Maxine Bleiweis has mastermined 17 “Booked for the Evenings.”
But tonight was her first honoring a homegrown hero.
Friends from childhood, friends of her parents, family members (including her 102-year-old grandmother), and just proud Westporters, they were already impressed by the New York Times photojournalist. When they saw her compelling images, heard her harrowing stories of her work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur and Libya, they left even more awed.
It was a hometown evening. Actress Cynthia Gibb (Staples High School Class of ’81) read excerpts from Lynsey’s book, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Doug Tirola (Staples ’84) produced a tribute video (narrated by CNN anchor and Easton native Ivan Watson). Eli Koskoff (Staples ’15, and Lynsey’s colleague Tyler Hicks’ nephew) played guitar.
Lynsey was called “brilliant, articulate, warm, engaging and very kind” — and she did not disappoint. She gave shout-outs to her sisters, parents, and the town she grew up in. All helped provide the one quality that, she said, every photojournalist needs: “being non-judgmental.”
It was a wonderful evening: for Lynsey, for Westport, and for the library that — in 17 years of “Booked” events — has raised over $3 million.
As New York Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan said: “This is the rocking-est library I’ve ever seen!”