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In A Tribute To A Plumber, Flushing His Ashes


Tom McDonald of New York tours America to give a unique sendoff to a childhood friend who died nine years ago. He flushes Roy Riegel's cremated remains down toilets in baseball park restrooms. The friends grew up together in Queens. Roy Riegel became a Mets fan and a plumber. I know people might think it's weird, and if it were anyone else's ashes, I'd agree, Tom McDonald told The New York Times. But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan and just a brilliant wild guy.

So far, Roy Riegel's ashes have been flushed down the drain in 16 different ballparks including where the Mets, the White Sox and Cleveland Indians play. Tom McDonald hopes to flush away the last ash of his friend at the Durham Athletic Park, where the Durham Bulls used to play and where Annie Savoy in "Bull Durham" said, I've tried them all, and the only church that truly feeds the soul is the church of baseball. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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