Book sparks village reunion

The Jim and Dan Stories by Colleen Redman

Colleen Redman began writing The Jim and Dan Stories as a way to manage her grief after two of her five brothers died a month apart in the summer of 2001. She recorded her recollections of Jim and Dan, the rest of her Irish Catholic family of 11, and the years they spent in the tightly knit Hull Village, Massachusetts, in the 1950s and 60s.

When her book was published, others saw some of their own childhoods in Redman’s descriptions of old coastal forts and bunkers, swimming off the jetty, sledding in the cemetery, riding makeshift skateboards down Telegraph Hill. It’s a memoir of Hull Village, a simple life, a simple place.

Jim or Dan friends

Such tucked-away memories triggered plans for a village reunion. Redman, who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, says she’s received lots of emails that start, “You probably don’t remember me, but …” Many of these were from friends Jim or Dan grew up with.

The reunion was planned for Memorial Day (so it would be easy to remember), with a small parade ending at the playground where there was a reunion picnic.

From a story by Christine Wallgren, Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts.