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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cyndi Robbins: She came for the summer, stayed for a lifetime By Deborah Conway Feature Writer / Photographer Poland Spring Resort has been a predominant part of Cyndi Robbins’ life for 40 years. Robbins, proprietress of the Poland Spring Resort, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her father, Bill Seivert, was a salesman who specialized in plastics. This occupation took the Seivert family from Chicago to New York, then back to Chicago via the south. Ultimately, he was hired by Pioneer Plastics in Auburn, Maine, where he stayed until his retirement. Her mother, Margaret, was an accountant whose job skills were easily transferable and

in demand wherever they went. Having two professionals for parents had a significant impact on Robbins’ work ethic and helped her develop her talents as a businesswoman. The Seivert family purchased a summer home on Middle Range Pond in Poland and when Robbins was 17 her parents encouraged her to seek her first job. In 1971, at the age of 17, she began working at the Poland Spring Inn. At that time, the Inn was owned by Saul Feldman, who was looking to sell it. Robbins recalled the night of the Grand Opening in the summer of 1971. It was her first night as a waitress in the dining room at the

Maine Inn, and “The Ink Spots” were hired to entertain the guests. Unfortunately, that first night was a disaster, and “some of my table left without paying.” Feldman wanted to fire her, but Herbie Spitzer, the head cook, shouldered the blame for the slow service “and convinced him to keep me on.” Shortly thereafter, Horace Burns leased the Maine Inn and Robbins worked for him. At that time, the Inn was open year round and the Motor Court Inn on Rt. 26 wasn’t just a motel. “There were locker rooms and a full restaurant upstairs.” Downstairs had a snack bar, a bar and a pro shop. Robbins became the short order cook at the Motor Inn.

Linking friendship in all 50 states By Jackie Rybeck Feature Writer / Photographer Susan Gordon, of Auburn, and Rachel Therrien, of Sabattus, both worship the game of golf so much that they have decided to tee it up in all 50 states. They met on a golf course in 1990 while playing in a ladies league at a local course and have been the best of friends ever since. Over the next few years, typically in March, Gordon and Therrien, along with a group of other ladies, headed either south or west on golfing retreats. “It was the beginning of a lifelong and beautiful friendship and the two of us continued to golf together,” explained Therrien. “We have so much in common, between golf and working for local law firms.” “We just have the best time,” said Gordon. “We really just enjoy each other’s company.” One day, on the 19th hole, while toasting to yet another day on the fairways, the two women reminisced about all the places they had chased their little, white balls.

SCRAPBOOKING — Rachel Therrien and Susan Gordon hold up a scrapbook that holds mementoes of their golf trips. “We realized that we had played in seven states, so why not all 50!” smiled Gordon. “We knew it would be a lot of fun and we’d get to see the entire country.” In 2004, the two golf buddies took off on their first trip, adding another five states to their list. “It was a wonderful trip,” said Gordon. “We combined it with a visit to Rachel’s brother, who is retired navy and we got to play at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.” “We got to see three helicopters

escorting President Bush from the White House to the Air Force Base,” added Therrien. “Shortly after, Air Force One took off right over us.” Since 2004, Therrien and Gordon have filled out scorecards in 33 states. Their most scenic was Sky Mountain in Zion National Park, Utah. “We were 3400-feet

When Mel Robbins took over the lease at the Maine Inn the following year, she “worked 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Motor Inn and Friday and Saturday nights as a waitress for Mel” in the big dining room, and in 1973, at the age of 18, she became the food and beverage manager of the Poland Spring Inn. Mel Robbins had come to Poland Spring to develop the land on the site of the decaying inn, but ended up falling in love with the place and the history and decided to preserve it. As it turned out, he also fell in love with a young lady named Cyndi Seivert. Cyndi and Mel were married on May 4, 1975, a year that turned out above sea level,” exclaimed Therrien, “with the most beautiful, panoramic views.” “It was ironic too,” added Gordon. “We had just played in Death Valley, the lowest course in the world at 214 feet below sea level.” Both women agree that the most unforgettable moment was flying from Colorado to Wyoming. “We were in an eight-passenger plane,” said Gordon. “When we were landing, a loud alarm went off and we immediately ascended and made a large loop. We finally landed on the third try; needless to say it was a bit unsettling.” “We found out later that there were dangerous cross winds,” explained Therrien. “If we had not been able to land that last time, we would have had to go back to Denver.” The women almost had to leave Nebraska without touching a golf club. “It was 35 degrees with rain and sleet, but the owner said he would only charge us for the holes we played,” said Therrien. “We did all 18!” exclaimed Gordon. “He was so impressed he didn’t charge us and made us hot cocoa to boot.”

Cyndi Robbins

Robbins page 4 ‰

The women have kept scrapbooks and journals from their excursions; with a souvenir from each course played, be it a golf ball, towel or divot tool. “We also keep the score card,” laughed Gordon. “Rachel always beats me there, but we are pretty tied up when it comes to playing putts.” This year, the women plan to add at least four more states to the list and have set a goal of signing their last scorecard within five years. “We are saving Alaska and then Hawaii for last,” said Gordon. “Our goal is to play in Alaska at midnight on the longest day of the year.” They may not be alone when they rim their last cup. “We are getting offers already from friends to be our caddies in Hawaii,” smiled Therrien. “We’ll open a bottle of champagne and toast to our friendship.” Gordon agreed. “That will be a perfect ending.” “But, an ending is just another beginning!” exclaimed Therrien, as she turned to her friend. “So, Susan, what do you think about playing Europe?”

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Living an academic life: Elaine Tuttle Hansen By David A. Sargent Feature Writer Nine years ago, Elaine Tuttle Hansen became Bates College’s seventh president, and the first woman to hold that position. That was a milestone in the college’s history, but she said she has always been mindful of the fact that Bates founder and first president, Oren B. Cheney, saw to it that women were welcomed more than 150 years ago, making Bates the first coeducational college in New England that admitted students without regard to race, religion, national origin, or sex. “I’m very proud to be a part of a college that was open to women in 1855,” Hansen said. She pointed out that it happened here generations before many major U.S. colleges and universities were making that change. As president of Bates, Hansen said her principal goal has been “to be the best ambassador I can be for Bates and for Lewiston-

Auburn, and to help them grow ever stronger into the future.” That goal takes her all over the world, including a flight to London within the first couple weeks of 2011. She meets many Bates graduates in her travels and she said they fondly remember their Bates days and they ask about changes on campus and throughout L-A. Hansen s aid there should never be any misunderstanding that a small college in a small community would not have much to do with the wider world. It certainly does, she asserted. That impact comes from the quality of the students and the Bates experience and philosophy. Prior to coming to B ates, Hansen spent 22 years at Haverford College, a suburban Philadelphia liberal arts college of 1,100 students, where she served as provost. She earned her A.B. at Mount Holyoke College, her M. A. at the University of Minnesota, and her Ph.D. at the

Phyllis Graber Jensen photo

Bates College President Elaine Tuttle Hansen accepts the women’s rowing team’s 2010 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships second-place trophy, from left, the 2010-11 co-captains Ellen Patterson ‘11 and Nora Collins ‘11. University of Washington. Before coming to Haverford in 1980, she was an associate editor of the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan and taught at Hamilton College. She has taught a wide variety of courses in Middle English literature and in contemporary women’s writing and feminist theory, as well as introductory linguistics and first-year writing seminars. Before being named provost at

Haverford, she served as chair of the English department and as coordinator of the Haverford/Bryn Mawr concentration in feminist and gender studies. “The best connection between my work as a scholar of Chaucer and a teacher of Chaucer is really at the level of problem-solving skills.“ There really is a lot of cross-over with what’s needed as a college president, she said. Hansen explained that Geoffrey

Chaucer’s writing has a lot to teach us about attitudes of women and toward women in the medieval age. She said she studied his sometimes contradictory passages in “The Canterbury Tales” and his story of the Wife of Bath. “It’s all about figuring out what is the right question to ask, doing your homework and then figuring out where you think the answer lies. The other part of that is how to translate from one era to another or from one group of people to another,” Hansen said. “So much of my job is translating the academic world of the liberal arts in Maine for audiences who may not have been to places like Maine,” and she added that it also includes communication with parents. “I will always have an interest and affection for medieval literature,” Hansen said, but she said she is not involved in research, writing or teaching at this time because her position as Bates president requires full attention. “I feel very lucky to have been born and brought up in a time when doors were opening for women,” Hansen said. “There are still many challenges for women.”

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Feature Stories & Advertising, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, January 30, 2011


Finding a Sterling silver lining to adoption and foster care months. She never laughed, never cried; now she is a very smart little girl. One child came straight from a mental hospital and those doctors wouldn’t recognize him today. “Fairview and Auburn Middle schools have been extremely supportive and teacher conferences just validate that our sacrifices have paid off. I know we could own a camp on a lake, or a fancy SUV, but this is much more rewarding.”

By Jackie Rybeck Feature Writer / Photographer

Many moms are fulfilled with one or two children while others strive for five or six. However, there are some very special women who take on the task of adopting children into an already-large family. Meet Linda Sterling. “It wasn’t something Howard and I planned,” explained Sterling. “We had four children and then met little Ashley. Her mom had custody, but she lived with her grandmother next door. Ashley spent so much time at our house, that when the state took custody they called to ask if we would foster her.” T h e co up l e s ai d yes an d eventually adopted Ashley. “To celebrate, we all agreed to name her Dinah,” said Sterling. “It all had to do with having a new start; a new life, a new name.” But it didn’t end there. “Shor tly af ter we adopted Dinah, we were eating dinner,” smiled Sterling, “and there sat our children: Hannah, twins Seth and Luke, Sarah and Dinah; leaving one empty chair. We thought ‘What’s one more?’ and adopted Rebekah.” Fast forward eight years. The Sterling family has grown to 11 children; four by birth, seven by adoption, and they now live in a large home in Auburn. Their names are Hannah, 17; Dinah, 14; twins Seth and Luke, 14; Levi, 13; Noah, 12; Isaac, 11; Sarah, 10; Rebekah, 9; Lydia, 8; and Emily, 5. According to 40-year-old Sterling,

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The house is filled with love and laughter. The Sterling children have a little fun together. Starting with the Fitch sweatshirt: Hannah; Josu Asun, exchange student from Spain; Dinah; Lydia; Levi; Luke; Emily; Seth; Sarah; Isaac; Noah; and Rebekah. one thing just led to another. “After Rebekah, we heard of sibling groups, who are harder to place. That’s when Levi, Noah and Lydia came into our lives. Then came little Isaac.” Over a year ago, the family heard that Rebekah’s little sister needed a home. “We met them for lunch and fell in love,” Sterling laughed. “We tell people we got her from McDonalds.” What could possibly move these exceptional parents to such an extraordinary venture? “When we adopted Dinah, it opened our eyes to foster care and

how we can give these children a normal, stable and committed family that they may never get the chance to have. There was an ache in my heart when I heard about kids turning 18 and having no place to ever call home. “I don’t feel we are just adding children,” she said. “We are compelled to make a difference in these children’s lives, some of whom have lived in six foster homes.” Sterling feels they have made a difference to each child who has a new name and new life. “One of the girls was believed to have been left in a play pen for 20

“We expect a lot,” said Sterling. “When kids first come [into our home], it is quite an adjustment. At first we have lower expectations, but as they learn the rules, the expectations gradually go higher. There is never competition or jealousy. The older ones help out a lot and most of them pack their own lunch. There is a lot of laughter, even on a bad day.” The family finds enjoyment together in many pastimes and hobbies. “Most of the kids are involved with school activities, but generally we go camping or hiking at Angel Falls; things that make for fun, but don’t cost a lot. We have a pool and have a blast just playing together.” At the end of the day, the Sterlings are proud of their

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Feature Stories & Advertising, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, January 30, 2011

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Signs and symptoms of hoarding According to the Mayo Clinic.com, an online medical resource that utilizes a team of medical experts to provide useful and up-to-date information on a host of medical issues, some symptoms of hoarding may include:

q Perfectionism q Difficulty organizing items q Limited or no social interactions q Inability to discard items q Moving items from one pile to another, never discarding anything q Dif f iculty managing daily activities, including decision-making

Hoarding can be mild or severe, and mild hoarding might have little impact on a person’s life. However, severe cases of hoarding can have a daily, negative impact on an individual’s life. Oftentimes, hoarding begins when an individual finds it difficult to discard items. Such issues usually surface during a person’s teenage years, and as the individuals ages, he or she begins to acquire things with little meaning. While it can be difficult to determine if you or someone you know has crossed the line from pack rat to hoarder, there are certain indicators that can help make that determination. If you or anyone you know might have a problem with hoarding, consult a doctor or mental health provider immediately.

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Robbins from the cover

to be as bitter as it was sweet for the newlyweds. Although they leased the Maine Inn, Feldman retained control of the Poland Spring House, a 100-year-old grand hotel that stood on the property. On July 4, 1975, the Poland Spring House burned to the ground. Then, on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Cyndi Robbins was diagnosed with melanoma, skin cancer. Today, she is cancer-free, although the scars of her treatment still linger. Soon after they married, they began purchasing the various buildings that stood on the grounds of the resort. In 1976, they “took over the golf course, with its six members” and by 1982, they had purchased the entire property and all of its buildings. Robbins recalled, “In 1978, we found that keeping the Inn open in the winter didn’t make any sense.” During those five months off, Cyndi and Mel traveled. Together, they saw the world several times over and every year brought a new adventure. “Mel was a wonderful companion, friend and husband,” and they continued to travel together until Mel became too sick to leave his home in Poland Spring. “My greatest teacher was Mel Robbins.” Mel Robbins passed away in November 2007. Since that time, Cyndi Robbins has “tried to follow in Mel’s footsteps,” but she is also making some big changes. Several years ago she purchased the restaurant, docks and boat launch near the causeway on Rt. 26, at the bottom of the hill.

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Since then, “Cyndi’s Dockside” has flourished and has, according to Robbins, “been a very different experience, not at all like running the resor t.” She has made significant improvements in the kitchen and has winterized the downstairs dining room, adding a large and beautiful field stone fireplace. Upstairs, a gas stove was added and Robbins has other plans that will make Cyndi’s Dockside a warm and welcoming four-season family eatery. Meanwhile, back up on the hill at the resort, Robbins has recently added a driving range to compliment the Donald Rossdesigned golf course, grass tennis courts, swimming pool and miles of hiking trails. Other additions will include a playground and a game room to attract families with younger children. Robbins is particularly excited about the new miniature golf course that will feature the buildings that dot the landscape of the resort, as well as other Maine landmarks and points of interest. Robbins, whose parents also worked at the Inn after they retired from their respective jobs, believes strongly in the concept of hiring locally and her employees include kids and adults who work summers, as well as others who work year-round. Robbins’ attention to family and community does not stop with her new business ventures, her plans or her hiring practices. “The town of Poland has been a big part of why we have survived,” and she is grateful. She is proud to host charity golf tournaments, and every year provides the venue for the annual “Fire and Rescue” dance. She explained, “Poland Fire and Rescue has been here through fires and other problems,” and she wants to give back. According to Robbins, “Anything that helps my neighbors helps me.” For more than 15 years, “I was the chef at the hotel, and served breakfast and dinner to 400 people every day. I’ve done every job except mow the grass.” Cyndi Robbins, whose tenacity has helped her learn the ropes of running a resort, is proud of what she has accomplished and is looking forward to the many changes that the next few years will bring.

Feature Stories & Advertising, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, January 30, 2011


Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Sunday, January 30, 2011

No surprise in Desjardins’ national appointment By Duke Harrington Feature Writer / Photographer

By Dan Marois Feature Writer / Photographer

AUBURN — If you guessed Gerard Desjardins has been on skis his entire life, you wouldn’t be far from wrong. The National Ski Patrol Senior Patroller, who turns 55 next month, first hit the slopes at Auburn’s Lost Valley ski area when he was just six years old. But Desjardins — known to all as “Gerry” — was sliding on sticks even before that. Using hand-me-down slats twice his size, Desjardins used to play on “Pepper’s Hill,” off Lake Street, in Auburn. The site got its name in typical kid fashion, Desjardins explained – not because Pepper was the name of the folks who owned the local attraction. No, “Pepper,” he noted, was the name of the owners’ dog. “It was a little hill, two or three houses from my parents’ house,” said Desjardins. “My parents had these old, wooden skis with bear-trap bindings and square, leather ‘jump boots.’ I never did find out where they came from, but I strapped ‘em on and away I went. “I was basically self-taught,” he recalled, with a fond smile. “Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot of turning involved. All I’d do is go up and down, up and down, all day long .” Desjardins graduated from Edward Little High School in 1975, where, naturally, he was a member of the ski team. “At first I saw that as a way to get out of class early and kill the rest of the day,” Desjardins laughed. “I never thought I’d go anywhere with it.” But go he did. Desjardins enlisted in the Army, where a chance conversation about skiing while training in Georgia, of all places, opened up new opportunities. Desjardins learned the army had a ski patrol in Germany, where he was to be stationed, and he wasted no time putting in an application. He didn’t make the ski patrol, but he was asked to work as an instructor and spent much of his enlistment teaching military families how to ski.

Investing in gold: Care and caution top the advice list The ancient Romans used it as everyday currency while the ancient Egyptians confined its use to royal jewelry and religious artifacts. And it was 1849 in the United States when fortune seekers made their way west to California in search of the precious metal.

HELPING HAND — After hoisting her up and repairing her boot fitting, National Ski Patrol Senior Patroller Gerry Desjardins gets Mary Giggea, of Westbrook, on her way back down the ski trails at Lost Valley Ski Area, in Auburn.

“I was in the signal corps, but I didn’t work that very much.” he said, with a broad smile, looking in his white beard not a little like Santa Claus with a naughty secret. “It was great. The only time I put a uniform on was once a month to do duty ‘in charge of

quarters’ at the barracks. Other than that, what I wore was ski boots.” Desjardins more than made up for the easy

Desjardins

page 4 ‰

Today, gold still remains a sought after commodity for jewelry, coins and collectibles. For those seeking gold purely as an investment, local dealers say there are risks and rewards like any other investment and that caution should rule the day before sinking tons of cash into the commodity. “Many people are not happy with what their savings accounts are making for a percentage and with the way the U.S. debt has risen, many are worried about the future of our dollar,” said Dan Cunliffe II, owner of Republic Jewelry and Collectibles on Center Street in Auburn. “This is an example of why a lot of people have been investing in gold. People see gold as a safe haven in times of crisis. “Gold has done extremely well over the last 10 years,” said Cunliffe. “As a matter of fact, nearly everyone who has purchased investment gold from us in the last 25 years is making money on it. We have had people coming in to sell us gold they bought from us 10 years ago at $300 so they are making almost five times their investment on it.” While the rewards have been great for

Gold

page 3 ‰


Meet Richard Field: The artist and how he sees the world By Roger Hamann Feature Writer / Photographer

Walk out the kitchen door onto the deck, climb the stairs leading to a space above the garage and step into Richard Field’s imagination. To the left of the multi-room studio, one gazes upon walls covered with oil, acr ylic and watercolor paintings, including one of his wife, Mardi. Small, felttip pen/watercolor paintings of old Quebec run down the length of a doorway leading to the “creative process” area where the ideas flow as steadily as the paint upon the canvas. Several artists tables sit in front of windows overlooking the backyard and the surrounding Auburn neighborhood. One table holds a still life, a work in progress, while another holds a box of acrylic paints, Field’s favorite medium. The right half of the studio is a room filled with

planes — remote controlled planes — all built by the same hands that created the paintings. It truly is a unique look into Field’s artistic mind and spirit, one which was nurtured early, when he was given his first oil painting set at the age of 10. It was just after the end of World War II and Richard painted a portrait of a combat soldier, something he had pictured in his mind, no photograph to go by. It won him five dollars at a Lewiston fair. “It’s always been an avocation, not a vocation, for me,” stated Field. He stressed the fact that if he finds himself painting for the sole purpose of selling, he finds something else to do. He has to feel a connection with his art. If he’s painting a still life, he’ll arrange and re-arrange the objects until it feels right and then not touch it again. If working on a portrait, he insists on knowing the person, otherwise he feels like he is merely painting an image. He enjoys plein air (outdoors) painting and attended workshops on the Maine coast with noted watercolorist, Carlton Plummer. A great influence in Field’s art was Hungarian-born Lajos Matolcsy, who wrote,

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Richard Field, artist

“Above all, an artist is a teacher and a missionary whose prime duty should be to stimulate the mind and the emotions, to work to make life a little nicer for everyone.”

A teacher himself, Field tells his students what colors can be used or how to mix them, but not what to paint. “I can’t teach you to paint, but I can teach you how to learn to paint.” Field spoke about one memorable experience at an art show where he exhibited his work. He had submitted several paintings for a juried art show. His paintings were not among the judges’ choices, but one was selected for the popular award

— The People’s Choice. “Being chosen as the favorite painting by people attending the show far outweighed the cash prize.” His favorite places to paint include the family camp at Sebec Lake, Reid State Park and Old Quebec City. A favorite subject was an abandoned house in a field in Dover-Foxcroft. “There’s just a feeling about old, abandoned buildings that attracts me — the loneliness, the torn curtains flapping in the wind.” Something about the scene grabs at Field’s imagination and slowly transcends from the eye of the artist to the grateful eye of the beholder, telling a story as varied as the colors on the canvas. As for success in the art world, Richard feels “a successful artist is anyone who paints and knows that he’s accomplished what he set out to do.” As a member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston since 1980 and awarded Copley Artist status in 1987, a Second Jurors’ Award at the Copley Artists’ Show in June 2005, and having exhibited at the Harvard Club Masters Invitational Show in 2008, Field has most assuredly earned the right to be called a successful artist.

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Feature Stories & Advertising, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, January 30, 2011


Gold

from the cover his customers, Cunliffe falls short of saying that gold is a risk proof investment. “Investing in gold is like anything else, there is a risk. Don’t believe what one person tells you. Do a little research,” said Cunliffe. “We have seen many people get scammed by buying gold from telephone solicitors and really overpaying for it.” Cunlif fe also cautions that everything that glitters is not gold. Many of his customers have bought gold coins through Internet websites only to discover that the coins were gold-plated and worthless. “Talk to someone you trust or people with a good reputation before buying any gold,” added Cunliffe. Norm Rousseau, owner of

Norm Rousseau holds a gold coin. Compass Coins and Jewelry on Lisbon Street in Lewiston for over 35 years, believes that the advertising craze surrounding gold gets people’s attention, but not always in a positive way. He said that some customers have tried to sell gold through dealers

that set up temporarily in hotels while others have sold gold through the mail. “Through the mail can be risky... that’s why you don’t see many companies doing it anymore,” said Rousseau. “If you want to sell gold, go to dealers you trust and

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Marcel Morin, with daughter, Amy, recently discussed gold as an investment. compare prices.” While Rousseau believes that gold is a good stable investment, he often advises customers to invest in silver, what he refers to as “the poor man’s gold.” “You can get more coin for your money and silver has outperformed gold in the last two years,” noted Rousseau. Marcel Morin, owner of Pine Tree Trading Incorporated on Lisbon Street in Lewiston for 22 years, buys and sells gold on a daily basis. On a recent visit, he proudly displayed some of his favorite gold items that he recently purchased.

Barclay’s Skindivers Paradise

When asked to comment about investing in gold, his answer was bold and abrupt. “Gold is a terrible investment today,” said Morin, while two of his customers lounging in his shop nodded in agreement. “With gold at $1370 to $1400 an ounce, it is a terrible investment.” Morin explained that with gold at such a high rate, an average investor would need lots of money and a high volume of gold to see a substantial return. “At its current price, it has to go up a lot more to get a return,” said Morin, who often advises his customers to invest in silver because it is much more affordable. “I’m what you might

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Gold

page 4 ‰

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MEN’S JOURNAL

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Desjardins from the cover

assignment, however. After his regular stint was over, he re-upped as a medic in the Army Reserves, and only recently retired after 31 years. His medical training served him well when he returned to Lost Valley to join the ski patrol there. Desjardins started at the bottom of the hill, so to speak, as an NSP candidate. Eventually, he worked his way up to Senior Patroller. Today, Desjardins is Southern Section Chief of NSP’s Maine Region, in charge of training at six mountains. And his duties don’t end when the snow melts, as Desjardins leads more than 200 hours of instruction for ski patrollers across the region each year. “We may ski three months out of the year, but we’re at it [training] year round,” he said. Desjardins’ NSP work is done entirely on his own time, without pay, working around his installer’s job at Damon Insulation and a full-time course load at Colorado Technical University. “All the patrollers respect him, the older guys and the young ones,” said Lost Valley manager, Phil Brushwein. “We’re lucky to have him around here.” “I enjoy it, of course, because we get to ski, but I like working with the people,” said Desjardins. “That’s the fun part of it. We don’t just help people when they’re hurt; we try to be helpful when they have questions. We’re ambassadors to the hill, really, and we

GOOD TO GO — National Ski Patrol Senior Patroller Gerry Desjardins inspects and repacks one of two rescue sleds stored at the top of Lost Valley Ski Area, in Auburn.

try to be a presence to the public.” As a sign of his dedication to helping others learn how to help others, Desjardins recently won an NSP National Appointment, landing him in an invitation-only group within what is the world’s largest search and rescue organization. Desjardins is just the 11,088th person to get an NSP National Appointment — as signified by his badge

number — dating back to the group’s founding in 1938. “I’m very active in the education aspect of the National Ski Patrol,” Desjardins acknowledged, “but even so, I was surprised. I mean, you always want to get nominated, but it’s not something that you go up to people and say, ‘Hey, you want to put me in for this?’” “He had not a clue about it, even though I had been working on the paperwork for over a year,” laughed Desjardins’ fellow NSP National Appointment member, Roland Gaumont, who made the filing at the behest of NSP Maine Region director, John Kane. “Gerry is one of the hardest workers I know,” said Gaumont. “I just don’t know anyone who goes the extra mile like he does for the National Ski Patrol. If somebody needs help with anything, anywhere, he just jumps in and does it.” Almost as proof, Desjardins stopped this interview mid-sentence. He’d been working hard to deflect the spotlight, talking about the NSP’s training programs and bragging about the 36-member ski patrol at Lost Valley, all of who are NSP members, including two who share National Appointment with him and Gaumont. “You’re pretty well taken care of here,” he started to say when, spotting a snowmobile coming down the trail with a toboggan in tow, he sprung into action. Suddenly, the interview was over and his sole focus was on guarding the young boy in the sled from oncoming skiers. Later, with the boy taken care of (it was a

slight knee injury) Desjardins walked back across the bottom of the hill, between the slope and the chairlift, where faces of all ages waited in line and watched him as he went by in his bright red jacket, with the big, white cross. He was not wearing his skis at the moment, but, still, Desjardins could not resist his love of outdoor adventure. As he hit the back side of a foot-high mogul he might as easily have stepped over, Desjardins locked his boots together and began to slide. As he did, a twinkle played across his eye, and, for just a moment, he might have passed as a six year old who played all day on that neighborhood hill that belonged to a dog. Some people flee Maine in the winter. Some people grow old before their time. It seems unlikely that Gerry Desjardins will ever do either.

Dan Cunliffe holds a unique gold statue made from three ounces of gold.

Gold

from page 3

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MEN’S JOURNAL

call a ‘working man’s’ investor.” While area dealers may differ on investing strategies, they all agree on these basics about gold investing. Buy it from someone you trust. All agree that face-to-face transactions with a reputable dealer are the best way to go. Keep it in a safe place. The last thing you want is to have gold stolen. There’s no way to replace it. Dealers advise using deposit boxes at banks or to have large home safes. Only invest what you can afford to invest. While gold has done well, it could also decline. Investors should diversify and not have everything invested in gold. While there are many websites on the Internet with information about investing in gold, most are run by gold buyers and sellers. You’ll find interesting information at these sites including www. usgoldbureau.com, www.usagold. com, www.gold-investment.info and www.cmi-gold-silver.com.

Feature Stories & Advertising, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, January 30, 2011


Men's / Women's Journals