Honoring the Legacy

A Reflection from Joe

joe_flahtery 1If you’re reading this, you probably know that Writers & Books started its life as a bus, which I drove across the northeastern United States in the 1970s, bringing small-press books to thousands of hungry readers.

But, here’s something you

probably don’t know.

The true origins of Writers & Books extend back more than 60 years, when I began attending an institution created to provide opportunities for orphan children who would otherwise have had none. This was more than a school. It was also my home. It was where I grew up.

That childhood would not have been possible if not for the generosity and caring of the school’s founders, supporters and staff. If those people hadn’t cared to create an institution to serve the public good, my life, and the lives of thousands of others like me, would not have been possible.

My love of literature was fueled there. Books became, in effect, my second set of parents, instructing me in important life lessons and allowing me to begin to understand the great world out there beyond those narrow walls. That upbringing began the path that led me to create Writers & Books.

From the very beginning, my mission was the same as the people who founded that institution that shaped me: to provide open access to learning and to inspiration. To establish a place where anyone, of any age and from any walk of life, could walk through the doors and discover the joys of reading and writing and the potential of literature to completely change their life.

The Writers & Books you know today is the manifestation of my dream,and my life’s work. Now, the dream and possibility and future of Writers & Books can be yours too.

Please join me in stepping forward to make sure that future generations of Rochesterians have have a place to discover and foster their love of reading and writing, and the opportunity to share it with others.


JF Signature

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