The sixth installment of our Staff Favorites series features Mr. Chris Wright. While this native Pennsylvanian and proud Penn Stater’s work as Gear Patrol’s editorial assistant and master of copy often stays hidden behind the scenes, his impact on our daily operations is extensive. He makes us all look good and rarely gets credit for it.
Though most pine for the latest and greatest, Chris prefers simpler indulgences like craft beer, well-written fiction, cigars and the occasional fly fishing adventure. The fact that he shares these interests with great men from generations past is no surprise: his heros include Twain, Murrow and Hemingway. But while these qualities might surprise some given his youth, Chris’s epic works on articles like Malted Madness or the 100 best books for men offer undeniable proof of his expertise and passion. Then again, so do his favorite things.
Founder’s Breakfast Stout
The best beer I’ve ever had, and something I always try to keep tucked away. It’s packed with rich coffee, chocolate and toffee notes, so much so that it won our Malted Madness craft beer tournament. Some of my best memories involve sipping this beer with friends — at a massive bacon-and-eggs breakfast, for example.
’07 Kawasaki Ninja 250
Not a big bike in the least, but it can scream along nicely enough. I got it after my first year at college using money I’d made the summer and fall before. Mastering motorcycle skills, getting my license and riding with my dad was a big part of growing up.
Remington Model 870 12-Gauge Shotgun
A classic, reliable and well-made gun. My dad got it for me and taught me how to shoot it, and we still enjoy throwing clay birds and missing them together.
Orvis Helios Fly Rod
It’s not mine; I borrowed it to fish the Truckee River in California two years ago. I’m just as liable to throw a wind knot as a tight loop, but it truly felt like an extension of my arm, even after a long day of throwing bulky streamers at big fat rainbows.
Hohner Marine Band Harmonicas
The classic blues harmonica. I got them in college and taught myself how to play by jamming with good friends (mostly while imbibing large amounts of alcohol).
A gift from a best friend on my 21st birthday; it’s my favorite companion (besides a good cigar) while fly fishing. There’s nothing flashy about its construction — just a find from a Bass Pro Shops — but that’s not the point. It feels perfect tucked away behind my fly boxes, and it’s the stuff inside that counts.
Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition
This book got me my job. Well, studying the hell out of it did. Within this could-kill-a-man tome are all the rules of style — seriously, all of them. It’s an incredible tool that I respect and reference on a regular basis.
Complete Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is my favorite author, and his short stories are a major inspiration for my own writing. Rather than simply looking online for a complete collection, I slowly acquired a library of his collected works as I found them in bookstores and shops. Last year I finally found an unabridged collection deep in the stacks of New York’s The Strand bookstore, with the final few rarer stories I had never read. The process made it that much sweeter.
Brooks Brothers Vintage Navy Jacket
My brother-in-law and I found this classically styled jacket while poking around at — get this — Salvation Army. It’s in beautiful shape and, after a nice tailoring job, has become one of my favorite sartorial items.
Ashton VSG Pegasus
Virgin Sun Growns have long been my favorite Ashtons, and the stick size of the Pegasus seems just right, whether it’s to be enjoyed while shooting the shit with buddies or reading a few stories from Mr. Twain.
The Grail: Bauman Rare Book Collection
I can see it now: first edition Hemingways, Twains and Cranes; copies of Maupassant, Tolstoy, O. Henry, Dahl, Wilde, London, Poe and others, all with their own history and a patina that adds life to their already magnificent pages. Of course, I’ll have to have a study built to house them, and what’s a study without a pool table, leather smoking chair and ocean view?…