Father Paone (John Cleary)

May 1, 2016

     Thinking of Father Paone, let me tell you about his memorable dock test in 1951. I was head waterfront man and my assistant was Pete Flanagan - THE ROCK OF THE DOCK - a student at Brooklyn Prep where Father Paone taught. Up to about two weeks before his dock test he had given Pete a hard time in his French class - including his final just passing mark. 

     The test for swimmer status involved going two times the distance along the dock in the swmmers area. When Father Paone came for his dock test Pete greeted him and led him to his test. Father Paone was not a great swimmer but could just get by. He did the basic distance and Pete called out; "you're doing great Father, just down and back once more". I was afraid that Pete was going to make him swim to the Rock Lake dam but he pulled his exhausted and puffing French teacher out of the water and told him that he had passed his test - just about. 

     Just to be complete, I must add that Pete was greatly gifted in aquatics and diving but even more as a teacher. He also got what scouting was all about. Demonstration of this is the fact that he remains active in scouting (and has been a scoutmaster and continued in other leadership to this day. As an educator he has been principal of several schools in Sufflok and at the "UN" public school in Manhattan. 

     One of my ongoing pleasures is being "Uncle John" in the Flanagan family and talking with Pete a few times each week.

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Ten Mile River Scout Museum

1481 County Road 26

Narrowsburg, NY  12764

845-252-2063