Okay, folks. Black Friday has come and gone without a peep from Ten Pound Island Book Co.
No super-duper Black Friday Bargains, no Cyber Monday!!!, no trendy “Must-Buy These!” ads, and most of all, no “Holiday Gift Suggestions.” (I dislike those the most. All greedy holiday advertising is annoying, but these “suggestions” are invasive. How the heck do you have any idea what I want? You don’t even know who I am!)
No sir, none of that from Ten Pound Island. I’ve been banging these blog entries out on a weekly basis for 11 years of Black Fridays, without ever having had a “sale” or making a “suggestion.” Oh, every once in a while I’ll list a rare book or manuscript item, but only because I find it interesting – sometimes I don’t even publish a price because I haven’t figured one out yet. Mostly, “Bookman’s Log” is a history of one person’s engagement in the book trade over an extended period. Maybe it will have historical value, maybe not. Maybe it has no more significance than a prisoner making a notch in a stick for every week of his imprisonment. I dunno…
But now I’m going to put an “ask” on you.
As you may or may not know, my 18-year-old son Galen was killed in a school shooting on December 14, 1992.
Since that time, I’ve been advocating against gun violence – not against guns, but in favor of laws and cultural norms that support gun safety and peaceful conflict resolution. (In a grisly historical coincidence, the Sandy Hook school massacre took place on December 14, 2012, 25 years – to the day – after Galen was killed. This unspeakable, and eminently preventable, catastrophe brought a whole new crop of gun violence prevention advocates onto the scene. We were thankful for their company and support, but sad that any of them had to become members of “The club nobody wants to join.”)
So here’s the ask.
In 1998, we established The Galen Gibson Fund – a state and federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is privately endowed (by you and me, mostly!) and continues to be supported by private and public donations. Since its establishment, the fund has contributed to local educational initiatives, to community and faith-based groups that work with victims of gun violence, to organizations that promote commonsense gun laws, and to individual survivors of gun violence.
Seeing as tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, I’m asking you to send a few bucks to the Galen Fund. Because my wife Anne Marie and I do all the work, the Galen Fund has NO administrative expenses, NO overhead. Every nickel you contribute goes DIRECTLY where it is most needed.
This year we’ve made donations to individual survivors of gun violence in need of financial aid, to the Gloucester Writers Center, the Gloucester Education Foundation, the Doris Prouty Foundation, Stop Handgun Violence, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, the Father’s Peace Walk, the Cory Johnson Foundation, Life After Death, and We Are Better Together. We’ve also provided backpacks and school kits for the annual Peace Barbecue, provided funding for the completion of the Dream Quilt project, and are co-sponsoring survivor advocacy trainings with Moms Demand Action and the Peace Institute.
You can send a check directly to:
The Galen Gibson Fund, 77 Langsford St., Gloucester, MA 01930
Or visit our website at
And now back to our regularly scheduled program