Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jack Mabley, R.I.P

In doing research for my Dickens Challenge novel, which in part takes place during the 1968 Chicago Democratic convention, I stumbled upon Jack Mabley, the Chicago American columnist who, in August 1968, publicized the Yippies' so-called plans to put LSD in the Chicago water supply, have Yippie women seduce delegates by posing as prostitutes, and then put LSD in their drinks, etc. I had read Mabley before and believed him to be something of a right-winger. I was wrong. While the American was a right-wing paper (the afternoon paper published by The Tribune Company), Mabley was not a rightist, but someone who was alarmed by the Yippie movement and took their guerilla theater a bit too seriously.

When I did a Google search for Mabley, I learned he had died in January, 2006, at the age of 90. I also found his blog, Jack Mabley's Web Log. And in it I found two predictions: one sadly wrong, the other dead-on:

I’ve never hesitated to make predictions. They don’t jeopardize my reputation because my reputation is being wrong more than right. On that note, I predict that Kerry’s margin of victory will be substantial. And he’ll carry a flock of Democrats into public offices with him. And Barack Obama will be the first person of color to become President.

Rest in peace, Jack. Sorry you didn't live to see your prediction come true.

9 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow. So interesting. Where do you find this stuff? I love that a 90-year old guy could predict that about Obama...

steve said...

Elizabeth--Just one of those things I found while looking for something else. Of course, Mabley was from Chicago and he had followed Obama from his days in the state Senate.

Peter said...

Since I've been wrong before, I'll go out on a limb:

You'll have a happy birthday today!

Not much of a limb, I'm sure. It's great to have you around here, Steve.

usman said...

What a great story. At times \i really wish for oodles of time to read each entry from you.

Thanks Steve.

steve said...

Usman--Thank you. I'm glad to see you're posting again.

steve said...

Peter--I spent my actual birthday driving through snow. But I did get to listen to my favorite radio program, "To the Best of Our Knowledge." We're used to postponing birthday celebrations, holidays, etc. So I had a happy un-birthday December 2.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I second Elizabeth.

May God grant you many happy, healthy and prosperous years on your birthday!

steve said...

Tea--Thank You

Pocket Rebel said...

Hey there. I was just reminiscing about Jack Mabley and found your blog. He was one of my favorite columnists... even though he was 60 years older than me... well, almost. I was blown away in 2000 when Gore v. Bush was going on and again during Bush/Kerry. He was old then, obviously, but he was so thoughtful in his commentary. When he talked politics, he was someone to listen to. He had his own opinions and didn't just toe the party lines. It was funny, though, rolling my eyes when he'd complain about some typical old man thing... like music being too loud.

It sure is too bad he didn't live to see Obama as president. I know he would have had a lot to say on the subject. Anyway, I'm glad someone else discovered him.