Now it can be told, #2...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Now it can be told, #2...

Always a delicate matter relating anything less than effusively adulatory regarding the re­cently departed, but it has been with consider­able restraint that I have held off this long!

The principal player is, as one may have sur­mised, Hizzoner, Robert W. Morgan Jr., on July 2, 1984, the day he was sworn into office as 15th Mayor of Westhampton Beach.

As anyone who knew Bob was aware, he loved pomp and spectacle, parades and hoop-la, and following the noon-time swearing-in ceremony by Village Clerk Frances Canedo in the Village Offices, he wanted police cars, complete with lights and sirens, to escort his vintage black and yellow Rolls Royce Cabriolet to where Hiz­zoner was having a celebratory luncheon.

Chief of Police James P. Doyle demurred.

Hizzoner demanded!

Chief Doyle refused!

(And so began the great enmity between the two that endured for years.)

And while there was no police vehicle, lights or sirens, the route was lined with flags as the procession made its way with great élan down Sunset Avenue and onto Main Street to Chris Bean's Main Street Cafe1.

There were many local dignitaries2 and busi­nessmen and even the ladies of the beautification committee and garden club, in attendance as the luncheon on the porch of the restaurant went off as planned and a grand time was enjoyed by all.

Proprietor Bean then went around to each table and, as directed by the new Mayor, presented each participant with a check for their food and beverages... which caught several of the cele­brants who had assumed that Hizzoner was picking up the tab, a little short.

It was all worked out though without anyone having to perform any dish washing services, but I can recall one Village businessman joking that he had left Main Street Cafe with a lot less cash than he had anticipated, "but now I've got a judge in my pocket and it only cost me $20 for the price of his lunch."

I was reminded of this when I saw the notice Bob's protégé and friend Marc Stinchi sent out last Thursday detailing the arrangements:

"Luncheon to follow interment, Baby Moon Restaurant."

Someone who had been at the 1984 inaugural luncneon wondered if he should bring cash.

Unless Bob left specific instructions, that prob­ably won't be necessary.

  1. Currently Margarita Grille.
  2. Including Chief Doyle.


1. Tugboat Bertha said...

There was an impressive funeral for Bob Morgan today at Beach Methodist Church. The Immaculate Conception music ministry provided beautiful music. The procession to the cemetery was led by antique fire trucks, a police car and a long line of mourners' cars behind them. Traffic was held up for miles in every direction. Bob would have loved it. When the interment service ended the skies opened up and thunder rolled dramatically. Bob would have loved that, too. Perhaps he even sent it to show us that he's still wonderfully flamboyant even in Heaven.

I saw part of the procession passing through Six Corners... he finally got his Police escort.

2. Seeker said...

"Effusively adulatory" may not be your cup of tea, but this anecdote COULD'VE waited and not been run today of all days.

Don't know how well you knew Bob, but he quoted an old show business maxim to me a quarter of a century ago: "Listen, honey, as long as they're talking about you!"

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