Better Angels of Our Nature

Dino nails it with this one… 

President Lincoln closed his first innagural address with that group of words. While he was speaking of patriotism as it was regarding slavery in our growing country, I think about these words often. I think about friendships lost because of my politics, and my seemingly stringent moral code…which upon reflection is not really there at all.

How great is Wausau…look at Pat Peckham, Tom Fladland, Jim O'Connell, the cool library guy who has been on the second floor my whole life, the Dudleys, Tom Bergs, Gary Barden, Eric Sorensen (sp?), Tammy at the City Pages, Bill Coady, Ted Tautges, Clark with the Woodchucks, John Altenburg, Mike Capista, Cuda, Dan Newman, or Mike Wallschlager.

I have not known Pat for very long, but he made me a pen. Out of wood. Pat makes pens that we can pass down to our kids. Pens write words, words transcend time, words write poetry, and poets are the unoffical legislators of the world. Pat makes pens.

I also think Pat rides his bike to work. The other afternoon it was like 150 degrees, I think we were on the bright side of the moon at that moment, and I saw Pat riding his bike. Wearing his backpack that seems to be with him, and it seems to have been with him for 100 years. Pat was riding his bike, in work clothes. So I bet Pat rides his bike to work. How cool is that?

Tom Fladland is an amazing character. I met him a year ago. Tom's job is to help people. That is what it comes down to. He does, from what I can ascertain, the logistic work for nonprofits. Big shipping, stuff like that. Tom does the heavy lifting for non profits. The heavy lifting. When I drop off a box of collected food…from I can guess Tom takes it somewhere. Yeah I give it, but he gets it somewhere it needs to be. How cool is that?

I worship the Woodchucks. My friend Eric took me to a game a few years ago. I think he designed the logo, though I am unclear about it. I knew there was some art done, just not sure what it was. But we got to sit on the field. And heckle the teams. In our zeal we cross a line, and Clark threatened to throw us out. We were in those VIP box seats, but Clark did not let us get away with anything…we were loud and rowdy, and apparently we crossed the line.

Do the Chucks make much money? How much do the Chucks cost? How cool is it that Clark does what he does with them? My friend Jason used to manage the park, and he has never said anything bad about Clark. I own a Woodchucks baseball cap, and glow in the dark baseball.

I love where I live. I love that I have been buying music from Mike Capista for my whole life. How many mom and pop businesses last that long? Music is the thing that identifies me the most I think, and that sense of music was formed in Inner Sleeve. I remember being scared to go in to Inner Sleeve. My friend Will (Bill at the time) went in and I bought a Meatmen album, WERE THE MEATMEN AND YOU SUCK!!!. The couch, the wall of fliers, the insense.

Did you know Ted Nugent bought a CD at Inner Sleeve?

There has been a lot of talk about Scott Street Pub. Tom Bergs is a Wausau icon. The man has had music live in his club for 27 years. Three nights a week. If you look at the live music landscape in the state of Wisconsin, no venue has been owned by a single owner for that long.

Lets do some math. Lets asume there are 50 weeks of performances a year, taking off Christmas and Thanksgiving or maybe Easter. We will just take two weeks off.

Tom has had the club for 27 years.

27 years time 50 weeks is 1350 weeks.

Tom has had music 3 nights a week most of that time…that is 4050 performances.

On average lets assume that the music costs for the week is 700 bucks. On average. 500 for the big saturday show, and the rest of the money for the other musicians. This is a low estimate, but lets call it 700 a week for music.

That is 945,000 dollars.

Over 27 years, that is 35,000 dollars a year.

Over his time there, Tom has spent a million dollars on talent. Year in year out, Tom has been there for the musicians of this community. I may not get along with him, but I respect his commitment. I think the city needs to name a street after him. His is a cultural voice that put this city on the map, even when we chose not to have a 4 year school here (and look what Point has done with that).

I love my town. I don't know his name, but it seems to be the same man each time I go to the second floor of the library. I am pretty sure he knows everything. Everyhing in the whole world. He knows it all.

What a great town. What great people.

You are the better angels of our nature.

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3 responses to “Better Angels of Our Nature

  1. Pingback: Something New Every Day » Blog Archive » Cool library guy

  2. I agree with evrything but Eric SorensEn.

  3. I went back and read this again, and it seems the Scott Street talk is once again starting. I hope the City Council members realize that regardless of personal issues, the Pub is a Wausau icon.

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