Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story of Friendship

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Rowman & Littlefield, May 3, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
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A journey of whim, humor, and self-discovery along the Connecticut River


When retired CEO Ramsay Peard, 61, called his old friend David Morine, 59, and asked the longtime conservationist if he wanted to canoe the Connecticut River,  Morine said he’d do it under one condition: no camping. “We’ll rely on the kindness of strangers.”


And that’s what they did. Mooching their way down the river and staying with strangers every night, Morine and Peard got an inside look at such issues as the demise of farming, the loss of manufacturing, gay rights, and Wal-Mart versus Main Street, and they were able to delve deep into the lives of complete strangers. But Morine soon realized the one life he never dug into was Peard’s. After spending a month with him in a canoe, he had no idea that his friend’s innermost thoughts had taken a fateful course.


Written in the tradition of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods,this book will be treasured by conservationists, canoeists,  and old friends still seeking a thrill. Everyone else will be delightfully entertained.


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User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

This was an interesting book about two men, 61 year old Ramsay Peard, and his old friend David Morine, 59. One day Dave gets a call from Ramsey asking him if he wanted to canoe down the Connecticut ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Dave Morine is a native of the greater Boston area. He graduated from Amherst College in 1966 and earned an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia in 1969. From 1972 to 1990, he was the head of land acquisition for The Nature Conservancy, a major conservation organization. Morine left the Conservancy in 1990 and has been writing ever since.

            GOOD DIRT: Confessions of a Conservationist (Globe Pequot Press, 1990; Ballantine paperback, 1993) was his first book, followed by The Class Choregus (North Atlantic Books, 1993).  Next came PIT BULL: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Trader (with Martin Schwartz and Paul Flint, Harper Business, 1998;  Harper Perennial paperback, 1999), then  VACATIONLAND: A Half Century Summering in Maine (DownEast Books, 2001), and most recently, SMALL CLAIMS: My Little Trials in Life (DownEast Books, June, 2003).

            In addition to his books, Morine has contributed stories to Love of Labs (Voyageur Press, 1997), Love of Goldens (Voyageur Press, 1998), and Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan’s Soul (Health Communications, Inc., 2001).  Articles, mostly about his work in conservation, have appeared in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, DownEast, Field & Stream, Range, and American Forests. The New York Times once described Morine’s stories as “embarrassing, hilarious and unpredictable.” These same adjectives could be used to describe Paddles with a Stranger, but with a dark undercurrent; Morine never expected to be dealing with suicide.

            All of Morine’s writing has been done with Paul Flint. Like Morine, Flint is a native of the greater Boston area, graduated from Amherst, and earned his MBA from Darden. After twenty years as a lawyer for The Nature Conservancy, Flint currently is working with long-term care insurance.

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