The New England landscape has long been battered by some of the some intense in US history. From the famous Nor’easters, hurricanes, and blizzards, New England has seen its share of legendary storms that have devastated New England including the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 that killed 564 people, the Worcester Tornado of 1953, the Snow Hurricane of 1804 that demolished orchards and killed dozens of sailors off the coast; and the Blizzard of 1978 that brought Boston to a standstill for weeks. Each chapter in Mighty Storms of New England covers a remarkable event in New England’s weather history.
Bay State native Paul Della Valle, father of three and grandfather of two, lives on five acres of an old farm in Sterling, Massachusetts with his wife Karen, Yeats, the world’s smartest dog, and Boots Vanzetti, their anarchist cat. Della Valle won dozens of writing and reporting awards in a thirty-year career as a journalist that began even before he graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1979. He was an investigative reporter and featured columnist for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette between 1983 and 1993. A human interest story he wrote during that time won the New England Associated Press’s Best Feature Story award.
In 1996, he founded The Lancaster Times & Clinton Courier, which he published for nine years. Those newspapers were runners-up for New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year award. Della Valle has also taught writing at Worcester’s Clark University and journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University. He is also a songwriter, and sings and plays guitar with the Worcester County Bluegrass All Stars and the alt-country Shaggers.
In 2009, Globe Pequot Press published his book Massachusetts Troublemakers: Rebels, Reformers, and Radicals from the Bay State. Noted Boston Globe book critic David Mehegan said of Massachusetts Troublemakers, “It's a lively survey of spirited characters … It reminds us how much we need people who yank our collective social beards, people who know they are different and are happy to be.” In 2014, Globe Pequot published Della Valle’s Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History. Jerks was the subject of glowing feature length stories in both the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
While researching the life of Horace Mann for Troublemakers 12 years ago, Della Valle was motivated to become a public school teacher. He now joyously teaches English literature and grammar to Clinton High School students who inspire him every day.