Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Why I Do What I Do: Charlie Mahanes

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How will you be remembered? High school student Charlie Mahanes stops in at Bacon today to remember his grandfather – and talk about his own current fundraising effort. (Of course I’ve also asked him a few questions about what he’s reading…)

Bacon Interview with Charlie Mahanes:

You’re a high school junior, which means you’re seriously busy. What’s your favorite subject?
It’s a tie between AP Government and Chinese.

What’s your least favorite subject?
(Maybe you shouldn’t answer this. In case the wrong teacher reads this interview.)
Good idea.

What do you like best about your high school, Ensworth?
The Community of Teachers and Students is really special as well as the Arts Programs the school has to offer – I play drums in the Rock Band and Guitar in the Jazz Band and I also enjoy Photography, and I am able to pursue all of them at Ensworth.

Anything that aggravates you? Again, answer at your own risk. 
Last year, they took away lemonade from the lunch line without explanation and I’ve been upset with the lack of drink choices since.

I understand that you got involved in the “Student of the Year” Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser because of your grandfather’s sudden death last year. I would love to know more about him (Kevin McGrath).

What’s the most important thing you learned from your grandfather?
To work hard and take pride in your accomplishments.

What did you admire in him?
He was a huge reader and loved learning foreign languages and when he became interested in something, he studied everything he could find to become an expert on the topic (like Yoga). Whatever he put his mind to, he achieved and that’s what I’ll remember about him most fondly.

What did you like doing with him?
Shooting skeet and helping him with the Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

What do you think he learned from you?
That patience is a virtue and he should make sure to relax every once in while.

Now, turning to the fundraiser – how exactly does it work?
The Student of the Year program is a seven week fundraiser where we try to earn as much money as possible for blood cancer research. We compete against 4 other teams in Middle Tennessee for who can raise the most. Everything is up to the last minute on March 1 at the Gala where we have last minute contributions and sell Silent Auction items that we have collected.

What’s your fundraising goal?
Our goal is to raise at least $30,000, but we are not planning to stop there! If we raise $50,000 we get naming rights to a research trial. Our hope is to reach that milestone and name it in honor of the Ensworth Class of 2020.

Who is helping you?
I’ve put together a team of very enthusiastic classmates – we are going to have a Christie Cookies Cookie Sale (at their 12 South location and delivering) and are having a concert at Cabana on February 24th, where we are having student guest performers from Ensworth and just want to have fun while raising more money for LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society). Thank you Malcolm, Bella, Ryan, Tommy, Audrey, Dante, Trent, Tyler, Aiden and Jordan for all your help!

Newsflash: Team Mahanes will be selling cookies at the Christie Cookie 12 South window this Friday, January 25, from 4 to 10 pm! 

 

Let’s talk about books for a minute.

What did you like to read growing up?
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Who is your favorite author right now?
I always thought John Green wrote great books, so he’s probably the author I’ve read the most of.

What’s the best book you’ve read in school OR out of school in the last year?
I really enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby last year in my English class.

This is a book blog, but it’s also a blog about people. I love to ask a few semi-fun and maybe semi-hard questions. Because we’re all just trying to figure out life, you know? How to be a good person. How to make a difference. How to enjoy life. Here are 5 questions plus a bonus one for extra credit.

So let’s start with a hard one.

What’s your favorite snack?
Lay’s Barbecue Potato Chips

What do you worry about?
School and the future College process

What do you do to relax?
Play drums and guitar, take photos, and go bowling with my friends.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned lately?
Life is precious and you should learn to enjoy every minute of it and live in the moment.

Bonus question: What is the meaning of life?
Quoting Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!” Like I kind of said in the last question, the meaning of life is to enjoy it. We’re only in this world for so long so we need to savor all of the little moments.

 

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To donate to Charlie’s fundraising effort, click here.

 

 

 

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Published in GreenwichTime on Sept. 26, 2018:

William Kevin McGrath, affectionately known as Kevin to all that had the pleasure to know him, passed away last Tuesday evening in his home surrounded by his family after a very brief illness. He was 78.

Kevin was born on June 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, NY to the late William Harold McGrath and late Marguerite (Dowd) McGrath. He attended Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, The Choate School in Wallingford, CT and Institut Dr. Schmidt in St. Gallen, Switzerland. He was a graduate of Georgetown University. While working abroad at Klaveness Shipping in Oslo, Norway, he met the love of his life, Anne Brit (Lull) Samuelsen, and brought her home to settle down in Greenwich, CT to raise their family. They moved to Salisbury, CT in 1995 and there together created their idyllic farm that they dubbed “Northwood”, where they loved to entertain family and their many dedicated friends.

Kevin was the founder of Seafair International Corporation, a ship brokerage firm in New York, NY, that he later relocated to Greenwich, CT. He was a longtime member of Greenwich Country Club, Lyford Cay Club in Nassau, Bahamas, and Sharon Country Club.

Where Kevin truly found the most pleasure was in the great outdoors. He was a passionate sportsman who excelled at everything that attracted his attention. He was a lifelong equestrian and an international fox hunter who enjoyed his time as a Master of Fox Hounds. He was an accomplished shot who enjoyed hunting for reindeer in Norway, grouse and deer in England and Scotland, and fly fishing in Montana and The Bahamas. In recent years, he worked as a shooting instructor at Orvis Sandanona in Millbrook, NY, as well as hosted duck hunting and sporting clays excursions on his property.

He enjoyed travelling the world and utilizing his considerable talents of speaking several foreign languages. He was a voracious reader and studied yoga intensively. He loved playing golf and racquet sports and spending time with his family and his dogs Blitz and Rocket.

Kevin will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 53 years, Lull and his daughters, Melissa Mahanes (David) and Brit Hoyt (Peter) and his four grandchildren Jack, Charlie, Henry and Sam. He is also survived by his brother James Brian McGrath, Brian’s wife Cornelia, and their sons Matthew (Ann) and Shane (Julie).

Kevin and Lull with Charlie at 8th grade graduation

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Crossword puzzle image copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/waffleboy/

 

12 Comments

  1. What a wonderful article. Don’t you love the wisdom we can gain from young people? What a fine young man he obviously is and I don’t even know him! I love how you phrased your questions also, Jennifer, so that he could be honest and thoughtful.

    • I felt the same way after reading his answers, Laurel – I was reminded of the joy and energy and wisdom of young people. Thank you for your very kind comment and for being in touch, Laurel! xoxo

  2. What an impressive young man! I’m full of memories this morning because I taught Charlie’s dad, David, when he was in first grade at Ensworth School in 1965-66. Whoa..I hasten to say that I was a VERY young woman then. LOL

  3. I’m so proud of Charlie and all of his classmates for setting such a great example for other students (including my girls.) Bravo, Charlie, and good luck to you and your whole team!

  4. I think I see an Iron Maiden shirt in the top photo. If so, it gives me hope for the future.

  5. Wow! What a great story about an amazing young man and his inspirations!

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