As we come to the close of another year, let’s remember those Flubuggers we lost in 2015. May they rest in peace (or at least wait a few years until they come back).
1. Whitey “Firebug” Gazinzski – Whitey Gazinzski was born in 1928 in what was then middle-class Graphite Cornerz. A salesman by trade, Whitey is probably best remembered for his infectious laugh and the time he burned down the Lusher Community Center on the road to Disfigure. He was 72. Whitey is survived by a half quart of Bell’s, a single-wide trailer and $72,000 in back taxes.
2. Boone Hensington – Boone was a rugged outdoorsman his whole life, born to an equally rugged pair of drifters from Mulligan. His parents died in 1968 when Boone was just nine, but he went on to become a tireless explorer, mapping all of Down County. He is probably best remembered for the fact that Down County was already mapped.
3. Busstop – Shirley Sackinwacker, better known as “Busstop,” passed away Thursday night at the bus stop at 2nd and Pencil Place. She was 59. Shirley arrived in Flubug in the late ’60’s and was instantly obsessed with mass transit. After a short stint at the Flubug Transit Authority, she drove the Main Street Circulator from 1972 until 1993 when her career was cut short by an unfortunate slumping disorder. Unable to drive, she sat at bus stops for 23 years, waving buses on when the drivers coaxed her to board. She leaves behind a pair of Reeboks, three used parkas and the county’s largest collection of bus transfers. She will be sorely missed.
4. Jack “Tennessee” Strawbone – Flubug’s oldest and most beloved flag pole sitter, Tennessee, died of acute gastrointestinal complications in August. He was 87. An acrobat from the age of two, when he is said to have juggled both parents above his crib, Tennessee’s antics enthralled Flubug for decades with a seemingly endless array of feats. In 1957 he balanced on one foot on the Black Lung Memorial for a week. In 1962 he twirled atop the World’s Largest Pencil for nearly a month until he was coaxed down by his doctors. In 1974 he walked to the top of the water tower with magnetic boots and in the same month drove a Charlatan up the Miasma while doing a handstand. He leaves behind a legacy that will be (ridiculously) hard to match.
5. Estrelle Petermann – We lost Estelle in March when she collapsed during a drinking contest with Nick Carz in which Carz won a considerable sum of money. One of the original “Pack Rats” at Louis The 14th, Estelle laid claim to Barstool No. 7 (and the surrounding floor) which was off limits to anyone, even on night she wasn’t there (generally due to hospitalization). Five failed marriages, a failed attempt at stand-up and a complete failure as a model, Estelle found her calling as one of Flubug’s most flamboyant alcoholics.
6. Melbrook “A Sharp” Horne – Melbrooke was the oldest and perhaps most well known accordion player in Down County. His distinctive style, in which he held an ear-splitting A sharp for inappropriate lengths of time, led to a short career as an interrogator for the Flubug Bureau of Investigation. His characteristic riffs can be heard on albums by Hampston Fields, Buzzy Griffin and even Gwen’s original demo, “Life Is A Painful Hell.” He holds distinction of being the first act at Bohunk’s Open Mike Night and being edited out of more studio takes than any other musician in the state. He died in September of an unknown ear ailment.
7. Irma Sloppman – Irma was never the same after her mouth was snagged by a tuna lure on a party boat on the Miasma. After that she lost her eyebrows to a disc sander in a ruckus with Uzbek welders and compounded her difficulties with a series of botched botox treatments that left her eyelids looking like blowfish. In the years that followed she tried weaving wigs for cancer patients, but even those in hospice rebuffed her gaudy offerings. In desperation she ran for mayor of Lusher and won. She served for four years until being hospitalized for candida. She’s survived by two daughters who’ve since changed their name.