Work Title: Adventures in Darkness: The Summer of an 11-Year-Old Blind Boy
Work Author(s): Tom Sullivan
240 pages, Hardcover $24.99
Reviewer: Joe Taylor
In the middle of a late spring night in 1959, three eleven-year-old boys "escape" out a window of their second-story dorm room at Perkins School for the Blind. Then they steal a dinghy from the school's boathouse on the Charles River and launch themselves downriver, all the way into fog-laden Boston Harbor. In those days the harbor was one of America's busiest, and the boys are almost swamped by a freighter before they are saved by the Coast Guard. This is the first of the author's "Adventures in Blindness," a compelling series reminiscing the summer he broke out, broke free of his limitations and confines, and risked all in order to enter the world of the "normies"---public school kids with the gift of sight. "My desire for freedom was unquenchable," Sullivan remembers. And that summer he was "the skydiver who yells 'Geronimo' and takes the leap of faith.'"
Tommy's ally in this determined quest to bash boundaries is his father, Thomas "Porky" Sullivan, an immigrant with a taste for Jameson's Irish Whiskey, who established himself with the cops, politicians, and criminals in Boston as a bookmaker. In one episode, Porky teaches little Tommy to pitch a baseball by honing in on the catcher's chatter and the slap of a fist striking a mitt. Then Porky bribes a Little League commissioner into letting his blind son pitch an inning.
The boy's mother, on the other hand, having...