When he reads for fun, my teenage son leans toward fantasy and sci-fi, so local author John O'Hara isn't really on his radar. He does enjoy the story behind the stories though -- the Schuylkill County towns and places masquerading as fictional ones, the brouhaha as community leaders worried that they were one of O'Hara's characters getting up to all kinds of mischief, the fact that librarians kept OHara's novels behind the desk so they didn't fall into the wrong hands. Shocking!
These days, as they celebrate his 115th birthday, the people of Schuylkill County are feeling a little kindlier toward O'Hara. The fun starts next week but I'm giving you a heads up so you have time to read a few of his short stories and novels before the celebrating begins.
Wednesday, January 29
"The Pioneer Hep-Cat"
Schuylkill County Historical Society from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Come for a dramatic reading and discussion of this short story about the Jazz Age. Tickets are $5 for SCHS members and $10 for non-members.
Thursday, January 30
Appointment at Samarra
Pottsville Free Public Library at 6 pm
A discussion of O'Hara's first novel about the infamous Gibbsville.
Friday, January 31
John O'Hara Birthday Party
Pottsville Free Public Library from 1 pm to 4 pm
Come for cake and the announcement of the bookmark and writing contests.
Pressed Coffee & Books, Mahantongo Street, Pottsville from 5 pm to 7 pm
There will be live jazz, a reading of "The Coffee Pot" and a specialty non-alcoholic drink inspired by the Jazz Era - the Butterbeer Latte. You can also sign up to join February's John O'Hara book club.
Saturday, February 1
John O'Hara Trolley Tour
Meet at the Schuylkill County Historical Society from 10 am to noon
Tickets are available at Schuylkill County Historical Society and Pottsville Library, tickets are limited. Tickets are $5 for SCHS members and $10 for non-members and include light refreshments at Pressed Coffee & Books.
Majestic Theater at 2 pm
Free showing of the movie adaptation of O'Hara's Pal Joey followed by a discussion.
John O'Hara Cabaret
Pottsville Free Public Library at 6pm
Jazz by the Paul Miller Trio, Jazz Dancing by the Crimson Academy, performances and singing by members of Theatre Junction. Sample foods from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Tickets are $25 per person.
Helping Your Local Library Is As Easy As Pie 🥧
If you stop by the Pottsville Library for some John O'Hara celebrating, take time to order your sweetheart a Deppen Pie from the Valentine's Day Fundraiser. Pies must be ordered by February 6 and pick up is February 19 (after noon). The 8" pies are $12 and come in the following varieties: Blueberry Crumb, Apple Crumb, Strawberry/Rhubarb Crumb, Double Crust Cherry, Peach Crumb, Double Crust Apple, Shoofly, Coconut Custard, Lemon Sponge, No Sugar Apple. Pies can also be ordered at the following local libraries: Ashland Public Library, Orwigsburg Public Library, Shenandoah Area Public Library, Tamaqua Public Library, Tower Porter Library and Tremont Area Public Library.