TITLE: Clear Blue and a Million
On a map, Summerbrook is the first dot on the dunes in New Hampshire. For years, the under-30 population called our sleepy coastal village Slumberbrook. Before the Aruba event (as everyone in town still calls it), nothing exciting had ever happened here. The crime rate … well, there was no crime rate. It was so boringly peaceful that even the police and fire departments were staffed by volunteers. The closest movie theater was ten miles north; the closest arcade was three miles south. By 11 p.m., Summerbrook was the darkest spot on earth. There were only two things that attracted anyone to this little town – the Spark It Up Café where young, old and everyone in between gathered, plus an exquisite stretch of beach that the other coastlines envied.
Then, in April of 1999, the Bradley’s trip to Aruba changed everything and this little town was no longer just a small dot on a state map. What started as a couple of simple high school newspaper stories about the trip eventually morphed into a book … which became a best seller … then a movie. Unfortunately, I only got to publish a couple of short school newspaper articles before and after the trip. Mr. Elliott decided which stories ran and which ones got back-burnered and he suggested that I re-write the second article – the one after the Bradleys returned – until it was white-washed and boring enough to escape any attention – everyone but me agreed that it was the best way to honor Jack Bradley’s passing.