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.
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.
John Guinan died last night after a long, and extraordinarily brave fight with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane, children Sean, Kelly and Casey, granddaughter Zoe, his siblings Margaret, Christine and Jimmy and his father Jim.
Your notes and calls to John over the past 18 months have meant more than you'll ever know. Rarely does someone hear such widespread affection from so many corners of the world. He deserved all of the love but took none of it for granted. And he changed many lives, my own included, in big and small ways.
The family will hold a wake from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday: Clinton Funeral Home 21 Parrott Street Cold Spring, NY 10516 (845) 265-3333
John's funeral will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday: Our Lady of Loretto 24 Fair Street Cold Spring, NY 10516 (845) 265-3781
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Braking the Cycle and Team Guinan. This link will take you directly to Team Guinan's donation page, or t…