Special thanks to guest writer, Joan Yingst, and event photos courtesy of Jim Roche.
I’ve been a Svengoolie fan ever since he started as “The Son of…” back in 1979 when I was 12 years old. I never missed an episode if I could help it. Flash forward thirty three years later, and I am still watching him. Sure, there was a lull during that time when Sven was off the air, but I never forgot him during those lost years.
This year I find myself trying to rival Dave Fuentes in going to as many Svengoolie appearances as possible. I believe Dave still has me beat, but I seem to be on my own personal mission to shake Sven’s hand more times in 2012 than I’ve visited the gym. I’ll take Sven over the workout any day.
Sven’s October 13th appearance at “Tom & Eddie’s” burger restaurant in Lombard, IL, saved me from yet another dreaded encounter with the Elliptical machine. What was so different about this appearance than the previous ones? Cups, baby… cups! That’s right…besides being able to meet Sven, “Tom & Eddie’s” was also giving a special souvenir cup plastered with Sven’s delightful mug which could be yours with the purchase of an adult or kids entrée.
Not one to miss out on an opportunity to have a Svengoolie-signed Svengoolie cup, my husband Bill and I headed to Lombard that blustery, rainy Saturday. Sven was to appear for pictures and autographs from 1:00 to 3:00 and we arrived at 12:30 to a crowd within the small restaurant. There were several people in line ahead of us to order food, so we waited patiently for our turn to obtain the treasured Sven cup. There was a wall in the middle of the place which obscured my view of the line to see Sven so little did I know how much it was growing while I stood in the other line.
After we ordered our food and were given the cups (which were orange…cool!), my husband Bill suggested that I find the end of the line for Sven while he waited for our burgers. Oh, I found the line, alright….outside the door in the wind and rain! It’s pretty much a given that any photo opp I encounter will be when I have wet, windblown hair. Luckily I had an umbrella which blocked some of the muck, but I nearly poked a woman’s eye out in the process of trying to stay reasonably presentable. Oops, sorry about that! (Her husband’s head may have also slightly encountered the wrath of my umbrella a little later when I was trying to close it.)
Bill eventually joined me and we inched our way toward Svengoolie. It was not a dull wait; there was a lady a few people ahead of us dressed in a hooded cape complete with eye mask who entertained the line dwellers around her with her fun antics. (I also discovered she was the sister of the woman whose eye I had previously tried to poke out. Sorry again for that!)
When we made it to the front of the line, Sven’s friend Jim Roche recognized Bill and me from a Sven outing on the haunted trolley ride at the Volo, Illinois, Auto Museum a few weeks prior. This resulted in the “wanna-be roadies” picture appearing in this blog. As I type this, I have no idea of how well the photo may have turned out. It is currently in Dave Fuentes’ possession, so hopefully I am not my usual maniacal-eyed self in it.
Regardless of how the picture looks, I do know that Bill and I are now the proud owners of a couple of signed orange cups which look pretty good sitting next to a certain autographed chicken.