Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Too Late

On the ferry one summer’s day a generation ago, I sat next to Carbery O’Shea Sr., whom I knew only as someone I’d say hello to. Ours was the distanced relationship common in a vacation community like Saltaire.

We chatted all the way from Bay Shore to the village, talking about our families, our work, the commute. When I reached home I told Elizabeth about our encounter. “Carbery’s an interesting guy,” I said. “I’m glad I got to know him after all these years.” I added that I was looking forward
to seeing more of him.

Within a week, I learned that Carbery had died suddenly. We had gotten
together too late.

- Dick Starkey


JOH adds a sidebar:

Carbery O’Shea Sr. was a great legal draftsman.

I know this from a story Prof. Charles Lyon told me about the Lyons’ first summer in Saltaire, 1957, when they rented the O’Shea house for July.

It seems that Carbery O'Shea Jr. was Uncle Pete’s top counselor, and Uncle Pete needed him for the whole summer. No problem: The Senior O’Shea told Professor Lyon that Carb could stay with the Lyon clan in July.

Mr. O’Shea drew up the lease for July, 1957.

It was many years later that Professor Lyon, who had a great way with words himself, told me the story of how he always admired and recalled fondly the “magnificent” language of Mr. O’Shea Sr. in the “Carbery O’Shea Jr. clause” that granted Professor Charles Lyon full “in loco parentis” rights of discipline and control over Carbery Jr., along with full obligation to feed, house and shelter aforesaid Carbery O’Shea Jr.

Both Carbery O’Shea Sr. and Prof. Lyon were, of course, great lawyers. Lyon, being a founding partner of Skadden Arps, and Mr. O’Shea a partner in some equally prestigious Wall Street firm, they had great mutual respect and, I suspect, similar senses of humor.


P.S. On information and belief, Carbery Jr. caused no problems for the Lyons. Here he is working a track meet that very summer, 1957:

photo courtesy Stillgebauer Lode
Click image to enlarge

No comments: