Benedict (Ben) Stadelmaier’s mom used to pack him, his two brothers and two sisters into a Volkswagen bus and make the long but memorable ride from Binghamton, New York, to West Falmouth to visit his grandmother. Those trips were formative. They were impactful. He developed a love of the ocean and a love of Falmouth that became woven into his identity. Years later, with the memory of those trips as a foundation for his adult outlook on life and on leisure, he was working on a job in Boston with a friend who owned a sailboat in Falmouth. He invited Ben to “come down.” Ben came. He never left.
Ben has built a life for himself and his daughter Rosie around what he calls the “healing waters” of Buzzards Bay and beyond. Now, through his artistic expression on canvas and on the ocean, he is giving back. “So many great things have been presented to me. I love the locals here. I’ve met lots of people here. Now I want to give back.” Ben’s giving back comes in many forms. He is creating art and sharing it with others. He is also sharing his love of the water by teaching others how to navigate it.
Ben’s love of those healing waters has brought him many adventures and many lessons. Back in 2002, he was living in a house on the waters of Buzzards Bay and wanted to simply “have some fun with Rosie.” He took some kite sailing lessons and fell in love. He has now sailed more than 1,000 times, from Scotland to the Hamptons to Wellfleet to Rhode Island, and of course, in the healing waters of Buzzards Bay. On any given summer afternoon, a handful to dozens of observers can be seen in the parking lot of Chapaquoit Beach watching Ben and other kite sailing aficionados as they gleam and glide, flip and fly high over the West Falmouth waters. He has developed many friendships and loves getting soaked by those healing waves.
Kite sailing is not Ben’s only on-water talent and passion. He took up paddleboarding on a whim and won his first race. In five-foot swells, he navigated the surf from Martha’s Vineyard to Falmouth and hasn’t stopped since. But like most of his passions, Ben wants to share what he’s learned. Later this year, he intends to teach paddle boarding to veterans to introduce them to the healing waters and to help them heal from wounds—both physical and psychological. He is in contact with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to help find interested participants, but invites others to contact him at: email@example.com if they know of a veteran who would like to join Ben on a paddleboard.
Even when Ben isn’t soaring above the waves or paddling on them, he is working the water. He recently began working at the Steamship Authority, and “absolutely loves it.” It’s another way to be near the healing waters and another way to offer service to others. Given his passions, he has found the perfect job.
And Ben’s creative passions don’t end when he steps off the sand. He has recently begun pursuit of a new passion, creating art with epoxy resin with some amazing results. But this passion is also part of his plan to give back. Ben intends to share a portion of the proceeds from any painting he sells to local charities that support veterans and those who help feed our friends and neighbors like the Falmouth Service Center. Virtually everything Ben does, he looks at through the lens of how it is serving his beloved Falmouth and his beloved Falmouthites.
Ben Stadelmaier is living a life in service to others. He is living a life of purpose. He is living a life in and on the healing waters of Buzzards Bay. All of that may not bring him monetary riches, but, in his own words, those efforts are “lucrative on the inside.” Given that outlook, Ben is one of the richest guys I know.
Mr. Clarkson may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @TroyClarkson59