Ferry Story Highlight Of New Book By Local Authors
Two authors of a new children’s book set on the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry will be holding an event on Sunday.
At 2 p.m. the authors of “Fairies on the Ferry” will be at the Stow landing to talk about their story and sign copies of the book. The public is welcome to attend and meet some of the characters in the book and to share their own stories of what the ferry means to them.
The book was written by Jay Kuntz and Chris Flanders. Kuntz said the two decided to write a book on the iconic ferry as it was inspired by a story of a young girl.
“The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry is all about stories,” Kuntz said. “I heard a story that really resonated with me about a young girl who came to the ferry and was disappointed because she expected to see fairies and magical creatures and there were none. So, I talked with (Flanders) who is a published author and we decided to write that story and give it a happier ending than a little girl being disappointed.”
Another big part of the book is the fact that instead of illustrations, the two went with actual photos to tell the story. They brought in photographers and young women in the community that were willing to come in and help be fairies for the book. Kuntz said it was a collaborative effort by everyone, and they came together to take photographs on the ferry until their day was shortened by rain.
Kuntz said the Bemus Point Ferry is important to him and important for people to know about in ways such as the book, because it is a part of local history.
“It’s an active part of history and has been active for 212 years,” Kuntz said. “Keeping history active is important, because when you lose history it goes away.”
Additionally, Kuntz said the ferry has historically been important for families and connections across not only Western New York, but the United States. It first began running in 1811, back when the U.S. was a new country and was important for agricultural development and passing people on that were headed west. Such trips still go on today, including such things as field trips which allow elementary children to touch base with their history.
At the event, Kuntz hopes people will come to share their own stories.
“I hope the imagination of a child which inspired this story will inspire people,” Kuntz said. “People will get to learn how a book comes together and learn more about the Ferry. They will walk away with a neat story and maybe have one of their own.”
Kuntz hopes people will come to see the story about the ferry, and to also make it a part of the legacy of the Ferry. They will be able to look at and talk about their own stories surrounding the Ferry and take part in keeping history alive.
The event is also important because it brings awareness to how the Bemus Point Ferry is still a vital part of the region, according to Kuntz.
“It is still a vital part of the region, it is just not advertised very much,” Kuntz said. “The main focus is to just engage with the community and have a way to talk to the community about the historical significance of the ferry.”
“Fairies on the Ferry” will be available for purchase at the event, along with postcards, stickers and refrigerator magnets. All proceeds go towards keeping the ferry running, as the ferry is completely volunteer run.
“It’s important that people understand that the ferry is operated by volunteers who do it because they think it’s important,” Kuntz said. “The book is an opportunity to keep the memories active and inspire young people to keep a place in their memories for the ferry.”