We invite you to meet Eleanor Dunfey-Freiburger as she presents her new book Counter Culture: Clams, Convents and a Circle of Global Citizens, an uplifting story of her family's origins as mill workers with 12 children to feed, starting a hospitality empire from a luncheonette and fried clam stand to what would eventually grow to be the Omni International Hotels.
When LeRoy ‘Roy”Dunfey called out “Hey...Dunfey” in his fried clam restaurant in the 1940s, at least seven of his twelve children would turn around. Then he’d point to the one he needed without having to remember names. Roy and Catherine ‘Kate’ Manning had met and married thirty years earlier as teenage workers in Lowell, Massachusetts textile mills.
With little formal education or resources, but with a store of humor, entrepreneurial zest, and spiritual roots, they collared the American dream starting out in 1915 with Dunfey’s Orchestra, a luncheonette, and a baby every two years through the Great Depression to the doorstep of World War II.
Written by their twelfth child, this saga reveals the lasting influence her parents had on each of their dozen kids: around the kitchen table digesting political fare; over restaurant counters meeting a diverse world of people; into and out of convents serving as educators; on to Boston’s Parker House, Omni International Hotel boardrooms, and, for forty-five years, still around the table of the family’s not-for-profit Global Citizens Circle’s civil dialogues.
About the Author: Eleanor Dunfey-Freiburger is the youngest of twelve children. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston and the University of San Francisco and was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for thirteen years. She is professor emerita of ethics and civic engagement at Southern New Hampshire University, co-chair for 30 years of Global Citizens Circle and the recipient of honorary degrees from Southern New Hampshire University and Franklin Pierce University. Eleanor is married to Dr. James Freiburger, professor emeritus at SNHU. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.
“This spirited and spiritual journey of the Dunfey family is shared in loving, often humorous stories that reach from a mill town in America to townships in South Africa. Thank God for parents who inspired their twelve children to make a difference in our world.” —Archbishop Emeritus Desmond and Mrs. Leah Tutu
“If you want to learn how to achieve in business, faith, social justice, and politics ... then this is the book for you.” —Monica McWilliams, founder of Women’s Coalition Party, Northern Ireland, and global advocate for human rights
Profits from the sale of this book will go to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who have served immigrant communities at St. Patrick’s School, Lowell, MA, for 167 years.