Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

MAINE – I’ve been in Maine for a few days, which you think would put me out of reach of Winthrop news, but I was amongst Outward Bound friends and oh, happy day – most of them know some of the handful of Outward Bound old-timers who started on the East Coast but eventually migrated to the Methow Valley, so I asked them to share some stories. Following are the ones that are fit to print.

In the “hidden talents” category, I am pleased to announce to you that Paul Nicolazzo is reputedly a fantastic dancer. One of my Maine informants revealed that Paul can swing dance, tossing his partner effortlessly through the air; he can do the Lindy and the Mashed Potato and the Twist. Your secret’s out now, Paul. We expect to see you and Yelena bustin’ a move on a Methow dance floor one of these days.

Diane Childs was apparently just as cute 25 years ago as she is now, and no one in Maine who knew her then has forgotten that. One of her former Outward Bound colleagues remembers doing whitewater canoe staff training with Diane when she was fairly new. My source remembers that when the time came to choose partners for the most terrifying rapid, Diane made a beeline straight for him. He was flattered and hopeful, until someone else on the training pointed out that Diane’s choice had nothing to do with any particular attraction, telling him bluntly, “Diane just wants to stay dry.”

Geof Childs was stuck in a tent on Baffin Island for several days with three other Outward Bound staff (one of whom was Diane, who had not deserted him for the whitewater instructor), waiting for the weather to turn so they could bag some peaks. Having denied participation on the trip to the new boyfriend of one of the other trip members (justifiably, since the new beau was not yet a mountaineer), Geof was bearing up well against the resentment of the lonely girlfriend, whose days of being tent-bound would have been infinitely more enjoyable had her new flame –Jeff Newsom – been present.

But a person can only handle so much hostility and Geof eventually cracked. Channeling his inner poet, Geof resorted to an imaginative mantra to calm his guilt-wracked psyche, chanting hypnotically “Jeff Newsom and six beautiful women. Jeff Newsom and six beautiful women.”

You’re off the hook this time, Chris Charters and Bo Thrasher, but don’t get too complacent –people in Maine remember you, too.