The Binghamton Morris Men

Remembering Bob De Luca

Bob De Luca

For thirty-two seasons of dancing, the Binghamton Morris Men were privileged to observe the fooling of our friend Bob De Luca. Bob’s untimely passing on October 16, 2011 means there will not be a thirty-third season with Bob the Fool. That is a tremendous loss to all of us, and to all of you. This page is a modest effort to capture parts of Bob’s thirty-two year legacy of fooling.

One of the best descriptions of the role of the Fool in morris dancing was written by Bob himself in this article from the Fool’s Issue of the American Morris Newsletter in 1989.

The following remembrance is from Peter Klosky; a slightly rewritten version of the eulogy spoken at Bob’s service at St. Paul’s.

Bob De Luca was a fool. This is said with deepest respect, admiration and affection. He was the continuity of a tradition that includes Anachi, Bacchus, Gimpel, Loki, Fallstaff, Coyote and Chaplin.

Bob De Luca Folks who’ve seen us dance always best remember the fool, the guy in black. He was our point man, the interlocutor who tied it all together. Like the jester of old, he could tell the king where to get off, and get away with it. He was the great leveler. He could deflate the pompous with one whack of a pig’s bladder, but knew that when inflating a pig’s bladder, you should never inhale.

Bob was like a lens that added focus and depth to a morris performance. He could enlarge a small detail of the dance to a monumental proportion. Like a prism, he could transform sterile white into a rainbow of colors. He could draw out individual personality in an artform that is largely about anonymous uniformity.

Bob De LucaIn 37 years of camaraderie, performance and love, we learned a hell of a lot from Bob. But as the time got shorter, we learned even more. We learned about grace and strength. We learned you can look that dark angel in the eye, that acknowledgement is not submission. We learned that the journey to that good night can be gentle, and that, faced with the dying of the light, it’s not so much about rage as it is about outrage – perpetrated by the all-licensed fool and played out on the stage of human nature.

And we learned more about things we already knew about – the ineluctable bonds of family, community and friendship.

We lost our lens, and no doubt we’ll be unfocused for a while. But we gained a vision – enormous, well-defined and full of color – that will be indelibly engraved on our hearts forever.

Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca Bob De Luca
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Photos contributed by various friends are being collected in our Bob De Luca Photo Album

YouTube video courtesy of Jamie Watson

Written by binghamtonmorris

October 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm