Dolan: I’m grateful for story last week and had no idea it was coming

To the Editor:

I would like to clarify three things regarding the article in last week’s Observer about my 85th birthday (Jan. 15) and the Book Club.  First, I knew nothing about this article beforehand.  I was in shock when I heard of it on Tuesday evening, March 12, and shocked again when I saw its location in the paper the next day (on the front page.) Second, Jonathan Kelley is solely responsible for surprising me in such a wonderful way. My dear friend, Kevin Canessa, the author, did not interview me .. in fact, he never said a word about the article being published.  Third, the picture showing all that food … I did not make one item that week … my book clubbers told me, since it was my birthday, not to do a thing — they would bring “goodies”  and they did!

I say a heartfelt “thank you” to each of my fellow book clubbers. They made me feel so happy to know how they feel about me. I thought being the eldest, they “tolerated” me at best! We are now reading our 61st book! It has been a very interesting time in my life. Yes, I do like to read … I find one is never truly alone if one reads.  I love the saying “pity the man that cannot read, pity more the man that can — and doesn’t.”

Of course, I have more time to read than the rest of my clubbers — they are younger, raising little ones, working full time jobs or babysitting and one of our members is in three book clubs.

I encourage all of you to pick up a good book and you will understand. If you want to smile and chuckle as you read, I recommend any of Fannie Flagg’s books, primarily “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven.” A former member, now deceased, Nat Amadeo, loved reading Fannie Flagg books; he called them “feel good” books and he read them slowly as to savor them. Nat is sorely missed.

Take his and my advice and you won’t be disappointed.

Jo-Ann Dolan

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.