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.
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.
Renovations for a new restaurant and cafe are well underway at #7 Garrison’s Landing, home to the former Guinan’s Pub & Country Store, which closed its doors in 2008. A couple of weeks ago, I got a tour inside - stepping back across a threshold into a place so many lucky people once called a second home.
The nonprofit organization leading the reconstruction has rebuilt the pub area in back (no, the floor doesn’t slant anymore but that glorious view of the Hudson River is the same) and generally kept the building’s overall architectural shape in tact. The old green phone booth still stands outside (it might become a library book trading outpost, I’m told), the stone fireplace is there (couldn’t see if the gold shamrock was still embedded on the hearth as it was covered with new windows about to be installed.) [UPDATE: Breaking news...the shamrock has been located and while it is not on the hearth, it is in a most excellent place: Margaret Guinan's possession. She reports, be…