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Teddy the roofer: A NYC remembrance

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Whenever it rains hard, I think of a guy named Ted Sage. He was a roofer. But that’s not quite right. He was a roofer in the same way that Michelangelo painted ceilings.

Ted was a genius. He fixed leaks.

I met him about a month after we bought our first home in Brooklyn, in 1994. Spring had brought a deluge. Water was streaming into the children’s bathroom from an unknown source. I went up on the roof and saw no obvious puddling. I went downstairs and checked the Yellow Pages. A representative from the company with the biggest ad showed up the next day in a red polo shirt with his name embroidered. He looked over my roof like General Westmoreland surveying casualty reports from Vietnam.

“Three thousand dollars,” he said. “We’ve got to do the whole roof.”

I don’t remember where I got Ted’s name as an alternative. It could’ve been from the older gentleman on the block who had a deep gouge in his forehead and sat on an aluminum chair in front of his house, discussing how his gang used to fight Al Capone’s boys from Garfield Place.

I called. A few hours later, an old rusted-out black station wagon that looked like it could have........

© NY Daily News

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