My sister's brother in law, John (Uncle John to you), is a gifted conversationalist and story teller. We also know he loves to read and has amazing retention of information. Uncle John is also an entertainer, the natural Master of ceremonies, and a musician, as well as the Lucky Charms Leprechaun come to life on St. Paddy's Day. At a recent ceremony commemorating his brother, Master Chief Charles Farrell's retirement from the Coast Guard, we all had the pleasure of hearing Uncle John recite a passage from, uh, I can't recall... but whatever he was reading, Uncle John held the crowd captive. He might has well have been reciting Shakespeare. Who knew? I thought about Uncle John, his talents and how a couple of years back, he had recounted a few tales of his youth; growing up on the Jersey Shore in the late '60s, early '70s.
UNCLE JOHN'S STORY
He's Uncle John to you, but John to the rest of us
Got a way of telling stories without the fanfare or the fuss
He can jump into any conversation, has a lot of stuff to say
and every bit is interesting 'cause that always been John's way.
There was one about his summer job before 1970,
paid to push a Swan-shaped boat off a dock in Asbury
With a grapple hook on a ten foot pole, or something of that sort
well he'd push 'em out and pull 'em in wasn't doing it for sport~
The same guy who owned the swan boats, tunneled love across the way
twice a week John worked the darkness, but preferred the light of day.
Played rhythm at the Upstage in band called 'Cory' later
workin' Perkins in West Belmar, took the name from the percolator
Around that time he grew his hair out, it was like an Afro-sheen
mistaken for Tinker, a surfboard chinker and drummer with Springsteen.
Cruisin' down around Brookdale in his '39 LaSalle
Met 'Stinky' Tink at Thompson Park, where he was singing with his pal
Hey John, you look like Tinker,
but now you favor Gere
a live ringer for Mike Richards,
and don't forget DeNir-
Oh, if you can't remember anything from 40 years ago
just ask your Uncle John who knows the time in Tokyo.