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Reminiscing / Gloria Russell: Thanks for a successful book signing, even without the author


I was thinking ahead when I started a column thanking all of you for coming to my book signing last month. Somebody chuckled. You probably know by now that I never made it, but the day was carried by my daughter, Lea, and my historian friend, Barbara Mehringer.

This bag of bones was holed up at the L+M Ritz for six days, but my fairy godmother was working overtime, so we had great success in getting our “Reminiscing” book out to you.

I thank Rona and Dave Mann, and Fran and Marie O’Neill for the bouquets, and our old pal Elita Giorno for her remembrance. Thanks to Kate and Andrew Burris of The Sun graphics department, and to advertising department head John Layton and Rachel Pierson for their outstanding skills in preparation. Also to Nancy Burns-Fusaro, who greets her neighbors on the “Front Porch” each week, entrepreneur Chris Di Paola, of radio station WBLQ, who parlayed has talents from Radioland to head of the Downtown Business Association, and on-air host Joe Cugini, for providing such community service — thank you.

As you know, Joe binds the “dear hearts and gentle people” of this town with an eclectic mix of topics and guests steeped in a warm brew of hometown radio flavor. Westerly Fire District Tax Collector Mike Lenihan urged me to keep going.

We especially want to include Richard Jones, a wise gentleman and good friend, for hosting the book signing at the Hallmark card shop in the Franklin Shopping Plaza. Because of his generosity, what could have been a debacle turned out to be a success. We’ve sold most of the books we published.

Again, thanks to you. If we missed anyone who helped, we’re sorry.

Before I go, I send greetings to William Barrus for his gifts from the O. Stillman’s Book Store, his shop, Rusty Gold Antiques, and the cardboard circlets that graced the tops of the bottles from the old Birchwood’s Dairy — a company that had a four-digit telephone number.

We have a lot of stories to tell you yet, so stand by!

Gloria Russell has lived in the Westerly-Pawcatuck area all her life and has been a reporter for 45 years. She can be reached at harglo@verizon.net.



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