Writing a local column has turned out to be a great way to meet some very interesting people. Take today, for example. I just got off the phone with a man named Douglas Brooks, who has devoted his life to the craft and history of small wooden boatbuilding.

You'll have a chance to meet Douglas Brooks and learn about the rich history of Lake Champlain ferries (including our own ferry at Barber's Point) on Sunday, April 3, at 3 p.m., when he and Westport resident Jim Bullard will give a multi-media presentation at the Westport Heritage House entitled "Forgotten Ferries of Lake Champlain." The talk, which features lots of photos and maps, is brought to you by the Westport Historical Society. I've heard we can expect similar collaborations between the society and the Heritage House in the future.

Doug and Jim (who used to own and operate the ferry at Ti) have already given this presentation in Ti and Lake Placid, and both times the turnout was heavy. In fact, they're already getting inquiries from people who've heard about their upcoming appearance here and are interested in having them come and repeat the performance elsewhere. One thing that makes it especially interesting is that when they give their talk there are generally people in the audience with a personal connection to the ferries and people who appear in the photos. I'm looking forward to hearing what our own local experts have to contribute.

I also met a very smart man named Richard Aberle recently, who teaches English at SUNY Plattsburgh. He will be giving a lecture entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It? The Love of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Love" at the Wadhams Free Library on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. Richard did his doctoral work at Berkeley and McGill and is working on a book about modernist rhetoric and the poetry of Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens.

Both of these fascinating presentations are free. I'm thinking, maybe we should combine them a double feature. We could call it The Love Boat. Sorry, folks.

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