Growing up I knew very little about my grandfather because he died well before I was born. All I really knew about him was that he was a war veteran, an unemployed alcoholic, and that he climbed the Verrazano Narrows Bridge for a case of beer.
From what I was told, he was out drinking at a bar with some buddies and the topic of the newly opened bridge came up. His friends ( all Irish) said that Edward could of never worked on the “Guinea Gangplank” (Slang for the Verrazzano Bridge, the bridge joining Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Staten Island) because of the heights and risks involved. My grandfather got so worked up that he bet them a case of beer that he could climb to the top of one of the arched towers. He climbed a cable to the top of the arch and hung out there until the police came up for him. He assumed that the cops were going to climb up the same way he did, but when they went up through a hidden stair case within the arch, he became furious and fought with the cops (It seems like he felt they cheated). This got him thrown in Bellevue mental hospital for a short time.
I knew his stunt ended up in the paper but never saw the article up until New Years Eve. This was surely the highlight of my night!
From a 1969 issue of the New York Daily News. He died of a heart attack two years after this incident.