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Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago

Art Thieme 28 Oct 09 - 10:39 PM
katlaughing 28 Oct 09 - 10:51 PM
Rapparee 28 Oct 09 - 10:54 PM
Janie 28 Oct 09 - 11:06 PM
GUEST,evan "rocky" shlaes 29 Oct 09 - 03:18 AM
Art Thieme 29 Oct 09 - 03:37 AM
GUEST 30 Oct 09 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Randi Solomon Park 30 Oct 09 - 04:35 PM
Art Thieme 30 Oct 09 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 31 Oct 09 - 01:05 PM
Art Thieme 31 Oct 09 - 02:02 PM
BK Lick 31 Oct 09 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Brian Kozin 31 Oct 09 - 05:50 PM
shellouise 31 Oct 09 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Dennis Moore 03 Nov 09 - 11:34 PM
Art Thieme 04 Nov 09 - 04:52 PM
widdi 06 Nov 09 - 01:47 PM
BK Lick 11 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM
BK Lick 11 Nov 09 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Margaret 19 Nov 09 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,bigredrn 24 Nov 09 - 02:57 PM
Art Thieme 24 Nov 09 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Arthur 02 Mar 10 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Bob Peterson 05 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Harry 06 Nov 14 - 07:06 PM
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Subject: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 10:39 PM

Word got to me tonight, via Brian and Sue Kozin, of the passing of Joe Moore who started the No Exit Coffeehouse and Gallery in Evanston, Illinois. This is another hard one to take, folks. Joe hired me to play music at his place in 1960 or '61---can't recall which. And I did my folk songs at the grand old place on-and-off for the next 37 years--until I couldn't do it any more.

For sure, there is no way to overestimate the importance of Joe's   oasis/hangout in the lives of Carol Chris and myself. It was all JOE MOORE's force of personality that made it happen. He moved the place to Chicago sometime in the mid 1960s--but unbelievably it was always the same

After Joe moved to Wisconsin and started his folk club bar called the Green Dragon Inn, the No Exit belonged first to Peter Steinberg -- and then to Sue and Brian Kozin. But the No Exit ALWAYS had the stamp of Joe Moore on it---and it was unmistakable.

I'll be back in here to tell you more about Joe Moore---or else I'll resurrect the old Mudcat thread named something like The No Exit Coffeehouse Is Closing It's Doors. That old thread has lots of the ambiance of the place within and between every line.

No matter who owned or owns the place, Mr. Joseph G. Moore and his wife Joann (Jojo) will keep on keepin' on in the tales we who were there then keep on telling.

Joe,

Thank you for making a magic smoke-filled musty and crusty space for us where we could be bad while we sweated and learned to be folksingers! Some few were like Stevie Goodman---who got real good--real fast.

I, for one, needed much more time.

Thank you for, as I said, giving us a place where we could be bad---and where it was O.K.! I loved every minute of it---even the nights I did five sets a night for ten dollars!

Joann, we love you too. Thanks for putting up with us---and for putting us up in Fort Atkinson. That was as close to a paid vacation as we ever had!!

Last call!!

"Time, gentlemen, please!!!"

Love,

Art and Carol and Chris


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 10:51 PM

Oh, this must be a very sad one for all of you, Art. My condolences and hugs all round. We just keep losing so many good people. I look forward to hearing your stories of Joe..may sharing them lift some of the burden of grief.

luvyakat & my Rog


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 10:54 PM

Art, this sucks BIG TIME. All I can say is that there's gonna be one helluva good time in Heaven (assuming we get there) or Hell (more likely and better company, probably).


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Janie
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 11:06 PM

Even this West Virginia hillbilly has heard of the fabled "No Exit" in Chicago.

I'm sorry Art. Treasure each day, and insist that others treasure you and what you have to offer.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST,evan "rocky" shlaes
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:18 AM

I first met Joe as a little kid, his mother and mine were friends and Joe was this incredibly dashing dude with a cool german sports car and a rumbly baritone voice who would take me for fast rides and cold root beer. I got my first delta blues lp's from Joe as birthday presents when I was 5 or 6. My dad helped construct the rickety cafe tables that lined the perimeter of the original club and hauled recycled Northwestern U chem lab salvage to make the counter. Later when the cafe moved to Lunt it was only a block from my gradmother's apartment on Sheridan rd, Joe was there to offer a refuge from my relatives constant sniping, and hot cider on chilly afternoons. He encouraged me to take up guitar and become a performer, and when I was 14 let me have my 15 minutes on Wednesdays, treating me as a serious performer and not as a ridiculous little punk trying to sound like Leadbelly.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:37 AM

Hey, Rocky.
Good to hear your cyber-voice. Brian tells me you have a fine antique operation there in Portland. I miss Oregon---especially the coast. (Carol and I lived in Depoe Bay '67 and '68.)----
I do hope you are well these days.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:41 PM

Hello Art and Rocky,

       Sad to hear about Joe Moore. We're just here for a little while, passing through.

    You never really know how deeply you might affect somone's life, just by taking the time to share something beautiful. I don't know if I told this story to anyone, but back in 1974 Joe asked me if I wanted to play two weekends up at the Green Dragon. It was January but the small town folks really appreciate live music so they came out in the cold and Joe's place was toasty and warm both weekends. So for two weeks I stayed in one of those tiny cabins he had, with my long underwear and one of those oil heaters. Well, at the end of the first Saturday night, I was sitting at the bar at about 2am and Joe was on the other side of the bar, and he looked at me and out of the blue he said, "Do you like Louis Armstrong?" I said, "Yes, but I don't know his music that much. I heard him on the radio sing Hello Dolly, but I don't have any of his records." I was in a Pete Seeger Woody Guthrie songbag at that time.
    Joe tilted his head back and nodded with a slight grin on his face. He then pulled out some Louis Armstrong recordings from the 1920's and put them on his turntable. He played all the great pieces that changed American music, West End Blues, Potato Head Blues,Heebie Jeebies, Muggles...all the Okey Label cuts. He even played a cut of Louis with Jimmie Rodgers and then 1950's Louis and his All Stars. And so a few hours went by and in that January early morning twilight Joe played that amazing recording of Louis in his late 50's playing "When You're Smiling" way up there in that high register with the most incredible feeling and soul.
    I was 24 then and now I'm 59 years young and I play Louis Armstrong's music on my cornet every day. I think it's perhaps the most joyful music of the last century. I even have a weekly radio show called The Church of Louis Armstrong

               TheChurchofLouisArmstrong.org

so thank you, Joe Moore, for taking the time to share your love of Pops with a young green folksinger from Kankakee.

      What a gift he gave to me! God Bless Joe Moore.

                                                 Brian Gill
                                           Moscow, Idaho 2009


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST,Randi Solomon Park
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:35 PM

Hello my old friends, Art, Rocky, Brian, and JoJo, if you find this blog. I have so many wonderful memories of happy days spent with Joe and JoJo at the Green Dragon. I was only 14 when I started hanging at the No Exit, and I didn't really get to know the Moores well until a few years later. Young people like us were so fortunate to fly under the wings of people like the Moores who were and are kind, fascinating and genuine role models. Its wonderful to "hear" your voices again. Thanks to Joe D. for sending the link out.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:25 PM

...and there are tons of pictures of Joe and all the incarnations of the NO EXIT and GREEN DRAGON at the website BK Lick provided for my folk scene photos at

http://rudegnu.com/art_thieme.html

And remember to put the lower case word 'mudcat' in for both the 'user name' and the 'password'

That'll allow you to enter there.

And love to Randi and Joe and Brian G. and Rocky and Brian and Sue. This feels like the reunion-memorial celebration of Joe's life I won't be able to be at.

Again, thanks Bruce!

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:05 PM

I moved to Rogers Park from the south side in December 1967, one week after No Exit moved down from Evanston. I walked past No Exit every day on my way home from work. You couldn't see in the windows for the risers in the windows. I would peer in the window and see the musicians on stage. I was apprehensive about going in side, it took me three months. I went in one night for music and didn't go back for two months. I admit I had a serious puritanical up bringing. I met Joanne the second time I went in and she immediately brought me into the fold and I didn't leave for 32 years. From waitress to manager to owner. So many people.

I am crying so hard now I need to stop.

Sue Kozin


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:02 PM

Sue, yes, I know. I lost it while reading back my initial post to this thread to Carol.

There was a time I was ready to quit music! Joe decided to offer me Thursday nights as an ongoing gig to keep me doing it. How many years was it I did those Thursday nights??! Was it fifteen? Maybe t=eighteen years?!? And Blind Jim Brewer was a regular on Wednesday nights for most of that time...

Even after Joe Moore left and opened the Green Dragon in Fort Atkinson, I kept on with the Thursday gigs through all the years of Peter Steinberg's ownership, and on into the many years you and Brian owned the coffeehouse. Everything seemed to dovetail so nicely; my ten years of singing on the Mississippi River steamboats 5 months a year and the 22 years of winter gigs for students all over the 8 counties of N. IL. Weekend gigs meant travel all over.

What a patchwork quilt it was; I sang into the wind, and came home with the rent.

Thanks to you and Brian, Peter Steinberg and Joe & Joanne---it WORKED OUT. Thanks for being a big part of those filled-in squares on my calendar! And to all those that came and supported the place--the booze addicts looking for a place to be without alcohol! The kids who became the hippies--listening to us ex-beatniks expound our few found insights to 'em. Now, they and their kids are the ones who carry on the community.

Love to all,

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: BK Lick
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:59 PM

The older thread Art referred to is "Chicago's No Exit Cafe closing its doors (1999)."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST,Brian Kozin
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:50 PM

It's impossible to overstate the impact that Joe had on all who knew him,he treated everyone equally & had time for everyone,all the years that we owned the No Exit whenever I had any doubt about how to handle any situation I would think"what would Joe do"I wasn't always right but I always tried to do things with his spirit in mind.Joe's legacy lives on in all the children of people who met there & later married,everyone who knew him passed on a little bit of Joe & Joanne to their children & grandchildren.He was a very good & goodhearted man who lived the life he chose & lived by his decisions with few regrets.The refuge that he provided welcomed all who needed it & his only rule was that you act like a human being,he provided a forum for artists(the full name was No Exit Cafe/Gallery)& musicians without judgement as to the quality of their work,it was all good,some of them were truly great & some were terrible but all had the chance to express themselves without prejudice,he was a rare human being who will be sorely missed,anyone who knew him is blessed & I doubt that we will see his like again,rest in peace Joe,you did good.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: shellouise
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:33 PM

I was 16 years old the first time I walked through the doors of the No Exit Cafe on a frigid winter night in 1968.    It was transformational. I returned and eventually became a "regular". Eventually, Joe hired me as a waitress. I learned to play chess there. My passion for folk music was born there. Thanks to Joe, I learned about folk music by listening to Art Thieme, Blind Jim Brewer, Judy Bright Pine, Michael Stein, Tom Dundee, Dottie Kalik, and so many others. Thanks to Joe, there existed a place to explore thought, music, relationships. I began the journey toward adulthood in the No Exit Cafe.

Thank you Joe for the haven you created.

Shelley Gordon
Chicago


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: GUEST,Dennis Moore
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:34 PM

It has been heart warming to read so many nice recollections of brother Joe. I too spent some great times at both the Evanston and Chicago No Exits playing chess and listening to music. Joe walked his own path and strongly believed in his own convictions of the "right"way to do things. He was fair, but firm about the things that mattered to him. He loved good music - classical, folk, and jazz - and he was proud of his relationship with the many folk artists that passed thru the No Exit. Joe was also a great cook and we had many holiday dinners with him and JoJo. Joe always had his own clock, and often read thru the night. Once when were kids in Evansville, Ind., Joe was kicked out of the first grade because he was reading under the table while the teacher was trying to teach the other kids the alphabet. He touched many lives and, I think, we were all better because of it. As Joe would say before he put on Elgar's Pomp and Circumstances, "Time Gentlemen, please!"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:52 PM

I'm refreshing this to make it easier for Tom Martin-Erickson.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: widdi
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:47 PM

I recently read something that echoed what I felt and saw in those places that were stamped with the ambiance of the Moores. There was indeed a luxuriance of books, but there I saw something more important: "I saw life, real human life, as it is lived in this world, and saw at once that to be enlightened, to live a useful and enjoyable human life, most people did not need books at all, but only a genuinely kind heart, sound common sense, a kind good ear, a kind good mouth, and then liveliness to talk with really enlightened people, who would be able to arouse their interest and show them how human life appears when the light shines upon it." — Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1856)
The Green Dragon was to me, the physical embodiment of that ideal. The Moores created a warm place where people could gather while listening to classical and traditional musics. Joe had a pat answer for why he always played classical music, which was a rare case of a self-effacing comment. He'd say, "I have no taste in music, but I want to provide my customers with good music. I figure if people are still playing classical music all these years later, it must be good." He really had powerful and well informed tastes in music.
I am among those fortunates who have known the Moores and was influenced by their love of learning and their way of being in the world. As a freshman at UW-Whitewater, I lived in cabin #1 at the Green Dragon. The Moores got me involved in a local political campaigns, taught me to play chess, called on me to taste test their evolving pizza recipe, helped to inform my passion for traditional jazz, took me to car races, and shared their love for the natural beauty of Wisconsin. A few years later, suddenly unemployed when a pit orchestra gig ended abruptly, they arranged for me to meet with and to join the Piper Road Spring Band. Over the next few years in the band's slow seasons, they'd hire me to tend bar. A beautiful woman who waitressed for them was named Vicki. She later consented to marry me after we survived running the Ft. Atkinson Green Dragon Inn together in its last year of existence.
The Green Dragon in Fort Atkinson closed on our watch. Then, I tended bar for Joe again and was on hand as the Green Dragon in Madison closed. Art came and sang once more before a well-mannered (well-trained) audience. Twice I cleaned the bar after the last show at the Green Dragon.
I've been missing Joe for a number of years, and I suppose I'll have to continue to do so, even though daily I'm reminded of him.
Johnny

"I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There is nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began, —
I loved my friend" Langston Hughes


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: BK Lick
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM

From Chicago Tribune story
JOSEPH GREELEY MOORE 1931-2009
Joseph Greeley Moore, 1931-2009: Longtime owner of the eclectic No Exit Cafe

By Trevor Jensen
Tribune reporter
November 11, 2009

Joseph Greeley Moore set the vibe that for several decades sustained the No Exit Cafe in Rogers Park, where coffee-fueled conversation and long games of chess trumped humdrum concerns over dollars and cents.

Mr. Moore, 77, died of complications related to renal failure on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in a hospital in Kentucky, said his wife, JoAnn. He had been living in Kentucky for several years.

Mr. Moore bought the No Exit circa 1959, a year after it opened on Foster Street in Evanston. When Northwestern University decided it needed the property (now a parking lot) in 1967, Mr. Moore moved the cafe south to 7001 N. Glenwood Ave. in Chicago, still hard against the "L" tracks.

He was politically active and a "talker," friends said, and in the No Exit, which took its name from the title of a Jean Paul Sartre play, he found both a profession and a second home.

"He lived in the place, practically," said Sue Kozin, who with her husband, Brian, owned the cafe from 1977 to 2000.

In his years of ownership, the cafe served coffee from a large La Pavoni espresso machine, sweets from a Rush Street-area French pastry shop and a few simple sandwiches.

Mostly, it provided a smoky clubhouse for those looking for lively talk, or listening to Mr. Moore's stories, or a place to play games like chess and Go.

"He had a very diverse clientele, from middle-age couples -- Mrs. Berg was 92! She was a regular customer -- to teenagers and young people," his wife said. "He played only classical music, which was a revelation to some but actually spanned the generation gap well."

At the suggestion of Chicago singer Dodi Kallick, Mr. Moore introduced live folk music at the No Exit. Steve Goodman became a Thursday night regular. Others didn't pass Mr. Moore's audition.

"He told John Prine that he couldn't carry a tune in a bathtub and sent him on his way," Kozin said. "Bonnie Koloc, he told her she was too good and sent her down to the Earl of Old Town."

Selling cups of coffee to customers who tended to linger for hours did not make Mr. Moore rich.

"Money was immaterial. He never paid much attention to it," his wife said.

In the week before rent was due, he would sometimes keep the cafe's doors open around the clock, trying to sell a few more cups to keep the landlord at bay. "It always got paid, somehow," his wife said.

The atmosphere of the cafe established by Mr. Moore lingered under different owners for many years. Now part of the Heartland Cafe, the No Exit continues as a venue for theater and music in Rogers Park.

The son of an executive with the National Council of Episcopal Churches, Mr. Moore graduated from Evanston Township High School. After a brief stab at college, he joined the Air Force, which stationed him in England during the Korean War.

He became a committed Anglophile and years later would close his cafe (at the hour of his choosing) with the classic British pub man's call, "Time, gentlemen, please!"

Time away from the cafe was spent in sports car racing circles, and as a longtime starter at area tracks, he was known for the distinctive leap and flag wave he performed for starts and finishes.

Despite his love of the No Exit, Mr. Moore always dreamed of living in the country. In 1972, he sold the cafe to one of his employees and moved to Wisconsin.

He and his wife briefly ran a bed-and-breakfast near the Chicago Bears training camp in Platteville, Wis., then bought a resort in southern Wisconsin.

He named it the Green Dragon Inn, after one of his favorite English pubs, and decorated it in the eclectic manner of the No Exit.

"It was a shock to the fishing community," his wife said.

Mr. Moore is also survived by two brothers, Dennis Moore and Brian Graham-Moore.

Services are being planned.

ttjensen@tribune.com
Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chi
From: BK Lick
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:55 PM

Sorry -- that should have been: Chicago Tribune story


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 10:36 PM

I'm with a group of 70's Whitewater "cats". Patti, Betty, Mary, Dawn, Gret, Kim, a few others... So sorry to hear of your loss.
When you think of how well your friend and mentor has stretched your capabilities, enjoy telling the rest of the story - yours. Peace be with you, and perhaps a group of us will see you again before you guys break for season, and head south? Maybe another N.Y. in the S. K.M. hills? Be good to yourself as you find a way to continue inspiring yourself and those around you, Gret.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: GUEST,bigredrn
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 02:57 PM

Peanuts,dark beer and the exuberance of youth. I remember the Green Dragon well. Joe and Joanne made it one of the cultural icons of the area. Where else could you get a drink made from,"short-legged cows?" We used to come up with some novel solutions for the problems plaguing the country. I remember one day Joe had hired me to paint the Dragon brown. I was on top of an extension ladder. Art Thieme was playing the jew's harp by the lake. When all of a sudden I head "tink" and a roar. I looked back just in time to see Art throw his "harp" in the lake. I started to laugh and almost fell off the ladder.
Mike and I helped Joe and Joanne empty out the Dragon on Blackhawk Island after they lost the place in Madison. They said they missed the "Island."
Alas the Green Dragon is no more. Now it is just another derelict building ravaged by time and neglect.
                Be good to yourself,
                  Bill "the doorman"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:14 PM

Joe in Kentucky--where he wound up--just didn't feel right. No flood inside the bar--no Chicago Bears on the TV in the back room.--- Joe's food was always massive amounts of meat! If a vegetarian came in, there was nothing on the menu for them. Frustrated, they'd order a ham and cheese sandwich -- but without the ham. Or maybe a Dragon Burger with cheese, but hold the burger! Joe's answer was "That's sacrilege. I won't make it for you!!"

All cholesterol, all the time. That was Joe. Eventually his own cholesterol went through the roof---way over 500. Once he told me, "When I was a kid, we never had cholesterol, but if we'd had it, we would've fried it!!"

He and I had a tiff once in a while, but I loved the guy.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: GUEST,Arthur
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 10:29 AM

I first came to the No Exit in 1990 when I was just in High School and the place always had a good vibe to it. A Cafe after which all others wished they could be modeled. I used to watch Bang Bang Spontaneous Theater there almost every Wednesday night for almost a decade. Great memories. Thanks Joe.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: GUEST,Bob Peterson
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM

I learned a lot from Joe, hell, during the 1970's I played hundreds of games of chesswith him, we were about evenly matched. I used to go there often with my first wife. I saw him less when they moved to Madison. The Green Dragon was an oasis of civilization smack dab in the middle of republican deer hunting country, at least to me. I was damn glad to know Joe Moore, his passing was a sad event for so many of us. -Bob Peterson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joe Moore--first owner of No Exit in Chicago
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 06 Nov 14 - 07:06 PM

Joe was my first, and in many ways my most important mentor. As this blog attests, he will live forever in our memories, until our memories exist no more.

God speed, Joe.


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