"Dew Drop" was a cherished storyteller, a bartender, a national caliber bobsled athlete. He was ninety years old when he passed.
Five years ago, "Dew Drop" and his son Dermot dropped by the StoryCorps booth in Saranac Lake to talk about their lives.
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On a drizzly summer afternoon, Dermot and Dew Drop show up at the StoryCorps booth on the shore of Lake Flower, and Dermot begins interviewing his father. Dew Drop is 85.
Dew Drop is a legendary figure in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. He flew bombing runs during WWII and Korea; he coached the US Olympic Bobsled team; and he later established himself as the most famous bartender in the Adirondacks.
But Dermot's interview of his father has little to do with all that famous, public stuff. Instead the men talk in detail about family, and about small, personal memories—like Dew Drop's job as a teenager delivering milk to Fish Creek. "I was in high school then, I went around barkin', 'milk, chocolate milk, orange, to 400 campsites.'" He got 15 cents per quart of milk.
In the next hour, the conversation gets passionate about local sports, including one high school football match between Saranac Lake and Massena in the 1930s. "You didn't have facemasks back then when you played", says Dermot. "Nope", says Dew Drop, "we went back to the huddle and Champ says 'look at this', and his teeth are out…there's blood all over. It was a crucial time playing Massena, and Champ played linebacker…we needed him."