Run, Buck, Run. No Muggle He.

Buck, Brian Buckley McAllister III: A dear, dear friend, partner-in-crime, confidante, college roommate, New York city ambassador, stupendous father of two truly blessed children, loving husband to loving wife, number-one-son, brother, cousin, uncle, tugboat magnate, 9/11 volunteer, Tiki Brother musician extraordinaire, Park Slope Community Activist, barnacle-scrubbing-in Puerto Rico dockmate, Bread and Puppet tent-mate, Grateful Dead “dude, where’s my car?” lost-soulmate, Okemoskibuddy, Farm and Wilderness devotee;  a man with a deep roaring laugh, radiant eyes and a lust for life..ran the NYC Marathon this weekend in under four hours: Three hours and fifty minutes to be exact, (3:50) wearing a Harry Potter Wizard costume, waving a wand and wearing a t-shirt which read “Running for Moose.” His account is nothing short of beautiful. He is a gift to all of us. Love You Buck…

Buck: “I don’t know the exact nature of the wand I ran with, but it helped me. Sycamore, 15 inches, kind of crooked and heavily stained. But there is more to the story. As I think I mentioned, my buddy Moose is dealing with cancer. I wrote on my shirt that I was running for Moose. This unleashed spells that I don’t fully understand, but may have been even more powerful than the Elder Wand.

Don’t get me wrong. The wand gave me amplified power, and increased my speed. There are bands all along the course, some official and some, like some of my friends in Park Slope, engaging in pirate performances. I waived the wand to the beat of the bands lining the course. I magically produced a lot of smiles that way. My friends in the Fifth Street Band played Gigantic by the Pixies (by request) which I heard a block before I could see them.  I remember the songs “War Pig”, “Brooklyn” by JayZ, “Country Tonk” by the Stones, “Proud Mary”, “Dreaming”, “Please Tell Me Why” (by Lit – a particularly fitting song), “Beautiful Day” by U2,”Fireworks” by Katy Perry, etc.  There was a lot of music I couldn’t recognize by Latin bands, punk bands, Eastern European bands, marching bands, a Folkie woman singing originals along with her own keyboard, free jazz, funk, and a Hasidic rock band in Queens that might have been playing Green Day.  My spells had extra effect on the heavy metal bands. I was able to send a charm to a wild-looking guy blowing into a plastic trumpet at a big street party in Fort Greene.  And I got a great reaction waving the wand at about 40 drunks at a balcony keg party in Greenpoint.

But the power of the wand was not nearly the power of Mooses’ name on my shirt. Perhaps 100,000 people yelled to me “Go Moose.” Many cried out “The Moose is loose”.  I felt a little bad for the other runners because my get-up drew a lot of attention. 1,000 people cast words upon me like “You can do it Moose” or “Don’t Give Up Moose” or “Keep Up The Fight Moose”. These spells had a curious effect on me. I gave high fives to hundreds of people who repeated the chant, including Russians in Bay Ridge, Latinos in Sunset Park, Park Slope kids, impeccably dressed Lubavitchers and hipsters in Williamsburg, a very loud firefighter in Greenpoint, auto mechanics in Queens, Grandmothers with their grandkids outside the projects, Yuppies on the Upper East Side, Homeboys in the Bronx, a uniformed cop in Harlem, and foreign tourists in Central Park. I wish Moose could have been there in person to soak up the encouragement.  They all repeated the same spell, and it had quite a power. When I could, I gave them all high fives, including hundreds of people.

The cloak was definitely not a cloak of concealment.  A number of runners asked me what it meant that I was running for Moose.  I got interviewed by a journalism student at the finish line who was confused about the combination of a large ruminant animal and magic.  Maybe a hundred people said “Yea, Harry Potter”.  About 10 yelled “Why is a witch running the marathon?”  I yelled back at them that I was a Wizard. Muggles!

But the best moment for me was somewhere near Bedford Stuyvesant. There was a DJ doing a live remix on a huge sound system of the hip hop standard “I Got The Power”. You could hear it blocks away.  When he saw me, he yelled into his mike, “Moose got the Powah”. I got so choked up, I had trouble breathing for a while, but after that, I barely felt the miles.

I have sealed this magic outfit and the wand in a plastic bag.  It should be treated as biohazard. There may be a little blood around the nipples on the shirt. There may be substances on the cloak like vaseline or mucous, and which may be something else entirely. The outfit was soaked through with sweat, tears, grime, grit, and every stripe of Big Apple humanity.

I am sending this package to Moose, unwashed. By the time it arrives, it will have fermented into a potent potion. I would give it the same name as the subtitle for the event. The Race for Life. Breathe it in, Moose.  I hope it brings you a little magic.


Buckley, you are my hero! YOU’VE GOT THE POWER!


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5 Responses to Run, Buck, Run. No Muggle He.

  1. Bev green says:

    You are truly a gem…a diamond among stones. Thank god mark has your love a
    Nd power on his side! With much love,moose mama!

  2. Merrill Feitell says:

    Hey, Moose, it’s me, Merrill, Bennett’s sister, Buck’s friend, Bread-and-Puppet camper, hoper of good things–most especially to continue the cross-pollination of inspiration and reciprocity that this whole post seems to chronicle. Be well! Keep on! And be careful breathing around that outfit. Sounds like it’s really going to STINK!

  3. Steven says:

    I’m speechless…pretty rare. I love you Markus Green

  4. Ellen says:

    Love this!! Thanks for sharing, Mark, and congratulations, Buck! I can only imagine how the “Running for Moose” message and the responses you got fueled your run. I think it’s a great mantra for all of us to take up. I’m “Running for Moose” in all that I do, every day!

  5. Faith Schuster says:

    Mark, you are amazing…and now I see that your friends are amazing too. Believe it or not, you are blessed–but, even more so, you are a blessing to us! You are blessing us with your strength and your wisdom and your heart. As you go through the hardest of hard times, you are giving others the strength to face their own (lesser) hard times with your words, your courage, your spirit. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to you for sharing your journey with us. Take us along as far as you can…YOU’ve got the power!

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