Grafton author celebrates aging through new book

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By Christine Galeone, Contributing Writer

Jane Nozzolillo (center) with Grafton Historical Society president Nancy Therrien and Joe Schilke, curator. Photo/Ed Karvoski Jr.
Jane Nozzolillo (center) with Grafton Historical Society president Nancy Therrien and Joe Schilke, curator. Photo/Ed Karvoski Jr.

Grafton – The aging process inspires many laments. But between the aches and pains are a myriad of joys. Things like love, friendship, faith, hope, creativity and good humor can blossom and grow on both sides of 65.

Grafton author Jane Nozzolillo can attest to the fact that they’re found on both sides of 90 as well. Within the last year, the 94-year-old self-published her second book – a collection of humorous and heartwarming short stories about residents of an independent living retirement community. In addition to embracing joys that can be experienced in the golden years, “Tales of Vintage Hollow,” which is sold on Amazon.com, raises money (through a portion of the profits) for the Grafton Senior Center.

The stories in the book are light-hearted vignettes on various topics. The subjects include unexpected bonding with a dog, dating among residents, bus trip adventures and more. Although the stories are works of fiction, Nozzolillo said that she wanted to write about the happier side of being older.

She felt it was necessary because she knows how difficult the aging process can be.

“You never know what’s going to happen when you wake up,” she said. “What’s going to work? What’s not going to work?”

It’s clear, however, that her writing process works very well. She’s a member of the Writers’ Group at the Grafton Senior Center and the Sutton Writing Group. Being an active member of both groups boosts her productivity, and Lisa Shea – the leader and founder of the latter group and published author of many books – facilitated the self-publication of both of Nozzolillo’s books.

The mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who’s also an avid Grafton Historical Society member and volunteer, doesn’t wait for those books to sell. She does book signings and gives talks about “Tales of Vintage Hollow” and her first book “The Little House – The Big Move of the Little Grafton Savings Bank” at places and events such as the Grafton Senior Center, the Grafton Historical Society’s 51st annual Antique and Arts Fair and the Grafton Farmers Market. But she still enjoys writing the books more than selling them.

“I love writing; I’m just so thankful I can do it,” Nozzolillo said, noting that she feels it’s a blessing. “As long as I can keep on writing, that will be such a plus for me as I get older.”

Nozzolillo, who is currently working on her second compilation of “Tales of Vintage Hollow” stories, shared that her mind has “always had stories running around in it,” and she’s happy that retiring in 2005 from her career as a library assistant has given her more time to write. She doesn’t view age or infirmities as obstacles to writing, and she encourages everyone who has the desire to write to pursue their dreams.

“If I can’t walk at all, at least I’ll be able to write,” said Nozzolillo, who has a spinal condition that requires her to have physical therapy twice a week. “The stories just kind of help you forget about all your aches and pains, as you go along.”