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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Rambling like Farmer!
by Hal Vickery

Odds and ends and bits and pieces that might remind you of a certain White Sox radio announcer...

• Last week’s time off from the column was completely unexpected, resulting from some so-far unexplained problems with accessing the internet. Current suspicion is that we’re having problems with connectors in our cable drop. Things have inexplicably returned to near normal the past couple of days.

The problem started with the rain a couple of weeks ago. It has been cooler and drier lately, so it could be that this is just a temporary reprieve until another downpour. If I disappear mysteriously again, all three of you will know what happened.

• We attended Dave Wills’ going away party last week. Dave was preparing to make the big move to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, having just sold the house he had recently purchased. He was still looking for a place to live in Florida at the time. Since spring training has started, we can only hope he has found a place to live. It’s hard to picture Dave as a street person.

Dave spent a lot of time showing off one of his going-away presents, a T-shirt that said “I luv THE WHITE SOX” on one side and “TAMPA BAY SUCKS” on the other. It’s even harder to picture Dave as a street person down there wearing that shirt!

One didn’t even have to ask Dave to know what the Devil Rays’ beer sponsor is. Dave was drinking Bud Light that night. It is the first time I’ve seen him with a bottle of anything but Miller Lite in his possession since he joined the Sox broadcast team.

We hope to see Dave this summer when the Rays come to town. Until then, we wish him the best of luck in his new job.

• Since we last met here, my son Jeff has returned to work full time, a little over three months after his scoliosis surgery. He has now completed two weeks on the job after spending the previous month or so working part time on site or at home. At last report he is having some pain in the area where they removed his rib last November, but he has also been spending a lot of time out of the back brace which could be a contributing factor.

He will be flying to Washington, D.C. in about a week for an IT conference. Here’s hoping he remembers to bring along documentation of his surgery in case he sets off the metal detectors at the air ports. With all the stainless steel in his back, it’s a distinct possibility.

• It was certainly great to catch parts of a couple of games on the radio coming home from work this week. John Rooney and Ed Farmer were in mid-season form. In Farmer’s case that involved several convoluted anecdotes, including one about an 80-something “veteran of I think World War I” (which ended 86 years ago this past November 11), the last survivor of the flag raisings on Iwo Jima in World War II, and standing at attention in his living room and crying during the playing of the National Anthem during the Super Bowl.

We also found out that Farmer had to walk several miles to school when he was at St. Laurence High School, but now the school has moved to just a couple of blocks from where he grew up. We also found out that the Archdiocese of Chicago has closed the grade school he attended.

This was all in the space of, at most, a couple of innings. As a fan of traditional jazz, I think I’ve found the perfect title for introduction music for Farmer, an old tune called “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble?”

• I’ve received a few emails in the past week or so that I haven’t replied to yet. It has been very difficult sending email, and I’ve been busy with several things both job related and personal that have limited my computer time even more than the internet problems have. I do answer all emails, even the critical ones, so I promise to get back to you shortly, at least if I can send my replies.

• This column has been about as coherent as an Ed Farmer monologue. If this gets published I will be very happy and I promise to send a column next week that it might actually have something to do with White Sox baseball. Can Ed Farmer offer you any better guarantee?

Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at

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