Pottsville to Fête 115th Year of O'Hara's Birth

CALLING ALL O'HARA FANS

Dear Colleagues,
January 31, 2020 marks the 115th anniversary of John O’Hara’s birth. The Pottsville Free Public Library is planning to honor this anniversary with a week long celebration.

We invite you to join us at the Pottsville Library on Thursday, August 15 2019 at 2 PM to discuss how we as a city can celebrate O’Hara’s legacy in our community. For example, the library’s book discussion group, the Page Turners, will read one of his novels and discuss it at their January 23rd meeting; this session would be open to anyone in the county to take part. It could even be a city-wide “One City One Book” discussion. A birthday party will be held at the library on Friday, January 31st, complete with birthday cake.

What other events would you like to see happen that week?

Please let us know if you will be able to join us in our planning session on August 15th. If there is someone you think would be interested in joining us to plan the event, please forward this to them or bring them with you.

We will be throwing a party in January, but it will be a lot more fun if you are celebrating with us!
 
Sincerely,
Jean Towle, MLS
Executive Library Director
and
Becki White, MLS
Reference Librarian

Becki White, MLS
Head Reference Librarian
Pottsville Free Public Library
215 W Market St
Pottsville, PA  17901-4304
ph: 570-622-8880 ext 11
fx: 570-622-2157
bwhite@pottsvillelibrary.org
www.pottsvillelibrary.org
www.facebook.com/PottsvilleFreePublicLibrary

Admission to the "Club"

THE JOHN O'HARA SOCIETY

On November 21, 1959, publication of  "That First Husband." The Saturday Evening Post. The Time Element & Other Stories. This was the last story John O'Hara wrote before rejoining The New Yorker with the publication in September 1960 of "Imagine Kissing Pete," which in my opinion is far superior to this story." Ourselves to Know was published in between these two stories on February 27, 1960.

"Dutch" Otterbein and his wife Emily return to Dutch's college and have an ugly confrontation with Emily's first husband at Dutch's old club, The Orchard. What interested meesting was the description of the Club and its admission requirements:

"A member of The Orchard considers himself a member from the time he first shakes hands to the moment when there is no longer life in his fingers. And, incidentally, we have no secret grip. We have a necktie, a hatband, and a watch charm, but our ritual is Robert's Rules of Order, and we have no connection with the Greek-letter fraternity whose members founded The Orchard. Our principal secret is that of any club - the discussions and the vote that decide who shall be invited to join. It is interesting to note that in almost every year of our existence the college as a whole has been able to guess accurately the names of the ten of fifteen men who will be invited. We have standards, and they are known: a good family background, a good prep school, a clear complexion, acceptable behavior when drunk, a responsible attitude toward the educational purpose of the college, and the subtlest one of all - a belief that a man who is being considered for an invitation will not, in college or later life, trade on his membership in The Orchard. We have made many mistakes. We have missed out on men who turned out well; we have taken in men who turned out badly. But one of the reasons why I always try to get to the club before the game is that the mistakes who persist in showing up are so much in the minority. The good men predominate, as I suppose they do in other clubs, and our standards are upheld in the superior court of adult life."

NEW O'HARA SHORT STORY EDITION

O'HARA AND HEMINGWAY

JOHN O’HARA’S ‘HOW CAN I TELL YOU?’: AN ALLEGORY OF HEMINGWAY’S SUICIDE
By Steven Goldleaf
On July 3rd, 1961, as news of Ernest Hemingway’s death began to circulate, John O’Hara had been sitting in the TV room of his summer cottage at Quogue on the south shore of Long Island with his daughter Wylie, who had just turned 16. Suddenly, O’Hara bolted for his bedroom to retrieve a framed photo, taken some thirty years earlier, of the two successful and prosperous young authors flanking the owner of Manhattan’s Stork Club. Tears streamed down O’Hara’s cheeks. Showing the photograph to his teenaged daughter, he told her, “I understand it so well.”
“It,” of course, was Hemingway’s suicide, and O’Hara never shared his understanding with anyone outside of that Quogue cottage.  Inside the beachfront cottage that day, Wylie didn’t press her father for further details of his understanding, so the remark remains to this day tantalizing. “I understand it so well.” On numerous occasions over the past few decades, I’ve spoken with his daughter, who last month turned 73, and Wylie O’Hara Holahan Doughty, as charming and forthcoming as a literary executor is allowed to be, regrets that those bare details are all that she remembers from that day in 1961.

TENNIS ANYONE?

O'HARA IN TENNIS WHITES?

Rick Marin <rickmarin@mac.com>
To:philabooks|booksellers
‎3‎ ‎May at ‎14‎:‎06
 
So, I’m writing this piece about O’Hara and tennis (and/or court tennis) for a new literary tennis quarterly called Racquet.
How would I put a question out there to your members on your website… “Has anyone come across a photo of O’Hara and tennis?” I’m trying his papers at Penn, but maybe one of your people has seen something,….
And since Mr. Bruccoli is no longer with us, is there another O’Hara scholar you’re aware of?
Best,
Rick
 
Rick Marin
rickmarin@mac.com
 

Reader Question

Dear Friends,
I'm attempting to read and collect all John O'hara stories. The Story:
"Name in the Book",
 
Listed by Bruccoli in the Pittsburgh O'Hara Bibliography as Short Story # C182
From Good Houskeeping CXIX December 1944 Pages 172-173
 
This is nowhere that I can find.
 
Was it ever reproduced in a collection?
 
Does any member have this story of which I could purchase a copy?
 
Any help would be appreciated.
 
Many Thanks,
Norman Dolph nedolph@aol.com

Cubans?

Help!  I've recently come in possession of a 1942 letter from O'Hara to Henry Morgan.  O'Hara signs off "cigar store"'. What is that in reference to?
Appreciate a response to the query which has many of us puzzled.
Thank you for your time.
George Madison

hooahgoarmy1@yahoo.com

THE CRITICS

 SERMONS AND SODA WATER (1960)

The novellas represent no change in Mr O'Hara's method. He normally puts everything into a novel, including the kitchen sink complete with stopped drain, plumber, and plumber's mate, and does not once but four or five times per book. The novella form has merely limited the author in a statistical way; one kitchen sink is all he can fit into his predetermined space....

-- The Atlantic Monthly
Vox|Tex: +1.215.385.3512

THE CRITICS

THE BIG LAUGH (1962)

When O'Hara is good he is very, very good; when he is bad he iswriting for Hollywood...an exercise in tedium.

--The New York Herald Tribune 
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THE CRITICS

THE HORSE KNOWS THE WAY (1964)

One might suggest...that the inhabitants of hell be condemned to an eternity reading stories behind the headlines in American tabloids.... John O'Hara's new collection of short stories brings the whole realm uncomfortably close. It is a punishment to read....

-- Christian Science Monitor
 
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