Monday 21 January 2008

Joe Cosgrove

I promised you a tale of salty sailor men. None came saltier looking or more gravelly voiced than Mum and Dad's erstwhile friend and pub-quiz team member, Joe Cosgrove, with his old grey stubbly face and ruddy, gale-lashed complexion. Glaswegian and low-pitched, you'd think he was straight off a Clyde fishing boat and he was, in working life, a Merchant Seaman

He quizzed, with Mum and Dad, in the Shepherd Neame league, for the Anchor pub years back (before Megan was even born), and was always accompanied by scruffy, straggly ancient westie Gertie (whose name Joe pronounced with a good Glaswegian rolled "r" Ayeee.... Gurrrrrrrti' !). Gertie was completely disreputable looking, but had in her pedigree, some Italian Champions.

At the time Mum and Dad had no dog, but they all made a fuss of Gertie, who became effectively the team mascot, coming to all the quizzes ("we" wouldn't go in any pubs who didn't allow dogs!) and sitting quietly beside Joe for the duration. Mum and Dad would occasionally meet Joe out for a dog walk, where he'd usually have Gertie, but also his daughter's three scotties who, if Dad recalls, had names like "Towser" and "Aggie"

Dad, at the time, was hankering after a long haired Goldie, but resisteing temptation due to the muddy dog-returning-from-walk scenario described previously. When they fell in love with Gertie, the talk turned to "Well maybe we'll have a westie and Goldie - that would be a good combination". My Sister (Ellie)'s mum actually had that combo when Mum and Dad first knew her - the goldie called Bonnie, the westie called Suki, actually Megan's half sister (same mother).

Soon, they went ahead with the Westie so Megan appeared on the scene, and soon after that, Haggis , and these two went the occasional walk with Gertie and the scotties (3 whites - 3 blacks!).

Not long after that "we" stopped quizzing and had not seen Joe for a few months, when we heard from his Daughter that Joe had sadly passed away, laughing fit to bust a joke someone had cracked in a restaurant. We know he'd have wanted to go in some way like that, Bless him. She'd been trying to contact Mum and Dad but hadn't got hold of a number, and the funeral had been the day before. Mum and Dad offered, but the daughter had wanted to keep Gertie and see her through her autumn years.

That was all 8 or 9 years ago now, so we dare say Gertie has also passed away, but Mum and Dad will never forget Joe or Gertie, indeed, every time they look at us they can't help remembering her and therefore him.

Nice story...


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