Sunday, March 14, 2004

Today as I was musing about different CBS characters that made a difference in my life, I remembered Jim Kelensen, Leo Kuranuki, and of course George Naeder.

The music in our home is always on, and in several rooms at a time, and there happened to be a song from, "West Side Story", the great Bernstein play. I had seen many versions of it, but the one that comes to mind mostly, is the one that George Naeder appeared in as the redoubtable, Officer Krupki.

George was an outstanding friend to me. In my union life for the IBEW, as an adjunct to Mike DeIeso, I came to respect George, for during negotiations he was an impressive force to contend with, because of his prodigious memory of the contracts, 'Past.'

But, it was his after-hours association that he made a boring traveling life interesting. If we happened to be in a restaurant, or a bar with a piano, we didn't need to ask him to play he just mounted the piano-stool and noodled away. George could play the piano, entertainingly. He could sing the score from the "Music Man" and slip into Irish ballads, or the usual familiar bar songs.

However you felt about George you had to respect his verve, and his loyalty to CBS, and the Union. He was always available to anyone for help.

This Sunday George is one my mind, for it is close to, St. Patrick's Day. I can here him singing to that other legendary Irishman Pat Finn. George managed to get Pat tipsy, and to bed singing, "My wild Irish Rose," when we were in Toronto Canada.

Nice to have known ya, laddie!

Tony Cucurullo