What I have been reading this summer.
2007-08-02 01:25:15.000 – Ryan Knapp, Meteorologist
Another day draws to a close.
When I am driving, I like to read.
Please, let me clarify.
Growing up in California, this statement doesn’t sound too odd to me since most commuters do this when they are stuck in traffic. But living in Berlin, NH, the only time we get traffic is when cars are stopped at a stop light. So what am I reading, you ask? Business names, bulletin boards, marquees, or church bulletin boards announcing up coming sermons to name a few things. Anything I spot I read, if there isn’t any traffic around me. Sometimes my reading material is mundane things like ‘Vacancy,’ ‘3.09 (gas),’ or ‘Clearance Sale.’ But sometimes I find some good reads that make me laugh or get me pondering.
While driving down to Funspot in Meredith, NH Tuesday with the interns to meet up with former observer Jim Salge, we spotted a sign at a convenience store stating: ‘Get your smores and beer here.’ When I took an advertising class, we were taught two basic things to attract people. The first is to make a normal analogy that most people think of, like fish and chips, burger and fries, or movie and popcorn. The second is to use something that doesn’t make any since to generate humor, curiosity or anger. So I am not too sure where beer and smores fits. For some this may be a normal analogy, although I hope not, or it was something preposterous to draw attention. Either way, it worked.
But ads don’t have to be that offbeat to draw attention, sometimes an ad that is relatable works just as well. Take the Mount Washington Auto Road bulletin boards for instance. It has an excited kid poking out of an SUV window with the statement to the effect of ‘Guess what I did on my summer break.’ I look at that and think, that’s how I feel every time I come to the summit, so I am glad I am not the only one. Simple yet effective.
Then there is the last form of signs I like reading, the philosophical type. My favorite of recent is ‘Summer is short; So live life the same way.’ When I read this it got me thinking about how true it was. This is the last week my shifts summer interns will be here and soon we will be working with two new people. In one month, crowds on the summits and in the valleys dissipate as kids and college students return to their classroom settings. Hikers will start packing crampons ‘just in case.’ Hot cocoa will replace the bowls of ‘nilla ice cream. Days will be getting shorter as the sun starts shifting towards our southwest. Green sedge will turn brown then white as rime and snow return. Thirty minute trips up in the van will turn into one to three hour tours in a snow cat. And our tranquil lazy days of summer will turn into viscously windy and wild days of winter, living up to our motto of ‘Home of the Worlds Worst Weather.’ I think I read that somewhere before…
Ryan Knapp, Meteorologist