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Friends and family of the late Ted Riehle recently gathered on his beloved Savage Island for a final salute to the author of Vermont's anti-billboard law. The event had Riehle written all over it, from the sanctioned skinny dipping to the ash-sprinkling fly-over. The celebration was dubbed, appropriately, "Spread Ted."

They just don't make em like "Big Ted" anymore — an eccentric, nudist Republican who was living off the grid way before the term "energy-efficient" was coined. I got to know Riehle while I was profiling him for Seven Days. He was a compelling "subject" who quickly became a friend. Here's my initial take on him.

My final take: He would have appreciated the stunt factor of being released from a plane — Riehle was a pilot — along the west coast of Savage on a beautiful summer day.

Photo by Matthew Thorsen.

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