Jim Roselle, the man who knows everybody, releases book

Jim Roselle’s life story is now in print. Like so many other Americans, Roselle was the son of immigrants who wanted to give their children a better life.

“The Best Times of My Life,” follows him from his Depression era boyhood in a humble Jamestown neighborhood on Franklin Street to journalistic and broadcasting eminence.

Roselle brought the stories, adventures and the deepest thoughts of famous people into living rooms, onto car radios and even to a few milking barns for 40 years from Chautauqua Institution and for 60 years on WJTN 1240 AM Jamestown.

Share many of his successes and recognitions, including his 2010 induction into the New York State Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, and read his fascinating personal life story.

In the memoir, written with Walt Pickut, Roselle recalls memorable and historic conversations with a young Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton, U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and legendary songstress Judy Collins.

Meet the woman who was once Britain’s top spymaster, the preacher who threw a birthday party for a Honolulu prostitute and the Israeli sniper who became America’s most famous sex therapist.

He unfailingly revealed the real people behind the fame and the celebrity. Eavesdrop on 40 of his more than 1,800 Chautauqua Institution interviews and hundreds of hometown broadcast conversations selected from the WJTN archives.

The introduction was penned in personal tribute by Roselle’s good friend and well-known political satirist, Mark Russell.

Roselle never lost touch with his community and his lifelong friends. Their stories are told with affection and with the same respect and admiration as any of his most famous guests.

“I didn’t succeed alone,” Roselle said. “Family and community made all the difference.”

The book’s release will be celebrated as WJTN hosts “Jim Roselle Day” at Chautauqua Institution, on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Hall of Philosophy. Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will host an event on Aug. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the Robert H. Jackson Center.

Both will include special presentations, interviews and book signings.

The CRCF’s Jackson Center evening will feature “A Conversation with Jim Roselle,” a live interview by Greg Peterson at about 5:30 p.m.

Additional book signings are scheduled at the Fenton History Center on July 31 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.; Off the Beaten Path bookstore in Lakewood, Aug. 9 from noon to 2 p.m.; the Prendergast Library’s Fireplace Room on Aug. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.; Cadwell’s Cheese House, Route 430 in Dewittville, on Aug. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m.; and the Lakewood Library on Aug. 19 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The book is 192 pages and printed in softcover. It includes a special 8- page color section plus over 100 images covering seven decades. It costs $22.

Pre-orders are accepted at the Chautauqua Bookstore and other selected locations throughout Chautauqua County.

The book may be previewed and ordered by mail through the book’s web site: www.JimRoselle.com or by calling Pat and Bill Locke at 386-2107.