Eugene Geno Haggerty, 64
Founding member of the Provincetown Jug Band
Eugene "Geno" Haggerty, 64, of Provincetown died March 28 in Cape Cod Hospital after a short illness.
Mr. Haggerty was born in Cambridge and raised and educated in Belmont. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Upon graduation, he became a teacher, and he taught advanced placement English, history and math in North Attleboro and at Belmont High School.
A writer and avid reader, Mr. Haggerty perhaps is best remembered for his great love of music. He played the trombone, jug and washboard. He founded and was the oldest surviving member of the original Provincetown Jug & Marching Band, which has played with various artists at venues throughout the Northeast.
The Jug Band was the house band at the Surf Club in Provincetown for some 18 years.
"Good man," said Surf Club proprietor Lenny Enos of Mr. Haggerty. "He worked for my father and then for me for many years, from 1972-90, unheard of for a house band." It was amazing that the band maintained such a strong following for that long a time, he added.
Enos described Haggerty as "a real unique individual" as well as "a nice, gentle guy." "He was always extremely loyal to my father and me," said Enos. And he was very helpful to Enos and his mother when they took over the restaurant after Enoss father died.
A popular Provincetown icon, Mr. Haggerty began playing with the other Jug musicians in the Rumpus Room behind the Old Colony in the late 60s. He and the other musicians started just "messing around" at first, and then they developed a following, said Enos. In 1972 the band began playing at the Surf Club.
"He loved being the heart and soul of the Provincetown Jug & Marching Band," said Enos. "He was truly a man who did it his way, a unique personality."
Tim Dickey, who played with Mr. Haggerty in the Jug Band for 25 years, said the band played seven nights a week during the summer season for some 35 years. "Its a Grateful Dead-type record," said Dickey. "He had a lot of energy and drive."
Mr. Haggerty, who worked as a carpenter in the off-season, shattered both of his kneecaps in September 1995 while performing at the Truro Dump Dance. A fundraiser was organized at the Surf Club to help with his medical expenses. Napi Van Dereck, owner of Napis restaurant, was quoted at that time in the Banner saying, "When the word went out
to all the different musicians, many of them dropped whatever they were doing, drove all day, played all night and [then] drove all night to get back to what they were doing." Jug Band fans, known as "Jug Heads," will miss him.
He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Mort Duggan of West Harwich; his brother, Frederick L. Haggerty of Belmont; nieces Terri Mee of Medway, Judith Wilfert of Pepperell and Karen Murphy of Malden; nephews Paul F. Duggan of Framingham and William A. Duggan of Duxbury, as well as many grand-nieces and grand-nephews and friends.
A Memorial Mass was held April 1 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 8 in St. Peters Cemetery. A "Celebration of Genos Life" will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at the Surf Club, MacMillan Wharf, Provincetown. Family and friends are invited. Memorial donations may be made to the Provincetown Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 109, Provincetown, MA 02657.