Joe Conaway doesn’t take the joys of life for granted.
In 2014, he was putting his 2-year-old son in a car parked along the road in Walworth when a motorist struck and injured him. He needed nearly 300 stitches, broke a whole bunch of bones in his back and spent four days in the hospital.
He went on, however, to enjoy a relatively full recovery.
“I’m lucky to be alive, so I take every day as a gift,” said Conaway, a lifelong Lyons resident. “I cheated death.”
Conaway is now the owner of JJ’s Dog House, formerly Smitty’s Hots, and like always, is loving every day. Even though they are long ones.
He’s at the 18 Forgham St. site — either cooking or supporting the business — about 80 to 90 hours a week as he makes the challenging transition into business ownership.
But he’s not complaining.