Friday, March 3, 2017


The Milwaukee Repertory Theater's presentation of Dick Enberg's 'McGuire' was fantastic. Milwaukee actor Anthony Crivello was spellbinding and had the audience believing they were looking at Al McGuire by show's end. I had a chance to talk to Anthony after the performance and I shared my Al story with him; he added a new wrinkle. The abridged version is as follows...

In the late 90's, Kay and I braved an absolute white-out blizzard to indulge in our favorite pizza and a jug of chianti at Barbiere's on Bluemound. We lived nearby, so it wasn't much of a stretch for us to make the one-mile trip even though no one else appeared foolish enough to be out on the roads. As we dined in silence, we barely noticed that we were not the only guests visiting Barbiere's: there was another couple engaging in quiet conversation three booths away. After nearly an hour with no additional patrons, I excused myself to use the washroom. As I passed the other couple's table, an unmistakable voice called out, "Hey, buddy. Have you got the time?" I knew whose voice that was before I even turned around, but turn around I did and I looked Coach Al right in the face and replied, "Um. Ah. Er. Oh. Um.... *looks at watch* Eight o' clock, coach." "Thanks, buddy," was Al's reply.

I turned and visited the washroom a-tizzy thinking, "Wow. Championship Coach and famous broadcaster Al McGuire just asked me what time it was on a blizzarding Wisconsin evening!" I got back to the table and told Kay, "See that couple over there? That's Al and Pat McGuire!"

Anyway, that was my encounter with the iconic coach and famous broadcaster, but the wrinkle Anthony Crivello added tonight was this... He brought playwright and Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg to Barbiere's recently and said, "This was one of Al's favorite hangouts," and Enberg said, "No way. This isn't Al's kind of place."

 Mr. Crivello grabbed his omnipresent pocket notepad and scribbled my story and said, "I'm calling Enberg and telling him this. I knew that Barbiere's was one of Al's favorite Milwaukee haunts!"

Take that, Enberg.

(Note to self: If you ever become famous, carry a pocket notepad, scribe fans' comments, thank them, and tell them you will act upon their with their input. Fans love this kind of shit.)

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