St. Patrick’s Day in Yonkers, New York has not been the same since Jess Buzzutto died in 2012. With a five-foot frame and a sartorial preference for the color green, he was affectionately dubbed by his neighbors the Leprechaun of Yonkers.

Eileen Logiudice (L) and Tori Medina (R)

Jess embraced what he called his “leprechaunishness.” A fixture on the street of Yonkers for many years, he was well-known as a friendly neighborhood denizen who loved to care for his garden, always ready to provide a passing car with a wave and a smile.

In 2010, Jess came to StoryCorps with his sister, Eileen Logiudice, and niece, Tori Medina, to talk about how it all started, by chance, with a green felt hat.

Eileen and Tori returned to StoryCorps in 2017, just before St. Patrick’s Day, to record a tribute to Jess.

Top photo: by Richard Perry/The New York Times/Redux
Bottom photo: Eileen Logiudice (left) and Tori Medina (right)

Originally aired March 17, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.