I write a lot about my friend Sean Marley in this blog because he helped shape the man I became and the struggles I face. Right now, I’m thinking of his dad, Albert J. Marley.
Al died a couple days ago. I got the word from one of the Marley cousins, who told me, “Al is with Sean now.” I’m sad, but more than anything else, I’m grateful — grateful that he was such a big part of my formative years.
This post is a tribute to Al. I practically grew up in his house and he treated me like one of his own.
My fondest memories with him involve the sea. We lived on Revere Beach, but he’s really the one who taught me to appreciate it. The Marley home was a cozy, loving place in the 1980s and early 1990s. I spent so much time there because it was a happier place than my own home two doors down. At least that’s how it felt to me at the time.
The Marley house was steeped in seaside decor, especially the sun porch. I loved that porch. In the summers I’d sit there sucked in as Al told me one story after another about his ocean experiences. He was a captain in the U. S. Coast Guard and a past commodore of the Pleasant Park Yacht Club in the neighboring town of Winthrop. He was an Army veteran. He loved to tell me stories about those days as he sat in his chair and chain smoked.
He always had a story. One day their Irish Setter Shannon was busted after finding and devouring a box of doughnuts. They found the box and a trail of powder that led under the kitchen table where the dog was hiding. This reminded Al of the time a previous Irish Setter they had tore into a roast beef on the counter while they were all at Mass.
Like any good Irish-American sailor-storyteller, he embellished every detail — how much he was looking forward to the roast beef as he sat in church, how they came home to find pieces of the roast all over the house and how the dog cowered under the kitchen table, just like Shannon did after demolishing the donuts.
Al was in his element on the water. He would take me and anyone else who wanted to go in his small boat on a tour of the outer Boston Harbor islands. And nothing made him prouder than when Sean took the wheel of the boat. Whenever Sean took the helm, Al would glow with pride and give his son a kiss on the cheek.
He meant the world to my brother, Michael, too. He gleefully taught Michael everything there was to know about the sea, fishing, and oceanic culture. He eventually got Michael a job at the Pleasant Park Yacht Club. He was devastated when Michael died.
After Sean’s death, I didn’t see the Marley family much. Everyone moved to different towns and moved on.
But the family will always hold a place deep in my heart. By now the reader knows how much Sean meant to me. Now you know how much Al meant to me, too.
MARLEY, Albert J. of Winthrop, and Ft. Meyers, FL, formerly of Point of Pines, Revere, passed away on September 8, 2011. He is the beloved husband of Barbara A. (Indresano) Marley. Son of the late Albert E. and Mary E. (McMackin) Marley. Devoted father of Grace (Marley) Cloutier and her husband Jeffrey of Freeport, ME, and the late Sean J. Marley. Cherished granddad, of Marley, Maxine, and Samantha Cloutier. Dear brother of Mary L. Andrews of Falmouth, MA, and the late Elizabeth Marley and Paul Marley. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Funeral from the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home 210 Winthrop St. WINTHROP, on Tues, Sept 13, at 9am. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church at 10am. Relatives and friends are invited. Interment will be private. Visiting hours are Mon. only 4-8pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the West Roxbury VA, c/o Voluntary Services, attn. Cardiac Unit, 1400 West Roxbury, MA, 02132, or to St. John the Evangelist Church 320 Winthrop St. Winthrop, MA, 02152. Albert was a retired Insurance Broker and the owner of A.J. Insurance Co. He was a graduate of Merrimack College, a U.S. Army Veteran and a Captain in the U. S. Coast Guard. He was also the Past Commodore of the Pleasant Park Yacht Club and a member of the Mass. Bay and Commodore’s Club of America. For guestbook and directions, go to www.mauricekirbyfh.com.