Relational Study #001 - Part 2 of 3

A Bachelor Party in the Mountains

The forthcoming weekend in New Hampshire had a bracing smell of Allen’s Coffee Brandy and tequila, coupled with new friendships and the lush greenery of North Conway in June.

Second in my study of relational development, this bachelor party weekend can be perfectly summarized by riverine activities, drinking with old friends, and friends being friends with friends. For one man, this is a reunion of family and friends there to celebrate his final moments as a single man. Functionally, it is a way to introduce some of the important guests at his upcoming wedding, and so the shared experience during the wedding weekend is elevated to feel like everyone has been friends for a long time.

Ever since paddling the Mississippi with one of my dearest friends-cum-canoe-outfit several years ago, it feels as though my eyes have been opened to the beauty of river activity - and they cannot be shut.

Chris Wolf E. Staudinger and I, connected by more than just Patagonia Capilene 3 Baselayers and short, colorful shorts. 2013.

Chris Wolf E. Staudinger and I, connected by more than just Patagonia Capilene 3 Baselayers and short, colorful shorts. 2013.

We nine gentlemen drank into the wee hours, cooked delicious meals (a first-time-paella I would be particularly proud of, had more than half the mussels cooked through), and spent an entire day on the Saco river. Thanks to a little ingenuity and general whimsy, we found a semi-inflated basketball (appropriately, “Wilson”) on the water, and made up Water Bocce on the spot. The water was frigid, the temperature perfect, and the laughs abundant.

"Wilson" the Water Bocce Ball, 2016.

"Wilson" the Water Bocce Ball, 2016.

Paella, 2016

Paella, 2016

Nine guys getting together in the mountains: what’s so special about that? Not incredibly much, to be honest. The extraordinary thing about this weekend was that eight of us got together to celebrate a single person; yet, it was totally immersive, getting connected by the variety of quips and debauchery drawing from this one person’s lifetime of relationships.

They say you are a composite of the five people you surround yourself with the most. So when two handfuls of us got together in the mountains - and on the river - I knew that the deep conversations and mixed bag of emotions felt only could have happened because at the core of this big group was a great human being. That, certainly, is a reason to celebrate.

Saddled by the expansive views of the White Mountains from our back balcony, we spent many hours imbibing under the open sky, and nighttime stars. The moon was out, and a Sean and Luke, a couple of rugby friends from Andrew’s college time, led us in what seems like an hour of limericks and song that I had never done before.

We departed from New Hampshire on Sunday the 12th, most of us headed in different directions, either Boston, Maine, or New York. I passed through Portland to drop off Ang’s brother Matt, and to continue north to Belfast.

While in Portland just before the bachelor party, I met with my SCORE mentor to discuss upstart small-business things. I am not sure how ubiquitous this program is, especially with peers and contemporaries, but I highly recommend tapping it as a resource. It is a group of retired executives, who - with appointments and appropriate matching - aid small business people with respect to any counsel needed.

Two important things that have come up recently: the formation of my first and Maine-based business, Village Vitals, LLC (!). It is the overarching legal/tax protection I need to continue to spawn my many ideas and things. And the acceptance of the Avocado Boards into the 30th annual California Avocado Festival. For these, and many other reasons, I am in need of some foundational help, and SCORE mentorship has fast tracked me into thinking about these things properly.

With some business advice, an LLC, and (yet to be discovered participation) Avo Fest news, I am back in Belfast. I swapped Andrew for three green stumps of some recently-sawn spruce, and embarked upon Deer Isle. What I did not realize at the time, until arriving at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, was that I would be inundated with nearly 100 new faces, all artists and creatives who would facilitate a collaborative and (yet again) another immersive experience I didn’t know I needed.

Up next, two weeks of the last bit of exploration of new relational development with strangers, new friends, those closest to me, including myself.

"Stump + Nails" 2016

"Stump + Nails" 2016



Rivergator Guide:


California Avocado Festival: