Remembering Mattituck, Long Island’s Paul Murphy, His Humor and His Onion Factory
Will anyone recognize the name up here in the Albany area? Probably not. Please excuse me for this, but I'm a little shaken up over the loss of one of my favorite childhood neighbors.
What makes Paul Murphy's passing particularly personal for me was that not long ago his brother, Frank also passed, prompting a similar tribute.
Paul was a childhood neighbor, but I really should put an asterick next to that word. As I mentioned in the "Frank" piece , you weren't just considered the "people next door" where I came from. You were "uncle" and "aunt", and Paul was an unforgettable one at that
He showed everyone out there the true meaning of volunteerism. If there was an organization that helped the community, Paul was there. He was always there with a joke and a smile, and I can't help but smile myself when I think of him.
I'll end this with a quick story that continues to make me laugh internally. Paul at one time occupied space with another "uncle" in a small building in town. On the first floor they processed produce - in particular, ONIONS. There was a conveyor belt where workers like me stood and cut off the ends. Then, using an air hose, we blasted the skins off and bagged them. He hired me one summer for that lovely task.
But what made this experience very funny was that, in the basement of the factory, my other uncle "Jack" had a factory of a different kind. It was a Revlon plant where they would package PERFUME.
Can you picture a place with the smell of onions and perfume wafting from your clothing all at the same time? That's what I used to smell like after a day at work on my summer job with Paul.
When I walked into the house, my father would say that I smelled like a "lady of the evening" who worked...ahhh..in an onion factory! How else would you describe it?
I have no photo of Paul to insert here. To my lovely "aunt" Rita, or to anyone in the family - if you're reading this, please send me something and I'll insert it here.
I partially apologize for trying to make this eulogy a bit humorous, but I can't think of Paul in any other way. My deep condolences to the family. He will be sorely missed.