Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Short - Help Support "Team Guinan" Members

Please join me once again to support Kelly Guinan Preusser and her husband Ed Preusser as they hop on bicycles to ride from Boston to New York City in the Sept. 28th to 30th "Braking the Cycle" in honor of Kelly's late father, John Guinan.

It's a tough fundraising environment out there, and any amount will go a long way to help them reach their goal of $3500 per rider. Here's the link to donate.

I won't be able to ride with them this year, but encourage anyone who has supported me in the past to please consider supporting Ed and Kelly. It's not easy to commit to this ride year after year - and this year's proceeds will go to support Housing Works, a community for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Thanks to everyone who continues to honor John with their gifts and support.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dorothy M. Donnery: 1926-2012


Dorothy M. Donnery - mother of Jim Donnery who christened Guinan's "Little Chapel" - died April 2, 2012.

The night I first met Dorothy solidified my commitment to writing a book about Guinan's. She was as eclectic and smart and compelling a character as I've ever met. She loved the Hudson River - loved watching the tankers and the freighters go by. She worked along its shores at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point for 39 years. When Jim returned home to visit Guinan's on Friday nights, she'd always have a sandwich and vanilla milk shake ready for him. At Guinan's she'd sip the occasional Michelob Light, though gin and champagne were her drinks of choice. If she grew tired of the barroom banter, she'd slip out to the car where she kept a blanket and sleep.

Dorothy suffered no fools; her smile was contagious.

The family has asked that memorial donations may be made to a charity of one's choice.

Photo courtesy Jim Donnery.

Jack McAndrew: 1939-2012

We lost one of our parishioners, John J. "Jack" McAndrew - a founder of "Irish Night" at Guinan's - after his fight with lymphoma. He was 72.

Jack is featured in the chapter "The Rising of the Moon" in Little Chapel on the River and at other points in the book. He was a friend to many in Guinan's green walls, and a teacher to those new to Irish music. Without fail, he'd play your favorite song without being asked. For me, that was The Wild Rover. With a nod, and wink, he would always launch in just as my hands were wrapping around the first cold Coors Light. I'll remember his smile and generosity as it swelled out from the dark room, dancing on the music that carried his spirit throughout the bar and beyond.

You can read Jack's "My Reflections as Session Leader" essay about his time at Guinan's.

Memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society www.lls.org

Photo courtesy Christine Ashburn.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

High Holy Day 2012 at The Chapel

Long live the Chapel! A group of parishioners -- including family members Margaret Guinan, Kelly Guinan, Mary Jane Guinan & Ed Preusser -- gathered at the Chapel to celebrate the High Holy Day. Building might be shut, but you can't keep the community away. Everyone is very excited about the upcoming renovation and reopening.

Helping organize the event was Jay Vitale, a friend of the late John Guinan, who in honor of John has started a very cool charity called "Guinan's Aurora" where he collects used bicycles bound for the landfill and partners with local bike shops to help refurbish and distribute them to under privileged children or children in remission from life-threatening illnesses.

He's done incredible things so far. You can connect with Jay at
www.guinansaurora.org or on here on Facebook. Address below:

P.O. Box 208
Garrison NY 10524
845.424.6078