Hickory Stick Bookshop

Washington Depot, CT

October 26, 2018


“Bessie and Tom Farmen captivated our School audience. The story of Bessie living with her blindness reminded the community that we need to be open and kind to everyone we meet. We showered Bessie with love because we knew she was blind. We were reminded to do that for people in our lives who are also struggling with their challenges. We loved learning about Bessie's life adventures and following her journey through videos, images and stories. The highlight was watching her try to catch the cookie she flipped off her nose!”

Liz Butler, Administrator, Rumsey Hall School - Washington Depot, CT


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The Unity Town Hall

Unity, NH

January 26 @ 1 p.m.

Sponsored by Unity Free Library

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Thornton Central School

February 19th @ 8:45am

Our elementary school thoroughly enjoyed Bessie's visit! The Farmens spoke lovingly of Bessie's example of perseverance when faced with adversity and watching videos of Bessie putting those words into action was powerful for our students. The message of acceptance of and respect for all people, no matter the ability, supported our school's Community of Caring theme. We wholeheartedly recommend this assembly program: The message is a powerful one, appropriate for all aged students..and staff too!

Danielle Morse, School Psychologist/Counselor - Thornton Central School, Thornton, NH

We held a presentation by local author, Tom Farmen, who has written a book titled BESSIE'S STORY - Watching the Lights Go Out.  He and his wife Ashley have an almost 10-year-old chocolate Lab who slowly went blind over a three year period.   This book, and their presentation, show how they embraced this as a chance to learn from Bessie about facing challenges.  Bessie has not slowed down at all.  She's an outstanding Lab who graciously showed the students that despite her disability, nothing stops her from leading a perfectly content and fulfilling life. I witnessed many students smiling, loving and showing happiness that is sometimes hidden within them.  The love and warmth that Bessie, Tom and Ashley exude is simply wonderful .  It is our hope that our students will come away with the lasting thought to "Be Like Bessie."