Author to speak in Northville

NORTHVILLE — Ray O’Conor will speak about his book, “She Called Him Raymond: a True Story of Love, Loss, Faith and Healing,” at the the Friends of the Northville Public Library’s 33rd annual meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the library, 341 S. Third St.

According to a news release, a letter penned in 1944 uncovers the powerful and heartfelt story of Helen Gregg, the daughter of Irish immigrant parents who grew up in the miseries of Hell’s Kitchen during the Great Depression, and Clarence Raymond Stephenson, a young, aspiring B-17 pilot raised in the small, struggling city of Ironton, Ohio. Fate brings them together in New York’s Central Park in 1942. From the moment their eyes first met, they knew their lives never would be the same.

The story tells of their struggles and romance, his exploits as a highly decorated B-17 pilot during World War II, and the tragedy that tore them apart, the news release said.

O’Conor reveals a secret about the dashing and brave young aviator who stole Helen’s heart, and he divulges a promise that Helen made to Raymond in the summer of 1942 that she had to keep, no matter how long or how hard it might be to fulfill. Theirs is a compelling story of two ordinary people who led extraordinary lives during a tumultuous period, according to the news release.

O’Conor has written weekly columns and opinion pieces for newspapers and published articles in regional magazines. He has been the subject of newspaper and magazine stories on topics ranging from endurance sports and mountaineering to business, economics and politics. He is a public speaker and the CEO of a not-for-profit community development company.

The program is free to the public, but seats are limited. Call ahead or stop by the library for a free ticket.

By Patricia Older

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