Party like it’s 1908; Cubs fans in Eagle County celebrate World Series title
November 10, 2016
EAGLE-VAIL — Eating Chicago hot dogs during a Cubs victory celebration is a little like taking communion, only with protein and peppers.
Dozens of local Chicago Cubs fans were positively flouncing through Eagle-Vail on Monday, victory parading a couple hundred yards to the Route 6 Cafe for a World Series victory party and the best Chicago hot dogs in our spiral arm of the universe.
They had to be the best. Delayed gratification makes everything better, and Cubs fans have waited 108 years to taste something this good.
Eric and Kim Williams are Cubs fans to their very marrow, and are the proud parents of a few kids they're raising to be Cubs fans. There's a biblical principle at work, says Eric, who's a Lutheran minister among his many local vocations.
"Train up a Cubs fan in the way that they should go, and when they are old they shall not depart from it." Proverbs 22:16. OK, the Bible actually says "Train up a child …" not "Cubs fan," but being a Cubs fan is a little like a religious pilgrimage that ended after 108 years of wandering in the wilderness.
So the Williams clan was parading along with dozens of other Cubs fans,
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Yes, Monday was a school night, and sure, the kids bouncing around the Route 6 Cafe should be eating something with vegetables in it.
That's why Chicago-style hot dogs are served with an array of very veggie-like items, so they count as healthy.
Lifelong Cubs fan Krista Driscoll was there. There was the guy who looked dead solid perfect like Cubs manager Joe Maddon, right down to the silver hair. Mark and Lynn Wurzer met in high school in Chicago.
"We bought Chicago dogs, drank Old Style beer and stood in line for the bathroom, just like at the stadium!" Driscoll said.
Like all Great American Events, the impromptu celebration opened with the National Anthem, completed with the Star Spangled Banner's rousing closing line, "Play Ball!" Although sometimes it's "Gentlemen, start your engines!"
At the seventh inning stretch, the late, great Harry Caray led the faithful in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," just like at the stadium. And yeah, this group sounded a little like the Mormon Tubercular Choir, but like all True Americans they followed The American Law of Harmonics, "If you can't make it good, make it loud."
Baseball teaches us all sorts of wonderful stuff.
You don't have to win them all. The Cubs won 103 of 162 regular season games, 64 percent, yet are considered a great team. The greatest team in history, if you're a long-suffering Cubs fan.
Baseball marks the time. Game 7 ran about four hours, but Monday at the Route 6 Cafe, we learned that if you whittle an epic Game 7 down to the bare action, you can whoosh through a four hour game in 39 minutes and 34 seconds. It's like baseball speed dating. That's about the time it takes to sip a couple Old Styles and eat a Chicago hot dog or two — communion, Chicago style.
You go to things like this Cubs victory party to be around people who feel the way you felt when something wonderful happened — in this case something wonderful that hadn't happened in more than a century.
It's why we tell stories.
It's why "Holy Cow! Cubs Win!" is locked in our American lexicon.
That, as well as another Chicago classic:
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.