On November 9 at 6pm, Friends of Samuels Library (FOSL) will host an event to benefit the library, featuring journalist Peter Houlahan, author of Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History. Including cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a multimedia presentation, and book signing, tickets for An Evening with the Author are $30 each or $50 per couple. All proceeds will underwrite improvements to the Library’s services, programs, and collections. Tickets, and an optional copy of the book for $25, can be purchased online at www.samuelslibrary.net or in person at Samuels Public Library, 330 East Criser Road, Front Royal, VA.
Norco ‘80 tells the story of how five heavily armed young men attempted a bank robbery that turned into one of the most violent criminal events in U.S. history, forever changing the face of American law enforcement.
NPR’s Michael Schaub says, “… Houlahan proves himself to be an astonishingly gifted writer, breathing urgent life into a true story that still resonates today. Norco ’80 is a fascinating true-crime account that seems likely to be one of the best nonfiction books of the year.”
The New York Times states that “…Houlahan sure knows how to dramatize a scene. His cinematic treatment of the robbery itself reads like wildfire, the fatal shootout with the police ends in colorful chaos, and the huge manhunt through San Bernardino National Forest conducted by ‘Hunt & Kill Teams’ is a nail-biter.”
According to Melody Hotek, President of Friends of Samuels Library, “The Library is very excited to host Peter in November. We haven’t had a book signing in a long time and we’re lucky to get Peter for our fundraiser.”
Peter Houlahan is a freelance journalist and book review contributor to the Hearst newspapers and AP wire. His work has appeared in CrimeReads, Police One, Salon, L.A. Magazine, Criminal Element, The Daily Mirror (UK) and the Southern California Newspaper Group. His book “Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History” was released in 2019. He holds an MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. In his career as an emergency medical technician, he has contributed to a number of articles related to his profession. A native Southern Californian, Houlahan now lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Publisher: Counterpoint Press, Berkeley Calif.
- Editor: Dan Smetanka.
- Release: June 11, 2019
- Literary Agent: Jeffrey Ourvan, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.
- Film Agent: Judith Farkas Management, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Web – www.peterhoulahan.com
- Twitter – @pchoulahan
- Facebook – Norco 80
- Amazon – Best Nonfiction Books of the Month. Best History Books of 2019 (so far).
- New York Times Book Review – Summer Reads.
- The Wall Street Journal – Reader’s Pick.
- CrimeReads – One of the Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer.
“[An] alarming account of a bank heist that rocked the country in 1980 and reflected ‘the peculiar zeitgeist of that decade’ in all its cockeyed drama . . . For a first-time writer, Houlahan sure knows how to dramatize a scene. His cinematic treatment of the robbery itself reads like wildfire, the fatal shootout with the police ends in colorful chaos, and the huge manhunt through San Bernardino National Forest conducted by ‘Hunt & Kill Teams’ is a nail-biter.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping . . . Houlahan, who based his account of the robbery and its aftermath on interviews with the civilians, officers and robbers involved, proves to be a master at pacing—he writes with a narrative urgency that perfectly captures the quick and chaotic nature of the robbery. His prose incorporates the vernacular of the officers and criminals; it’s hard-boiled, shot through with profanity, but never forced. It reads like a crime novel in the best way possible. But what’s truly remarkable about the book is the depth Houlahan brings to the story . . . With his first book, Houlahan proves himself to be an astonishingly gifted writer, breathing urgent life into a true story that still resonates today. Norco ’80 is a fascinating true-crime account that seems likely to be one of the best nonfiction books of the year.” —Michael Schaub, NPR
“Thrilling account of a violent California bank robbery . . . Houlahan’s debut is remarkable for the exhaustive . . . level of detail he brings to every stage of the story, transforming a pulpy true-crime narrative into a reflection of social transformations and class conflict as the countercultural 1970s faded into the Reagan era . . . An impressively well-rendered true-crime saga.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Like American Heiress in the summer of 2016, this looks like the true crime book that will launch a hundred conversations.” —CrimeReads – One of the Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer
“[A] deeply researched, thrillingly paced tale.” —Peter Larsen, Southern California News Group
“Norco ’80 blends meticulous details with a strong sense of story arc, character and place . . . Addressing the origins of the push to arm police with higher-caliber weapons, the increasingly strained relationships between police officers and their communities, and the effects of trauma on multiple generations, the book has a universal message that is needed now, according to Houlahan.” —Jo Kroeker, Greenwich Time/Hearst Newspapers
“Norco ’80 is enthrallingly detailed, down to the pencils thrown by opposing counsel in the criminal trial that followed ‘the most spectacular bank robbery in American history.’ Despite the depth and breadth recounted by journalist and EMT Peter Houlahan, the urge this book generates in readers to explore further this devastating true crime is impossible to suppress . . . Houlahan has admirably mined and winnowed the boundless material . . . He has compellingly translated a high-octane story to the page without losing traction, leaving the reader satisfied yet craving more.” —Lauren O’Brien, Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Norco ’80 is an expertly rendered accounting of these events that reads like a crime thriller and courtroom drama, with all the brutal gravity of a true story. This is true crime at its best.” —David M. Olsen, The Coachella Review
“Norco ’80 is one hell-raising ride through 1970s Southern California with an apocalyptic prophet and the prosecutors bent on turning the tables on the policemen involved in the most violent bank heist ever committed on American soil. From the minute you meet the charismatic George Smith and his flunky friend Christopher Harven, you’ll be hanging on for dear life, waiting for the next catastrophe to take your breath away with each heartbreaking turn of the page. It’s part law and part order, and it’s outstanding!” —Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey, MI)
“On May 9, 1980, what we usually only happens in action-thriller movies come to life in Orange Country, California. I don’t usually read true-crime, but Houlahan’s writing pulled me in. While reading this meticulous researched and documented account, I could almost smell the gun power, hear the cacophony of gunfire making my ears ring and see the dust clear as the largest crime scene in American history came into view. Documented here is how an attempted bank robbery and it subsequent trial would forever change a town, its people and law enforcement nation-wide. The crime and court case may have been an unbelievable fire-storm catastrophe, but this book is pitch-perfect.” —Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI)
“In 1980 in California, a group of religiously inspired survivalists set out to rob a bank. With assault rifles and homemade explosives, they significantly outgunned the law enforcement officers they encountered. Peter Houlahan approaches the tale fully armed with facts culled from interviews, police reports, and court documents. He deploys them in steady bursts that hold the reader steady in a literary bullet time while the fast motion mayhem plays out. Norco ’80 is a riveting true crime adventure that also explains one of the predicates for the militarization of modern police departments.” —Keith Mosman, Powell’s Bookstore (Portland, OR)
“If you’re one of those people who don’t read true crime, this book will change your mind about the genre. Loved it!” —Tom Beans, Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe (Bend, OR)
“Norco ’80 is a wild ride! The action plays out like a heist film, but the author also shows immense empathy for the wide range of characters—from the robbers to the first responders to the passersby. If you want to have a ton of fun while learning about an event that shaped the way our country responds to crime.” —Hadley Turner, Towne Book Center & Cafe (Collegeville, PA)
“Norco ’80 somehow makes meticulous research and devotion to the truth fuse with suspense and excitement until the reader is right there, a witness to this guns-blazing account of a crime that changed American law enforcement’s readiness for violence in the extreme.” —Joseph Wambaugh, bestselling author of The Onion Field
“Simply put, Norco ’80 is one of the best true crime accounts ever written. Harrowing, incisive, and important. But also? A goddamned thrill ride. This is a book you’ll read and then talk about for weeks.” ––Tod Goldberg, author of Gangsterland
“As the astonishing mayhem chronicled in this book unfolds, you’ll find yourself wondering, ‘How much worse can this situation get?’ Answer: a lot. Turning the pages, I kept flashing back to the desperate, duck-for-cover urgency of Black Hawk Down. Meticulously reported and artfully written, Norco ’80 is an utterly absorbing, unforgettable, and haunting study of how a series of bad decisions can snowball into something truly disastrous.” ––Dave Howard, author of Chasing Phil
“There is no doubt that Norco ’80 is poised to become a true crime classic. It’s a marvel of pacing and information—at times racing ahead like a speeding bullet and others slowing down to provide a perfect panorama of a hairsbreadth moment. Houlahan has left nothing unexamined in his obsessively detailed account of this heist, from the emotional to the logistical to the spiritual. Trust me, you’re going to want to read every word.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of Wonder Valley
“Norco ’80 reads like a pre-apocalyptic nightmare, and it’s all true. Houlahan’s writing is intimate and stark, and the pacing relentless, as it tells the story of a group of young men who robbed a bank to prepare for the end of the world and succeeded in bringing fire and brimstone to one unfortunate small town and the police sworn to protect it. The reader will feel like a witness to these events as they unfold. Be warned—you will not get anything done until this book is done with you.” —James Renner, author of True Crime Addict
WomenGathering with Joanne Mulherin & Chateau O’Brien Wines
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center hosted a combination monthly WomanGathering this week and a new membership drive. The guest of the evening was wine tasting expert Joanne Mulherin with Chateau O’Brien Wines. Her presentation was absolutely excellent combining wine making facts, humor, geography, and history. What a great experience!
Watch the video to see Joanne in action and learn a thing or two about wine. To learn more about Chateau O’Brien click this link: http://chateauobrien.com
Guest Speaker: Joanne Mulherin
Learn more about FRWRC supporting local women. Levels of Support – You decide Individual Membership – $35 – $50 – $100 – $500+ Business Partner – $100 – $200 – $500 – $1000+ About FRWRC: The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to provide a support network for women in Warren County. Through monthly networking meetings, yearly grant presentations, special events, email connections and program activities, we have forged a link between women in our community. www.frwrc.org
Royal Oak Children’s Theater meeting and auditions Tuesday, January 21 at 6pm
WHAT MATTERS Warren–Royal Oak Children’s Theater invites families with children aged 6-12 to their informational meeting and auditions on Tuesday, January 21 at 6pm at the Royal Oak Community Church next to Rural King in Front Royal. In their “upward” format, they find a role to fit each child who wishes to participate to allow them to grow in theater skills and confidence.
Children should come prepared with a short presentation (15 to 60 seconds) of a memorized piece (nursery rhyme, Bible verse, poem, jokes, monologue, song, original story, etc.) OR a reading (picture book, portion of a book, poem, famous speech, original speech, etc.). Rehearsals will be after school on Tuesdays. They’ll be presenting “The Mystery of the Missing Medallion” on March 21st & 22nd
Lead Directors, Beth and Rodney Bascom, are passionate about children and the lessons being a part of theater teaches them. Child actors they work with have this to say about them: “Thank you for giving me ideas of how to play my part better, I had a really, really, really, fun time, I may forget what you taught me, but I will never forget the way you made me feel, Thank you so much for always giving us a laugh.”
Spread the word about this inspiring opportunity for children and contact email@example.com with questions.
Are you or your group in need of a free video or article that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and Youtube. They are also shared with the Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for the Royal Examiner at www.royalexaminer.com and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”
Learn more about Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com–check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WHAT MATTERS:
WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved with her local or international nonprofit work, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com. Be sure to check out the “projects” tab for her current WHAT MATTERS Initiatives.
BETH Medved Waller
Associate Broker, KW Solutions, Keller Williams Realty
Director, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit
Can you spare $1 to change a life of one of the children in the lyric video below?
Download”What Matters is your Heart” on iTunes,Spotify,Amazon or Google today–for 99c -$1.29, YOU can become a part of dollardreamdownload.com and change lives-one song, one dream, one download at a time! Help me reach my 1 million download goal to support children in Uganda!
Song performed by Herbie Skarbie Kawuma, Lyrics by ME
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of January 16th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, January 16:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $9
- Child (under 12): $6
- Military: $7
- Student (college): $7
- Senior: $7
- Matinees, All Seating: $6
Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:
- “Birds of Prey”
- “Fantasy Island”
- “Sonic the Hedgehog”
- “Godzilla vs. Kong”
- “A Quiet Place Part II”
Virginia Beer Museum celebrates Robert Burns birthday January 25th
Here in the highlands of Warren County on January 25th from 6 until… the beer Museum will be celebrating the Robert Burns birthday commemoration. There will be Kilted Bonnie lasses and brave laddies in addition to bagpipes singing and of course haggis. No you don’t want to know…. but try it anyway and enjoy!
In addition to their normal fine selections In Brews there will be some tasting of that fine elixir to which Scotland lends its name. So you’ll definitely want to mark your calendars for this evening of fun and frolic. Don’t miss this one. See you there.
Shenandoah National Park hosts Youth Art Contest
Local children and teens who like art and wildflowers will have a chance to combine both in Shenandoah National Park’s annual “Youth Art in the Park” wildflower art contest. The contest is held in conjunction with the park’s annual Wildflower Weekend May 9-10, 2020.
The contest is open to students in grade levels K-12 in Albemarle, Augusta, Greene, Madison, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties. Students attending public, private and city schools, as well as home-schooled children living in these counties, may enter. Works may be submitted from home or through participating schools. The deadline for entries is April 10.
The contest overview, rules and the downloadable entry form are posted on the park website.
Judging will be among four grade levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Artists must submit 8 x 10-inch flat art (acrylic, oil pastel, crayon, watercolor, pencil, fiber, charcoal, etc.) depicting one or more native wildflowers. There is a wildflower list and a reference photo gallery on the park website.
Ribbons and other prizes will be awarded to the top entries from each grade level plus “Best in Show.” Top winners, family and teachers will be invited to a recognition ceremony in the park on May 9. Winning artwork will be displayed at park visitor centers, and scanned images may be used in future park promotions. All artwork will be returned to the artists.
For more information about Wildflower Weekend and the “Youth Art in the Park” contest, contact Mara Meisel at (540) 999-3500, ext. 3282.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington to host 38th Annual Ball
On February 7, 2020, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington will hold its 38th Annual Ball at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for Catholic Charities, providing a significant portion of the resources needed to support 21 programs serving those in need throughout the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese. This year’s theme is “With Love and Charity.”
“The ball is a celebratory evening where the Catholic and wider community come together to honor and support our mission of serving the most vulnerable men, women and families throughout the Diocese,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “This year’s theme, ‘With Love and Charity,’ captures the essence of why we do what we do. Our work is made possible not just by monetary support, but by the love and charity of countless volunteers who show the face of Christ to those we serve.”
- WHAT: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Annual Ball
- WHEN: Friday, February 7, 2010 | 7 p.m. Ball Begins (Dinner, Presentations and Dancing) | 9 p.m. Young Adult Event (Reception and Dancing)
- WHERE: The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd, McLean, VA 22102)
- REGISTRATION: Tickets for both events can be purchased at www.ccda.net.
The volunteer-led ball supports 21 Catholic Charities programs. Among those are Catholic Charities’ transitional housing programs for homeless men at Christ House and homeless families at St. Margaret of Cortona Housing; the St. Lucy Project, a diocesan wide food collection and distribution program for the hungry; free health care at Catholic Charities’ Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic; the emergency financial assistance program; mental health counseling for families and individuals; Pregnancy and Adoption Services; Hogar Immigrant Legal Services; Education and Workforce Development; Migrant and Refugee Services; the Prison Ministry and Welcome Home Re-entry program; the Car Ministry, and the new Catholic Charities’ Opioid Epidemic initiative.
For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or Amber.Roseboom@arlingtondiocese.org.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of faith. www.ccda.net.