SR1006LRB103 40745 ECR 73566 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened
3to learn of the death of James R. Pobiega, who passed away on
4September 12, 2023 at the age of 73; and
5    WHEREAS, James Pobiega was born in Oak Park on August 23,
61950 to Michael Pobiega, who drove a milk truck, and Alice
7Pobiega, who held several jobs including working as a
8secretary for a roofing company; and
9    WHEREAS, James Pobiega attended Argo High School in
10Summit, where he earned the nickname Beowulf due to his large
11stature, which was later changed to Little Howlin Wolf by
12passersby who would toss money in his saxophone case as he
13played music on the Michigan Avenue bridge; and
14    WHEREAS, James Pobiega, a self-taught saxophonist, began
15busking at Chicago's Old Maxwell Street Market as he graduated
16high school in 1968; and
17    WHEREAS, James Pobiega studied acting at the Goodman
18School of Drama and joined his instructor, Patrick Henry, and
19several classmates to form the Free Street Theater in 1969,
20which performed around Chicago and the Midwest region; and



SR1006- 2 -LRB103 40745 ECR 73566 r

1    WHEREAS, James Pobiega worked as Santa Claus at Water
2Tower Place in Chicago; he enjoyed scuba diving as a hobby and
3as an instructor and had bit parts in a few productions,
4including a goofy music video with Tim Kazurinsky and the
5Chevy Chase movie Bad Meat; and
6    WHEREAS, James Pobiega's true passion was music, and he
7self-released dozens of singles and three albums, two in the
81980s and one in 2005; although his music was never
9commercially successful, it found a wider audience in the
10early 2000s after Twig Harper, a musician who was working at an
11antique store in Wicker Park, bought one of his self-released
12albums at a Chicago Thrift shop and circulated it among
13friends in the underground experimental music scene; and
14    WHEREAS, James Pobiega was preceded in death by his
15parents; and
16    WHEREAS, At the time of his passing, James Pobiega was
17survived by his sister, Patricia Pobiega; his cousins,
18Kathleen Rehr and Bobby Pobiega; and numerous friends;
19therefore, be it
21ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
22James Pobiega and extend our sincere condolences to his



SR1006- 3 -LRB103 40745 ECR 73566 r

1family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be it
3    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
4presented to the family of James Pobiega as an expression of
5our deepest sympathy.