My grandfather first came to Lake Megunticook, just outside the picturesque sailing village of Camden, with my great-grandparents in the mid-1910s, when the local salesmen in the family paint business recommended "A place on the pond."
We worked hard, not so much to condition our bodies but to condition our minds. The payoff was that this development of the mind could be applied to any situation in life later on, whether on or off the water.
Lying in bed that night, I felt euphoria at having reached across what seemed an unbridgeable chasm. I didn't expect the inmates to feel compassion for me or to get anything out of my story. But they did.
I met Elena on June 3, 2002 on a blind date. I suggested lunch in a safe location, one where either of us could bolt. I looked up and saw a few white wispy clouds and a finger-nail moon hanging in the blue sky.
Thirteen years ago, I had been kicked out of the house for being a drunk and a liar. I had just been the chief financial officer of a billion-dollar enterprise, and I had two baby children and a heap of problems.