Deaths Not Forgotten

How cruel the calendar can be as we get ready to celebrate the connections to family friends at Christmas while trying at the same time to deal with the news of the deaths of two young Falmouth high school athletes. From what we can read, these were two outstanding teenagers. Skilled athletes and leaders in the classroom, their potential seemed unlimited.  And now they are gone. Fate has written a tragedy in the sudden ending of such promising lives. As is so often the case when death visits itself on a young person, all of his friends have gathered to support each other and mourn together. It is right that they should do this. For most of them it is the first taste of mortality, a sobering awareness that nothing is guaranteed. They embrace and sob in collective sorrow, vowing that they will always remember the two that left the world far too soon. And I believe that even over the long passage of time they never will forget them.
I don’t recall any of my schoolmates dying when I was in school.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to leave a sports practice and learn later that night that someone that I was close to, a teammate, had been killed in a car crash.  We believed then that we were invulnerable, armored as we were with the naïve optimism of youth.
A couple of years after I left high school, the younger brother of one of the girls who was part of our teenage crowd, drowned in Dennis Pond.  It was a shock and I remember going to the funeral. Donald Gibson was young enough to have been a nuisance to us when we had parties at his sister’s house.  We’d give him money go to the store and leave us alone.  He was a good kid and had his whole future ahead of him when he died. He was his parents only son and I think it broke them. The funeral was gut wrenching. I never saw Donald’s sister after that. But even though I didn’t knew him all that well and it’s been more than a half century, I made it a point to never forget Donald Gibson.  And I never have.


Sears Point is Jim Coogan’s first novel. Set in Brewster on Cape Cod, Sears Point is the story of how a small community is affected by inevitable change. A century of history is covered in Sears Point beginning in 1907. Follow Washington Foster Sears as he lives through the challenges of economic, social, and political changes in the town of his birth. Available in bookshops and stores across Cape Cod after November 12, 2016.

Traveling Man

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Clarence and Anna

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move.”   Robert Louis Stevenson
In a few days I’m headed off on a trip that will take me across the country. Fifty years ago I made the same trip in a Volkswagen bug.  At the time I’d never been further west than Worcester.  Since then, I’ve crossed the country several times but always with deadlines and obligations that really didn’t let me look with any detail at the places that I was passing through.  This time I’m going with no set schedule.  If I want to stop and get a closer look at something, I’ll do it.  I’ll be on secondary routes, “blue roads” as some have called them.  Small towns and rural communities will be the focus as  I “dipstick” the people in various parts of the country.  I want to hear what they are thinking as to where we are heading as a people.  Mom and Pop breakfast places will be regular stops. If there’s a ham and bean supper in a community on a Saturday night, I’ll be there–maybe even some Karaoke singing in some small town bar room.  It will be a blend of Jack Kerouac and Charles Kuralt.
No VW bug this time.  I’ve got a 26 ft. motor home for comfort.  I’ll be blogging the trip and you can access it by going to the Harvest Home Books  website ( and hitting the “blog” button. It should also show up on the Clarence the Cranberry Facebook account.  I’ll be off the grid in some places so the blogs will be when I can get a connection.

Moving on

After seventeen years as a Cape Cod Times columnist, I’ve decided to step away from the weekly routine of deadline writing.  It’s been a good run and I’ve enjoyed having the latit…

Source: Moving on

Moving on

After seventeen years as a Cape Cod Times columnist, I’ve decided to step away from the weekly routine of deadline writing.  It’s been a good run and I’ve enjoyed having the latitude to write on just about any topic of my choice. I’ve been lucky.  The only requirement given to me by the Times was to be concise and accurate.  Along the way, I’ve met and corresponded with a number of people–some who agreed with me and some that did not.  It’s all part of being someone who is willing to publicly take a position on an issue.  I never minded the criticism because it often made me take a closer look at where I stood.  I took it as a means of growth. As for the friends I’ve made among readers, I will miss them.  I’ve got some adventures in mind and a few dreams still unfulfilled.  Beginning tomorrow, the next phase will begin. I don’t plan to sit in a rocking chair and as I travel and move in new directions, I’ll use this blog to let you know what I’m doing.  Thanks for being out there!!Winter storm 2015 007

Children’s Writing Program

On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, Jim Coogan and Dean Coe will be offering a children’s writing workshop at the Sandwich Public Library from 10:00 a.m. to noon.  Young writers will explore weaving characters into plots and illustrating their stories.  A professional artist will assist the two authors in helping the children to write a short story with pictures.  The workshop is currently fully subscribed but there will be a second one on Tuesday, March 1st.  Contact the Sandwich Library to sign up.   Dean Coe is the author of the popular Chesterton the weasel series.  Jim Coogan is the author of Clarence the Cranberry who Couldn’t Bounce and Cecelia the Seal Gets a Meal.