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Weekend Preview May 19-24
Bob Dylan tributes, Deborah Voigt, Tom Paxton, Bill Kirchen, John Kirk and Trish Miller

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday in Style
Paying tribute to the greatest rock songwriter ever

FILM REVIEW: In a Better World and Of Gods and Men
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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Deborah Voigt Headlines Mahaiwe Gala
Opera star to sing arias, show tunes on Saturday, May 21

Famed Spiritual Teacher to Speak on Nonviolence
Mother Maya in free talk at Sruti Yoga in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday May 20 at 7pm

Special Effects Wizard to Be Honored by Film Festival
Doug Trumbull to be Feted by BIFF

Weekend Preview May 12-16
Cultural Highlights of the Berkshire Weekend

Talk about a small world
Elaine and I grew up together, but only just recently met....

Berkshire Living to Cease Publication
A Farewell from Publisher Michael Zivyak

twiGs Branches Out
Lenox boutique launches new e-tail site

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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Don't ask me to go skiing


[from the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Berkshire Living

As sure as winter arrives and along with it snow, every year come valiant attempts among friends and acquaintances to get me on a pair of skis. I’m not sure why this is, why skiers have so much invested in converting non-skiers to their ranks, evangelizing for the cause, so to speak. To this day, I have never been on a pair of skis—not downhill, not cross-country, nor, as I learned about when putting together this issue, skate-skis (“The Need for Speed,” p. 50), which I had never even heard of until managing editor Chris Newbound brought them to my attention by way of proposing to write about them (and also by way of hint-hint, nudge-nudge, to suggest that maybe, perhaps, they just might be the thing for me).

I now have a long history of being a non-skier in the Berkshires. Back when I was a college student and people would ask me where I went to school and I’d tell them, inevitably the first question they’d ask is “Do you ski?” When I’d say no, they’d come right back with, “Well, do you cross-country ski?” implying that certainly anyone who chose to live in the Berkshires year-round must do some sort of winter sport involving snow. They could maybe understand why downhill skiing was not for everyone—and especially not for the non-athletic, non-thrill-seeking likes of me—but what sort of excuse could I possibly have for not cross-country skiing?

To this day, I’m still hounded by those who insist I’ve got to get out in the snow and move around on thin pieces of wood strapped to my feet. I’ll meet someone new and after getting to know him a bit, he’ll confidently announce that he’s the one who is finally going to get me out and about in a snowy field like the one on this month’s cover or the one pictured on page three. “You’ll love it,” he always insists, projecting his own enthusiasms onto me. How does he know what I’ll love?

I have, of course, been to ski areas. I went a few times to Jiminy Peak (the subject of “Peak Performance” on p. 44 by Heather E. Schwartz, making her Berkshire Living debut in this issue) and Brodie Mountain with friends back in my late teens and twenties. They’d ski and I’d sit in the lounge, reading the New York Times or a magazine and sipping various beverages. . I’m thrilled that other people like to ski. And whenever there’s a big snowfall, I’m happy for all the ski areas in the region, including Catamount in South Egremont, Massachusetts, and Butternut in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. I think everyone should ski—except me and members of my immediate family.

Speaking of people who get outside in the winter to engage in extreme sports of various kinds, Amanda Rae Busch is excited to snowboard this winter. I wish her lots of fresh powder, plenty of sunshine, no wind, and mild temperatures on weekends, so she can enjoy herself and have a terrific time. I also wish her safe, uneventful runs down the mountain, so she can return to the office on Monday mornings healthy and refreshed in her new position as assistant editor of Berkshire Living. Amanda was the first person I hired, and for me, getting to know Amanda and working with her has been a truly thrilling, peak experience. It’s all uphill from here.

And no, don’t even ask—I’m not going skiing with you.

Happy reading.

Seth Rogovoy
Berkshire Living

I suggest that “Berkshire Living” publish some short fiction having the Berkshires as its venue and written by authors living there. I have mentioned this to Seth Rogovoy before, indicating that another magazine has done very well publishing one short fiction piece in each issue, of course I mean the “New Yorker.” Publishing fiction together with factual pieces could add some welcome variety to the magazine, so that in addition to seeing articles about what is happening in the area, readers could also be stimulated by pieces dealing with what might have happened, or could happen in the future.

I hope that readers of Seth’s blog will express their opinions about publishing Berkshire fiction in the magazine so that the staff can get some idea about how others feel about this issue.

Sigmund Tobias

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