Sunday, June 29, 2008

RIP Dan Dipple

Should have posted this months ago. Joe W. first commented on my blog when I wrote about Dipple's PrintShop, my cop tavern on a dead-end street at Eastwood, because Dan was a huge fan of the Man With No Name. Dan even hung a photo of Ashley in the front window to show off the colors in the photo. Ashley at four, and now she has her driving permit. I've mentioned the cop tavern in a few stories in Twilight Tales anthologies and gave Dan a copy each time, which pleased him no end. Always having a gravelly voice, I guess I wasn't surprised when Joe W. told me Dan had passed away from cancer. I finally hooked up with Joe W. Friday, he printed up the business cards for the novel, and we shared anecdotes on cropping images, running them four-up or eight-up, bringing back a slight nostalgia for the old joint. My leather jacket no longer smells like ink, but at the same time it smells like southern Illinois. Which really isn't that bad. Joe W. and I then walked, well, sauntered over to Taste of Chicago, a huge event here each summer. Ten days of 200 booths of food, from Home Run Inn pizza to Maxwell Street Station's polish (wanna polish, c'mon, you gotta have a polish, you). Watched the girls walk by, I guzzled water as my head came closer to getting skin cancer cells, and the coolest moment came late in the day. We're sitting there on the curb and this black woman, quite lovely with gold eyeshadow and a wonderful laugh, came up to me and insisted I looked like a guy she saw on TV. Of course, I thought it must be some old coot on a commercial for Colonial Life Insurance or maybe as an artist's sketch from AMERICA'S MOST WANTED. Then she admired my blue eyes and insisted it was me in a Dorito's commercial. I guess, I said. She didn't want Joe W. left out, so she admired his buzz cut which he doesn't have and it left him feeling like that Biff in BACK TO THE FUTURE. It was a pretty cool anecdote to keep in my head as I stood on a crowded el train soon after, reading WOLF WOMAN BAY by Doug Allyn. I suppose I could have pursued talking with her, with Biff, I mean, Joe W. as my wingman, but by now you all know how many opportunities I let slip through my fingers. And there you go. Later, gang...Wayne