Pounder of Nails…

I came across a poem my sister Maureen Spellacy McCarthy had written years ago to our Dad on Father’s Day. I found it in an article in the Newsletter April 17, 1996 for the RIPS, “Retired Irish Police” the article is by Peter V.Kilbane and I quote;

“From the Desk of Peter V. Kilbane; eulogy William J. Spellacy

 Another Legend of the Cleveland Police Department left us on March 20,1996. Bill Spellacy , and all around kind, gentle person. We are all diminished by his passing. Those of us that were fortunate to have known Bill all know of his love for his large devoted family, love of country, and for the members of the Cleveland Police Department. Bill was loved and respected by the police officers that worked with him and in the annals of the CPD Bill’s leadership and the loyalty of the men assigned to his command were beyond compare.

Bill Spellacy was known as a Lieutenant that backed his men right or wrong many times to the consternation of his Captains etc., and in retaliation he was often transferred.

Among other things, he was also a humanitarian, and when a member of his shift was late or screwed up and assignment, he would show the officer the error of his ways and by his patience, he saved the career of many Cleveland Police Officers.

God will love you Bill, as er do, for you have done all He’s ever asked of you. May you be united with all your loved ones, who left before you, and Rest in Peace for a job well done.

Your Friend,

Peter V. Kilbane

To Dad;  this poem was placed on the back of Bill Spellacy’s mass card and was written by his daughter Maureen Spellacy McCarthy in 1956

Mender of Toys, Leader of Boys, Changer of fuses, Kisser of Bruises, Bless him, dear Lord.

Soother of ouches, mover of couches, pounder of nails, teller of tales, Bless him O Lord.

Hanger of screens,, counselor of teens, fixer of bikes, lover of tykes, Help him O Lord.

Raker of leaves, cleaner of eaves, dryer of dishes, fulfiller of wishes, Love him O Lord.

I can remember standing around her in a cluster with my other siblings as she wrote this, I can also remember my Father coming home dog tired from working 3 jobs but still calling to a neighbor and pulling this poem down off the wall to show a neighbor what a wonderful gift he had been given. How proud he was! He KNEW then and now loved and respected he is  and  always will be. I think that’s a rare thing for a Dad. But not ours , because of our Maureen’s specialty has always been reminding us, the people she loves,  just how treasured and loved they are. And I bless her for that.

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6 responses to “Pounder of Nails…

  1. What a WONDERFUL poem – and so true. Reading Kilbane’s words, I’m reminded of Casper who has done the same things for his men in the Army and was transferred around because of it.

    • That Maureen, what a wonderful daughter for my parents. I don’t think there’s anything your Aunt Maureen can’t do. She’s always the one we turn to, and my whole life she’s always made the bad things bearable by being there. Even when it was almost impossible, she’d fly in and steady the rest of us with her presence. Can’t be easy to lead a tribe of 7 sisters and 1 brother with all the various feelings and opinions in heartbreaking situations, but she makes it look like cake. And I love her so. Yeah, Mom and Dad were really lucky to have such a daughter 1st. we all have our good and bad points but that Maureen can communicate, coordinate and organize with the best of them.

  2. I knew Bill Spellacy when I worked at Intown Delivery in the late 1980s and part time until it folded in mid-1993. He was the sales rep and I had many chances to talk with him. The funny thing is I knew his daughter Mary Ellen since around 1970 and once she said he would hire me if I were interested in being a driver for Intown, which he was then managing after retiring from the police department. But I didn’t meet him unti 1987 when i did work for Intown.

    Bill Spellacy was one of the most interesting and decent men I ever had the pleasure to know. A true Irishman to the bone, he was generous, wise and a good judge of human nature. He made an impression on me that will stand me in good stead the rest of my life. In talking of corruption (and this was probably over the late 1980s savings and loan scandal) he said he learned in the police depatment to ask “Who got the money?” Well,we have had similar scandals since and they still seem to be getting away with it. Could it be that they have protection, Neil Bush?

    I will never forget Bill. He related how he had the inspiration to join the police department: he was working construction one day after getting out of the Navy and was down in a deep ditch when a cop came up and shouted “What the hell’re you doing down there?” and he realized that’s the job to have. He told me of automobile trips he and several other retired buddies took and would take in the near future (his wife was deceased), but what impressed me most was his will power. He hadn’t tasted alcohol in years bexcause it did him no good (he told me a story of his youth where he was drunk and fell down a whole stairway from the second floor over on West 65th and Detroit) and I believe he didn’t drink till his dying day. That’s an unusual Irishman. Also, I heard from retired police lieutenant Wade Riddell with whom I used to live in the same apartment building in Euclid that when Bill was working as a police lieutenant he moonlighted working construction and so impressed Wade that he said he couldn’t see how Bill could do that bull work.

    God bless you, Bill.

    Bill McCroden
    Fairview Park

    • Dear Bill,

      You made my day. Along with not a few of my sisters and my brother also. Thanks for the kind memeories of my Dad. That guy is amazing. I think because of him that I find it so easy to believe in the power of love and decency and that goes on forever. Your kind memories prove that. I shared this with my siblings and years after the fact (1970,1983,1993,now) all these actions still come into play in our lives. Thanks so much for writing about Dad and sharing your stories about him and his influence on your life. He was amazing, and it sure sounds like he was in some pretty good company. Thanks.

      Sheila Spellacy Follman
      thekatebook.com

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