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Osher’s Next Program Covers Covered Bridges

Springfield, Vt. — Bridges, bumblebees and balladeers are among the topics of this season’s Osher series. The next program, “Lost Covered Bridges of the Connecticut River Valley,” is set for Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., at the Nolin Murray Center on Pleasant Street in Springfield, Vt.

A century and a half ago, Vermont and New Hampshire were home to about a thousand covered bridges. Over the years, 85 percent of them have been lost to fires, floods, progress and neglect. The great flood of November 1927 swept away a third of Vermont’s covered bridges, along with hundreds of homes, barns and businesses, according to a news release from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Bill Caswell, who has visited most of the standing covered bridges in the United States and Canada and is the author of several illustrated books about covered bridges, will share stories and historic photographs from the archives of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges and private collections. His talk will be tailored to the history of covered bridges in the Connecticut River Valley. Caswell is assistant historian and vice president of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.

In the following program, scheduled for Feb. 26, Marselis Parsons will discuss his experiences conducting interviews for his newsmagazine show Dimension for WCAX TV.

This semester’s schedule also includes Alternative Energy Resources; Woody Guthrie: America’s Balladeer; Bumblebees and Butterflies of Vermont; Roman Influence on English Literature; Thomas Jefferson’s Vermont Vacation; and Beethoven’s Masterpieces.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, affiliated with the University of Vermont, is a local membership program geared toward seniors age 50 and older. Programs are selected with input from local members. The themes, which vary from semester to semester, include history, art, music, literature, nature and current events.

Admission is $8 per lecture or $40 for the semester. More information is available at www.learn.uvm.edu/osher.