Stephen King has published an astounding 55 novels, 11 collections, and 5 nonfiction books including Faithful, co-written with Stewart O’Nan. Faithful chronicles the 2004 Red Sox season which culminated in a much anticipated and long overdue World Series win for our boys.
Whether or not you’re a fan of King’s work, you have to admit the man loves New England, especially his home state of Maine. Here are 10 pieces of evidence that prove no “hometown boy done good” can top The Master of Horror when it comes to honoring his roots.
1. He Loves The Sox
The guy wrote a book about them! But if you need more proof, here it comes. His 1999 novel, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon features a young Sox fan who visualizes the famed pitcher while lost in the wilderness. King has also been a season ticket holder of two coveted Fenway dugout seats since the late 80’s (although he’s currently miffed at the franchise for planning to block his view of the field with protective netting).
2. He Stayed Local Despite His Fame
Celebritynetworth.com estimates that Mr. King is worth a jaw dropping $400 million. Despite the fact that he could own homes in every extravagant city on the planet, he chooses to remain in Maine. Now that he’s older (68), he has embraced the snow bird lifestyle, spending his winters in Florida. The rest of the year, however, King can be seen walking around Bangor and the surrounding towns with his nose in a book.
3. He Pays Homage To New England In His Stories
The vast majority of King’s books, stories and screenplays take place in New England. They say writers tend to write what they know, but they also tend to write what they love. King has interwoven his own fictional world – including the imaginary towns of Derry and Castle Rock – into Maine’s actual heritage.
4. He Forgave The Maine Driver Who Nearly Killed Him
King was severely injured in June of 1999 when Bryan Smith veered off the road and hit him with his van in North Lovell, Maine. The accident nearly cost King his life, his leg and his career. The grueling pain made it difficult for him to sit comfortably enough to write. Although he doesn’t complain, he is noticeably thinner and walks with a limp to this day. Upon the untimely death of Mr. Smith, King expressed sincere sympathy for the man and his family.
5. He Gives Back To His Community
Aside from the fact that his very presence in Maine attracts countless fans and their pocketbooks, King and his wife are also major philanthropists. They provide scholarships for area high school students, fund youth baseball programs, and contribute to several local and national charities. King has even been known to donate his fee from speaking events.
6. He’s A Mama’s Boy At Heart
Like all good New England boys, King adored his mother. Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King raised Stephen and his brother on her own from the time King was a toddler. She worked hard, supported her son’s dreams and instilled in him a powerful respect for family. One of his greatest regrets is that his mother passed away before his career took off – he wanted her to live out her final years in the luxury she deserved.
7. He’s Still Married To His College Sweetheart
King met Tabitha Spruce in the library (of course) at the University of Maine at Orono. They married in 1971 – long before the fame and fortune – and have been together ever since. The couple had three children in their early 20’s and at one point were so financially strapped that they didn’t even have a phone. While many who strike it rich trade in their spouses for younger models, Stephen and Tabby remain devoted to one another.
8. He Kicked His Addictions For His Family
During the 80’s King was at his most prolific, publishing many of his most cherished works. He was also drinking heavily and using cocaine. He recalled in a 2013 interview with The Guardian being asked to leave his son’s Little League game for showing up with a beer. After a painful family intervention where his wife threatened to leave with the kids if he didn’t get clean, King quit drugs and alcohol for good.
9. He’s Humble
Mr. King does not show up for his speaking engagements and book signings in a Gucci suit. He appears in front of his adoring fans in jeans and a T-shirt. Why? Because in his own mind King isn’t a wealthy celebrity. He’s just a regular guy from Maine who loves books and baseball and dabbles in Rock n’ Roll.
10. He Speaks His Mind
King is a major fan of all forms of writing – whether it’s books, comics, music, movies or television. He simply adores the billions of creative ways to manipulate the written word. He has been known to praise fellow writers like John Irving and J.K. Rowling, but he also doesn’t hold back his criticisms. He outwardly condemned the Twilight series as “tweenage porn”. Like most brash New Englanders, Mr. King is not one to hold his tongue!
So if you run into Stephen King at Fenway or the local grocery store, don’t be intimidated. He’s just like any other New Englander – he simply happens to be one of the most talented, wealthy and recognizable people on the planet!
Featured Image via Facebook/Stephen King