As summer sizzles on, PRI's staff shares some hot inspirations that may move you too.
This month, we look at historical New Jersey landmarks, country pop stars, innovative start-ups, and, of course, America's favorite pastime.
|Save the Shack
It’s known as “The Shack” and every time Nichole Chobin drives past, she feels a sense of renewed spirit and sadness at its current disarray. Save the Shack is an effort to save the historic shack on the LBI causeway, as affectionately known to locals (otherwise referred to as the bridge that leads to Long Beach Island, New Jersey) that has been a point of reference, remembrance of times gone by, and historic note for over 40 years.
For anyone who has experienced it once or in a lifetime of summer trips, the Shack stands as a beacon of wonder and summer delight. Nichole recalls seeing it in all its glory as a child. Watching it decay through the years always awakens a renewed sense of time and its preciousness. Nichole says that when you look out the car window, just past the water's edge as you go over the bridge, it signals, “We’re here!” to children and adults alike. Click here to read more about saving the Shack.
|Swing for the Fences
It’s been awhile since Frank J. Mendelson was up with men on base. Though he can not get used to wearing a batting helmet, Frank loves a quick drive to the batting cages in Canaan, Connecticut, where he gets six tokens for five bucks—that’s 90 swings! Ooops, wasn’t looking. That’s strike one.
|Come on Over
Élena Nazzaro’s July inspiration has to be Shania Twain. Her husband Paul is a big fan and she thought, “Yeah, okay, I guess.” Then Élena read the Twain autobiography that describes how she grew up in extreme poverty, domestic abuse, and turned to music as a child. Music became the one thing that seemed to lift her mom’s debilitating depression, so she let her mom “manage” her into gigs at bars when she was 14 because she thought that would help make her mother better.
Then Twain’s parents died in a car crash and she wound up with the responsibility of raising her brothers until they became adults. After that she had a fairy-tale life with amazing professional success until she discovered her husband (also her songwriting/producing partner) and best friend were having an affair behind her back. Twain lost her voice and thought she’d never sing again. Élena finds her story so powerful and uplifting, that this has become her new theme song.
|And Rings . . . Allyson Murphy is inspired by the New York State Senate’s passage of the marriage equality bill. She thinks love and fairness are two things everyone deserves.|
Matt Wenner is inspired by the website To the Future. This website is run by a married couple who built their own Delorean time machine based on the Back to the Future movies. They travel across the country from comic book conventions to grocery stores; and for a donation you can have as many pictures of yourself as you want, taken in a replica of the Delorean. It’s fun getting your picture with this Hollywood icon, but the best part is that 100% of the donations collected benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, through Team Fox.
Kevin Williams is inspired by the many innovative start-up companies on the rise. Qwiki, is one such company, dedicated to forever improving the way people experience information. Whether you’re planning a vacation, evaluating restaurants, or doing research, Qwiki is working to deliver that information via storytelling instead of search.
According to their website, “We are the first to turn information into an experience. We believe that just because data is stored by machines doesn’t mean it should be presented as a machine-readable list. Let’s try harder . . . Currently, Qwiki’s technology has been applied to describe millions of popular topics, but soon we’ll do much more.”
The Qwiki team needs everyone’s input to meet their goals and has an alpha phase to help test Qwiki and shape the future.