Jaws the Cabbie has been a friend of mine and a contributor and commenter on all of my blogs, going all the way back to The Marty Wombacher Show, which debuted on May 4th, 2009, over five years ago. One of the many things we have in common is that we both grew up in Peoria, Illinois but we didn’t meet (online) until we both had moved out of that city. When I moved back here in 2012 and started MBIP, it triggered memories for Jaws and he started writing some great stories about his youth here in Peoria, Illinois. Well, this week he published a book of all of those stories and you can click here to buy it in book form or ebook form here.
Here’s the Afterword from the book, which is called, “Peoria, I Hardly Knew Ye...”:
It's been about a year and a half now since Marty Wombacher returned to Peoria after twenty years in New York City where he made his heroic attempt to blog about everything New York that was worthy of note and attempted (successfully I might add) to visit one bar a night, every night in his legendary 365 bars – A Virtual Bar Crawl. Marty survived this endeavor, his liver survived, leaving his countless fans (myself included) in a state of unmitigated awe of his accomplishment. No cirrhosis of the liver, no yellow jaundice, no shaking himself to pieces with an advanced case of delirium tremens...Jesus what a trooper.
Almost immediately after returning to his native Peoria, Marty began putting together his new blog; “Meanwhile Back in Peoria”, and before you knew it, Marty was doing for Peoria the same thing he had been doing for N.Y.C. for years...chronicling the night life in his beloved Peoria.
Having been a follower of his many blogs during his time in New York and an on-and-off contributor to and commenter on his daily blogs under my street name Jaws the Cabbie (I earned this nickname courtesy of my fellow cab drivers after biting off the finger of an unruly and drunken fare during my ten years working as a cab driver here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota) it didn't take long for Marty and I to realize we both grew up in Peoria...and we both had stories to tell. Marty began to publish my stories (complete with artwork both by Marty and myself) one at a time during the following year of his return to Peoria. This little book is a collection of those stories. Marty, my good friend, I hope you and all the other readers of your blog enjoyed this trip back to the Peoria of 50 years ago, the Peoria of my childhood...a kind of timeless and forever place in my memories...a magical place of summer skies that came alive after dark with the light of a million fireflies...long ago and far away...in Peoria.
—James Newberg - May 2014
Below is the artwork and links to all of Jaws the Cabbie’s Peoria stories. Enjoy and then enjoy them again in all their printed glory by ordering the book right here.