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Dirty Wally Turns 90

And is still going 90 mph

by Max Shapiro |  Published: Oct 16, 2009


I am often accused of making up — or at least exaggerating — the assortment of oddball characters who populate my columns. “Nobody could possibly be that peculiar,” is the standard objection. Well, let me offer evidence to prove that everything I write is true. Exhibit A is the one and only Dirty Wally, an old reprobate who has been hanging around cardrooms since the days of Wyatt Earp. Now, about to turn 90 in a few weeks, he is still running as strong as ever … especially running at the mouth. With his long and stringy gray hair and whiskers, his cowboy hat festooned with more emblems, badges, campaign ribbons, and decorations than Oklahoma Johnny Hale has in his entire closet, complemented by a water bottle sticking out of his back pocket, he’s still pretty much the same outlandish presence that I first encountered some 25 years ago. Not ...

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