Uncle Teddy's Hat
My Grandfather was larger than life and remains a large influence on me even 25 years after he passed away. He had one of the last recorded cases of Polio in the United States before the vaccine was created. Some of our readers might remember me writing about how he commuted to New York City before anything was "handicap accessible" and had to lift one leg at a time with his hands to get upstairs. He would fall sometimes and hurt himself, including a few times when he cut his head open.
My grandfather was not going to let his disease stop him from living life. As an adult I came to realize that music and comedy were his medication. He laughed every day, and often. I have fond childhood memories of him making us laugh all day long. As a child I didn't connect to his love of music, but as an adult there is a full appreciation of it. Below is a song he wrote. I have no idea if his sense of humor will translate to readers in this format as it should, but either way, it's how we will honor him as we celebrated St Patrick's Day this past weekend. Enjoy!
I went out on St Patty's Day, a nip was in the air
On my way to see the parade, and then Heaven knows where
The clothes I wore were mostly green and matched except for that
I wore Terry Fogarty overcoat, and Uncle Teddy's Hat
I stopped for a green carnation, to wear on my lapel
The girl just grabbed me by the arm, she then began to yell
'I'll sell a flower to any man, sir, except for a gentleman that
Wears Terry Fogarty's overcoat, and Uncle Teddy's Hat'
I stopped into my favorite place and ordered up a brew
But what the barman said to me was not entirely new
'I'll sell you a drink any time, my friend, even lend you an ear for a chat
But not while you're wearing that overcoat, and Uncle Teddy's Hat'
I got on a bus to go downtown, before I could pay my fare
The driver said 'Hey mister, you're not going anywhere
I've let many folks ride my bus, even if they were flat
But not with Terry's overcoat, and Uncle Teddy's Hat'
I finally got to the parade and walked up to the front
A policeman soon came over, and said 'I must be blunt
We get all kinds of people standing around, but none of them we know
Would wear Terry Fogarty's overcoat, with Uncle Ted's chapeau'
The jury said 'he's guilty, there's nothing can be done'
My lawyer he had given up, the case could not be won
The judge said 'Twenty years aint much, if you consider that
He wore Terry Fogarty's overcoat, with Uncle Teddy's Hat'
Now when my days are over, and on the gates I knock
I fear that one thing in my life will be the only block
Saint Peter will say 'There is no man for whom I'll lay the mat
Who wears Terry Fogarty's overcoat, with Uncle Teddy's Hat'