By Ginni Spencer
On the eve of yet another snow storm, the Friends of the Library welcomed Ted Reinstein, longtime host of the popular “Chronicle” series seen nightly on WCVB-TV. Reinstein is also the author of New England Notebook: One Reporter, Six States, Uncommon Stories which recounts some of his favorite stories and profiles a number of the people he met while traveling the region in search of material for the show. Published in May 2013 by Globe Pequot Press, National Geographic Traveler dubbed it one of “The Best Travel Books of Spring”.
Reinstein is an animated speaker, revealing that he has lost none of his enthusiasm over the almost 20 years he has been associated with “Chronicle” as reporter, producer, and occasional anchor man. Some stories are generated by suggestions mailed or emailed to him, others by having his curiosity aroused by something he sees or hears in his travels – like wondering why someone would have a WW II Sherman tank with flowers growing out of it sitting in their driveway (true story). He described his approach to people who might be candidates for the show as straightforward: a knock on the door, an establishing of credentials, and then a friendly challenge. “Tell me about yourself (or that tank in your driveway). I’d love to hear about it and tell others about it.”
The book culls out episodes that he found particularly meaningful and resonated with viewers. He cited a few of them which may be familiar to regular watchers of the show: the hilarious electoral adventures of Fred Tuttle, beloved Vermont dairyman who ran against incumbent senator Patrick Lahey and lost in the wake of Fred’s heart-felt endorsement of his opponent; a follow-up on Wray Gunn, now living in Stockbridge, who as a young teen-ager posed for what turned out to be one of Norman Rockwell’s most controversial Life magazine covers; and the moving story of a young woman from New Bedford who worked to get her life back on track by becoming a licensed mason. Each story was colorful and filled with vivid detail, providing some clues for the long-term success of “Chronicle” as the nation’s longest-running locally produced TV news magazine.
Mr. Reinstein signed copies of his book at the conclusion of his remarks.
The event is available on video thanks to Bedford TV. Click below to watch!