Hailing from one of the soggiest regions in the country, the founders of frogg toggs desperately sought armor against the rain that wouldn't weigh down limbs. Since 1996, their research team has unveiled several clothing technologies that facilitate fabrication of lightweight, breathable rainwear, outerwear, and wading gear. Classic DriPore material sports pores that are 20,000 times smaller than a droplet of water, allowing air to escape without admitting moisture. Other waterproof and wind-resistant garments sport durable seams and materials such as ToadSkinz, a hybrid fabric that masquerades as conventional polyester, but harbors an extra layer for comfort. And as Chilly Pad towels absorb water, the remain dry to the touch, cooling athletes’ skin without disintegrating the paper play diagrams taped to their foreheads.
Steve Calvert, the sartorial expert behind the eponymous clothier, equips gentlemen with hand-tailored custom clothing and dapper duds from top designers, and he does it by calling upon 30 years of experience in the industry. An expansive showroom teems with casual and formalwear from Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, and Columbia collections, and the colorful silk of hand-woven ties imported from Italy can accent newly assembled outfits. The shop's custom-fitting services can tailor garments to accommodate special needs and individual physical circumstances, such as having broad shoulders or a portly Siamese twin.
Studies suggest that the loss of one sense leads to the enhancement of the other four—an idea that Earl Williams can attest to. According to Channel 31, when Earl was 20 years old, his sight suddenly faded to black as he was walking down the street. Doctors suspected that the late-onset blindness may have been a consequence of his premature birth and told him it was irreversible. Rather than dwelling on what he'd lost, Earl set his mind to making the most of what he had left: a strong pair of hands and a heightened sense of touch.
Earl has now been answering to his massage-therapy calling for 14 years, using his instinctive digits to draw pain and tension from muscles and earn certifications in several targeted skills. His enhanced ability to feel enables him to detect problem areas more swiftly than the eyes in the back of an elementary schoolteacher's head, and his ever-present pair of shades lends him an air of coolness that puts clients at ease.
Southerland Station has always nurtured budding creativity. Founded in 1958 as a blueprint- and drafting-supply store, the shop has since grown in size and scope, gearing its inventory of imagination fuel—which now numbers 40,000 different items—toward a younger audience. Oil paints and canvases offer outlets for artistic talents, which can also be honed in one of the shop’s art classes. Lego sets and model trains appeal to both the imaginative and the literal-minded, replicating reality through brightly colored bricks or 1:220 scale trains that are accurate down to their Union Pacific livery. And, though it now represents a smaller portion of the business, the drafting-supplies section is still there, giving mechanically inclined kids materials for blueprinting their next treehouse or battery of anti-cooties missiles.