Bates in the News: March 15, 2019

Frank Perham ’56

Mainers are old, but still doing things ‘most people half their age don’t do’ — Bangor Daily News

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Jason Paris Smith, a photographer who took portraits of elderly Mainers to showcase the diversity and knowledge of people in the oldest U.S. state.

Included in the series was Frank Perham ’56, a third-generation miner and acclaimed mineral expert from West Paris, Maine.

Frank Perham ’56 was included in a photo series on elderly people in Maine, the state with the country's highest average age. (Jason Paris Smith)

Frank Perham ’56 was included in a photo series on elderly people in Maine, the state with the country’s highest average age. (Jason Paris Smith)

Perham grew up mining with his grandfather, who discovered feldspar on the family farm and started a feldspar mill, and his father, Stanley I. Perham ’31, who owned a mineral store. He studied geology at Bates before serving in the Korean War. (His daughter is Trish Perham ’83.)

Frank Perham worked on road construction projects and mined on the weekends; some of his mineral discoveries are on display at The Smithsonian and the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum.

He’s something of a Maine icon (or a gem, as it were), writes Smith on his website. “People stop in to hear his many stories and learn about Maine’s minerals from someone with an unbridled passion for minerals and lifetime of experiences.”


Lisa Genova ’92

The intelligence that Alzheimer’s can’t steal — Being Patient

Deborah Kan of Being Patient, a news site focused on Alzheimer’s disease and brain health, spoke with neuroscientist and novelist Lisa Genova ’92 about the emotional lives of people with Alzheimer’s, the future of research and clinical trials, and the power of storytelling.

Author Lisa Genova '92 received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Commencement in 2016. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Author Lisa Genova ’92 received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Commencement in 2016. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Genova, whose most recent novel is 2018’s Every Note Played, about a concert pianist who develops ALS, has crafted a literary career defined by empathetic insights into the workings of the brain. She told Kan she wrote Still Alice instead of a nonfiction book because storytelling could help others understand what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s.

To research the book, Genova extensively interviewed more than two dozen people with the disease.

“Through story, we really can move from sympathy to empathy,” Genova said. “Empathy is feeling with someone. That’s the imaginative leap I make when I imagine and feel what it’s like to be you. In doing that, it makes a world of difference.”


Heidi Lachapelle ’10 and Katie Judkins ’09

Cut from the same cloth — Maine Home+Design

Maine Home+Design spoke with Heidi Lachapelle ’10 and Katie Judkins ’09, who realized their dream of working on artistic projects together by starting Heidi Lachapelle Interiors.

Lachapelle and Judkins met at Bates and became better friends when Judkins began dating Lachapelle’s brother. They worked corporate jobs after graduation but “both knew how they wanted their lives to look,” wrote Katy Kelleher.

In 2017 they started an interior design company whose “hallmark of sorts” is bringing in “a lot of slate blues and dark teals, indigos and azures,” but whose projects draw inspiration from many sources.

“I think I benefited a lot from a liberal arts background, and from working at a few different places,” Lachapelle said. “I didn’t know where it would take me.”

“I have younger siblings, and I tell them that there doesn’t need to be a direct path to get where you want to go,” Judkins added.

“Sometimes the diagonal path is better.”

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