Annabelle Echo Chicago

Monday, April 11, 2005

THE WALKING DUDE by Slippy Jenkins



The Walking Dude posted by Slippy Jenkins, 05:24:00 PM, Monday, April 11, 2005
It seems that there's this guy in downtown Chicago who's only purpose in life is to walk...and walk, and walk and walk and walk. To those of you who work or live in the Loop, I bet you already know who I'm talking about. Some call him The Walking Guy, others The Walking Dude. I've heard people call him Homeless Yanni, The Moustache Man, or That Weird Dude who Walks Everywhere.
I see this guy every week. He’s an enimga, a mystery, somebody you just want to stop for a moment and ask him what his story is...everyone I know wants to know The Walking Dude. LiquidGeneration’s very own Helga The Help was at a party this week and somebody informed him that there was a documentary circulating around the net about this guy. I found it, and sadly, it’s only a short video clip of the guy doing what he does...walking. But it’s very very funny.
Here’s the video.
And knowing there are probably many people like myself who are enthralled by this guy, I set out to find out what everybody on the net is saying about him. This is a compelation, of sorts, of what people are saying about him.
The Walking Man is ubiquitous these days.
As longtime readers remember, the Walking Man is a Chicago character who has been walking, just walking around (though there are other theories about what he’s up to) the city, for at least 15 years.
He’s got long black hair. A heavy black mustache. Looks like one of the guys from Three Dog Night. He often wears long coats, and pants that are a bit too short.
I’ve seen him a hundred times. Judging by my e-mails and calls, many of you have seen him on a regular basis as well over the years. One reader calls him “The Continental,” after a “Saturday Night Live” character. Another believes the Walking Man is a ghost. Others say there have to be at least two Walking Men -- but we’re all talking about the same guy. I’ve seen him talking to cabbies and pedestrians, but every time I try to talk to him and ask him what his deal is, he walks away.
The Walking Man is not the Talking Man.
Sometimes I’ll go six months or even a year without seeing the Walking Man, but he always resurfaces. He walks in the morning, he walks in the afternoon, he walks and walks. In the last month, I’ve seen him at least a half-dozen times. Earlier this week, he was on Wacker Drive between Wabash and State.
“What Is His Deal?” (Chicago Sun-times Columnist Richard Roeper - via)
“I showed that clip to my buddy here who lives in Chicago, he said the guy has been walking around Chi. since the mid-80’s.” - (via)
“One of my goals this summer is to talk to the infamous “Walking Dude” in Chicago. What would be some good opening lines? I’m sure others have tried talking to him. Like that Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Walking Dude turns them off cuz he doesn’t want the attention.” - (via)
“The horror continues. I’m certain at some point I’m going to run out of Superfriends. We do have an accurate list compiled and kept tucked away in a desk drawer. I think it’s over 15 names deep. Personally I believe you can never have too many Superfriends.
Most of these chums have something very blunt within their name. Dude. Girl. Man. It comes to reason that Walking Guy would be no different. Though, he truly deserves a special name. Something that goes beyond a mere title. For Walking Guy is the one Superfriend recognized outside of the Optimus Window Community. Walking Guy is a favorite of dozens...possibly hundreds. For Walking Guy’s one crusade in life is to walk. And he walks. He walks very well.
You see Walking Guy walking around various parts of the River North area. Walking Guy is walking by the Wrigley Building. Walking Guy is walking past the Hancock Building. There goes Walking Guy by the river!
He does nothing but walk around.
I mean nothing.
And the fact that Walking Guy happens to be dressed in a variety of 70’s clothing makes him more appealing.
We’re talking pin-stripe suits. A brown coat jacket mixed with something resembling the puffy shirt from Seinfeld. Alligator shoes. Certain items that are made of felt and suede. Walking Guy has a wardrobe which can only be mirrored if you found a Salvation Army that was staffed by wealthy but tasteless hippies. Walking Guy has it going on.
His hair comes down to his shoulders with a slight wave along its length. There were two hairstyles in whatever decade Walking Guy lives in....the curly one and the other one. Walking Guy has the other one. Also, there’s a prominent mustache which matches the hair. The sort of mustache which would require a mustache comb. Walking Guy has a mustache comb. We have pictures of him using it.
Parties other than myself are actively involved in creating a documentary on Walking Guy...though in their part of the world (Lincoln Park) Walking Guy is called Walking Dude. We already had too many Dudes so I’m sticking with Walking Guy. Regardless, the Dudementary as it’s being called has considerable progress and hopefully one day will play at Sundance. Or at least somewhere on the Internet. The working title of this project is “The Walking Dude: What’s His Deal?” I’m somewhat afraid to find out. I think if we got to know Walking Guy to find out what his deal is, it’d probably be rather lame.” - (via)
“We got to Jo’s building and just as I was ready to leave, I saw a local celebrity coming up the sidewalk. He’s called The Walking Dude by some... Homeless Yanni by me and Jo. Regardless of what you call him - he’s awesome. He just walks around in his jacket and t-shirt and flowing mane of hair.” - (via)
editors note: This posting was originally on another web site. Slippy Jenkins, please comment if you would like it removed. Google/Current video news showcased or reviewed the “The Walking Dude” video.
The original Echo Chicago link can be found here.

6 Comments:

Blogger davesink said...

My wife and I both work in downtown Chicago and have had numerous sightings at least since 1985 or so up to this past week (Dec 2008). I once saw him talking to another guy who was soliciting handouts on the Mich Av. bridge. After giving him a buck, I asked him who the Walking Guy was and told him he was a bit of a celebrity in the area. This made the panhandler laugh and he said "Who... Cool?" (Apparently that's at least one of the names he goes by.)
Lately the Walking Guy, who I seem to see at least once a week, has been looking a bit more run down. He's totally grey and seems a bit more haggard. I hope he's OK.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Carol Ann said...

I had a Yanni sighting (what my husband and I have been saying for 10 years) about two weeks ago. He had ventured further South than usual (Roosevelt & Canal) and looked very, tired and aged but still sporting the 70's hair and clothes and walking at the same pace.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known the "Walking Dude" since at least 1988 - he really gets around. I have seen him in the loop, north and south, riverwest, Old Town and Lakeview and even as far north as Andersonville. But have not seen him in about 8-9 years - till today - Spotted at State and Ohio, heading north.

Its good to know he is still alive and......walking. He is aging well - Walking is good for you.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to Chicago in 1981. At that time, walking dude wore full on blue leisure suits and looked like a country singer so we called him Conway (like twitty). Someone told me he used to sell watches in the subway. After many years, I have moved back and saw him today in the loop. He is the best! Does anyone know where he sleeps at night?

9:29 PM  
Blogger ed said...

I used to work at the Whitehall Hotel at Delaware and Rush 1980-81 and walking man was around then...it is a subject of more recent interest to me these days and I have a plan to approach him, but only if a natural occasion to do so presents itself.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first saw the Walking Dude in 2002. Just saw him at Dearborn and Wacker a couple days ago, August 2014. He still walks.

7:02 AM  

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