NEW YORK: Grief in Greenpernt

Residents of the Greenpoint (pronounced Greenpernt) section of Brooklyn never really thought Peter J. McGuinness would die. He was an old-fashioned Irish ward boss flourishing improbably in the 20th Century — and he seemed as durable as the last of the cigar-store Indians. Also, he was in such demand as a pallbearer that it was almost impossible to imagine him playing a passive role at a funeral.

He was an enormous man with an enormous voice. In private conversation it was husky and confidential, in public debate it was as penetrating, resonant...

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