The Sage in Saratoga
"When Saratoga gets too quiet I go to New York and when New York gets too noisy I come back to Saratoga. In this state of contented oscillation I hope to end my days."
While Frank Sullivan mostly wrote for an adult reader, his fondness for his godson, Timmy Crouse, led him to write a children's Christmas book for Timmy and his sister Lindsay-Ann, children of his very close friends, Russell and Anna Crouse.
The Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Springs Public Library used the occasion of the publication of Sullivan's new book for children to honor Frank, author, humorist, and loyal native son. People came from all points in the nation. Guests included Russell Crouse and John O'Hara, local dignitaries, and members of the Saratoga High Class of 1910.
" 'Sully' is having his night tonight. The old nostalgia will be burned to a crisp as the Boy Reporter Who Made Good is affectionately honored by his home town as an Oracle of American humor"
Messages arrived from all over the world, from the likes of James Thurber, Thornton Wilder, Charles Brackett, and Bennett Cerf.
After the party, more than one person exclaimed both publicly and privately, "It was a great night for the Irish!"
"A native son insists that August at the Spa
improves the human as well as equine breed"
Sullivan loved Saratoga Race Track. Period. Having spent time as a pump boy, dipping water for such people as Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell, his love for horse racing began at a young age and never waned. His friends knew him well.
On August 24, 1967, the seventh race of the day, a mile and a sixteenth turf race for fillies and mares was named in Frank Sullivan's honor. Frank put $2 on each horse to win to ensure he had the winner.
In true Frank Sullivan fashion, the trophy was donated to the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga.
"Since I reached voting age I have survived three wars, (two hot, one cold, none ended) and one depression (hot) and am still here, on guard with my little wooden sword against whatever lies around the corner."
Sullivan wrote his last Christmas poem for the New Yorker on December 23, 1974. His final stanza reads:
These greetings started in '32
When times were tough-but we muddled through.
Today our frights are all redoubled,
But courage, friends, keep hearts untroubled.
Why, hardly a prophet is now alive
Who thought we'd make it to '75.
Take hope from the Star! Our course is clear-
Full muddle ahead through the coming year!
Francis John Joseph "Frank" Sullivan
died on February 19,1976
A tribute from the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick