Talk Pretty

David Sedaris' publicist asks Unreal to bend the space-time continuum. Plus: the blog of a former Cards hurler, and an obituary for Jim Igoe, the Delmar Poet.

"Jim was a counterculture character. He was a Buddhist, an extremely sweet man," says Bob Zeffert, who met Igoe in the 1970s. "He had a way of connecting people to the infinite. It's strange, because it's not like he was a teacher in the normal sense of the term. But because he talked about the universe in a different way, he brought you in touch with it.

"He had been through a really weird past," Zeffert adds. "I think he told me at one point that psychiatrists got him turned onto LSD as a cure for his alcoholism."

Born in north St. Louis, Igoe served with the U.S. Marines in Italy after World War II. When he returned stateside, he briefly studied philosophy at Washington U. before heading to San Francisco, where he witnessed the sprouting of a culture in the late 1950s before coming back to St. Louis around 1970.

"He used to tell me stories about hanging out with all the beats — with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Jerry Garcia," John Igoe recalls.

Says Kurt: "When I first met him, he was caddying for a living. He was carrying double. He was a mule. He used to collect junk in the alleys and make artwork, and he was a really fine poet."

Igoe was a member of the renegade Soulard Culture Squad and a mainstay at community radio station KDNA. He briefly joined a commune called the Church of All Worlds. In the mid-'80s he landed in the Loop, where each day for twenty years he roamed Delmar in ragged overalls and flannel shirts, offering kind words and keen advice. Andy Ayers, owner of Riddle's Penultimate, reserved him a spot at the bar with a plaque that read: "Jim's Chair."

Denise Ortega is a caretaker at the Loop nursing home where Igoe spent his last years. "I loved Jim," Ortega says. "Jim was a very special person to me and this facility. He helped me with a lot of things — just understanding who I really was, the type of person I was within. He touched my heart."



Local Blog O' the Week

"Haren's Heat"
danharen.mlblogs.com
Author: Dan Haren
About the blogger: Dan is a former Cardinals hurler who went to the Oakland A's last year in the Mark Mulder trade.

Recent Highlight (April 4): Our place is in a beautiful area tucked into the hills a little bit. We have a pool and a few bedrooms. Now we're busy making a home of it, selecting furniture and decorating. We spent a few hours during the day of the season opener doing some more furniture shopping. But I told Jessica that I can't be running around like that on days that I pitch. I was carrying a huge box with an entertainment center around. Now that the season is starting, that sort of thing is going to have to stop.

The dog is a pug named Bernie. I got him back in October from Joe Kennedy, who joined our team last year. Joe has two pugs who had a litter, so he gave one of them to me. I always wanted a dog and now that I have my fiancée here with me, it became possible. The big problem was always not having someone to take care of a dog while I'm on the road. So, yeah, I have a little pug. He's very cool with his pushed up face. He's about 10 months old now and mostly trained, although I had to get a little tough with him the other day when he started chewing on an area rug.

Jessica and I got engaged on Jan. 28 when I came up here for the A's FanFest. We went to visit our house, which was still empty because we hadn't moved in yet, and that's when I made the big move. I had the ring all ready in my jacket pocket and I went from there. We're planning our wedding for Nov. 17, after the season. So, yeah, it was a pretty busy offseason for me and a pretty memorable one, too.

Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to unreal@riverfronttimes.com.

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