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Germany, goals and good memories
NORWAY — Born in Germany and raised mostly in Maine, Damien Berard, 25, enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding and hates doing the dishes. He currently lives in Norway with his girlfriend and her dog.
Q: Where were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born in Germany. Pretty much brought up here, in the Oxford Hills area.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: Yes. One sister, two brothers.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: A professional snowboarder or skateboarder!
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.
Q: Did you get into mischief or play pranks?
A: All the time.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: A few carpentry jobs, roofing, concrete, foundations. I worked in a kitchen. I worked for a week at Mt. Abram, and now I work at an auto parts store.
Q: What do you consider your relationship status to be?
A: I have a – somewhat – wonderful girlfriend. I’m not married.
Q: Anyone ever said you look like someone famous?
Q: Have you done much traveling?
A: Besides Germany, not really. Lived in Texas, Massachusetts and drove through whatever is in-between.
Q: Do you have any heros?
A: Travis Rice. He’s a professional snowboarder. He does what I wish I could do, every single day. And he’s amazing at it.
Q: Did anyone influence you to the point of changing your direction in life?
A: I guess my girlfriend has kind of been influencing me right now. She organized a protest to support the pro-choice movement and dragged me along. I hear there may be another one about food or something coming up next weekend.
Q: Do you have any life goals you’d like to accomplish?
A: I want to find a career and a piece of land in the U.S. and build a house, maybe get married, and probably not have kids. Maybe a few dogs.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: My hobby is washing dishes. Just kidding. I hate doing dishes. But I enjoy skateboarding, snowboarding, cars. I collect good memories.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: I think I reread The Outsiders. It’s a good book.
Q: What subject do you wish you knew more about?
A: English – my girlfriend corrects my grammar all the time. Politics, I’m pretty bad at knowing what’s going on. We don’t have TV, so I don’t watch the news.
Q: What is the one thing you would not give up?
A; My freedom. The freedom to be me, and do what I want.
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: Watch my niece for a month so my mom could spend time with her brother before he passed away.
Q: Are you a parent or do you want to have children?
A: I don’t have any, and I don’t really want any.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your day?
A: I have a lot of issues with my back, so it’s constantly hurting. I’m a little insecure about the hunch in my back, though my girlfriend tells me it’s not that bad or noticeable, but I definitely see people stare at me, though.
Q: What would you like people to know about you?
A: Just because my back is messed up doesn’t mean that I’m not a real person.
Q: Last day on earth, what would you do and with whom?
A: I’d go snowboarding. And then have some beers. Then stargaze with my girlfriend. I guess she can come snowboarding, too.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: Being alone.
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, whom would you most like to see?
A: Probably my uncle who passed away nearly two years ago.
Q: Any regrets?
A: Being friends with the wrong people, and trusting the wrong people.
Q: What was the best memory this interview brought back?
A: My whole childhood, remembering where I lived and how I learned to skate and snowboard. It was a good time.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: With a good career, in a house, with the love of my life … or a dog.