1st: Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe
SUMMARY: As the sun sets for the night on Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, owner Joel Golder says, “Once this amusement park is gone … it’s gone. We’re the only beachfront amusement park left in New England.” It’s said that the boardwalk atmosphere and nostalgic slices of Americana are disappearing from our shores. But if one looks closely, remnants of the past can still be found the coast of New England.
2nd: Adam Glanzman / Freelance
SUMMARY: Standing at a mere 5’7″ and 155 lbs., 75-year old Norm Devio of Hopkinton, Mass. doesn’t look like the godfather of arm wrestling that he is, dominating the little known sport for much of the last 40 years. Devio has won more than 25 national arm wrestling titles in the 150 lbs. class, and has represented the US globally in the 1996 world championship in Virginia. There have been plenty of great arm wrestlers over the years, but what makes Devio a sensation is his longevity in the sport. No other arm wrestlers have been as competitive as Norm for so long. To this day he can enter a tournament anywhere and still be a top competitor capable of beating opponents twice his size and 50 years his junior.
3rd: John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe
SUMMARY: When Lindsey Straus, father of three from Brewster, Massachusetts transitioned from a man to a woman fifteen years ago, she risked losing her family and career. She rebuilt some of her important relationships, and learned to adapt. Straus is a well-respected lawyer on Cape Cod. “In the first 25 years of my legal practice, I wore a suit and tie, I feel perfectly comfortable now.” Straus said about wearing a dress in the courtroom. She stays in touch with her ex-wife Brooke. Of her three sons, Taylor visits most often. Lindsey does find herself lonely at times, but stays active by being a member of the choir at First Parish Church in Brewster. She will admit though that there are times where she doesn’t want to make a situation akward for others, and that is why she still dresses as a man when she plays golf at the nearby course. “You learn through life to adjust. I have to do that to protect myself. “I am who I am. Everybody is a unique individual.” Straus said.
Honorable Mention: Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe
SUMMARY: With the world’s attention focused on the Olympic Games in Brazil, a decidedly different type of competition was held in a small corner of New England, as farmers took to the field for the second annual Farmer Olympics in Vershire, Vt. After taking part in warm-up events that included a hay bale toss, the crowd gathered for an opening ceremony where a quartet performed the Olympic theme song on kazoo. When the competition began, 60 farmers sprinted up a hill, empty bins and shovels in hand, for the manure relay. In the end it was a team from Cedar Circle Farm in East Stepford who took the gold. Their team’s name? Soil’d.