Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Letter

Idora's bench (rear view) by John Parker and Jasper Tomkins.
As 2014 draws to an end, I have much to brag about be grateful for. I made enough money to pay my bills, and I didn't get fired from any jobs. Plus, although I myself accomplished little, I was a bit player in a number of success stories starring talented friends. For example:

Ava Chin published a memoir about urban foraging that got tons of great reviews and was picked as a Library Journal "best book." But if I hadn't liberated Ava's broken-down Honda in 2001, she might never have made it to UCLA and gotten her PhD. Not that you need a PhD to write a book about urban foraging, but I'm sure it helps.

One of the best new travel websites of 2014 would not exist if Wendy Perrin had not quit her job at Condé Nast Traveler in pursuit of greater things—following my own trend-setting exit seven years earlier. As TripAdvisor's first ever Travel Advocate, Wendy also advises 280 million travelers PER MONTH. I, too, advise travelers, albeit in smaller numbers. Mostly I advise them not to drive after two or more beers.

The judge "let him go because he had to gut his deer" is just one of the observations that made a certain Rumblestrip interview with my friend and neighbor Kelly Green so memorable. Kelly is a defense lawyer in Vermont. Someday I will base a fictional heroine on this girl and make us both rich. Meanwhile, I would like to point out that I am the one responsible for the giant sheet cake that mostly ended up in Kelly's freezer after a Bennington Battle Day picnic and was later distributed to her friends and neighbors—and that without these friends and neighbors, who love her so dearly, Kelly might have decided long ago to move to someplace warm and sunny. (It's a tenuous thread, I admit.)

Jessamyn West, might never have written her wonderful essay "Buy Nothing Day" if I had not said something on Facebook which I now can't remember saying but which Jessamyn claims inspired her, whatever it was.

Dian Parker published "Sustaining Ecstasy," a passionate love story written in gorgeous language—minus the typos that I found and eliminated while reading her final draft.

Artist Laurie Sverdlove showed her work at Big Town gallery and a whole bunch of other swanky places—immediately following her art tour of Paris with me as her guide. Coincidence? I think not.

And the beautiful bench that graces Kimball Library's children's section? The one made by Vermont woodworker John Parker and artist Jasper Tomkins? I was the one who arm-twisted them into making it. It is dedicated to Idora Cooley Tucker and she would love it.

Perhaps you, too, have accomplished something in 2014 for which you would like to give me credit?

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