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.