Chicago Dentist: Sun Times Article
Down In The Mouth? Not Woo-Woo
Ronnie Wickers Has Some New Teeth, But His Trademark Chant Remains The Same.
Ronnie Wickers got out of the big chair Thursday, looked in the mirror to check out his new teeth and thought he saw a movie star staring back. But looks aren’t everything to Wickers. So he carefully tested the most important thing he knows, everything he stands for. “Woo-woo,” he said carefully, slowly. “Hey, I think I’m a little louder now,” he said faster, louder. “Woo-woo. I’m much louder now. Woo- Woo- Woo. You’re making history talking to me right now. Much louder. Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo- woo.”
The broken teeth have been cleared away, the mouth reconfigured with false teeth. Ronnie Woo-Woo is back. Louder than ever. Prettier, too. Wickers is the unofficial and unpaid Cubs mascot who goes to all games and to most public Cubs functions in his Cubs uniform, chanting “woo-woo” endlessly. But while Wickers often was mistaken for Ernie Banks from the back, he had a mouthful of chipped or broken teeth mixed in with the open spaces.
Thanks to the efforts of a lot of people, Wickers now has a mouthful of plastic whites blending beautifully with his six salvaged originals. “It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “People used to walk down the street wooing and ask when I’m going to get teeth. “But no matter what you look like, with teeth or without teeth, I still have the same heart. I’m still Ronnie Woo-Woo. But now, maybe I can do commercials for toothpaste or something, or be an official mascot. Just take one day at a time-woo-and look alive-woo-woo.” After getting his new teeth, Wickers, 60, traveled to New York , where he will appear on the Howard Stern show today. Help in getting the new teeth came from Jim Rittenberg, who owns Mother Hubbard’s bar in Chicago , and from a Rick Telander column in the Chicago Sun-Times. That spurred the interest of fans, who donated to help Wickers get new choppers. An early Christmas tale.
Chicago dentist Marshall Olech donated his services. And Aesthetic Dental Labs in Waukegan chipped in with all the lab work – including making the teeth - for free. The only problem is the $4,500 the effort raised. With hardly any costs for the teeth, most of the money remains. Rittenberg said he plans to thank contributors and ask if it would be OK to donate the leftover money to Cubs Care, the team’s charity. “Ronnie can smile now,” Olech said. “And he looks 20 years younger.” But doesn’t it take time to get used to talking with new teeth? “Yeah,” Rittenberg said. “But not when you only say one word all the time .