Sunday 29th January 2017

This morning I slept until nearly 9am and then had breakfast and then went to the church. This was my fourth visit to Boca Raton Community Church and today was a family service focused on the children around the world who suffer disadvantage of various kinds. Missionaries and agencies connected to the church spoke about the poverty and disadvantage in third world countries, but then the focus changed back to the USA and the point was made that around 40% of American children are raised without the presence of a father role, and the fact that it is sometimes through the church and that other people can make a difference in these young people;s lives. This made me connect the research I am doing and the disadvantage suffered by some of the young people I am meeting in Southern Florida (which sometimes includes, among other things, the lack of a positive father figure) and their involvement in violent crime. The pieces of the jigsaw are beginning to fit together – what I am writing about in my new book, what I am seeing and hearing out on the streets and with the police and the messages I am hearing in the church. Importantly, the minister and Boca Raton also announced today that the congregation has raised enough funds to donate to the purchase of medical support for the victims of the Fort Lauderdale massacre 3 weeks ago – so there is some really great work going on this church.

I spent the afternoon firstly calling home via Skype and talking for a while with Karen and Alan and secondly doing some work on my book on my wednesday class. I then had dinner early and went round to the gym for an hour – did a workout and then left to go to the cinema just 5 minutes away from the gym and from FAU.

The movie theatre is enormous but I found my way to cinema 4 where I saw Patriot’s Day. The film stars Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon and is the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible. The film was really great and is a really good portrayal of what happened on the day of the bombings and the careful police and FBI operations in the days following the attack to find the bombers.  it was particularly important for me to see this movie tonight since on Thursday Ed Davis will visit FAU to deliver a lecture. Ed Davis is the Former Police Commissioner of the Boston Police Department at the time of the Boston bombing and is portrayed in the film by actor John Goodman.Commissioner Davis is current President and CEO of the business strategy and security agency, Edward Davis LLC. His unique approaches to terrorism, cyber security, and policing have been adopted both nationally and internationally in Singapore, London, Northern Ireland, Jordan and Israel. On Thursday he will deliver a lecture at FAU’s Jupiter campus titled ‘Remembering Patriot’s Day: The Hunt for the Tsarnaev Brothers and the True Meaning of #BostonStrong’.

The film’s backdrop of Boston prompted me to remember my sister Lyn’s great experiences at Harvard in Boston and all the very close friends she made there. I also remembered my own visits there when I travelled from Virginia to spend time with Chris Bellham who lived and worked in Boston at the time. My last visit there was in March 2000 when I spent a week there.

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