Saturday, January 12, 2013
Seeing him for the first time caused an inevitable reaction where you wanted to stare but knew you shouldn't and you wondered what happened to the guy.
He had to deal with this awkwardness countless times yet didn't allow it to slow him down a bit, he was really out there all the time and looked happy and friendly and always sociable every time I saw him. Cerigo lived on Stayner a couple of doors off Greene Ave. for many years before finally moving to LaSalle a few yeas back. One upside to his condition: you couldn't tell his age at all and I was surprised to learn that he was 80 when he died, as he looked considerably more youthful.
I was told long ago that Cerigo was badly burned in the Blue Bird Cafe fire of 1972. Someone said they weren't so sure, now the truth has fallen behind that timeworn rock of undocumentation, so if anybody knows if there was an epic story behind Cerigo being the way he was please put it in the comments.
Minor update: I have since been told of the reason he ended up in this condition and it has nothing to do with a famous fire or snowmobile accident as one commentor stated, rather it was a mishap of his own making, for which he bears the entire responsibility.