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James (Dog) Daggit - R.I.P. (01/06/2008)
By John Edstrom
On New Year's Day we found out that we did not escape the year 2007 without the sudden and early loss of yet another good friend. Stopping for lunch at Schniepp's Bar down on East 8th, Bill Schniepp greeted us with the sad news that Jim (Dog) Daggit had passed away the previous night, unexpectedly. It was a heavy harvest last year, and a bitter one. When someone like the Dog is taken early, you ask yourself the classic question: With all the rotten people that infest this earth, why must we lose a guy like Jim Daggit before his time, who never gave offense, was always cheerful, humble, glad to see you, and never failed to brighten your day?

That is a question for a theologian, which I am not, but being a poet of sorts, consoled myself by writing these lines, and may they also console the Dog's many friends in some small way:

The Ballad of Dog Daggit

In an evil mood, Death flew

Down Mankato Avenue

Crossed the Hog Line at Sanborn

Determined that mankind should mourn;

He hovered near the hated sound

Of glasses raised round after round

By revelers at Schniepp's Bar and Grill

Who laugh to scorn and drink their fill

In spite of Time - and Death, her mate,

He found an object for his hate

In Dog Daggit, that font of cheer

Dispensing whiskey, wine and beer.

On New Year's Eve, I have a scheme,

Said Death, I'll sneak into his dream

With riches, youth, hot blood and sin

Besotted, he'll not wake again

Until he blinks in my dark lair,

He'll bring beer, wine and whiskey there

He'll serve us long, he'll serve us well

He'll make us fiends gay down in hell!

Now Gabriel, Angel of the Lord,

Patrolling with his righteous sword,

Heard the East End caterwaul,

And dogs set up the mournful howl;

Cloven hoofprints in the snow

Led to a sulphurous reek and glow

Where poor Dog carried wine and whiskey

To keep the devils feeling frisky

Gabriel cried, Satan, my friend

You've badly overstepped again

The Dog is high in Heaven's love

He's called for right now up above

We'll ne'er concede such skill to you

For serving up a frosty brew

Give him up, begone, now beat it!

I'll roast your tail and make you eat it

Should I catch you near Schniepp's again:

So let it be known to his friends,

Spread the news before the morrow

Grant them sweet surcease from sorrow,

The Dog is gone, but he's not lost,

He's serving as the Heavenly Host



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