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)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chief Lenny McGahey 1923-2010


Leonard R. McGahey, 87, of Lecanto, Florida died Saturday, November 13, 2010, at his residence. He was born September 12, 1923, in Queens, New York, and came to Florida 28 years ago from Saltaire Fire Island, New York. He was village of Saltaire Chief of Police and Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department. He was a World War II U.S. Coast Guard veteran.His wife, Virginia, preceded him in death in 2007. He is survived by his daughters, Virginia O'Connor and Nancy Fahey (Michael), of Lecanto; and five grandchildren, Lenny and Alan McGahey, Tim O'Connor, Adam and Brian Fahey.A memorial gathering will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, November 18, at the Strickland Funeral Home Chapel in Crystal River. Private cremation arrangements are under the care of Strickland Funeral Home and Crematory.

P.O. Lenny McGahey, Mrs. G. O'Shea Denis O'Shea 1983

Patsy O'Shea fondly recalls Chief Lenny:

When my father, Carbery O'Shea, died in Montclair NJ in Oct. 1973 right after a weekend at Saltaire, Lenny McGahey lowered the village flags to half-mast. I truly appreciated it. I had never noticed this happening before. My father did pro bono work for some workers in the village, but he never said a word about it. I later found out from one of the families. Lenny was a warm and generous man, and I offer my condolences to his children.
--Patsy O'Shea

Anonymous sez: Well that's a nice classic from the Golden Years!Lenny McGahey started in the village in the 1960's then got the Saltaire Fire Department started with Ernie Bernhardt. Lenny being the chief and Ernie the President. Married to Virginia.Then Lenny moved over to become the police chief, then retired. He he had 3 children (2 girls and a son-Lenny Jr., who lost his life while working on some boat on the mainland under a trailer.) Nancy and Ginny were the girls. --Anonymous

JOH: I lived across Pomander Walk from the mcGaheys from their first years. In 1965 and 1966 I worked for the Village alongside Lenny and Gottfried Mahler. One of my prized possessions that I still have at home to this day is a little shovel Lenny and Gottie gave me as Saltaire's "Garbage man of the Year, 1965." JOH

Cosmo: Back in the 1970's, I would "borrow" Chief Lenny McGahey's Police Bicycle from his front porch every Saturday night and ride it (illegally) to Kismet. I always brought his bike home, but would leave it on an unsuspecting residents front porch, where Lenny would find it on Sunday morning. One of my favorite targets was Mr. Apple, who lived on Neptune Walk accross from the Gallagher house. He was always making noise complaints when we had rowdy partys at the Gallaghers. No matter how much he would deny culpability, Lenny would yell at him and accuse Mr. Apple of stealing his bicycle. What fun!



Derf said...

So sorry to hear about Chief Lenny. He was a big part of the Saltaire I grew up in. That Saltaire seems a little more distant with his passing.

Anonymous said...

All of us who know Cosmo would probably agree that amongst his limitless number of character flaws that hubris was one of them.
In his story about the rowdy party at the Scott house he states that, after Lenny's call, he used his "quick thinking" to explain his dereliction of duty. In the process he ignored an attmepted rape, drunk and disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, his drinking on the job, and other acts of civil disbobedience.

Nice job Officer Cosmo!

COSMO said...

Cosmo O: Another fond memory I have of Lenny was back when I was a Security Officer. Lenny was Chief. There was a huge party at the Scott's house for my cousin Carol's birthday. The place was packed, the MayorBob Wright and his wife were in attendance, and I was in uniform. After a couple of hours of drinking, I went into my cousin Brian's room with a group of the guys when Faith Savage came in. The boys promptly tackled her to the bed (all in fun), and she started screaming. Unbeknownst to me, Dave Ludlow had reached over and pushed the talk button on my walkie-talkie on, and Lenny heard the whole thing in his living room. He immeadiately radioed back enquiring what was going on, and with quick thinking, I told him I was responding to complaint of a rowdy party, and that I thought I might have to issue a summons. He told me to issue a summons if I had to. I spent another half hour at the party, but then thought I had better patrol to make sure nobody was stealing things from the boats in the marina. I rode the two minutes from the Scott's to the Bayfront, when Chief Lenny radioed to ask if I had been back to the party. I said no, and he said I'd better get back there right away. I answered "Yes Sir" and dutifly obeyed Lenny's orders.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! Let the new year will bring a lot of money

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is a good blog. Keep up all the work. I too love blogging and expressing my opinions