Goodbye, Casper the Camel
This doesn’t pertain to green living, per se, but I wanted to pay tribute to a friend of mine who recently passed away. He was a local Delaware supporter that many of the downtown merchants probably knew or at least would recognize.
His name was Sky Lucey and if you grew up in central Ohio and are over 50, you may remember him as Casper the Camel on the after-school local TV show “Casper’s Capers.” The show, which he and friend Chuck Nuzum created, aired on WTVN-TV (Channel 6) for 10 years, until 1963. Sky also hosted a jazz show on WOSU-TV (Channel 34) after that, in addition to various other jobs, including managing the Engine House No. 5 restaurant in German Village.
I met Sky, then 76, about four years ago when I worked at the B. Cause Boutique in downtown Delaware. With his sparkling personality, and our common interest in black and white photography and travel, we became fast friends. Sky lived alone and didn’t have family in Delaware, so we’d meet for coffee and tea and he’d regale me with stories from his past. He had a zest for life and enjoyed being on the go. He’d take the DATA bus all over the county with downtown being his favorite spot to spend time — he was a frequent fixture at Beehive Books, Chelley Belly and 1808.
Sky loved people. His years in “show business” and in theater at OSU were obvious as he was sometimes theatrical and witty. He had the gift of chatting and seemed to enjoy Delaware and all it had to offer.
Over the years, I came to understand that he was familiar with the often bitter taste of regret in some areas of his life. I learned from that. Life is too short. But, despite his circumstances (he suffered from a rare and sometimes painful skin disease and thanks local physician Dr. Storer for saving his life), he always remained positive and upbeat; hopeful and, as his son Brian described him in his obituary, “full of wonder.”
Sky’s last call to me in early January was about his son, who is a six-time Grammy nominee for mastering engineer, including his work with The Black Keys. His studio, Magic Garden Mastering, is in Columbus. Sky wanted to let me know to be sure and watch the program, which I did and was saddened by the fact that he didn’t. Sky died on January 20 at the age of 80.
Tuesday Trippier is a writer and mother of four with a special interest in green and local living.