As if one blog wasn’t enough (two blogs is company!), today marks the debut of my new espnthemag.com action sports blog, which (I think) will post every Wednesday. Check it out here.
Of course, the new blog won’t change the frequency of this blog, or its content. It will just give me more work to do. So, on that note, a bit about my trip to Vermont last week to report a story on snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who will be featured in our Winter X Games preview issue in January …
I traveled to his hometown of Norwich last week because Kevin and his older brother David were shooting a PSA for the National Down Syndrome Society. David has Down Syndrome and is a truly inspiring person to be around. Spending time at the Pearce home, it was easy to see why Kevin is such a down-to-earth, level-headed, all-around good kid. When I meet people like Kevin (or, more often, folks on the opposite end of the behavioral spectrum), I often think to myself: I want to meet your parents. You know, learn what to/not to do when the time comes. The cool thing is, because of my job, I often have the opportunity to do just that.
I won’t give away the entire story, but I’ll just say the Pearces are amazing people. They opened up their home and their lives to a writer (me) they’d never met, and made her feel extremely comfortable and welcome. They were honest, open and just a lot of fun. On my final day, we toured the Simon Pearce (Kevin’s dad) glass factory and I got a lesson in blowing glass. I will never look at stemware the same way again.
STEP ONE: Twirl liquid gas heated to volcanic temperature on the end of a metal stick while simultaneously holding wooden spoonlike object and dipping it in water. Goal: create perfectly round ball of liquid glass. (Note: Mr. Pearce told me it takes five years to learn the glassblowing trade, eight years to get good, and 10 before you are good enough to work for him. I plan to bypass his plan and wow Mr. Pearce by being an instant glass-blowing prodigy.)
STEP TWO: Remove glass/metal stick from wooden spoon, lean back, place metal stick in mouth and blow. Keep twirling the stick. Blow! Twirl! Blow! Twirl! Don’t stop twirling! Or blowing!
STEP THREE: Learn lesson — Stick is made of metal. If you do not place stick gently onto your lips, you will cut your lip and begin to bleed. (Step 3A: Clean off blood, prepare to try again.)
STEP FOUR: Repeat steps 1 and 2 (skip, but remember!, steps 3 and 3A) until you have created beautiful, hourglass-shaped, bubbly glasslike object. (That is then tossed back into the furnace under the guise of being “below standard”.) Clearly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Step 5: Scribble note to self reminding self not to quit day job.