Membership Notes

An O'Hara Christmas

From Robert Saliba, Morristown, N.J.:--
Count me in on the forum discussions.

I read his stuff out loud to my wife almost continuously. Many times I stop, we look at each other, and wonder out loud how does he do it? The dialogue, the descriptions. No other writer has touched us this way. Right now we are going through the stories in Gibbsville, PA. Tonight we continue with Imagine Kissing Pete. They're all about to go the the Country Club.

Every Christmas Eve, it's been a tradition in our family to read a passage from the Bible and then The Night Before Christmas. I've been kidding my wife about adding the passage from Appointment in Samarra where Julian throws the drink in Harry Reilly's face.

To the person who inquired about a photograph showing the barber shop (in Cellar Domain): There might be something in Pamela MacArther's John O'Hara's Anthracite Country. The photographs are uncanny. They are exactly how my wife and I pictured things in his writings.

I have a first edition of From the Terrace. No jacket on it. The binding is a little off. My father bought it in 1959. That's how I got hooked on O'Hara a few years ago. One day I took it down from the bookshelf. I tried several times to get going with it, but gave up. I think the italics at the beginning discouraged me. Then one day I did get into it. I've been reading it ever since. I think my favorite novel is A Rage to Live. The critics focused too much on Grace Tate and the adultery. What they didn't really tell us was that almost every paragraph drips with social history. I think Mr. O'Hara said the hell with the critics. He was right. The critics were wrong and we are right.

When do we have our annual meeting? And Happy Holidays to all.

No comments: