043009-oprah

Frenchboro Segment Airs Wednesday on Oprah



FRENCHBORO—A segment on the island community of Frenchboro is scheduled to air on the Oprah Winfrey Show at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 on WABI television, channel 5.

A crew from the Oprah Winfrey Show visited Frenchboro last month to videotape footage for the segment. Three days later, almost all of the town’s 38 year-round residents gathered at the elementary school for a videoconference with Ms. Winfrey herself.

The Frenchboro segment will be one of several stories focusing on people who live in exceptional places, said Angela DePaul of Harpo Productions, Ms. Winfrey’s production company. Field producer Rita Thompson visited the island community about 15 years ago and suggested the town would be ideal for the series. Others at Harpo Productions agreed.

“Our producers were charmed by the story of Frenchboro,” Ms. DePaul said.

A date for the segment to air has not been set. It is expected to be about 15 minutes long.

Ms. Thompson and her production crew arrived on Frenchboro on Tuesday, March 17. Their first stop was the Frenchboro Elementary School, a K-8 school with 11 students and two teachers.

“They interviewed the kids about life on the island,” said Doug Finn, who along with his wife, Michelle, teaches at the school.

The crew then went out into the community, conducting more interviews and filming at scenic locations on the island. That evening, before leaving for the mainland, the crew filmed and spoke with people attending a community dinner, Mr. Finn said.

On Friday, March 20, about 30 people gathered in the school gymnasium to conduct a videoconference with Ms. Winfrey. Ms. Winfrey spoke to several residents, asking them about living on a remote island with no stores or other amenities found in most towns, Mr. Finn said.

Lance Bishop, who is in the eighth grade, was asked about being the only 14-year-old on the island. The young man admitted the situation had some drawbacks, Ms. Finn said.

Not everyone was excited about the opportunity to chat with Ms. Winfrey.

“One little boy fell asleep waiting,” Ms. Finn said. “It was actually kind of funny.”

The attention from the television show was unexpected, Mr. Finn said. The town learned of the visit about two weeks ago.

“Within a week, they were out here,” Mr. Finn said.

Frenchboro is primarily a fishing community and located about eight miles from Mount Desert Island. Although the village is located on Long Island, the town actually consists of 12 islands. Ferry service to Long Island from the Bass Harbor Ferry Terminal in Tremont is limited. The trip takes about 50 minutes.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]