by Jeffrey Veatch
A summer island off the coast of Maine run by teenage boys. Can they succeed?
Based on true events, The Dyer Island Boys spans the 50-year tale of Wick, Doc, and the boys whose lives they changed.
In The Dyer Island Boys, two young surgical residents in post-WWII New York City, one a recent veteran, purchase a small, undeveloped island off the coast of Maine for summer adventure, but end up creating a community camp run for and by adolescent boys, providing positive structure for generations of teens in the process.
When Walter Wickson is robbed at knifepoint by young Harry Thompson, he isn't looking to get the boy in trouble. Instead, he persuades the judge to allow Harry to join him and his colleague, Meredith Jones, on Dyer Island. The two men-along with Wick's girlfriend, a medical intern named Anne Dobson whose ambitions are temporarily thwarted when she is diagnosed with tuberculosis-create a novel therapeutic and rehabilitation plan for Harry involving hard work and solitude for personal growth.
Jeffrey Veatch is a retired newswriter-producer from ABC News Radio who took part in award-winning reporting for nearly 40 years and won a Writers' Guild Award in 2007 for World News This Week.
In 2008, Jeffrey's life took a drastic turn when his 17-year-old son, Justin, died from an accidental drug overdose. Justin was a talented musician on the verge of recording an album of his original work at the time of his death. The Veatch family vowed to finish his album (Permagrin: The Music of Justin Veatch) and founded the non-profit Justin Veatch Fund, which awards music scholarships to graduating high school seniors. As of 2022, sixty-one scholarships had been awarded.
In 2012, Jeffrey created the multi-media talk A Message from Justin which tells Justin's story with the goal of changing the attitudes of teens on the dangers of drugs. His talk has been presented to thousands of students in several states. In 2014, Whispering Spirits, premiered at The Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. The film, along with its discussion guides, has been distributed to anti-drug coalitions, schools, and community organizations nationwide.
In 2018, Jeffrey created the podcast The Drug Crisis: Faces Behind the Struggle which is on multiple media platforms. He has served as a judge for The Writers' Guild of America Awards in radio division competitions. Jeffrey loves to cook and is a former competitive runner who is now an avid cyclist. He lives with his wife, Marina, and their cats Cali and Gray in Yorktown Heights, New York.