Sally A. Connolly has collected and edited the writings of her late husband Dr. Eugene F. Connolly in the form of a book titled A Boy From Lawrence (TypeStyles Desktop Publishing Services, 2006), copyrighted 2005 but now available afresh as a second edition. The book carries entries from Dr. Connolly’s journal: short passages of memoir, poems, recollections, letters, family photographs, and quotes of wisdom by icons of literature.
Two motifs of A Boy From Lawrence account for its value as a worthwhile read: love and education. The nucleus of Eugene’s involvement with love is family, especially the sanctity of marriage. He lovingly writes about his children, wife, parents, and other kin. However he remembers to include his feelings of deep love for his friends, colleagues, students, and other figures in his life and those preceding it. For education, Dr. Connolly’s quest of learning is aimed at the ‘mystery of man’, the reality and nature of existing as humans. Having served thirty years as an English Professor at a Massachusetts community college, Dr. Connolly had a passion for spiritual growth and had an intuitive sense of the God’s eternal presence.
Mrs. Connolly has included some very touching memories of her husband’s life in his own words. The winsome look of the professor, as adorns the cover title, is a reflection of the innocent pleasures of his childhood and the benevolent inspirations of his life as a grown-up, responsible individual. And of course, he was the man with a hunch. He taught an English class while acting dumb on account of throat problem. Even as a teacher, we feel the professor’s role as more of a father who considers all students as God’s children. Eugene Connolly was an inspirational teacher.
Letters of this ‘Boy from Lawrence’ come at the end of the book. The last two letters are of eulogy, written by his daughter and his friend, and they pay an enviable tribute to this wonderful man who lived a good life both for himself and for those who knew him.
A Boy From Lawrence comes off as an inspirational gift of wisdom and feelings that furbish the life in this world and promises a blissful life ahead. By Mrs. Connolly’s book, we meet a good man, something not very easy to find in our times.