Canoeing at The Slum

As told by Robbie Morris, Old Boy and original 5 Neat Guys’ Member

Key players:

Joe Patsy: Old Gaelic Founder. RIP.
Paul Meuron: Recently-passed (January, 2021) Old Boy and past Old Gaelic President
The Slum: Legendary Old Gaelic party house of ’80s lore
Denny: Old Boy and original 5 Neat Guys’ member

There was a rugby party at the slum early in the 1983 season, following a game with Wissahickon, a team from Philly that we had a good relationship with .As parties go, this one got a little out of hand.

Our team President at that time and voice of reason, Elvis, was last seen in a tree in the backyard.  I remember also a tree got pushed over in the yard, just because…

At some point Patsy finds a sled in the garage and brings it in the house and goes up the stairs with it. I tried to talk him out of it, but if you knew Patsy, when he had his mind made up there was no changing it. Sure thing, Joe lays down on the sled and down he goes. This sled really went fast and at the bottom, hits the floor, Patsy’s head hits the floor. He gets up, rubbing his head. Two guys from Wissahickon  go up the stairs and do a two man- sit down, and they came roaring down the steps and both go flying. Patsy goes back up, undaunted, goes down again. Same result. I cannot describe well enough, how fast and how hard their faces hit the floor. Now the two Wissahickon guys go back, but Jimmy Rosario’s brother wants to be top man on a three man triple. So they do a triple, laying down.

Down they go. Top guy gets up, rubbing his head, middle guy gets up, rubbing his head. Bottom guy does not get up.

When he finally turns over, he had deep cuts/ gouges, 7/8 places on his face, his nose looked broken in a few spots. Patsy rolls his face with some paper towels. Brutal.

They decided to leave, so we gave them a few pitcher’s of beer, and off they went.The next day, Sunday, Paul, Mark, and a few other slum goers are watching football, when they hear a noise,  and some guy from Wissahickon crawls out from behind the couch!

I believe Paul gave him a lift to the Turnpike. I always remember Paul telling that story with a laugh.

End of season banquet, in came the canoe!   


The next summer, a bunch of us rented a place in Avalon, NJ. Patsy,& Denny Melishoskis drive down late Friday night and got there at about 7am. Joe was really tuned up, waking everyone up, creating havoc. Joe decided to go visit Don Foster, who was staying in Cape May with his parents, so off they go.

Eventually, the house comes alive and, of course, everyone’s talking about Patsy. Around 10 a.m. Denny comes back in, tells us this story.  They got down to Cape May, to where Joe thinks is the Foster’s house. Joe goes in the house, and decides to change into bathing suit in the living room. Denny isn’t sure this is the right house, so he checks a pocketbook on the table… not the Foster’s, wrong house, and Patsy is naked hopping around trying to put a jock on.

Denny gets Joe outside, and they go in the next house  which was the Foster’s. Once again, Joe gets naked and attempts to change.

Don Foster hears noises and comes down the stairs to check, with his Mother right behind him, to find Joe bareass naked fumbling to get a jock on. 

Mom, mom. Go back,  go back!” So rather quickly, the Cape May visit is over, and they come back to Avalon. Patsy passes out in the passenger side on the way.

Now , it’s a very hot day, in the 90’s already, when Denny tells us this story. Many wanted to leave Joe in the car to sleep it off, but Paul felt it was too hot, and went to bring  Joe inside. Paul gets to the car, the door is open, and Patsy has crawled across the street and is passed out on the lawn of the bungalow across the street. On the porch is an angry Mother, shielding two small children.

Does this belong to you” she shouted. “Yes,” said Paul sheepishly.  I still laugh thinking about Paul telling that story, and I remember Paul as a great teammate and friend.He was quick to make you laugh, He’ll be missed. 

Joe slept it off most of the day, but was out and about hitting the clubs. They ran in to some of the guys from Wissahickon, including the bottom of the three- man-triple.

He said, “When we were getting off the turnpike at Valley Forge I woke up. I felt my face, and it felt like a glazed donut.”

Best line ever…

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