family, university, sports, my van trips, as well as Tom and Beth's upcoming trip to the World Athletic Championships at the National Athletics Centre on the eastern bank of the Danube River on the south side of the city (yes, of course, I Googled that). At the head of the Black/White Trail we dined on Clif Bars, watermelon, PBJ, and water. Near the end of the trip we shared a bottle of Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent with a family that didn't look all that prepared for a hike. Hiking with Tom is a great summer memory... and Tom, if you're reading this, here's what Whitecap looks like in the fall: Hike #163: The Perfect Birthday Hike. I'm hoping to coax my friend back up from his Durham NH home to hikeWhitecap. 

Click on photos to enlarge. 

Bailey's Cairn

A favorite photo spot with the Mahoosuc
range and Sunday River in the background. 


Saturday, July 8, 2023



On a hot summer's night, Bailey hopped up on my bed to test out the cooling factor. It wasn't, so he didn't last long. These warm summer days he wanders the second floor, from my bed room to the exchange students' room to the bathroom, and back again, seeking out cool floor space. He has to be near me, so the air conditioned dining room down stairs just doesn't do the trick. When you get to be his age, you know what you want...  Fair enough. 

Hopeful in Rumford

If I have the story correct, a former Rumford resident purchased this artist's sign for Congress Street. "Hopeful" is hung in different cities across Maine--now we have our own.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Cooper Flagg

Cooper Flagg

The #1 high school sophomore basketball player in America, Cooper Flagg, is from Maine, and he's coached by a Rumford guy named Andy Bedard. Andy played at Boston College and at UMaine. He went pro in Europe and then returned to serve as an assistant coach at UMaine. Andy's brother, Joe, is a former student of mine. It'll be fun to see where Cooper ends up--he's been recruited by Duke. Cooper's mom played at UMaine on a team that beat Stanford in the NCAA playoffs... the only such victory in the NCAA's.  

Mystery Mountain Misery


Eighty-two sticky degrees with muddy trails, mosquitos, a light rain, and ticks. But! We got out there for a short hike. And as I most always say, "Any hike is a good hike."  

Mud trail. 
Click photos to enlarge. 

Bailey picking his way up the trail. 

A breather. 

I started picking ticks and then found a variety of ways to kill them. 
My favorite? Squeezing them in my fingers. 

Dog tick

Lighting them on fire... sadistic, I know.

Spraying them with Permethrin. :-)