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Friends of the Stowe Free Library Focus on: In Our Own Backyard

2019 Fall Speaker Series 

In Our Own Backyard

Join us for our fabulous lineup of speakers for the fall of 2019 season.  All speakers start at 7pm in the Community Room of the Library.  Free parking is available in front of and behind the Library – enter in the back of the Library after 7pm.  All events are free and open to the public!

Thursday, September 19, 2019 –

Bill Torrey, Vermont Storyteller and Author of “The Ta Ta Weenie Club” 

Bill, a sixth generation Vermont, grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Essex, Vermont enjoying the freedom of the woods and the adventure it supplied.  At sixteen he bought his first chainsaw and began a forty-year career working in the woods of Vermont. Bill wrote a monthly column for Outdoor Magazine for three years and has been published in Northern Woodlands Magazine. After retiring in 2013 he pursued other callings and found oral storytelling to his liking.  Bill has performed on the Moth Main Stage in Boston as well as winning four Moth Story Slams in Burlington, Vermont, three Extempo Storytelling Competitions in Central Vermont and New York's North Country Public Radio's Black Fly Story Slam and thus received the coveted Golden Fly Swatter. He has performed by invitation at Middlebury College, The Marquis Theater, The Latchis Theater, The Flynn Theater and the Vermont Statehouse.

Bills’ book, The Ta Ta Weenie Club, is a collection of twenty-one stories which take place in Vermont during the ’60s and early ’70s, an era before car seats, airbags, and childproof caps. A time and place when a kid could leave the house in the morning to go out and play until dusk with loyal friends and tolerated family. From county fairs and middle school dances, to loving hound dogs, and mean teachers, it was a period where a parent’s authority was the law and was backed up by real means. This humorous story collection reveals life’s lessons that shaped the future of a young man.

Thursday, September 26, 2019 –

Maple Syrup and Maple Syrup Infustions by Runamok Maple 

Curious as to what’s going on with the maple industry these days?  Are you seeing all the new maple flavors available on store shelves?  Come, listen, and even better, taste some of the newest offerings from one of the leaders in the new maple infusions, smoked and barrel aged maple syrups on the market.

Runamok Maple is located in northern Vermont, along the western slopes of Mount Mansfield. Spanning 1,100 acres in Cambridge and 250 acres in Fairfield, the Runamok crew taps 81,000 trees to bring you one of Mother Nature’s most exquisite pleasures: pure maple syrup.

Along with their pure maple syrup, they have created a collection of infused, smoked and barrel-aged maple syrups. Maple marries exceptionally well with a variety of flavors. Some of them are tried and true like cinnamon and vanilla and some are unexpectedly out of this world, like their own original Makrut lime-leaf.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 –

Winter Bird Feeding by The Birds of Vermont Museum

Vermont in winter: cold, muddy, slushy, icy, snowy. But there are still birds! Which ones? How come? What do they eat? How do they shelter from the weather? And how can you get involved?

The Birds of Vermont Museum, located in Huntington, Vermont has a mission is to provide education, to nurture an appreciation of the environment, and to study birds and their habitats using woodcarvings and other museum resources.

Tuesday, October 22 -

Peter Zheutlin, Author and Journalist "The Dog Went Over the Mountain: Travels with Albie: An American Journey"

Peter is a freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. He has also written for The Los Angeles Times, Parade Magazine, AARP Magazine and numerous other publications in the U.S. and abroad. He has written the New York Times best-seller, Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway and Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living With Purpose, Loving With Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things. His first book was Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride, the story of his great-grandaunt who, in 1894, left her three young children with her husband in Boston to circle the world on a bicycle and became the world’s first female international sports star in the process.

Peter’s latest book, published in September, is The Dog Went Over the Mountain: Travels with Albie: An American Journey. Inspired by a re-reading of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, he took his first (and oldest) rescue dog on a 9,200-mile odyssey around the United States. The book is the story of that journey.

Before Peter started writing books he practiced law for a few years and taught legal research and writing at the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Virginia Law School. After that he worked for nearly a decade as the Public Affairs Director of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, and was privileged to be part of the IPPNW delegation that traveled to Oslo to receive the prize.

Peter and his wife, Judy, live in Massachusetts with their rescue dogs, Albie, Salina and Jambalaya (Jamba for short), all of whom came from Louisiana. They also have two grown sons.

Leaning into Fall?

We are rebuilding the collection after our Sprinkler Pipe Malfunction... Come and check out our cookbooks, preserving, canning and casseroles! We also have a full travel section so if you are planning a trip stop over the peruse our selection.  We continue to purchase books both new and old to refill our collection; however if there is something that you are looking for please contact us and we can either put it on the list to purchase or retrieve it from another library via interlibrary loan.  Give us a call or email for more information. 


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When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.Clifton Fadiman