John Grandits’ account of his neighbor’s escape from the World Trade Center is for sale at River Road Books for $1, with proceeds going to volunteer fire and first aid. Below, Drew Irving. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Red Bank resident and children’s author John Grandits could see his neighbor Louise Irving in an agitated state on her back porch, her sister’s arms wrapped around her.
Then he learned what was happening in New York City, and immediately remembered: Louise’s husband, Drew, worked at the World Trade Center.
Barbara Withers, a resident of the Atrium at Navesink senior complex, implores the board to preserve a book-delivery service for its residents. Below, board president John Grandits, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna outside the library meeting room. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
One or two of the suggested changes, such as leaving the soon-to-be-vacated job of the library director unfunded, appear to be “illegal,” trustee Brigid McCarthy told a packed meeting of library supporters.
Still, Mayor Pasquale Menna, displaying obvious frustration with what he called “drama” surrounding the borough’s recommendations, said the standoff can and will be quickly resolved, even if he has to take unilateral action.
That’s saying a lot for the ruddy and avuncular 61-year-old, who’s often fueled up on equal amounts of No Joe’s coffee and zest for speaking with schoolkids all over the country.
Earning a star in the Kirkus Book Review and an order for a second edition of your book, which hasn’t even hit bookstore shelves yet, can do that.
“I’m bullish on John Grandits this week,” he said.
After 10 years working on his second children’s book (he’s also published two children’s poetry books), Grandits is ready to hit the self-promotion circuit in advance of the July 4 release of Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want To Survive The School Bus.
Children’s author and poet John Grandits, shown here with a couple of his books, is the newest member on the Red Bank Library Board. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Not long ago, John Grandits was talking to a friend about serving on one of Red Bank’s many boards or commissions. One of the possibilities was the planning board, though Grandits doesn’t have your typical background for the job.
Nor does he have the energy, he realized.
“It would bore me to death,” he told redbankgreen.
Then an opportunity that fit his skill set presented itself at the end of the year when the library board announced an opening. Grandits, a cheery author with a strong resemblance to Santa Claus, minus the paunch, grabbed at the chance to fulfill a longtime goal of his.
“I always thought for years and years and years if I had the time I’d like to be on the library board,” said Grandits, who is 60 years old. “Now I have the time.”