What could be more fun than sailing with the authorities, namely police and prosecutors? Trish and Joe Froelich joined Jean and Art Hall for an afternoon of smooth sailing on the York River in rising breezes.

Sailing with the authoritiesOnce out of the channel and on the water, Trish was confronted by her childhood. “When I was a little girl, 5 or 6 years old, I remember sailing in Long Island Sound in dinghy. I kept thinking every time that the boat hit the waves that we were hitting rocks. ‘We’re going to die!’ I cried. ‘Let’s go home!’ My older brothers thought it was funny, but I didn’t.”

‘Law and Order’

Trish just retired as a prosecutor for the State of Connecticut. I asked if she watched “Law and Order” and she said no. “My parents watch it 24/7 and will call me up to ask, ‘What is exculpatory evidence?’ Or they’ll want to know why they won’t prosecute if all they have is probable cause. When I go to visit them and the show is on, I holler ‘Objection!’”

Sailing with the authoritiesJoe and Trish have sailed on a big Windstar ship, which they liked. “The only time it was scary was leaving Barbados. Right away we got into some very rough seas. They have a swim platform on the back, which is where they put out the kayaks. We were bouncing around trying to get that done.”

She’s more scared of alligators. “My girlfriend in South Carolina asked me to go kayaking and I insisted there be no alligators. She said okay. We got out there and she said, ‘Now over there is where the alligators have been seen.’ I turned around and paddled away as fast as I could.”

Local history pictorial

Joe is a retired police officer who has worked with the Connecticut State Police and other jurisdictions. He became a consultant and has taken Trish to Hawaii for work there. He’s also a writer. “I’m the town historian for Willington, and they asked me to produce a photo history for Arcadia Books. They have 8,000 titles all over America. We did it as a fundraiser for the town.”

Sailing with the authoritiesIt’s brutal work, full of dates and data in tightly written photo captions. “They have extensive rules and regulations. We’re not allowed any creativity. It’s not great writing, but it documents the town. We had to track down most of the photos and do extensive research on each one. One photo from the early 1900s was very poignant, and woman said, ‘That’s my father!’ Well, we checked it out and it wasn’t her father, so we couldn’t use the picture.

“Afterward people came up and said, ‘Oh we didn’t know you were really going to do the book. I have pictures you could have used.” Groan. “At the book signing, a man came up to me and said, ‘I found an error.’ He was pretty proud of himself. It wasn’t an error, but he misread one caption as going to another picture. In the vetting process with Arcadia, they came back with only three corrections. Two actually, because the third was a fact they challenged that we had right.”

“Then we had six months to complete the project, and that included tracking down the photos. On the last weekend, we had tickets to ‘Miss Saigon’ in Hartford on Sunday and had to give them up to friends. We finished at 1 in the morning and shipped the photos and text Monday morning. We made our deadline.”

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