by Janine Pettit
15 Sep 2015
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our hearts, we still cling to anything- anger, anxiety, or possessions- we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
When Lori Rewick Simon bought a vintage trailer in June of 2011 she had no idea that this “project trailer” would “save” her. Life was good. As the National Director of the nonprofit group, Casting for Recovery, she enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle in her transplanted home of Vermont. A native Californian who frequently moved as a child, Lori was accustomed to change and easily adapted to it. If there was a negative side to the frequent moves, it was that Lori developed a strong desire for perfection in all that she set out to do.
A professional photographer with an MA in photography from the Hallmark Institute of Photography, she had aspired to become a photographer for National Geographic. Finding that a difficult position to secure, she drifted in to teaching high school photography and then in to yearbook sales. At a time in her life when she was reevaluating her priorities she discovered a class being taught at her church entitled, “Abundant.” The class was a 16-week commitment and focused on crystalizing what really matters in life and living your life in an “abundant” manner. It was then that Lori made the decision to get out of sales and move to nonprofit work. With the support of her husband, John, and their children Charlie Chelsea, Lori made the career change. Her first job was with the March of Dimes in Phoenix. Her continued advancement eventually meant moving to Montana. This new location gave Lori ample opportunity to indulge in two of her favorite hobbies; fly fishing and horseback riding.
After several years in Montana, the March of Dimes wanted Lori to take a position in Dallas, Texas. She thought that the weather in the south would make their outdoor lifestyle harder to enjoy. When a friend told her of a position available in Vermont with a nonprofit that helps women recovering from breast cancer by providing them with fly fishing weekends, she thought it sounded like a perfect fit. Casting for Recovery (CFR) thought so, too, and hired Lori to be their National Director. The move to Vermont suited them perfectly.
I met Lori at the Museum for Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont in May of 2011. I was in Vermont displaying my Sister on the Fly trailer at the fly fishing museum’s kickoff event for their retrospective on women and fly fishing. At that time Lori knew about the Sisters on the Fly because they had partnered with CFR to raise funds for the organization. Sitting in her office, I remember her telling me that she wanted to join SOTF and get a Metzendorf trailer. I cautioned her about the amount of work that older trailers can often require, but her heart was set on a Metzendorf.
Lori’s 1962 Metzendorf on the day she brought it home