May 17th, 2005

Tip of the Hat

(no subject)

Excelsior, Baby

So I'm sitting here listening to WGN radio. They are talking about Jean Shepherd tonight. Those who listened to WOR radio would most likely be more familiar with him than I. He did radio monologs that from the clips played tonight make me wish I could have listened to his show.

At first when I listened to the clips played, I thought they were a script shepherd wrote for his show. Apparently, from what they said he just started talking and free associated his whole 45 minute show each day which makes it even more fascinating for me.

He was born in Chicago and grew up in a nearby city that I know well, even if his broadcast career was mostly out of New York. So there is sort of a local angle for me.

His radio ramblings, from what little I've heard, remind me somewhat of my free association posts. Except my waxing romantic centers more on Lake Michigan than growing up in Hammond. It could be because I didn't grow up in Hammond, just across the street from that town, but not Hammond itself. Now I'm 3 blocks away from Hammond. Maybe I'll try knocking on their door and borrowing a cup of sugar sometime, now that I've realized how close we are.

Well, I just heard The Midnight Special occasional plays some of Jean Shepherd's bits. Now that they said that, I do remember hearing him doing one which lamented the Chicago Baseball teams, and pointing out how baseball players' names don't even sound like baseball players anymore.

Wow, another radio great was just mentioned as a friend of Shepherd's. Chicago's Ed Schwartz. Now there was a broadcaster I grew up hearing. I still remember the shock and puzzlement of tuning in and hearing some strange guy instead of Ed the night he left radio because of his medical problems. Of course it wasn't until years later that I learned Ed almost died the night that strange guy took over his radio show. Now I only occasionally read Ed on his website,

Well, the radio show about Shepherd is ending, and it's getting late. So I'll bring this rambling of mine to an end too.