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Duke O'Malley's Swan Song

Mike Clifford

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Had the pleasure of attending the very last "Let's Talk Fishing" event today in Evergreen Park.

Duke O'Malley (writer for the Daily Southtown) has been hosting his Kids Derby for 20 years, with many, many Saturday afternoons in the winter spent raffling off fishing items, feeding the masses and more to offset the cost of taking 1,000 kids fishing for one day each summer. As with everything, even the very best in life needs to come to an end eventually. Today featured a "Who's Who" of local outdoor writers and celebrities including Don Dziedzina, Steve Sarley, Chauncey, Mike Norris...just to name a few that showed up to congratulate Duke on a job well done the last 2 decades. They have all donated their time over the years to entertain us on these chilly afternoons. I used to attend these events alone, and as my boy grew old enough to fish, all I had to do was say "Let's Talk Fishing!"...and he would be running for his coat. Today was no exception. The kids were a focal point as they were rounded up to pull raffle tickets and pass out goodies to everyone in attendance.

What has become one big family for all of those that attended these has come to an end, but the memories will live on long after this year's derby has concluded.



Anytime we hear the words "Passing the torch", we can appreciate what it really means.

Duke taught us well.


Thanks Duke.


Dale Bowman Column About This Event

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Jim- you bet.

Great idea.


Gary, I had given a lot of thought to carrying on the whole tradition, especially after reading Dale's column. After talking with Duke though it doesn't look as though anyone can continue it.

There are legal issues with the Daily Southtown, etc....

Then I asked the obvious: How much does it take to host 1,000 kids for this derby?

Answer: $10,000.

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