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John Scully, 'A Sailor and a Gentleman'

A tribute to John Scully, submitted by William O'Shaughnessy.

Thank you to William O'Shaughnessy of WVOX for submitting this tribute to Patch:

It comes as no great surprise that John Watson Scully was a high church Anglican.  I mean everyone at the American Yacht Club on Milton Point in Rye, NY, a most famous sailing club in the County of Westchester, when informed of the passing of this John Watson Scully, did not have to hesitate before pronouncing him a gentleman.  It was not even necessary to read his obit in the Times and Gannett daily newspapers last week.

A gentleman he was.  And that is now required to be carved by the stonemason and placed with him in the Anglican cemetery in Vero Beach, Florida where he will go for all time to come.

John Scully was 82.  He came at you before hedge funds with their derivatives and well before yuppies invaded Westchester and his beloved Rye with their tasteless, out-of-scale 

McMansions  which  lumber  oppressively  behind  wrought iron

electronic gates.  As you look at Scully's life and way of operating, you also have to put him before Ipads, cell phones, reality shows, Lady Gaga and the Kardashians. 

He was of the American Yacht Club of George Gibbons.  Jim and Leggy Mertz, Ogden Reid, Rudy Schaefer, Walter Nelson Thayer, T. Garrison Morfit a/k/a Garry Moore, the Isdales, the Jamisons, Tinker Myles, George Bryant, the Mundingers, the Hibberds, Ann and Richard A.R. Fraser, Dick Pinkham, Wally Elton, Bill Ketcham, Rick Clark, Drake Sparkman, the Weins, Diana and Peter Gonzalez, and Charles Brieant whose name is on a Federal courthouse in White Plains where once he sat in a black robe under an "In God We Trust" sign.

John Scully was, in every season, a cultured man who existed in our frantic "Between You and I" society where most flunk the Interrogatory:  "I'm fine ..." and never mind the ... "And how are you?".

Scully sold pension plans and retirement funds which enabled him to shuttle between Vero Beach and his beloved Rye.  And for the last 16 years he battled the prostate cancer inside him with the relentless assistance and loving care of one Howard Scher of Sloan Kettering which is the New York Yankees of Cancer hospitals.  And so Captain John Scully made it to his 82nd year to bring his boat up from Florida for the very last time this summer.

A young John Watson Scully made his biggest score when he married a spectacular woman of great lineage in these parts named Suzanne Marechal and together they raised a whole posse of little Scullys who were given impressive middle names of substance, carriage and nobility which conveyed an aura of considerable heritage, provenance and breeding.

These offspring of John and Sue Scully are now parents of yet another issue of little Scullys, each, of course, endowed with a formidable middle name just as John Scully would have it.

He will be remembered next Monday, the 17th day of September, 2012, at precisely 1500 hours at the American Yacht Club where once he served as Fleet Captain.  I don't think he ever made commodore or won any major sailing races.  Thus no silver trophies adorned his mantle.  Nor is his name carved in any wooden plaques above the yacht club bar.  But few of the accomplished, actual winning yachtsmen there commemorated will be as fondly remembered by the sailing fraternity. Or by the people who pour the drinks, cook the food, wait on tables and haul the boats at this iconic sailing place hard by Long Island Sound in our home heath.

It is also to be here noted that one John Scully associated his name with the application of the very first Jewish member of said legendary sailing organization.  As memory serves, that particular individual was also proposed by a Richard M. Clark and has since preceded them to a place where such designations, categories and labels are no longer remarked upon.  But Scully and Clark put up the first one.

The great philosophers, social commentators and many of our statesmen speak often of a "coarsening of the culture."  And Scully's departure surely gives them another chapter for their sad assumptions and bleak prognostications as they preserve the story of our times and lack of civility and manners.

But for 82 years there was a John Watson Scully.

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