Reviews ...

"Epic Cures"

... local writer has something to say

Review by Freeman Frank

Tom Sheehan writes stories for us and about us. "Epic Cures," spans six decades, from Pearl Harbor to the dawn of our new century. It is comic, lyric, democratic; most of all it is insightful. Its pages brim with names, faces, nationalities of both genders and all ages: fisher-folk, carpenters, teachers, servicemen, truck drivers, card sharks, icemen, dairymen, plainclothesmen, cops on the beat, bankers, farmwomen, an undertaker, a child molester, a coalman, a blind man, and more.

Clearly Sheehan wants us to be, as he is, well acquainted with them all. Saugus, Massachusetts -- muscled, polyglot, blue-collar -- is Sheehan’s Winesburg, Tilbury Town, and Main Street -- populated by few out-and-out heroes, villains, or fools, they are “people-people,” who avoid extremism in politics and religion. Even their sex is mainstream, sometimes illicit, rarely kinky.

The causes they champion are local athletic teams, their men in the armed-services, and by God, Saugus itself. Some of them, not all, know days of hard work, nights of carousing. No, they aren’t all lovable -- but read, and re-read, this little book -- they are all well worth knowing. Fun, and deep.

About Tom Sheehan

Sheehan is a 1947 graduate of Saugus High School and Boston College, class of 1956; between high school and college, he saw combat in the Korean War in the 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Division, 1950-1952. A successful published author of many books -- of poems, short stories, memoirs and mysteries -- Mr. Sheehan is well known in Greater Boston and New England literary circles. He has co-edited two books on Saugus history and nostalgia, written books as fundraisers for Saugus High football and S.A.V.E, an environmental organization, coached in Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, Pop Warner and Youth Hockey teams, was an officer in Saugus Youth Hockey and the Board of Governors of Kasabuski Arena, directed Pop Warner football, and served as an assistant scoutmaster for 11 years.

He was inducted into the Saugus High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 for his participation in football, hockey and baseball. He played against Melrose in 1943 and 1944 and can quote Ernie DeRosa's lead paragraph in the Globe's sports pages the day after the 1941 Melrose-Saugus game, which helped drive him to writing and football.

He has five children and has been married to Beth Rooney of Belmont for 35 years. In the past three years he has visited five comrades he has not seen since Korea in 1951.

November 3, 2006

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