Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,185 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Meghan Trainor Cancels Concerts, on 'Complete Vocal Rest' Due to Vocal Cord Hemorrhage
- Read the Cover Story: Growing Up Kennedy!
Exclusive Family Photos from White House Nanny
- Tracy Morgan Visits Disney World as He Celebrates Daughter's Birthday
- Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner on Family Vacation After After Announcing Divorce
- Sean 'Diddy' Combs Won't Face Felony Charges Over UCLA Scuffle
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 18, 1994
- Vol. 42
- No. 3
The Wish to Fish
Thanks to Joan Stoliar, Handicapped Anglers Enter the Mainstream
Joan Stoliar, according to Ellis, is "the guardian angel of disabled fly fishermen." An avid angler herself, Stoliar is the heart and mind behind Project Access, a volunteer effort to groom trails and build access ramps on two blue-ribbon Catskill Mountain trout streams so that impaired or elderly fishermen can get down to the water's edge. "I don't call this charity work—I call this sharing," says Stoliar, a Manhattan book designer, of the project that Trout Unlimited head Charles Gauvin regards as a national model.
Stoliar got the idea for Project Access in 1983, when she shared a day of fishing with David Olsan, 62, an investment adviser who hobbles about on metal crutches. Olsan, who was stricken with polio at 25, had moved to the Catskills from California to be near fishing. The trouble, he discovered, was getting to the water. "Some banks are very steep and the rocks are slippery," says Olsan.
Olsan's travail became Stoliar's cause. Joan enlisted Ed Van Put of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to select access sites on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Rivers that were near good fishing and had both parking and terrain suitable for wheelchairs.
Stoliar got the Cat Hollow Sand and Gravel Co. in Roscoe, N.Y., to donate a mixture of clay, gravel and sand. Then she drafted volunteers, including her husband, Arthur, 67, to carve the switchback paths that provide a gradual descent to the water. "They are not putting these sites just anywhere," says Ellis. "They're putting them where the fish are!"
The sixtysomething Stoliar is mildly disabled herself. She has had arthroscopy on her knees and surfers from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But she hasn't let her medical problems stop her. "You persevere," she says. "What's the alternative?"
Ask Stoliar why she spends so much time on Project Access, and she answers with a story about a group of fishermen from New Jersey who brought a wheelchair-bound friend to see the sites. "I asked the guy in the chair, 'Are you planning on fishing?' He said, 'No, this is the first time I've been out since my accident.' He had been in an explosion. Later, it dawned on me that his friends were trying to help him realize there is life after an accident."
Has Stoliar run into any resistance to Project Access? "Only one comment," she says. "A man at a Theodore Gordon Flyfishers meeting told me, 'I believe when you can't fish anymore, you shouldn't do it.' But another man overheard him and said defiantly, 'I'd die if I couldn't fish.' "
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!