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.
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.