Halloween people, Lederhosen, moths and other October musings

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On Tuesday, I had the privilege of interviewing one of my good friends and my old college roommate, Todd Angilly—who some of you might know as The Boston Bruins’ national anthem singer—for a feature-profile I was assigned to write for a magazine in Boston.

We met for dinner at Chelby’s[1], and after I turned off the voice-recorder, concluding our formal interview, Todd and I did some much-overdue catching up over a pepperoni pie. Todd and I are both Rhode Island boys, born and bred[2], and somehow we meandered into a discussion about the writers we remembered reading in The Providence Journal growing up.

“Do you remember Bill Reynolds?” Todd asked. “He used to do that thing with the bullet-points.”

“Funny you should mention that,” I said.

So here we go with October’s homage to the ProJo legend[3] with a special hat-tip to my Pavarotti-esque old roommate.

  • It’s occurred to me that there’s no middle-ground when it comes to people who “do” Halloween and those remain largely apathetic about the last day in October. The other night, while staring out the living room window, as I’m wont to do[4], I noticed a burst of light. I went outside and saw a 20-foot blow-up glowing ghoul in the neighbors’ front yard. This perplexed me. Is Halloween such a big deal that one would invest in such a totem? I don’t get it.
  • If there were an actual way to bottle the tears from Yankee fans after the Red Sox took New York out of the postseason in the Wildcard game, I’d re-mortgage my house to buy said elixir. I remember Yankee Stadium chanting, “Who’s your daddy?” to Pedro Martinez in 2004. Now, after four World Series titles, the first following the largest choke in professional sports history, this is the final nail in Gotham’s coffin. You have your answer, Yankee fans.
  • I usually tell bad jokes in these monthly musings. But this month, I want to pay homage to a comedic legend who passed recently. If you’ve never seen this, do yourself the favor and watch Norm Macdonald tell “the Moth Joke.”
  • The Saxon’s name for October was “Wyn Monath,” which translates to “wine month.” Have at it, kids.
  • I don’t—and I will never—understand people who drive hours, enduring insufferable traffic on I-93, to look at leaves on the Kancamagus Highway. Maybe I’ve never really honed my inner-Robert Frost, but leaves and colors are just not that interesting to me.
  • October 16 is National Fossil Day, meaning it’s a bad time to be driving on one-lane roads.[5]
  • Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, runs for 16 days, starting in mid-September and ending on the first Sunday of October. They drink prodigious amounts of beer and wear Lederhosen. What’s not to love? Have at it, kids.
  • Congratulations to my editor and Manchester Ink Link publisher for Carol Robidoux, who was named Journalist of the Year by the New Hampshire Press Association. She has single-handedly done a tremendous service for this city. Funny story. I was interviewing Jeanne Foote and Kim Vaillancourt at The Second Brook Grille for a feature here, and afterward, I was having a beer at the bar and polishing my notes. An older man sitting next to me politely asked what I was writing. I told him I was a journalist doing a story on the restaurant. The man looked at me and grinned. “A Grateful Dead shirt, cargo shorts and Birkenstocks, I’m guessing you don’t write for The Union Leader,” he said. Thank you, Carol, for giving the people of Manchester another news source.
  • On Oct. 19, 1979, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers released “Damn in Torpedoes.” The album includes epic anthems, such as “Refugee,” “American Girl” and “Even the Losers.” It should go without saying that Tom Petty’s music is quintessential American rock n’ roll.
  • I lied. Some people are actually half-assed about Halloween, as evidenced in my decorations in The Man Cave.
  • Go Red Sox!

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[1] Despite what some people may think they read, Chelby’s is not closing. In fact, the column published here on Manchester Ink Link summoned cooks, and the restaurant is still very much solvent.

[2] If you listen to the recording of the interview, once Todd and I start chatting and revving into full-Ocean State mode, the R’s majestically disappear from most of the words in the discourse.

[3] I’ve managed to maintain this tribute since May, which is a Herculean span of attention for me.

[4] I spend hours staring out windows and disappearing in my own head. Mostly, I’m trying to avoid thinking. It never works.

[5] Rimshot.