Peer pressure: “lessons learned.”

When I was a young teenager, we moved from the town of Hanson, Massachusetts to Bryantville, a small subsection of Pembroke. This move was the fourth in a series during the same period of time; four moves in four years. There would be three more. I had graduated from the eighth grade at the Indian Head School in Hanson, and in September of that year began my freshman year at Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, Massachusetts. I was fourteen and the “new kid” once again.

During my freshman year, my science and math classes were among my favorites. I found those two subjects interesting, challenging and even exciting. Math, as I came to realize was and is the language of science, and I enjoyed both. At my young age, I had found my love of learning.

You see, after high school, I had set my sights on attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston (M.I.T.) until I realized that tuition costs were $2,000. a year. I was sure that must have been a mistake, but if true I’d find the money somehow. The prospect of space travel and space exploration was clearly my motivation. I was an “A” student right from the beginning. I would have stayed after school to learn more, but I needed to catch the school bus for home.

I excelled in these classes and my teachers, especially my science teacher, took a genuine interest in me. I was new to the school and wanted to succeed and quite naturally wanted to make friends. A few of my peers had other ideas. I studied and had all the answers, and was, in their view, the teacher’s pet. Without warning, frequent episodes of peer pressure had become a hurtful distraction. I was harassed by some for my academic successes, so I consciously distanced myself from my science teacher, even giving him a hard time in front of the whole class; all this to “improve” my relationship with my peers who weren’t letting up.

My grades in science throughout the year went from an A, to an A-, to a B, and finally to a C, and what was just as disappointing was my relationship with my teacher deteriorated—all because I thought I’d develop more friends and find greater acceptance.

I’ve long forgotten the names of my detractors, but even today carry the disappointment in myself from long ago. I know my science teacher must have wondered why I turned my back on him; his desire was to see me succeed. It was all because I wanted to find greater acceptance among those around me. Teenagers seem to worry more about their clothes and their friends then their grades, which often take a back seat.

So, if this sort of torment should find its way into your high school experience, engage in group activities such as sports which help build friendships and develop self-confidence, and keep smiling and keep succeeding; it’s fleeting and will pass, and realize that most like-minded successful students will eventually seek you out. Develop patience, the main ingredient for sound decision-making.  Your future success begins in high school. Grades count.

In any event, as you prepare for the upcoming school year and beyond, remember that success in life is your responsibility. You owe it to your country and to your family, but most of all, you owe it to yourself.

Wishing you a wonderful and most successful year!

– Don Hussey

On “The Big Screen”

Don Hussey and Seawall Books, Inc. have entered into an agreement with Screenvision Direct, a New York based motion picture advertising firm. Screenvision provides production and media solutions for cinema advertising on the Big Screen. Under this agreement Screenvision will be providing media advertising for Seawall Books’ signature work, “Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America,” a gripping inspirational memoir – a true story.

The timing of this agreement is significant. Students will soon be returning to high school and college or perhaps entering college for the first time. They will find this book powerful as it conveys real-life episodes of the challenges that may lie ahead. Graduation is the goal… the only and most important goal, and students need to know that it is achievable no matter the odds or obstacles. This is a must read for all students, especially those who are underfunded and perhaps unsure of themselves.

The Big Screen segments will be going live on August 10th in several movie theaters in the metro-south region of Massachusetts including Martha’s Vineyard (Edgartown).

For more information about “Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America,” please visit our web site at First Edition copies are still available. Pay Pal orders are signed by the author and mailed the same day.

We’re all in this together.

When you give freely of yourself to others you walk away feeling good about yourself. Providing support to those less fortunate, especially when you’ve been in those shoes yourself at one time or another, is essential to the survival of the human condition, that is to say, we’re all in this together. We should respect one another and help others whenever we can.

Last Saturday, the 7th of July, I donated my time and several of my books, Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America, to the public at a fundraiser in Quincy, MA. The fundraiser was organized by a group of dedicated individuals devoted to ending domestic abuse. All of the proceeds went to supporting the cause known as, “Survivors Outreach for Victims of Domestic Abuse.”

I had the pleasure of working with several interns, some of whom were from Turkey, the Bahamas, and China, as well as a young man from Concord, MA. Many others were from Quincy, MA where the facility is located. The director told me she needed to raise immediate money to help families and provide services for those in need.

I enjoyed myself and feel I’ve contributed to a good cause, and I feel good about that! I wished them well and encouraged them to contact me again if they need additional support.

If you’re interested, the Massachusetts Survivors Outreach for Victims of Domestic Abuse can be reached at

Also, contact Survivors at

We’re having a wonderful time.

We’re having a wonderful time meeting and chatting with new friends as we continue our promotional book tour. “Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America,” is now becoming a widely acclaimed inspirational story of courage, determination and youthful ambition—a guide for college and high school students as they search for success in school and in life itself… no matter the obstacles. The older generation is also finding the history and references to our military past refreshingly honest.

We’ve had TV appearances and co-hosted several radio programs along with book signings in libraries throughout the Massachusetts South Shore mixed in with appearances with Rotary Club events, charity and church festivals, signings at Barnes and Noble, even a trip to Memphis, Tennessee and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with plans in the fall for Raleigh, St. Louis, Denver, including stops along the California coastline to the Pacific Northwest.

We’ve recently returned from Nantucket Island by invitation to attend The First Annual Nantucket Book Festival. We settled ourselves aboard the high-speed vessel out of Hyannis for the trip across the calm waters of the sound to the docking bay 30 miles at sea. The spotless white tent nestled in the park across the cobblestone street from the Whaling Museum in the center of town was the perfect setting for authors and buyers alike… a unique and festive atmosphere on a very special island off the coast of Massachusetts. The island boasts enough history to fill the hearts of any adventurers seeking answers to the past. Rich and exciting tales depicted throughout the island chronicled by the early settlers who risked life and limb in their quest to harvest the whale oil from the deep waters of the South Pacific. From this epoch past emerges a tale of the Whaleship Essex, captained by George Pollard, Jr., a masterpiece account of high drama on the seas written by Herman Melville, Jr. in 1851. The massive sperm whale, Moby Dick relentlessly rammed the hull of the Essex in the summer of 1820 until it slipped beneath the waves. Nantucket… rich in history from a time now long past. Vibrant Nantucket continues today as an eclectic, scenic community, yearning to share with us its unending heritage.

A little later next month, the Scituate Heritage Days summer festival will to be held along Front Street near the harbor; an annual summertime custom. We’ll be there offering our, “Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America,” to the thousands who attend each year. So, set aside Saturday and Sunday, August 4th and 5th. for plenty of summertime fun along the south coast of Massachusetts. We’ll be posting more on this event on our web site shortly. Scituate has been called by many in the media as, the gateway to the Cape; the locals call it, “the Irish Riviera.” Don’t miss it.


Our Independence Day, The Fourth of July

Independence Day has always had special meaning to all Americans, a day that commemorates the birth of our nation. I often wonder, in unending amazement, about the courage and the selfless determination of those who gave so much for the freedoms we hold so dear today. This concept was driven like a spike through my being on the day I knelt down on the quiet shores of Omaha Beach; my back to the sea. The ocean was calm. Waves rippled gently washing ashore behind me as I looked up at the bunkers overgrown with vegetation, but still in place.

It is in this context that I would like to share a few moments with you taken from the pages of American History:

“My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826, the 3rd President of the United States. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.

“It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you.” M. Grundler

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790, an American Statesman

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!” Nathan Hale 1755-1776.  Last words before being hanged by the British. He was 21.

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (1899-1969). Supreme Commander of Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944. 34th President of the United States

In my own words and quoting from my book, Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America:

“Never forget that much of the hard work has already been done for us. The fertile soil of freedom has been nurtured by generations of Americans willing to sacrifice everything. From Bunker Hill, to Dorchester Heights, to D-Day, to Pointe du Hoc, and to Vietnam, and beyond—the broken hearts, the spilled blood and the endless tears… the price paid in full.”

The America I know cries out to the world with boundless energy, the desire to achieve something greater than personal acclaim or ambition… the American people attempt to leave the world a better place because we live by example. We put out the fires and free those who’ve never known freedom.

Please enjoy The Fourth and take a moment to give thanks to those, some long gone from this life, who sacrificed dearly to give us this day.