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May 2007 Archives

Dale & LuAnn

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3:50 p.m. May 29
Birthdays have always been a greater point of reassessment for me than New Year's Day, the first day of spring or Thankgiving. Like a pie in the face, I've got another one coming.
And what do I know ?
Have fun. Savor the icing.
And know the beauty of finding a shared spirit.
Dale and LuAnn Klein are huge suburban Chicago baseball fans who I met a few summers ago while writing my column for the Midwest League's Kane County Cougars. We keep in touch now and then and I am sure to hear from them in the spring, when flowers begin to bloom and birds wake you up from a morning slumber.
A friend recently asked me about this baseball column I write. Last Friday night I was driving back from a Peoria Chiefs game. Steve Earle jangled out of the CD player. He sang about a beacon in the night and feeling so lonesome he could cry. I thought about Dale and LuAnn and beyond. Together, since 1986 they have visited 273 minor league baseball parks and 46 major league parks. Together, they are metaphors for a spirit that can be so elusive, regardless of age, race or gender....

When Dylan Met Bankie

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3:30 p.m. May 12---
Bankie Banx has one of the most distinct voices in reggae music. He has lived on the small island of Anguilla most of his life. The pristine country of Anguilla (pop. 12,000) is in the British West Indies and I figured calypso or soca rhythms might shade Banx's music.
During a recent visit I wandered around his home studio in a treehouse he built out of driftwood, 15 traditional Anguillan racing boats and discarded instruments. A trombone was embedded into a tiki bar. The treehouse is part of Banx's four-acre Dune Preserve. Banx, 53, kept referencing a Tom Waits complilation CD that was near a console. Indeed, Banx's raspy junkyard vocals are reimiscent of Waits and they grapevine into in a reggae-folk landscape to create a very unique sound.
Bob Dylan certainly heard this in late 1982 when he dropped into Anguilla on his 70-foot schooner, the Water Pearl. He met Banx. Bankie was all hydrogen and sulfur, in BobSpeak. And you thought Jimmy Buffett was the only American singer-songwriter sailing the Caribbean............

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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