May 4, 2013

We're Dew for a winner

Stop me if you have heard this before, for I have a sneaking hunch I’ve already said plenty on hunch bets. But I’ve always been a staunch believer in going against the odds and leaning toward sound wisdom — like the color of the horse or a cousin’s favorite number.

Dew Drop Morgan, who left us in November, was all the richer for playing his age in the daily double on his 49th birthday on one of his annual pilgrimages to Saratoga. He made quite a score, raking in more than $2,400 and change on a $10 wager.

Dew Drop always liked his chances and why not? He cheated death twice behind enemy lines in World War II and again on the operating table in New York City.

He once took a hit in blackjack standing 17. He busted, but never flinched as they dealt him another hand.

The odds were never very good that Dew would outlive his three brothers, given his passion for death-defying acts like bobsledding and other feats of daring. But, lo, he easily was the last Morgan boy standing by a good 10 years.

Mount Van Hoevenberg tried its best to break the bones and spirit of a Derring-Dew. Veteran bobsledders could point to just about any curve on the old mile chute and offer a twist of fate involving the Iceman reincarnate. His sleds bore the scars of many a losing battle with the unforgiving serpentine slide. Through it all, though, he emerged a champion bobsledder and a popular figure on the international sports scene.

In business, Dew Drop was a poor man’s Toots Shor, the renowned raconteur and New York City saloon-keeper of the fifties and sixties — a character straight out of the pages of Damon Runyon. Dew, with the aura of an entertainer, brought the little city of the Adirondacks to life each night while orchestrating the Lullaby of Broadway.

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