One Man's Gritty Journey from the First Seat
in the Dumb Row to Owning a Private Island

In “The Impossible Road”, author Joe Massaro weaves an inspiring memoir that ranges from self-deprecation and triumph to humor and awe in a simple captivating style that sometimes makes you ask, ‘What’s wrong with you?’


MAHOPAC, NY (August 4, 2021) -- First-time author and longtime businessman Joe Massaro launches his new book, “The Impossible Road -- From the First Seat in the Dumb Row to my own Private Island”. Joe’s collection of life and business experiences recounts a journey of extraordinary tenacity. From academic failure and drag racing with Don Garlits to hidden drama at the 1980 Winter Olympics and a dream of constructing a Frank Lloyd Wright master’s masterpiece, Joe hits all the peaks and valleys on his Impossible Road.


“What’s wrong with you?” This is a question that I heard throughout my life. From the Catholic school nuns I spent 10 years of my early education with, to the CEOs of industry-leading businesses. I was used to this question but I wasn’t offended by it. I just figured there was a lot wrong with me. I never passed a year of school until eleventh grade, when I discovered I was good at building. 


Looking back, it is pretty clear that I had a learning disability, but with no diagnosis back then, I was on my own to figure out how to manage what was “wrong” with me. Thinking outside the box wasn’t really an option for me because I had no box! Instead, I created a successful method of trying and trying and trying again. I learned that if I tried enough stupid, crazy, “what’s wrong with you” kind of stuff, eventually something would work. 


And you know what... I was right, boy was I Wright!

To set up an interview with Joe Massaro or to request a review copy of the book for editorial purposes, please contact Lisa Kaslyn at


“The Impossible Road -- From the First Seat in the Dumb Row to my own Private Island”

By Joe Massaro

ISBN: 978-1-0879-5856-9

Available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


About the Author

Joe Massaro was born into a working-class Italian family from Westchester County, New York. Growing up, he struggled with an undiagnosed learning disability and academic failure, but later found his talent for drafting and building in the sheet metal industry. He saw his career take off from apprentice to owner of the Elmsford Sheet Metal Works, the largest privately owned sheet metal company in the six counties north of New York City. He now spends his time in Mahopac, NY, at the Frank Lloyd Wright home on Petra Island and his beachfront property in Florida. Please visit Joe’s website for more information:



Putnam Examiner

Author recalls history of buying Lake Mahopac's Petra Island

By Sherrie Dulworth


A private island estate is not a typical book launch backdrop, but as author Joe Massaro recounts in his recent memoir, “The Impossible Road: From The First Seat In The Dumb Row To My Own Private Island,” he has taken many unusual paths throughout his personal and professional life.

During last Monday’s event, the 75-year-old Massaro shared how he came to buy the 11-acre, heart-shaped Petra Island on Lake Mahopac with its cottage built by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and how he created the 5,000 square-foot Massaro House, inspired by plans that Wright had drawn.


Getting there was not a linear path. Read the full story here.

Mahopac News