Doreen McGettigan offered to share her book with me in exchange for an interview. I came out on top with the bargain. Doreen is a thoroughly delightful person and I got a chance to make a new friend. You can come out on top, too because Doreen has agreed to gift two of you with a copy of her book, Bristol boyz Stomp: The Night that Divided a Town.
Doreen’s writing style exposes the raw emotion of losing someone to a violent, senseless crime. She reminds us that the loss is just the beginning. Survivors must endure the pain of living with the perpetrators and their families, and bear the excruciating crush of a slow, inadequate justice system.
Doreen harnessed her pain and frustration in the memoir of her brother’s death Bristol Boyz Stomp: The Night That Divided a Town.
If you’re of a certain generation, you might remember the Dovells and their song “Bristol Stomp.”
Doreen told me she knew the man who wrote the lyrics, way back when she was growing up. Bristol Boyz Stomp gives a menacing image to the lyrics. Doreen’s youngest brother, David,, was brutally stomped and bludgeoned with a hammer. He was on his way home from band practice to his wife and child.
All Doreen remembers wanting to do as a child, is to be a good mommie and to write books. She accomplished both and then some. In her words:
“I did everything most women do, just not in the order most do them.”
Doreen got married at sixteen, not because she “had to,” but because getting married got her away from problems. Her own mother gave Doreen an example of everything she wanted to avoid when she became a mother. Doreen’s 18 year-old military husband was her best friend. He was rescuing her. He was stationed in far away places, which was where she wanted to be.
Still, Doreen worried about her sister and brothers whom she left. One by one, she brought them to live with her. She ended up having three children of her own and raising her younger siblings. The youngest, David, was fourteen years younger than she.
After she was grown, married, divorced and on her own again, she moved her family to a homey neighborhood of Bristol, PA. That’s where she earned her GED, and her children and brothers graduated from high school.
David was murder in random road rage event. So many things made no sense to Doreen. She kept a journal through his death and the eventual arrests and trials. Her daughter reminded Doreen that she always wanted to write a book:
“You need to write this story. “
I say, you need to read this book. The choppy sentences, and meandering paragraphs capture the waves of emotions that ebbed and flowed for Doreen.
Doreen remarried eight years ago. Soon after, she began taking care of her new husband’s elderly mother. Doreen quit her job and took care of her mother-in-law.
“It may sound strange, but it is rewarding to work with people who are experiencing their last day.”
Doreen now works as a caregiver for elderly as a companion. She often picks up where hospice care cannot. Doreen also teaches part-time at a local community college: writing, publishing, and memoir writing.
Doreen has another memoir coming out the end of the year about the homeless woman she and her husband helped an 80-year-old homeless woman. Her book is the adventure of this homeless woman and how she became homeless.
If you’d like a copy of Bristol Boyz Stomp: The Night That Divided a Town, leave a comment below. I’ll enter your name in a drawing.
If you want to follow Doreen here’s a few places you can find her.
Be sure to tell her I sent you her way.