This author shows off the ‘real Glendale’ in his newest book of short stories

Glendale Diner and book
Photo via Google Maps. Inset photo by Anthony Giudice

One Glendale resident is putting his town on the map in his newly published book, “Glendale, NY: Short Stories.”

Craig Schwab has lived in Glendale for the last 50 years of his life and has been gathering stories from his neighborhood over the last five to 10 years. He wasn’t sure what to do with all the stories he accumulated during that time, but he knew he wanted to do something special with them.

“This is something that might be worth sharing,” Schwab said of the stories he has been collecting.

So Schwab penned “Glendale, NY: Short Stories” to tell a story about his view of his hometown. The book is a collection of fictitious short stories that take place in one day, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, across Glendale.

Though the stories are fictional, they are meant to create a sense of nostalgia for a time gone by in Glendale, but also relate to the Glendale of today, bringing together generations of Glendale residents and showing the “real” Glendale, as Schwab likes to say.

“It’s real, and [they are] real stories everyone can identify with,” Schwab said. “I wanted a way, as a writer, to comment on letting people know that as much as they think we’re different, we’re all the same. There are qualities within us all that we should appreciate. We live in a special place.”

Schwab has filled his book with comedy, tragedy, humor and satire to appeal to all audiences and really show all sides of his “real” Glendale.

“I tried to put something in the book for everybody,” Schwab said. “I wanted everyone to really get the moral fiber of what I think Glendale is because we are a very unique place. We’re diverse and I think there is a moral fiber that is relevant to our community that I haven’t seen anywhere else.”

The cover of Schwab’s book is adorned with a painting by his lifelong best friend Tom Huber of one of the neighborhood’s staples, the Glendale Diner (formerly Bob’s Diner). The Glendale Diner holds a special place in Schwab’s heart.

When he was a boy, Schwab sat with his father at the Glendale Diner on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Fast forward to 2001, and Schwab was again at the Glendale Diner, this time with his own sons after 9/11. Both events make their way into the book as a short story.

“The Diner is the center point for the community without us even knowing it,” Schwab said. “So it makes sense that it would be on the cover of the book. I dedicated the book to all the people of Glendale because it’s about us. It’s about community. It’s also dedicated to one of the most fascinating people I know, my mother-in-law.”