By Dominik Lobkowicz
Brian Smalley, of Waldoboro, bowls dressed as the character Walter Sobchak from “The Big Lebowski.” (D. Lobkowicz photo)
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The first Big Lebowski Day held in Waldoboro May 25 drew a small but excited crowd to “celebrate all things ‘Dude.'”
The event was organized by Melissa Smith, the volunteer social coordinator for The Narrows Tavern in Waldoboro village.
Big Lebowski Day was created in honor of the 1998 film “The Big Lebowski,” where a case of mistaken identity and the desecration of an old rug gets “the Dude” (Jeff Bridges) tied up in a comedy of errors involving kidnapping, grifting, the porn industry, and bowling.
The film is known as a cult classic, and when brought up in the right crowd can elicit a back-and-forth of quotes – most not suitable for print – and discussion of many of the movie’s little touches and details.
Steven “Jibner” Ewing bowls at the first annual Big Lebowski Day held at ALLPLaY and The Narrows Tavern in Waldoboro. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
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Steve “Jibner” Ewing, a huge “Lebowski” fan who says he has seen the movie around 100 times and who conceived of the Waldoboro celebration with Smith, described the film “as one of the most quotable movies of all time.”
“That’s the best part of it, when somebody knows a lot of the lingo from it,” Ewing said.
The celebration May 25 included a few hours of bowling at ALLPLaY in Waldoboro, followed by “Caucasians” – the Dude’s name for a white Russian – and a showing of the film back at The Narrows.
Waldoboro’s Big Lebowski Day is not the first of its kind: Lebowski Fest held in Louisville, Ky., and Los Angeles is holding its 13th annual celebration this year.
Locally, One Longfellow Square in Portland is holding DudeFest on Saturday, May 31.
Smith said she and Ewing were talking about the upcoming DudeFest one night and it spurred them into creating their own version.
“I’m like, ‘If they’re doing it, why can’t we do it?'” she said.
Smith said she organized the event on the Sunday of a holiday weekend to hopefully draw more people out. Only about eight people attended.
“It’s a good time of year to do it, it’s a long weekend, it’s to sort of get more people out and about and doing things,” Smith said. “Even though Memorial Day has a lot of traveling and families involved, there’s a lot of us that don’t travel during Memorial Day weekend and we just want to have a chance to hang out and get together with a group of friends.”
“It’s possible that this could be that opportunity that we start looking forward to every year,” she said. “We’ll get better at it.”