STONEHAM, MA - Since that fateful day seven weeks ago when America's freedom was assaulted and the innocence of a beloved Boston tradition was tainted, Stoneham has pulled together for those it calls its own. And it will do so again on Wednesday, June 12 at the Town Hall through a creative collaboration between Stoneham Library and Haley Booksellers when it brings best-selling author Dennis Lehane to town.
Lehane is the author many bestsellers including Mystic River, and his latest Live By Night which recently received the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Mystery. Lehane, who hails from Boston, said his decision to come to Stoneham to help raise funds for the Stoneham victims of the bombing was a no-brainer.
"We're all trying to pitch in any way we can. It was an easy decision," Lehane told the Independent this week of his decision to work with Dick Haley from Haley Booksellers and Stoneham Library in providing another avenue for people to help the six Stoneham victims of the blast, JP Norden, Paul Norden, Marc Fucarile, Jarrod Clowery, Jacqui Webb and James Costello.
Bringing authors to their readers is what Haley does for a living. His family-owned book promotion business, Haley Booksellers, strives to put books into readers hands at venues appropriate to the book, such as ball parks, barrooms, conventions and charity events. Haley knew what a great treat it would for the town he called home for many years to hear Lehane speak, and he also knew he was determined to help the Stoneham victims.
"I saw the films everyone else saw. I wondered if I was there, would I have run toward the victims to help?"
Haley ran Boston many times in years past, and while he did not attend the Marathon this year, his son Jesse and his daughter Elizabeth, both Stoneham High School graduates, along with his 3 year-old grandson Declan, did
go. Fortunately none of the were hurt in the bombings. His niece Jennifer was a volunteer nurse at the finish line tents and found herself doing a lot more than bandaging blisters and hydrating worn runners as she had expected.
"I wondered what could I do to help. I sell books. I set up book events. I thought I could do something in Stoneham. And I wanted to try to bring someone big. I thought of Dennis."
Investigative Reporter for Chanel 7 and mystery writer Hank Phillippe Ryan will be on hand to introduce Lehane.
As evidenced by the success of Stoneham Library's popular author nights, Stoneham certainly loves a good book and an inspiring author. Hailey contacted May Forkin at the library and, along with Lehane, are putting the finishing touches on a great night for an even greater cause. All proceeds from ticket and book sales will go directly to the Stoneham Marathon Victims Fund.
Harper Colling has donated copies of Lehane's latest book, Live By Night, and Haley Booksellers is donating copies of some of Lehanes previous works for sale that evening.
The cause is a personal one for the Dorchester-bred Lehane who was sitting at home just two miles from the Marathon finish line that day.
"This was the other shoe we've been waiting to drop," he said of his initial reaction to bombings. He looks forward to coming to speak in Stoneham. Exactly what he will speak of is game-day decision he said, but gaurantees it will be a good time.
"I get a lot of joy from meeting people who enjoy my books. It's cool."
The event will take place at Stoneham Town Hall, 35 Central Street, at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 12. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Stoneham Libary (781-438-1324) or online at HaleyBooksellers.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
"Come out," Lehane urges Stoneham. "We'll have lots of laughs. We'll have fun. I always put on a great show."
© The Stoneham Independent