Down The Line...
There is a lot more to all of us here at Main Street than what you get from reading our work on the pages that fill the Magazine. We want our audience to better understand just how important each and every person associated with this publication is. Everyone that has walked through the newsroom door on Tuesday night has a story, and we want to tell that story. Down the Line is our attempt to have a great conversation, get into the minds of each member of our cadre, and make all of this a little more personable.
Chad Ripley, Editor-in-Chief
Well-rounded, passionate, and caring
"and I wouldn't be those words without good people surrounding me, so thank you."
What are you currently drawing inspiration from?
My peers, definitely my peers. But also skating, but I guess you could also say watching people skate... I'm just trying to connect with all these different people. And all these different things that I do, whether it be through the magazine or just skateboarding as well, watching and observing and really just trying to pay as close attention to what they're doing and what I can take from them and apply to my own life and my own skating or my own writing or what have you. But definitely my peers. I'm looking to them for a lot for inspiration right now.
After the first month or so of this semester, being faced with doing the "normal college things" in my last semester here. And like, you know, I realized that's bullshit. Like I said, my peers of skateboarding or going to a show in Newmarket is definitely bringing me a lot more joy. My peers; the people I surround myself with.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Work harder. I can't say it enough. I mean, it's been probably the only thing that's gotten me through my 22 years here. That piece of advice, I take it with a grain of salt too because if you work too hard, I've seen in my experience that you can distance yourself from people that mean the most to you and you lose track a little bit of what's important; but if you work hard enough and just set your intentions right and make sure that you're just meeting your goals and just pushing yourself to be the best version of yourself and continue to work hard I think it pays itself off in the long run, definitely. So work harder but don't get lost in the work.
Did someone specifically tell you that?
My parents both, they didn't tell me exactly to work harder but it was an inherent value. They always made it clear that I should be doing something. In middle school when I was first starting at Market Basket, my mom would be like, "Alright, you're gonna go work a 7 to 3," and I was like "Oh my God, I'm 13." Just you know, stuff like that. And as I've grown older I've realized that you're the only person that can make it, (that can) make yourself. You can't rely on other people. But also, a YouTuber Casey Neistat, he's got it tattooed on his arm: "Do more, work harder." So that's just something I've always really held close to me. Just that idea.
What's a vegetarian dish that you think could persuade a meat eater?
Eggplant parm. It's my signature dish. But there's something about it... when I was growing up, it was like my favorite dish my mom made. It was eggplant and chicken parm, but I would never eat the eggplant, only the chicken. It was always like, 'Ugh gross, eggplant.' And when I decided to become a vegetarian, I started looking at that recipe and how she made it and would ask her about it. It's just a very easy thing to make. It tastes very similar to that of a chicken cutlet. You know, you can't really fuck up anything that's breaded. And when you fry it and put it in the oven and it comes out and you throw it on top of some spaghetti or whatever pasta, chickpea pasta in my case, so it would be eggplant parm and chickpea pasta with a really nice sauce that you put in the pan on the top of the stove and just season it. I would go oregano, different types of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper – super simple – olive oil, and you throw it all together. just, I honestly think if I gave that to somebody and they didn't know it was eggplant, they would be like "Oh, this is pretty good." So I think eggplant parm is definitely what I would make for somebody if they were thinking about (becoming vegetarian).
You've got the signature long hair.
When did you first grow it out and what led you to that decision?
I came here my freshman year in 2016. And I had a buzzcut my whole entire life pretty much. I mean, a couple of missed haircuts in elementary school where it got a little messy, but it was never where it was. And I did it because I wanted to see if I could do it. And I also wanted to see if I could handle the criticism that I thought I was going to face and which I did face. Nobody really truly understood why I was doing it. And I definitely got a lot of, lot of, lot of ridicule from when I came back home after freshman year. And my hair, it wasn't even long, it just started to kind of flip in the back. But yeah, I just wanted to see if I could do it and I was searching for I don't want to say a new identity but I really wanted to leave what I was in high school behind me and just try to start new and I was like maybe the hair is that thing. I always looked at people with long hair—I remember there was this one kid, I can't think of his name but he was in my history of rock n' roll class second semester of freshman year and he would walk in with this hair and I was just like, "That's what I want my hair to look like." And Glenn Frey of the Eagles especially, that look, I was like, "I want that hair." But mostly just I wanted it for myself, I wanted to change and I thought this seems like the best way to do it.
Who's your favorite Instagram follow?
Lately, it's this artist Austin Kleon. He's an artist and he's a writer as well. He's got just a very abstract style and it's totally different and he's very vulnerable and he's also very well-read. What really brought me on to him was he posts these cartoons on his Instagram and they're in his journal, so it was about this Sunday morning with his kids and he noticed a hawk perching in a tree near his backyard. They just sat and observed it and he wrote about just his observations of this hawk. The illustrations, they're abstract, they're just totally cartoons like I'm just gonna draw this quick, but there's something about the words that accompanied it that reminded me a lot about what I wanted for Main Street. But also just the aspect of these words, he said like, "This hippie, new age website said something along the lines like when you see a hawk it means to spread your wings and like fly toward something." I don't know the exact words, but it just stuck with me and ever since then I've really paid close attention to what he's been posting about. He also posts a lot about his kids. For some reason lately, I've been very enthralled with the idea of fatherhood. He's super inspirational as well, so definitely a good follow.
What's your favorite sound?
Definitely going out somewhere, like even if it's just my backyard in the woods a little bit with my dogs. I guess it's the silence too, but also just the natural sounds that go along with being outside, whether it be birds chirping or the dogs' paws crunching the leaves underneath. But also if I had to really say it would be any classic rock song that's being played on the loudspeakers going to the chairlift at Loon. Right when I first started learning to ski, that's when I was really getting into classic rock as well, like heavily into it. Camp Three, the North Chair at Loon, they always have the Grateful Dead playing and that's like one of my favorite bands of all time. Anytime I hear just a little Jerry lick, I know I'm at Camp Three and I know I'm going to go up and do a run and just get lost in the natural sounds also. Because there's a different silence too, it's the wind hitting your face but there's also a silence too when it comes to skiing or surfing in that instance, too. I guess my favorite sound is getting lost in the sounds of my environment, whatever that environment may be.
Wes Anderson offers you as much money as you need to make a film.
What do you do with it?
He already got Timothée Chalamet (laughs). Jeezum crow. Honestly, though, just to point out from the trailer and just reading up on the French Dispatch, it's like I would do something similar along the lines of what is Main Street Magazine and what they're doing with the French Dispatch is based on the New Yorker Magazine. I would just want to be involved in that production, anyway I could help. Let me cameo in it, give me one scene. But I think just being involved in that whole process of filming that whole movie with the cast that he had, I think it's going to be something beautiful and it hits home because of the magazine. Definitely. ... It would be like a spin-off but it would be like Main Street Magazine and like the quirkiness of what we've made it become in the past year. I think that'd be a really cool movie and I think he would absolutely dig it as well.
What's your ideal way to spend a summer afternoon?
Surfing. Absolutely. There's nothing better than hopping in the car with a few of your closest friends and throwing on whatever song that comes on and just getting down to the coast around sunset and getting in the water and just seeing how the sky changes color and everything just kind of starts to slow down at night. That's my favorite part about summer, and then getting out of the water when it's dark. You just feel like you spent your afternoon the best way possible. Like I was saying earlier with the sounds, there's just so many different sounds: seagulls, the waves crashing.
I also think you like the sound of solitude too...
Yeah, absolutely. Definitely surfing with your closest friends and ending the surfing trip at Las Olas, a burrito place in Hampton and Exeter, and grabbing a burrito after and a beer and just looking back at the afternoon and the surf session. It's one of my favorite things to do.
How has Main Street Magazine impacted your life?
What do you want for your legacy to be with the magazine?
Excuse me if I get a little emotional here. It changed my life. Just to begin, I think that's the most important thing to point out. I wouldn't be sitting in this room with you guys had (former Editor-in-Chief) Blake not just said, "Hey man, you should just come to a meeting tonight for Main Street," and I was like "What the fuck is Main Street?" You know? And I showed up and that first meeting I didn't feel like it was the perfect fit... I didn't keep going. I didn't go to the meetings. I just would text Blake and be like, "Hey, I just got a story idea." And he'd be like, "Alright, the deadline's tomorrow. Can you get it in?" And I found myself finding that voice I was lacking in my first few years here. It provided me an outlet definitely and it gave me an opportunity to lead again and to just be so invested in something I was so passionate about. Not even just writing and the aspect of the visual arts of it but just the community in general. I've seen it grow from however many people showed up last spring, maybe we were lucky if we got 10 people there, and just forming these relationships with you guys and the writers, people like Meaghan Scotti and Doug and Shane Jozitis. It's crazy that these people look up to me as this person and... I mean, all I can say is I'm just fucking so happy to be here. It gave me a direction, it gave me this sense of purpose, it kept me at UNH. And like I said, had I not found it, I would've probably dropped out. I like to look at this whole experience as I was just one part of something so beautiful coming to fruition. I had all these ideas about what I wanted to change and what I wanted to do but without everyone who was involved, even if they're not involved still to this day, I wouldn't be here. So it's a testament to just the group in general, everyone just pitching in and believing in my ideas and what I had to say. Without that, I wouldn't be here.
My legacy? I don't know... I don't give a fuck if people remember me at all, it doesn't bother me. I just want this thing to keep going. It would break my heart to see it go, and for students not to have this creative outlet to express themselves so freely and find what it is they're passionate about, whether that's writing or photography or page designing, whatever. There are so many different facets to this magazine that I think anyone who's just a little lost can come in and maybe find something that they dig. When I leave, I just want you guys to remember what it is that made it so special for me and how it changed my life and how I wanted that for everyone else who joined too. It is the most important part of my life to this day, as far as putting me in the right direction. So I can only hope that when you guys think of Chad Ripley, Editor-in-Chief from 2019 to 2020, that it's just like, he wanted this magazine to be so fucking sick, and the only way that's happening is through a collaborative effort. Whenever shit gets hard, and it does, it gets so hard, just remember at the end of the day, Main Street Magazine has provided all of us something different, and that in itself is beautiful.