Arts & Entertainment

Meet Westfield's Joe Nolan, Grand Marshal of 2017 Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade

83b28f5296076a6b2ed0_31e216f054b2278679a8_nolan.jpg
Radio personality Joe Nolan, Grand Marshal of the upcoming Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade, with girlfriend Marianne Fitzgerald.
83b28f5296076a6b2ed0_31e216f054b2278679a8_nolan.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — When Joe Nolan graduated from Holy Trinity High School in Westfield and headed to Seton Hall, he had his sights set on becoming a lawyer. A visit to the campus radio station changed everything. Now, more than 40 years later, he’s still on the air as a traffic reporter on CBS FM 101.1 with the Scott Shannon in the Morning show.

“I was looking for something to do one day and I walked into the radio station and that was it,” Nolan said. “The only reason I remember is because it was Dec. 7, 1976, and it was Pearl Harbor Day and they put me on the air almost immediately.” 

Nolan honed his skills at the campus radio station until he got his big break as a traffic reporter in 1979 with a new company called Shadow Traffic. From there he became a regular fixture in the metropolitan area news market as a television traffic reporter on WABC/Ch.7’s morning newscast and working with radio personality legends such as Shannon, Dan Ingram and Bob Grant. In addition, he branched off into sports as the Rutgers and Jets in-stadium announcer and has his own small business New Jersey Internet radio which provides play-by-play of high school sports all over the state.

Sign Up for E-News

“I never thought that 38 years later I would still be doing traffic; I wanted to do what everyone else did, I wanted to be in sports, be a disc jockey, in news,” said Nolan. “I almost took a job in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, back in the mid 80’s as the morning guy, but I hung around and stayed here and ended up working with a lot of great legends.”

When Union County’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins on Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m., Nolan will lead the march of bagpipe and high school bands, local police and fire department units, veteran groups and many more organizations through the center of Union. Sharing in the honor will be Nolan’s children, Bradley and Conor, and his daughter-in-law Michelle, as well along with his long-time girlfriend, Marianne Fitzgerald.

“It’s a tremendous honor anytime you that they pick you from a large group of people to do something as cool as this. it’s been a great ride so far,” Nolan said. “I’m really looking forward to the day. It’s going to be awful lot of fun. Friends and family will be with us. The main part that really attracted me was the fact they are honoring Union County Catholic Schools.”

Nolan still lives in Westfield with Marianne Fitzgerald in what has turned out to be a Westfield love story. The two were actually high school sweethearts but went their separate ways after high school — both getting married to other people and raising families and each getting divorced — and they met up again by chance in the Jolly Trolley some 35 years later.

“Now we are back together. It’s a pretty cool story,” Nolan said.

Nolan had a heart attack three years ago. He credits the Westfield police, Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad and Overlook Hospital with saving his life and allowing him to continue on, putting him in a position to do such things as become the Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“There was a Westfield policeman here in about a minute and half,” said Nolan, as he become emotional telling the story, “and then about two minutes later the Westfield Rescue Squad got here and then a few minutes later the paramedics arrived and accessed what was happening and got me out of the house up to Overlook. From the time I hit the front door at Overlook Hospital to the time they had the stents in and completed and I was out of the operating room, it was 62 minutes. Absolutely amazing.”

A frequent contributor to TAPinto Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports (a sports program for children of all abilities) and the sports editor of Education Update. Email him at throwbacksports@verizon.net

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_d2018ea59b9a3e8bbd37_childrens_library_2-18

Wed, February 21, 3:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Storytime with Miss T in the Children's Library

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9d8e453cf3136a3d0129_rec_2017_hw_helper

Wed, February 21, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper

Education

Carousel_image_1c276bd64c2e4971fc53_childrens_library_2-18

Thu, February 22, 3:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Family Movie: Hidden Figures

Arts & Entertainment

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of indictments of Russian businesses and nationals for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the presidential election in 2016:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments are the latest ...

Response to Deanna Dell- Bene

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor,

As a voting democratic committee member and a concerned, involved taxpaying resident in the city of Plainfield for over 40 years I felt compelled to respond to Deanna Dell-Bene letter, as well as other Mahr supporters on the PDCC.  While I don’t personally know Colleen Mahr and will not speak of her character I do know Mayor Mapp and can certainly attest to ...

Another Holiday, Another Encounter with Marine Life along Jersey Shore

February 19, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — In neighboring Spring Lake, a baby seal made its way onto the beach near the north end pavilion early this afternoon.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski discovered the harbor seal pup near the jetty situated just south of the pavilion on Ocean Avenue at Ludlow Avenue.

The seal’s Presidents Day appearance on February 19 comes one day after a whale was spotted off the ...

¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

February 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - ¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

Los servicios estarán disponible en los siguientes lugares:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habrá disponible ayuda con la aplicación para números de ITIN y también habrá Auto
Preparación de ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not the first time she has asked me for money, and not the last, I am sure. She grew up the daughter of a privileged family and cruised to Europe frequently when she was a child. Her wardrobe came from ...

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

 

Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange characters who remind us of our pioneer past, to St. Dale, a masterpiece about the legendary car racer, Dale Earnhardt in McCrumb's NASCAR series, McCrumb's poetic language and attention to ...

Maisie Dobbs by Jacquelline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press, 2003)

In the song “The Schuyler Sisters” from the Broadway musical Hamilton, sister Angelica sings, “ I've been reading 'Common Sense' by Thomas Paine. So men say that I'm intense or I'm insane, You want a revolution? I wanna a revelation . . .” because she and her sisters are “looking for a mind ...