Monday, December 31, 2007

Harvey Wallbanger Slept Here

George Bednar passed away in December. He was a local fellow who played for the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals. He also created and launched the “Harvey Wallbanger” mixed drink, with its ad slogan, “My name is Harvey Wallbanger and I can be made.”

Well, it can be made, but it’s hard to find it these days; the thing went out of style some years back. It’s also hard to substantiate the story that George invented it because, as we all know, success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. I found at least four inventors in three locations, with two stories as to how the name came about.

Let’s stick with “local boy makes good.”

Michael Milne passed away in November. Also a local, this Vietnam War veteran testified before Congress about the effect of Agent Orange on solders and established the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc., which now has eighty chapters nationwide. He worked for the benefit of all veterans since the age of 35, despite 100% disability from the effects of Agent Orange and died at 63.

Lee Vincent also went to glory in December. He started his first band at age eleven and was still active in the business pretty near his passing at the age of 91. The orchestra for which he was best-known formed in 1946 and was recognized by the American Federation of Musicians as Top Regional Band. The group even played at the New York Stock Market and he requested a live combo at his wake. That’s class.


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