Thank You Dan!

Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont, peaks at 4395 feet above sea level.


The east side of the mountain, which towers more than three-quarters of a mile over the “skyline” of Stowe, Vermont, earns the postcard New England town its nickname.


THE ski capital of the East!


During winter’s skiing season it will cost you $150 for daily lift ticket to ride the mountain’s gondola to the top. The 15-minute one-way ride up the face of Mount Mansfield is a skiers only option for reaching the peak! And a chance to snowplow down the black diamond or blue rated ski trails which the mountain is known for.


In August, that same ticket is just $32.


And of course, it’s round trip!


If $32 strikes you as too high a price to pay to enjoy one of Vermont’s best scenic views, you can always hike up the mountain which despite its size, does not even rank as one of the highest 300 peaks in the United States.


Completing the three to five-hour trek up Mount Mansfield earns the hiker a free gondola ride down.


Foot massage not included.


Because every idiot who carries a backpack thinks he’s a professional hiker, I gave the hike up the mountain some consideration. Earlier that day my fianceeic Gaetana and I had spoken about getting some exercise, after several days of vacation’s soft living. Maybe this was our chance to add a few steps to our daily tally?


But this is a blog about an idiot who climbed up a mountain.


Pulling my credit from my wallet I paid the $64, painter-price for a gallon of Aura, and bought tickets for me, Guy and my 58-year-old four-times surgically repaired knees to ride up the mountain in style.


After recovering from the disappointment of the "No Droning" sign with a waffle from the mountain top food stand famous for them, we talked of heading back to earth's flatter regions.


Dizzy from the altitude I offered my bride-to-never-be an exercise opportunity.


“It’s all downhill!”


Which of course is true. Though not relevant.


The trek down the mountain was a grueling 90-minute affair which left my legs and heart dispirited. Guy, generally far tougher than the hero of my stories, complained the entire trip down the rocky slope.


Her most typical complaint being, “Would you PLEASE stop whining!”


A request which I generally ignored.


I'm On Vacation, But


As the Chairman and CEO of Benjamin Moore it would be easy to argue that no one individual’s decisions effects independent paint dealers more than those of Dan Calkins. So I was not surprised that last week when I shared my views on Benjamin Moore’s communications shortcomings in a piece titled “Dan’s Been Reading,” I looked forward to a bump in readership. The uptick common when news of Dan or Benjamin Moore are the topics.


Sometimes, it’s more than just an uptick!



The spike in readership creating an excellent opportunity to share some appreciation.


Whether I am at my desk writing about Dan Calkins, Jeff Powell, Ben Maibach or any of the other paint industry CEO’s I cover, or laying by the pool enjoying a short vacation, the time I spend you each week while I prepare this blog is among my most precious.


Without readers, a writer is just a lunatic with a keyboard. It’s your presence in my life which saves me from that fate! To all my newest readers and of-course to those of you who have been reading for decades, thank you for following along and allowing me to touch you.


And to Ben Moore CEO Dan Calkins, is thank you even enough?








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