|THE STORY OF DIDDLEY-SQUAT:
The drawing above (left) was done in 1975 whilst waiting the hour between Professor John Iorio's Modern English Literature class and Professor Jim Palmer's class on Existentialism at the University of South Florida's long defunct Ale House THE EMPTY KEG. I never could do Existentialism sober (everyone in that class smoked Disque Bleu's but, thankfully, none wore berets...or bras now that I think of it...). A doodle then, admittedly under the influence of the more talented B. Kliban - most famous for his book CAT but my own favorite remains NEVER EAT ANYTHING BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD & OTHER DRAWINGS in which he would draw a particularly mundane person and name him after a cliche; ex. ROGER WILCO. Kliban was the cartoonist that Gary Larson wanted to be when he grew up. I named this Samuel Beckett-like Be-Bowlered creature Mr. Diddley Squat. Years later with three daughters running around the house and two horses running around the yard and my wife running around with, well, let's not get into that...I sought to compromise my weekly feed bill with extra money to be earned on the burgeoning ebay. When it came time to pick my nom de guerre for ebay, in a moment of inspiration and unusual clarity, I thought of the little fellow I'd drawn years before. A stroke of genius or luck, I immediately realized that whenever the wife asked me what I was doing, I could answer "Diddley-Squat," and it would be true. Also, whenever she inquired as to the amount of funds coming in from my newly formed business "Diddley-Squat" would, again, prove to be a suitable answer. A ubiquitous reply, this 'diddley-squat' to such conundrums as to "What in the blazes do you know about it, anyway?" and, of course, "What are you going to do with the rest of your life!" After selling over 10,000 books on ebay the wife wondered why I shouldn't someday soon get the other 20,000 volumes the hell out of her house. By this time she had taken over sole management of the United States Postal Office in the bustling metropolis known as Webster, Florida. Not long after she espyed the little shop across from the E.C. Rowell Library. "Ah, I thought, what a perfect place for a bookshop... not 10 dozen paces from a place where persons can get them for free!" The deed was done and shelves were built, boxes were moved and backs were broken. I settled in to relax as bookman to a Sleepy Southern Town... and then the store adjacent to the bookstore comes up for rent too. And the better half had planned this all along and it was sprung on me that there was to be a Coffee Shop and Antique Store and (maybe) a museum adjoining the bookshop. Being the creative type (and an industrious SOB to boot) while cleaning the walkway I notice half a dozen tree frogs on the glass show windows of our newest endeavor and thus "THE FROG IN THE WINDOW ~ Coffee, Tea and Treasures" was born. And you can find me there most days, in one side or the other, doing, what else?...diddley-squat.