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Pocantico Hills Author Regales Library Crowd

Every seat in the reading room at Warner Library was taken Monday night—and then a few more were brought in as people kept showing up.

The audience, numbering 27, gathered to hear local author Herbert Hadad read from his first book Finding Immortality: The Making of One American Family . The crowd listened, laughing when Hadad shared stories about parenthood and nodding when they realized that they had the same experiences, just with their own children.

But when the reading was over, one particular audience member noted that Hadad’s children were all grown. What then, she asked, did he write about now? Hadad acknowledged that he’s “been obligated to have experiences outside the family.”

Hadad is Pocantico Hills resident, having lived in Westchester since 1976 when he moved from New York City to Tarrytown. When he’s not writing, he works as a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also teaches classes at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center.

His writing career started in journalism. While attending Northeastern University in Boston, he was on the co-op plan. When it came time for his first job, he had two choices: John Hancock financial or night copy boy at the Boston Globe .

Hadad chose the Globe and “it opened a whole world” for him. Eventually he was promoted from errand boy to apprentice and then reporter. He’s worked at the Globe , the King Sentinel in New Hampshire, the New York Post and then free-lanced for the New York Times .

He started writing personal essays on Saturday mornings and began mailing them out. In 1981, one of his essays was published in the New York Times’s Westchester section. He continues to write essays and send them out for publication.

During Monday’s reading, Hadad read stories about each of his three children and about how he once tried to figure out which child was his favorite. He couldn’t decide at first—it kept rotating between all three. Then his children asked him the question and he finally came up with the answer: he loved their mother the best and then all three of them equally.

It was “one of the few times I said something not so stupid,” he told the crowd.

Another audience member asked whether his children read the book before it was published—what if they didn’t want one particular moment to be in the book?

Hadad said all of his children read the book before it was published and had the chance to take something out, but no changes were made. He shared his wife’s philosophy about it: “If it’s a true story and well told,” then it’s ok.

Are you a fan of Hadad’s writing? Let us know by emailing mshamburger@mainstreetconnect.us .

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