Posts by John Duggleby:
If this is a dream, please don’t wake me. I’m still in absolute shock. In a welcome break from the nightmarish reality show billed as the Presidential election, the Chicago Cubs delivered the feel-good story of the year– their first World Series Championship since 1908. And everyone, it seems, has a Cub connection at the moment. Here’s mine:
I can’t say that I’ve worshipped the Cubbies ever since I first held a baseball, whenever that was. To be honest, until the early 1980s, I’d rather watch paint dry than attend a ball game. That’s when I moved to a neighborhood only a couple of blocks from Wrigley Field. I learned the meaning of “friendly confines” when I saw the 102-year old shrine not just on game day, but almost every day.
And I learned how to enjoy baseball. I had just conveniently launched a freelance writing career in the summer, and there were plenty of slow days. If the weather was nice, I would stroll over to Wrigley and plunk down $2 (no typo!) for bleacher admission, which was always available. I’d bring sunscreen and a good book, and enjoy a beer or three stretched out somewhere along the ivy-covered left field wall. It hardly mattered whether the Cubs won or lost when you could converse and sometimes even play catch with the outfielder, and resort to “Right field sucks!”– “Left field sucks!” taunts with other Bleacher Bums when things really got boring on the diamond. And there was always Harry Caray, hanging out of the press box at a death-defying angle as his booze-soaked, gravelly voice led us in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Then in 1984 the Cubs shocked everyone by winning their National League division. Though the clinching game was out of town, my Wrigleyville neighborhood erupted with the wildest party I’ve ever witnessed. Among the thousands of screaming, hugging, beer-soaked revelers being jerked in every direction was a blind musician I knew. When I marveled at his daring to tread this social earthquake zone, he shouted, “Are you kidding? They may never do this again!”
And they didn’t– that year. After demolishing San Diego in the first two games of the league championship, they tanked the next three in spectacularly Cub fashion. It wasn’t the first or last time that happened over an interminable 108 years. But now there is joy in my old neighborhood because: CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!
My beloved Otis was the Kanine Kostume King; and though he has been gone for a couple of years, his spirit happily haunts us today– definitely a friendly ghost! As for me, recently playing a Halloween party edition of the DeForest Farmers Market, I showed up as—guess who? (one kid said George Washington) […]
Just got back from a journey to Colorado and in the words of Willie Nelson, “Sometimes it’s heaven, sometimes, it’s hell, and sometimes I don’t even know.” Heaven: Autumn in Rocky Mountain National Park, punctuated by not only golden aspens, but hundreds of rutting, trumpeting elk. (maybe Trump should check it out) Hell: The sick […]
Last night at local PaintBar Madison I achieved a musical career milestone– I received top billing over “$3 BEER”. In Wisconsin, that’s saying something! Since I’m very goal-oriented, I’m now shooting to be billed above Bloody Marys or margaritas. On the other hand, perhaps I should not get a big head– I’m worth $3 less than a […]
It’s hard to find appropriate words to describe Muhammad Ali. Along with the Beatles he was the “Fab Five” of most important people to me during my Wonder Years, besides my parents and grandparents. Not since John Lennon’s assassination in 1980 have I been so saddened by a celebrity passing. I can’t say I was […]
After the first round of voting, the Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) just announced finalists for the 2016 MAMA Awards– our version of the Grammys. My tune “Ukulele”– inspired by my grenddaughter Harper Rose– is through to the fiinals for Children’s Song. If you belong to MAMA, please vote for me! If not, you can become […]
Elephant love, as practiced by these passionate pachyderms I met in the bush of South Africa– does life get any sweeter? Unfortunately they didn’t, um, consummate the moment—now THAT would be a picture! I just returned from a month in a continent of miracle and wonder, so much more than I can begin to express here. […]
Christmas Past: My holiday card from 14 years ago featuring Otis, whom I had just adopted from a rescue group. He’s now gone but lives on in Yuletide spirit today and the other 364. Christmas Presents: Having our house filled with all of our three kids/spouses and our six newly-hatted grandchildren. Life is […]
Holy tailfeathers! I’m featured in the Nov./Dec. article of Our Wisconsin, a pretty well known and regarded magazine here in Cheeeseland. They took something I’d written on myself (focusing on my singing chicken persona) and edited it, adding even more corny chicken puns than I’d thought of! I have to admire someone with that kind […]
Here are a few personas of my late, great, Otis– Samoyed of 1,000 Disguises. They are from my new book “Oti’s Odyssey: A Rescue Dog’s Tail”. If you’re in interested in a copy of this saga of rescue, rehab and redemption, give a cybershout to firstname.lastname@example.org!