Do you know the writings of Vermont-based writer, Archer Mayor? If you don't, you are in for a treat. And, as I hope my recent profile of him in Writer's Digest Magazine will show, he is as engaging in person as he is on the page.
I recently traveled aboard one of the world's largest container ships as it entered the port of Rotterdam to report this story on a Maersk EEE. The story is running now in Reader's Digest's international editions. Clickherefor the article.
I spent five days in Copenhagen, including riding around the city with its Lord Mayor, to report this story on Denmark's capital city. Clickhere for full article and herefor radio interview (8/29/2015, 11:20) on my article.
To write this profile of former Major League pitcher Bill Lee, I interviewed him at his Craftsbury, Vermont home and watched him pitch in several Vermont Senior League games (He won both.)
Click here for the article
I visited Google's Silicon Valley headquarters for four days to produce this exclusive report on "what makes Google click." It is scheduled to run in all of Reader's Digest's 40-some international editions, in 25 languages. Click here for full article.
To report this profile of Anthony Hopkins, I spent a day
with him in London, walking through the city, having lunch, and visiting his
Knightsbridge home. A month later I spent another day with him in his native Wales. Click here for the full article
This is a 10,000 word article on the current state of affairs in North Korea, which I wrote for Congressional Quarterly Press. Click here for more information. Copright CQ Press 2011, reprinted with permission
To report this real-life drama of two Norwegian adventures attacked by a polar bear, I met with them in Oslo, Norway and also interviewed their rescuers in Longyearbyen, north of the Arctic Circle. Click here for full article
THE RISD CENTER FOR DESIGN AND BUSINESS WORKING WITH USInnovations. New ideas. New markets. These are just some of the exciting results that industry leaders like Maytag, DuPont, NASA and others have achieved by collaborating with RISD students and faculty in various design research projects over the last 30 years. As many of our industry partners have found, these projects have often produced innovative, unexpected, solutions and new directions to design-related issues...
by Robert KienerI came to Moscow, the tiny hamlet that straddles the Little River, just south of Stowe, Vt., to see a woman about a lawn chair. Or, more precisely, several women about several lawn chairs. The women, namely the Moscow All Ladies Lawn Chair Drill Team, are, according to some people, the real talent behind Moscow's quirky Fourth of July parade. "Talent?... Hardly!" says Lynne Scarpa, one of the veteran marchers who each year thrill (well, perhaps that's a bit strong) paradegoers with their synchronized folding and unfolding of lawn chairs to the strains of John Philip Sousa. "Talent has very little to do with this parade," she says. Each Fourth of July morning, somewhere around 10 o'clock, most of Moscow's 100-and-some residents gather on Tom Hamilton's front lawn to take part in what has become one of Vermont's - and the nation's - most offbeat Independence Day parades. Unlike other parades, the Moscow version has no organizing committee, no grand marshal, no fancy floats, and - most important - no pretension. What it does have is a healthy helping of wry Vermont humor...Another change; the recent absence of horses from the parade. "Stowe's sirens scared them away," Ms. Scarpa says. "We've asked them to turn them off this year." Many hope for the return of the horses. For years, Moscow's newest residents were responsible for following the parade with a wheelbarrow and shoveling up horse droppings. "It was our way of saying, 'Welcome to Moscow,' " Hamilton says. Although there were no horses in last year's parade, the hamlet's newest residents, George and Jacquie Gay, dutifully brought up the rear, armed with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. To make them feel part of the event, their children preceded them in a pickup truck, dropping horse manure over the tailgate...(continued)
By Robert Kiener His greatest gift to the world came after his untimely death
Leaning across the lace-covered dining table, Andrea Mongiardo talks quietly but intently about his new job, chopping the air with delicate, porcelain-white hands to drive home a point. "I help my uncle," he says. "We manage a block of flats." With a mop of black hair crowning a slight, five-foot-three-inch frame, Mongiardo talks of his career plans while the sound of honking horns drifts up from the street into his family's flat on the outskirts of Rome. In his spare time, the 24-year-old adds, he walks in the nearby parks or swims in the local pool. "Best of all, I've finally got my driving licence."
Listening to the enthusiastic young man, his 75-year-old visitor, Reg Green, a former Fleet Street journalist, smiles wryly. "Bravo Andrea! And is there a girl in your life?" A broad sash of crimson lights up Andrea's cheeks. "Well..." he begins. Green laughs. It's a simple conversation, but remarkable all the same. Nine years ago, Andrea Mongiardo lay critically ill in a hospital in Rome. His skin was blue, his cheeks sunken. The malformed heart that had stunted his growth and often kept him bedridden was now killing him.
Doctors didn't expect him to survive more than a few weeks. Then, on October 1, 1994, a seven-year-old boy died in Messina, Sicily. His heart was rushed to Rome and transplanted into Andrea. One day later, colour returned to the teenager's face. Within weeks he was walking and putting on weight.Recently, he had an electrocardiogram. "I am always a bit apprehensive. But the doctor said, 'Relax Andrea, your heart is perfect.' "
Reg Green reaches over and rests a hand on the young man's shoulder. Then he hugs him. It is the heart of his son Nicholas that rescued Mongiardo from certain death nine years ago. "Yes, Andrea," he says, blinking away tears, "it was a good, strong heart. And now it's your heart."
You may remember the story ["The Boy Who Lived For Ever"]. Nine years ago, it made headlines—and broke hearts—around the world. Highway robbers shot Nicholas Green, a freckle-faced, tousle-haired boy from northern California, as he and his family drove through southern Italy on holiday. He died two days later... ( click here to read the entire story)
Of all the people I have profiled there are a select few I would class as "heroes." Bridgebuilder Toni Ruttimann is at the very top of that list. After traveling through Cambodia and Laos with him and seeing him in action, I now know what the real meaning of "hero" is. Click here for full article and here for a follow-up article
"Four times a year, I peek into my father's past....as time passes, my memories of him invariably fade a bit. Like a slowly deteriorating photograph, some of them grow cloudy, the edges blurred. For example, there's the day he gave me that wonderful split-fingered baseball mitt, so creased and worn and oiled that it literally glistened in the sunlight. I was 6. Or was I even younger? I'm sure he had told me it was the same mitt he'd used when he was pitching at Notre Dame in the late 1920s. At least, I think that's what he told me. Even though I tell myself that this fuzziness is inevitable, part of me wants to fight it. I guess I fear that if these memories do disappear, I'm in danger of losing my father for the second time..."
“Look, dear ones, this is the difference a bit of
cadmium yellow can make,” says Frank Mason as he shows his 25
landscape-painting students how to create magic on canvas. Holding a
fine-tipped, number five sable brush in his steady right hand, he dabs at a
student’s painting and, in a few deft strokes, begins to transform it from
muddy to miraculous. “See how that makes the tree come forward; how it pops
out? Now it’s richer! Lighter!”
Like a general addressing his troops, Mason turns to
the semicircle of hushed students and explains, “Whistler thought a painting
should make a big statement. That’s what we’re after here.” Then with a
hearty laugh that bubbles up from deep within his 6’3” frame, he splashes on “a
slop” of purple paint to the foreground of the Vermont mountain scene and
carefully, expertly, works it in. Delighted with the transformation, he leans
his head back, waves his arms in the air and bellows, “FAN-TAS-TIC, no?
IN-CRED-IBLE, yes? Now we’re getting somewhere!”...
Click here to read the full article and here for an article on Frank Mason's summer class