On August 8, 2013, I published the article below. Today a part of me is sad knowing that the man we loved waving to is gone. Yesterday Dougie White passed away. I hope his family understands the magnitude of the legacy Dougie left behind. I have yet to meet a Stamford native that doesn’t remember Dougie and his bike. We’ll miss you buddy. You were our Batman.
His family has set up a Go Fund Me account to help with burial arrangements.
Originally published 8/8/2013:
In college, we used a term called “the mayor”. I’m sure it’s a common slang term that refers to someone that everyone knows. Obviously, it’s not actually the mayor of the town you’re in. It’s always a good thing to be the mayor because generally everyone likes that person. Dougie White is the “mayor” of Stamford.
I have yet to meet one Stamford native that doesn’t have a heart-warming story about Dougie White. Imagine my surprise when I Googled “Dougie White” and he had a Wikipedia page…
From Wikipedia- “Douglas “Doogie” White (born 7 March 1960) is a Scottish rock vocalist, who has sung forMidnight Blue, Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Praying Mantis andRata Blanca. He is currently the vocalist for the Michael Schenker Group, his original band La Paz and British metal band Tank.”
Wait- never mind. This is definitely not Stamford’s Dougie White. Actually, I was really surprised that after a thorough Google search I could not yield one article/blog/mention about the famed Dougie White. It was time to end that.
Dougie, this one is for you.
Dougie White is a man who is constantly riding his bike along the High Ridge Road section of Stamford. It’s not a ten-speed or a moped- or really any kind of fancy bike. It’s just a regular adult sized bike that you’d expect to see in some movie from the 1960’s. For some reason, he’s made it his personal goal to collect tons of cans. There’s usually a bag of some sort that hangs off his bike filled to the rim with old empty (and usually smelly) soda cans.
He always used to appear out of nowhere. We would be hanging out in the Burger King parking lot in the 90’s waiting for the cops to show up and break up the party- and he would roll up to the crowd on his bike. He always had a half smile. He loved Batman. As soon as he would randomly show up, someone would yell out “Dougie sing Batman” and he would start… “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Naaa… Baaaatmaaan”. I know what you’re thinking- We were a bunch of half drunk teenage kids making fun of the dude that most likely had a intellectual disability. Nope, not at all. He was part of us. He was the mayor.
Time after time I will still hear a great story about Dougie. If you call out to him and call him “Dougie Green”, he’ll quickly yell back “Nooooo, my name is Dougie White”- There have been urban myths along the way- One time I heard that his parents were European billionaires that left him in Stamford when they were vacationing. Or my favorite, he had a lifetime free pass to eat at Burger King. That explained his weight gain through the years.
I remember thinking that Dougie was relatively old when I was just a teenager- If I had to describe him, I would say looks a lot like Yoda. Most likely he’s 1,348 years-old. But age/looks- it didn’t matter; he was always on that bike.
The other day, I was driving along one of the High Ridge Road side streets and sure enough, there he was. Just like I remembered him. He was on his bike with a bag full of cans hanging from the handlebars. Sure, his hair was a little messier than it was almost eighteen years ago, but his half was still shining. He was plugging along. A warm sense of familiarity washed over me. Once again I was a carefree kid trying to go to the keg party behind Friendly’s in the Ridgeway Shopping Center. I stopped the car in the middle of the road, lowered my window and gave him a 1000-watt smile. I decided that since I’m now in my 30’s, it probably wouldn’t be acceptable to ask him to sing the Batman theme song. I imagined him remembering me, but of course he didn’t. After all, he was the mayor. Everybody knew him, but there’s no way he could know all of us.
Leave your favorite Dougie White story in the comments section- and if your town had a “mayor” too, tell us about them. But I bet no one can top our Dougie White. He’s a legend.