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Special Broadcast: Rumble Strip's 'Finn and the Bell'

Finn Rooney jumping off a rope swing over water
Erica Heilman
Finn Rooney loved to fish and play baseball and write poetry. 'Finn and the Bell' is about his life, and how a small Vermont community grieves together after an unspeakable loss.

Finn Rooney was a boy growing up in northern Vermont. This is a story about Finn and the people in his community who loved him, and who came together after his death to finish something Finn had started.

Finn Rooney killed himself on January 3, 2020 in the afternoon after school, at his house in Walden, Vermont. This isn't a story about suicide, or not exactly. It's a story about a boy called Finn who loved to fish and play baseball and write poetry. And it's about what happens to a small Vermont community as it grieves together after an unspeakable loss.

Finn loved events that brought different parts of a community together, all at the same time. He loved a bonfire where everybody came. Our hope is that this broadcast will do just that.

In collaboration with Rumble Strip, VPR's Jane Lindholm speaks with producer Erica Heilman and Finn’s mother, Tara Reese, about the making of the story.

We want to hear from you. You are encouraged to write in with your reactions about the show, and we will update this post with reflections shared.

You can find more from Rumble Strip here.

There is help if you are having suicidal feelings:

Broadcast Sunday, December 5th at 4 p.m., and Monday, December 6th at 8 p.m.