The Human Touch
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Written by Gerry Nooney
I have smart friends. One of my highly-educated peers (she’s a PhD) wrote a nice piece on her blog after the tragedy in Orlando. It focused on the power of the human touch and how we have backed away from this once common practice. She also gave fair warning to all that a lot more hugs will be coming from her starting now.
I loved the piece and it gave me some food for thought while I was out on a difficult mountain bike ride. As I was beginning to head into the jaws of one particularly tough section of trail, I heard a couple of voices. I lost concentration, and ended up on a bad line with a difficult drop-off. As I came around the corner, I saw a man running up the trail with his teenage son. The brain works fast. In less than three seconds, I reflected on taking my own (then) young son on a week-long bike trek as he transitioned from Fayston School to Harwood. I imagined this man was doing the same with his son, instilling confidence and bonding through a shared physical experience. Then I recognized him and slowed down to share the trail, my heart still pounding from my previous poor choice of a line. We said hello, and as I passed, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Have a great ride!” The power of human touch: my spirits soared and I was filled with confidence as I handled the rest of the trail with ease. Even getting a pine bough whipped across my face at the steepest pitch didn’t slow me down.
What’s this have to do with food? Everything. The human touch is responsible for cooking your steak properly, picking strawberries at the right moment, recognizing your face at the door. And hey, our rising local favorite Wednesday Night Crab Shack and Raw Bar is all about the human touch. Think of the hands-on work it takes to shuck oysters, and to eat them. It’s an art form. And there are more opportunities to get hands-on at some of our other events like Rib Night and Toss ‘Em Tuesdays.
Down in town, two new restaurants have opened up that thrive on the human touch, Canteen Creemee Company and Home Plate. Both have been getting some great reviews. Add these two in with all of the other interesting and personal dining options the Valley offers and this is just one of the reasons the Valley is so special to me.