“He (O’Donnell) said, ‘You’re as fresh as the dew on the grass. I christen thee Dew Drop.’ Naturally, the name stuck, and the madder I got, the more they used it,” Morgan said in the interview.
Morgan surmised O’Donnell must have been “studying Shakespeare” at the time.
But the name became part of the legend.
SHOT DOWN IN WWII
Morgan enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 and fought in World War II. He was trained to arm warplanes and flew on the Grand V Liberator bomber.
On his 18th bombing mission, he and nine other soldiers were shot down by friendly fire over Poland. They were found by Russian fighters and, luckily, no one was killed.
He married Sheila O’Reilly in Saranac Lake in September 1946, and through the years, the couple had 11 children: Jim, John, Terry, Sean, Kelly, Colleen, Bridget, Brian, Kevin, Casey and Dermott.
Morgan bought the Bridge Bar and Grill on Broadway in 1947 and renamed it Dew Drop Inn, the first of three restaurants he established, the others being 13 Morgans in Plattsburgh and the Dew Drop Up in Potsdam.
The iconic Dew Drop Inn sign still hangs, its lights unlit, near the banks of the Saranac River. It remained a cornerstone business downtown for 42 years.
Morgan’s passion for bobsledding was sparked at the 1932 Olympics.
Sports lore recounts how Dew Drop was hoisted to the shoulders of Olympic bobsled champion Billy Fiske, who won gold that year in Lake Placid.
National Public Radio StoryCorps recorded an interview between Dew Drop and his youngest son, Dermott, on a drizzling day in Saranac Lake in 2008.
The elder Morgan recalled then the influence Fiske made on his young life.
“He picked me up and put me on his shoulder in ‘32, which I was 10 years old,” Morgan said at the time.