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Farewell to Bill
Moon Man' Sweeney

They might better have named St. Johns the City of Characters, rather than City of Legends.

There has never been a shortage off odd, interesting people in this city, from bards and storytellers to panhandlers and hoboes.

This week, we lost one of them. Bill Sweeney was not someone youd recognize on the street, not unless you really knew your characters, but his voice on radio was unmistakable. Sweeney was best known as the Moon Man, an eccentric, intelligent and funny sort who routinely called the VOCM talk radio programs to offer his spin on the news of the day, crack a joke, or put forward another conspiracy theory. (He got his name from his belief that man never did walk on the moon; that it was all staged in a studio somewhere.)

Sweeney always signed off his calls with a distinctive Yabba Dabba Doo!

He signed off for the last time on Saturday, February 13 at age 72.

I never met or interviewed Bill Sweeney, though Ryan Cleary of The Independent did. I dont like to re-write other peoples work, so heres a link to a well-written, entertaining profile of Sweeney, courtesy of the now defunct Independent.

The photo of Sweeney that accompanies this piece was taken by Robert Young, who is compiling an excellent gallery of St. Johns characters at his blog. Check it out. Young has got something pretty cool happening here.

You can read Bill Sweeneys obituary here.

Yabba dabba doo!

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Recent comments

  • Patton
    July 27, 2010 - 14:54

    Never knew the Moon Man but I heard him a few times when in St. John's. Like him, I liked the radio, and liked it most at night. Good company and all that stuff, at a quiet part of the day. Geoff, thanks for the links to Moon Man mullings by various people. The photos by Robert Young on his blog are spectacular.
    It's not so much whether the Moon Man was correct or not, it's most important that he had a healthy disrespect for the status quo. Try it, you'll like it.
    Thanks Mr. Sweeney. You left us better than you found us.