Jason Alan Martin was born in north Philly. "I live near Reading now," Jason says. "Some people call me 'Jam,' mostly my friends."
Asked if he gets into jams, he said "sometimes, mostly raspberry." This light heart and innocence is only part of the charm of
Jason. His interests are many and ever-growing.
His Mom died when he was about nine, and that has been very difficult for him and his Dad. Jason "doesn't like to talk about it that much." He lives with his grandmother, Jean, and grandfather, Ed, and has for several years. Jason likes to play racing video games with his grandma and usually beats her, he said.
He said his earliest important memory is getting his first electric-powered all-terrain vehicle when he was about four.
"It had little tiny plastic wheels and was white and purple," Jason said.
An admitted motorhead, Jason "loves cars, speed and power," and given the choice of a canoe or a motor boat said he would opt for the motor.
His dream car is a black and red Bugatti, which, according to Jason, is the fastest street-legal car around. He figures that if he were to buy one it would cost him $7,000 a month in interest for a long time. According to their Web page, "If you want a car with over 1,001
horsepower and have one-an-a-quarter-million dollars to burn,
the Bugatti Veyron may be for you." Obviously, 12-year-old Jason has big dreams.
The other side of Jason is that of a budding environmentalist. He is
very worried about global warming, the loss of the rain forest, the
melting of the polar ice caps and the rising of the sea levels. He says
that these are the most important issues of the day, but he and his
friends don't talk much about it.
Asked how he squares his love of big motors with his big worries about the planet being crippled by overconsumption, Jason said, "nobody is perfect" and cheerfully accepts the dichotomy. He does, however, think that each person can make some difference and that there is hope for the future.
The best advice he has been given lately is "not to lie, because if you do, no one will ever believe you. It is a bad habit," said Jason, who recalls the Aesop Fable of the "Little Boy Who Cried Wolf" as a good example of what happens when someone lies too much.
Being an extremely easy person to get to know, Jason seems to be
immediately at home with people of any age or gender; he might be
seen around Saranac Lake helping a gray-haired friend in a garden or
canoeing or biking with kids his own age. Jason is up for just about
any activity on offer.
This year, his Aunt Gloria let him take his first solo bike trip to
the beach, which proved to be rather exciting. Not having heard the weather forecast, she let Jason go from their home in Lake Clear to the beach down the road about two and a half miles away. No sooner had Jason begun his trek when the storm, that some people swear was a tornado, blew in. "Trees were falling down around me and sand was being kicked up into my face and I was very scared," Jason said.
It hit with such forceful winds that Jason said he could hardly see. Some men working across the road from where he was shouted for him to take cover and so he turned around and peddled to the airport and his uncle Arnie.
"I have been coming up here for about six years since my aunt 'Glor' and uncle Arnie moved up," said Jason, who likes coming to Saranac Lake for a lot of reasons, mostly because "it feels great getting away from all my troubles, stuff down at home, like school and teachers," said Jason.
Jason hasn't liked school very much, but recently, according to his proud aunt Gloria, improved his grades so much that he made the Merit List. Last year, he entered middle school and said he feels more grown-up having his own locker and different teachers throughout the day.
Jason would like to see some things taught in school that might make it more interesting, such as film studies. He likes movies for the story and the technical aspects.
His favorite types of movies are action (especially comic strip characters) and horror.
"I went to see the Incredible Hulk in Lake Placid last night; it was awesome," Jason said. "I liked the details, like the way the Hulk looks with his bones popping out. The animation was great. I liked the movement, facial expressions, and how he grows from a man to the Hulk and then changes back again."
Saranac Lake means vacation and outdoor adventure to Jason, since he spends some of his holidays here. In some of the past summers, Jason has gone to the day camp in Saranac Lake, where he met kids and made friends.
"But this year I am going to Camp Regis Applejack for two
weeks - it is really cool," said Jason. "You can do a lot of
activities like canoeing, water skiing, lacrosse and football. I will
be away for two weeks and I am thinking about making new friends."
His favorite foods are pizza from Little Italy and ice cream from Donnelly's. "And I like anything my aunt 'Glor' makes, but she usually doesn't cook. Arnie is a very good cook and sometimes I help. At Thanksgiving, I made cranberry sauce," said Jason.
Jason's aunt Gloria is very careful of what he eats, taking special care that he has a healthy diet. "Sometime I ask her not to
embarrass me by asking people what the ingredients are in the food when we eat out," said Jason, "but she still does."
Winter is his favorite time to come to Saranac Lake because of all the snow. He goes skiing and tubing at Mt. Pisgah.
And his most rewarding time at home is when he is winning at a football game. He will start playing on his school's football team this August and hopes to be a running back. He said he would love to be a professional football player if he could.
"I would have to go to college and have good grades," said Jason, who will have to keep his grades up now to stay on the school team.
He says that he would probably study computer stuff at college
since he is pretty good at it. If he doesn't become a professional football player, he thinks that a good second-choice career might be an auto mechanic like his uncle Shawn.
Jason is eclectic in his taste in music; he likes rock and rap but
doesn't really listen to the lyrics that much. What is important to him is the beat.
When time permits, he is a reader of books while in Saranac Lake and has started reading science fiction this year.
Currently Jason is reading "The Dead" by Michael Swanwick, which is about "a bunch of zombies," Jason said.
Asked if there is anything he would change in his life, Jason said, "No, I like my life the way it is now."