Showing posts from June, 2014

James F. Donnery II: 1950 to 2014

"See, some people call this place here the bar. Others just call it Guinan's. I call it my riverside chapel." -- Jim Donnery, Winter 2001

His license plate said "Irishman." So it was fitting to first meet Jim in the green-walled pub of Guinan's. It was freezing outside, but warm in there. Jim made it warmer with his big booming voice that signaled friendship from the first word, even to a stranger. It happened to be me that night, tiptoeing into the sacred after-hours world of the little chapel for the first time, but I could have been anybody. That's just the way Jim was - he was kind. To people he knew, and those he didn't.

Jim was born on Christmas Eve in 1950 in Cornwall-on-Hudson, according to his obituary. When he was small, his Mom, Dorothy, would drive him down to the river banks to watch the tankers and freighters go by. Before Guinan's was Guinan's, his father as a kid used to row his boat across the river to buy candy and soda at …