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Match to Flame 132

posted on November 20, 2020

While all of this was happening, Harry L. Dinkle, the World’s Greatest Band Director, was still marching on. Norman Lee Publishing brought out Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!, their newest collection of the band strips featuring Harry. This always would necessitate a trip to do a book signing at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic held in Chicago, the place where, back in the day, the Chicago Sun-Times became the first paper to buy Funky. Midwest, as it was known, always took place in December, and Chicago during the holidays was always special. I’d invariably make it a point after the day’s signing was finished to walk down Michigan Avenue to do some Christmas sightseeing and shopping. Of course, I would always go a few blocks out of my way to stop by the Sun-Times building and utter a brief benediction to my first paper. (Hey, remind me to tell you about how I briefly crossed the line—and a chain-link fence—into the world of crime when I broke into the Sun-Times late one dark winter night. Stay tuned. It should be coming up around Volume 11.) At that Midwest, during a dinner at Gino’s East Pizzeria, my band collections publisher Andy Clark and I discussed bringing out a best of Harry L. Dinkle book. Harry was on a roll at that point and could do no wrong, so, because we demanded it, Gone with the Woodwinds: The Best of Harry L. Dinkle came out the following year. The title of the book came from the conceit that it was the title of the autobiography that Harry was always working on in the strip.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 8