Kaleidoscope of Experience

People worth knowing and stories worth reading.You might remember John Walters from his stint as host of NHPR's "The Front Porch," where he chatted with New Hampshire people who were remarkable in some way. In his new book, "Roads Less Traveled" [Plaidswede Publishing, $19.95], he does the same in written form, except that he extends his reach beyond New Hampshire.

He calls the people he profiles visionaries - not necessarily, he writes, "in the sense of a believer or prophet (though some of them are), but in the simpler sense of having a vision and pursuing it." He adds that he is inspired by their example.

Some of the New Hampshire names are familiar - singer Mighty Sam McClain, contra dance musician Bob McQuillen and activist Renny Cushing among them - but there are not-so-familiar others with fascinating tales to tell as well. Kate Phillips is one of them - she wrote the script for "the greatest B movie of all time, 'The Blob.'"

Walters, who now lives in Vermont, is a wonderful writer who has talent for finding the telling detail that takes the story well beyond a simple recounting of a life. Well worth reading.

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