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.
An obituary for John Guinan ran today in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Many people know John mostly from his days behind the counter at Guinan's Pub & Country Store. But reading this testimony to his life sheds light on the many other facets of his character.
For details about the memorial services being held for John, as well as how to reach the family, please see this post.
Is this the next chapter for the old Guinan's building? Here's the latest story. The proposal is a long way from reality (just take a look at the condition of the building!) but at least there are folks willing to give it a shot.
One familiar face at Guinan's during its last few years was a West Point cadet named Brad Hoelscher. He came to Guinan's on his 21st birthday and continued to support the store both as a patron and as an extra pair of beer-slinging hands on several of the busiest nights during Guinan's final hours.
It's an interesting piece, even if you don't know Brad. For those of you who do, he graduated on May 31st. I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony and spend time with his family and friends that day. They are an incredible bunch. As for Second LieutenantBrad's next steps, I'll keep you posted here.