Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Gala Writers' Reception

Ruth Demarest-Godfrey, Idora Tucker, Nancy Rice.

The reception at the Vermont Folklife Center on Saturday was a blast. With over 100 guests attending, the place was packed. Many of the visitors were from the Randolph area, and many had donated to our project through Kickstarter and other venues. The day was sunny and bright, and the drive over the hills to Middlebury spectacular. I had a surprise for each of the writers: an advance copy of our new book, The Hale Street Gang: In Cahoots. The book is now available via To order it, click on the title (above); it will zip you to Amazon's "E-store." Bud and Bella's Bookshop in Randolph will also have copies later this month; I ordered them this morning, but shipping is slow (they are due to arrive on October 28.) The list price is $16. I am really proud of this book, which is a true collaboration, the result of two years' work at the Randolph Senior Center with our memoir-writing groups.

Sara Tucker and some of the gang, at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury.

The writers had no idea the book had arrived, so it really was a complete surprise. The back cover reads: "Meet the Hale Street Gang, twelve senior citizens who gather every week in the village of Randolph, Vermont, to share their life stories. Most are in their eighties; the eldest is ninety-nine. Their clubhouse is the senior center, an elderly mansion in a fringy neighborhood south of the railroad tracks. Together, they weave a rich, lively, and intensely personal tale of twentieth-century America, its nexus a small town nestled in the Green Mountains."

My favorite part of the program was sitting and listening to the music of Beth Telford and Jim Green, who came over from Braintree and Randolph to play for us. I hope we can talk them into doing the same when the exhibit opens at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph in February. At least they won't have to drive so far.


Mimi Arnstein said...

I loved reading about the work of the Hale Street Gang in Seven Days. I have been part of a memoir writing/reading group too, and found the experience a long term inspiration. This group, called Herstory, based in Long Island, has developed some teaching tools for group leaders that you might find interesting. Herstory has gone on to work with memoir writers in prison, with immigrants, and young girls as well. You can check them out at
Keep doing what you do and tell those stories!!

Sara Tucker said...

Thanks, Mimi. Herstory looks like a good model for us as we begin to expand our program. I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about it.