First of all… he was Pat to me.
Pat McCusker and I were cousins — a trio of kids born with-in a few months of each other (my cousin Mike rounded out the triumvirate.)
But to the rest of the world he was Scunny McCusker.
Scunny died last Friday night when he was hit by a bus while riding his bike in Ocean City, Maryland.
The outpouring of sympathy and love from all the people he has touched over the years has been amazing and incredibly touching. There were thousands of visitors at funeral parlor both Monday and Tuesday, with lines out the door and around the building. And today at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen the church was standing room only with over 2,000 loving supporters.
The funeral procession was lead by a National Bohemian Beer truck. I guess I need to tell you that Pat owned two bars/ restaurants in the Canton area of Baltimore, and he was a huge Natty Boh fan. A police escort helped the mile long procession of cars navigate the route to the cemetery by closing down sections of I-83 and the Beltway. The crowd around the grave site was the size of the infield at Oriole’s Park.
Why such the fuss? Well, Pat had a big heart. “He never met a charity he didn’t like” according to US Representative Ben Cardin, but he was especially active in the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation. The charity:
provides exceptional hospital and respite housing services to critically ill children and their families. We believe in keeping families together during a child’s medical crisis, and that the gentle cadence of normal family life has a powerful influence on the healing process.
and along with fund-raising for the organization Scunny provided thousands of meals for the families in need.
I have to admit that I’ve lost touch with Pat over the years. We only saw each other at the occasional wedding and funeral. He owned a bar… I don’t really drink. We grew up and older and apart. But listening to the stories this week I wish I HAD stay in touch better.
This one’s for you, Pat / Scunny.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine sweet upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of your hand.