Sailing to the Future
It’s an enduring cliché that young people have it tough coming out of school and finding a job. So it was a pleasant surprise to meet Paige Neidig, whom her parents Connie and Mark Neidig took sailing near Williamsburg along with her sister Samantha and fiancé Seth Weaver. They were on vacation from Wellsville, Pennsylvania.
“I graduated from college in December and started my job in January as social media director for Destination Gettysburg,” Paige said. “I’m responsible for getting the word out of the entire area through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and the other platforms. We’ve got 25,000 followers on Facebook.”
I considered hers a dream job because it combined history with tourism, and none of the older people who hired her know the first thing about social media. “I’m responsible for promoting special events, the shopping experience, seasonal events, shows and so on.”
They politely laughed at the only joke I know about Gettysburg: After taking a private tour with a Park Ranger, a woman turned to her husband and said, “Gee, Harry, it couldn’t have been much of a battle since none of the monuments was nicked.”
Mark is a heavy equipment operator who had no trouble on the helm. “I operate excavators mostly, up to 75,000 pounds. But I prefer the smaller ones because you can maneuver them as close as a building façade without hurting it.” I asked him if they’re dangerous as top-heavy. “No, they lie very close to the ground.”
Samantha is finishing up her degree in pharmacy, a field that is both safe and lucrative. She drew a comparison to sailing in Annapolis.
“Seth and I were on the 45-foot schooner Windward II, which was used in the movie ‘Wedding Crashers.’ Christopher Walken was so bad at the wheel that the captain had to be tucked down out of range of the camera, keeping her foot on the wheel.” She and Seth pondered what Walken’s problem was. Seth said, “He was on that yacht when Natalie Wood died. Maybe he was scarred for life.” Samantha speculated it was an undiagnosed case of PTSD.
Seth is a fifth-generation descendant of Weavers of Wellsville, a food distribution company dating back to 1889. “I work with my father, who worked with his father, distributing food throughout eastern Pennsylvania and into Maryland. We have 12 trucks that reach out to small grocery stores. We’ll store meats and other items in our warehouse since they don’t have their own. It’s a relationship business. I have a degree with a fancy title but essentially it’s in food marketing.” I couldn’t help but think he has it made, just like Samantha and Paige.
We sailed in brisk winds on a beautiful day made more so by beautiful people, well grounded in the American spirit.
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