SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN

Stop me if I’ve shared this story with you before.

It was a busy lunch crowd that had gathered in Bruegger’s on Grant that one winter day about ten years ago.  My sister Princess Aurora, who had been living in Texas for the past five years, was home on a holiday visit and came downtown to have lunch.  My father and I were dressed as normal ‘Burghers who by December need only a semi-heavy unbuttoned coat to ward against the cold downtown winds, whereas my sister, having become un-acclimated to the cold Pittsburgh winters, was bundled up in winter clothes borrowed from my father’s closet that morning.

A Steelers tassel cap from the 70s that was missing its tassel.  An old green corduroy coat that was easily 10 sizes too big for her.  A scarf to her chin.  Big men’s working gloves that I think my father used to use when checking out a hot roll of steel.  Ear muffs.  And still she shivered.  The big sissy.

At the condiments area after receiving our food trays, I was grabbing napkins, my father was grabbing spoons for soup, and my sister was trying awkwardly with still-gloved hands to rip open sugar substitute packets to stir into her coffee, when I saw Princess Aurora do a double-take at the blond woman standing next to her.  A woman minding her own business.  A woman hurriedly shoving a few napkins into her lunch bag.

And my sister, easily dressed like the least sane person in the room, inhaled.

I knew what was coming so I shielded my ears from the shrieking that pierced the air of the entire bagel shop.

SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN!

Dogs in Beechview perked up all, “Arooo?”

That’s how shrill she was.  How excited and completely undone she was by seeing Sally Wiggin up close and personal.

My sister was 23 at the time, so you can imagine why my father and I slowly turned on our heels to look at a blank wall behind us that had suddenly become the most interesting blank wall we had ever seen in our lives and no, we don’t know that crazy woman there screaming at Sally Wiggin like she’s just spotted dead Elvis.

Poor Sally Wiggin.  Here’s this crazy person covered from head to toe, who could be hiding any number of weapons in her too large coat, jumping up and down and screaming, “SALLY WIGGIN!”

So Sally Wiggin did what anyone would do.  With a smile plastered on her face, she slowly backed the heck out of the door behind her, probably praying to a million different gods that the crazy girl didn’t follow her.

And that “shrill jumping up and down and screaming” manner is exactly the way my sister reacted when I introduced her to Sally last fall.

No lie.

The point of this story? I asked SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN SALLY WIGGIN five questions.

Go read as we discuss elephants, pigeons, 9/11, Russell Crowe, and the Buccos of Suckitude.





15 Comments

  1. Gina
    May 21, 2010 5:21 pm

    Sally Wiggin is awesome. Years ago, when I lived right in the city, I was standing in line at an ATM with my golden retreiver on a leash. It was spring and the dog was a little muddy. Sally Wiggin was using the ATM next to me and the dog jumped on her. I wanted to die. But instead of getting mad, she was so nice. She said it was no problem and proceeded to pet and hug and love on the big mudball. I have been a (bigger) fan ever since.



  2. Pa-pop
    May 21, 2010 8:23 pm

    I was pumping gas late one night on Greentree Road when a Channel 4 anchor pulled up beside me. Somehow it never occurred to me to jump up and down and go, ‘PAUL LONG PAUL LONG PAUL LONG!”



  3. CarolineFB
    May 21, 2010 8:46 pm

    A genuine soul. Great article.



  4. Ex Ohio Sister
    May 21, 2010 8:53 pm

    Sally is the best!



  5. Magnus Patris
    May 21, 2010 11:04 pm

    I met her in about ’84 when my fraternity brother (who’s dad was an equally notable WTAE’er) took us to the station for a tour. We were all smitten. I really wanted an internship there, but got WPXI instead where I answered all the “Mr. Food” letters (remember him?) Ooooh it’s so good! By the way if you ever received an “autographed” picture from Mr. Food from 1984, that was me signing them. Sorry to disappoint you.



  6. Nader Hydar
    May 22, 2010 7:45 am

    Back in the day, I was up on the toney side of Mt. Washington, frollocking around in my underwear one night, when from the corner of my eye I saw Sally. I screamed like a wounded banshee at her, but she ran away



  7. LaReina
    May 22, 2010 8:07 am

    I’m a little disappointed in her answer to the pigeon question.



  8. CC
    May 22, 2010 9:39 am

    Magnus,

    At lease you did not have to intern for that guy who used to “I’m in YOUR Corner”. Cannot remember his name but he was a bit strange.



  9. Ginny's Dad
    May 22, 2010 11:57 am

    Gin

    You forgot to mention that when TT met Sally again last year that Sally remember the incident in Brueggers. Sally is probably haunted by that image of TT for her to recall it 10 years later.



  10. Magnus Patris
    May 22, 2010 12:14 pm

    CC Was that Asa Aarons? I did work for him. He wanted me to be tazed on air for a demo of how they worked. I said hell no and he decided to do it himself. They guy said, “I’m gonna taze you on 3. One…. ” ZAP! Down like a sack of potatoes. Glad I didn’t do it.



  11. LaReina
    May 22, 2010 6:02 pm

    That “I’m in your corner” guy ended up in Florida as a consumer reporter after he left Pgh.
    Here’s a fun Paul Long story: my late father worked in Pgh. TV for decades. Paul asked him if he wanted to go on a plane ride (Long was a pilot); my father agreed and then found out they’d be spreading some dead guy’s ashes from high above the burgh. Paul opened the window to toss out the ashes (they weren’t very high up) – and they all blew back into the cockpit into everyone’s faces.



  12. CC
    May 24, 2010 6:46 am

    I think his name was Ed Bogaslowski (SP?). Or Bogie for short. Just one in a long line of Channel 11 class acts at that time. Asa Aarons being one of them also.



  13. bucdaddy
    May 24, 2010 10:14 am

    Mike Boguslowski

    I came back to the Burgh area in late 1988 after living in Virginia for four years and WPXI had this clown and the “Mike and Edye are on this bus — really!” and Dagny Hultgreen and Fedko shtick three-ring circus going on and I was appalled. It was like they took “Network” as a game plan.

    Many years later I was in a Los Angeles hotel room, flipping channels, and there was Boguslowski doing the same stuff for KCBS.



  14. GoBobbo
    May 24, 2010 7:33 pm

    Ginny,

    I met Sally Wiggin for the first time Friday night at Lokay’s surprise party.

    She was aimlessly walking around Lokay Lanes when I heard someone say, “Sally Wiggin is lost!”

    So I ran out to get her. I’m yelling, “Sally! We’re in here!”

    For a split second, I was all, “HOLY SHIT I AM YELLING FOR SALLY WIGGIN AND I JUST MET SALLY WIGGIN AND SALLY WIGGIN IS HERE NEXT TO ME SHAKING MY HAND, GIVING ME A HUG AND SALLY WIGGIN IS THANKING ME FOR INVITING HER TO JIM’S PARTY HOLY SHIT SALLY WIGGIN!!!!”

    And that was all in my head while I acted real calm and cool.

    I later heard words that would never be on her teleprompter.

    Sally Wiggin sits near the top of my “Cool Burghers” list.



  15. Jeremy
    May 24, 2010 8:40 pm

    I was at the party Friday night and I can confirm GoBobbo’s story. (I was thinking HOLY SHIT SALLY WIGGIN in my head, but kept it under control)