Tales of the Shep

Contributor's Stories and Comments about Jean Shepherd & These Pages

Volume 2

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Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 09:16:36 -0700
From: william ham <bham@aone.com>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: jean shepherd

A bit of information for Shepherd fans and collectors of his works: I remember him doing a couple of things for MAD magazine in the early 60's. Sadly I don't know the dates of the issues but it was after MAD went from comic book to semi-slick black and white magazine. The title of one of the stories had something to do with "creeping meatballism". Great Page! keep it up.

Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 15:35:50 +0000
From: Dennis <circuitPro@atlantis-bbs.com>
To: William Ham <bham@aone.com>
CC: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Jean Shepherd in Mad Magazine


I saw your note on Jim Sadur's "Tales of the Shep" Web page.

Jean Shepherd's foray into the wacky world of Mad Magazine appeared in issue number 32, in a piece with artist Wood titled "The Night People vs. 'Creeping Meatballism'". You can find a 4-panel excerpt in "Completely Mad" by Maria Reidelbach (p. 105), at the public library.


Date: Mon, 03 Jun 1996 13:32:48 +0100
From: "Edward R. Percarpio" <email@cai.com>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Flick Lives !!

Excelsior !,
I can't believe I'm not the one with the Shepherd page out there. Congratulations and well done. I was at the Princeton show on Friday and had a conversation with two long-time fans and we agreed that when we meet someone new and things are seemingly clicking, the acid test question is always... did you ever listen to Shepherd on WOR as a kid ? Well it truly is a bonding experience and it's good to meet a few other rabid Shepherd nuts.

I listened to Shep every night in the 70's after having been turned on to him by my father. Like my dad, I started taping the shows and have quite a nice collection. My father's tapes start in 1959 or so when he was on the air all night long. These tapes are all reel-to-reel at 1 7/8 ips but they sound like fresh air to me. I even have the first show Shep did after JFK was killed and believe me it is a moving experience.
Let's keep in touch.
Ed Percarpio

Date: Mon, 03 Jun 1996 16:57:37 -0400
From: Harry McCracken <harry_mccracken@PCWorld.com>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Shep at Princeton

Your home page is great. What can I say about the Princeton concert last Friday, other than that I drove 270 miles to get there, attended the concert, then drove 270 miles back home -- and it was worth it? The man was as funny, pointed, and nostalgic as ever, and it only got better as he moved away from modern matters (Seinfeld and Friends) towards his nightclub days, rat-killing gig, and memories of the Great Eastern. He was more gleefully politically incorrect than the last time I saw him live, in the mid-1980s, but otherwise unchanged. Great stuff. I'm too young to have heard him on WOR, so I'm especially grateful to have had the opportunity to experience him live these two times.

-- Harry McCracken
-- Boston, Mass.

To: jsadur@keyflux.com
From: babake@most.fw.hac.com (Bruce A. Baker)
Subject: The Grand Master of Storytelling

I too listened to Jean Sheperd spin his magnificent yarns as I lay in bed, enthralled. I would love to obtain tapes of those shows. I can remember returning home with my parents from visiting friends on a Saturday night. My father would have the radio tuned to WOR and Shep would be doing his show from the Limelight. I can remember my mother saying to my father, "are you listening to him again? He's crazy!".

Now that I live in Fort Wayne, IN, I will have to catch him when he's in Hammond.

How many Shep-o-philes out there have done a book report for school on one of Shep's books? Back in the eighth or ninth grade ('66 or '67) I did a book report on "In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash". Prior to the report, the English teacher was covering the literary devices of simile and metaphor. She asked us to produce a couple of examples from the books we were reading. I remember that one of the examples I produced was Shep's description of Hohman, IN being attached to the underside side of Lake Michigan "like a barnacle on the hull of a tramp steamer".

In '71 when I was home on Christmas break from Stevens Tech, I read "Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories". I can remember reading "The Grandstand Passion Play of Delbert and the Bumpus Hounds" and the "Star Crossed Romance of Josephine Cosnowski" late at night. I made a tremendous effort to stifle my laughter in effort not to wake my parents. I was unsuccesful. My mother entered my room to ask me what the heck I was laughing about as tears streamed down my face.

Garrison Keillor is a rank amateur compared to Shep. If Keillor is an occasional smile, Shep is a gut busting, tears down the face belly laugh. Jean Shepherd truly is the Grand Master of Storytelling. The question is is what makes him so?

Orson Welles once said in an interview that a great film presents the viewer with something he knows to be unreal yet is still true. He said that the persona that James Cagney portrayed in his films was completely unreal. Noone ever acted like that, yet Cagney did not have a single second on screen that wasn't true.

I think that's true of Shep's stories. When you read or listen to his stories, you know them to be unreal, yet true to the core. When you add his unequalled powers of description, his ability to paint images in your mind and bring the most mundane person, place or thing to life and marry them with humor, you have indeed, the Grand Master of Storytelling.

Flick Lives!

Bruce A. Baker

From: AGOLDEN@bear.com (ART GOLDEN)
Subject: Excelsior!
To: jsadur@keyflux.com

I serendipitously came across this page while looking for something on Jacques Offenbach! I used to listen to Shep on WOR as a kid. In fact, I would tape his show by hooking up my old reel-to-reel recorder to my clock radio, and somehow setting the alarm to turn on both the radio and recorder. And, I had a huge fight with my father (who of course had no clue as to who or what Shep was) regarding the cost of the electricity that he was paying for (I recorded every night I wasn't home, which was most nights.) How I wish I had saved all those tapes! My favorite story was the one where a friend of his father's ordered a house from Sears (I think). The day it arrived, the old man and all his pals started tearing open the cartons ("Look, a toilet!"), drinking all the while. Then it started to rain, and as the alcohol wore off and they started getting soaked, all the fun seemed to go out of this. The poor guy whose house this was was left there, hundreds of open boxes strewn about, pieces of house everywhere, and no clue as to what half of these things were!

I had no idea that he appears at Princeton every year, and will definitely be there next year. I never realized how many people were turned on to him. It's fantastic to read all these comments.

Excelsior, you fathead!

Art Golden

From: Michael Robert Patterson <Michael.Patterson@Worldnet.Att.Com>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Hellp

Jim, as one who moved to New York City from the midwest at the ripe old age of 18 in 1963 and who absolutely fell in love with Jean and his late night activities on WOR (many ways to say that), I can't tell you how grateful I was to have stumbled onto your site on the Web. I still have some old reel-to-reel tapes of Jean's show and have multiple copies of A Christmas Story which (to the horror of my family --except my son, who inherited my sense of humor) I watch even in the middle of the summer. In any event, good luck with the page and I hope to be an avid visitor.

Best, MRP
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 96 19:19:47 -0400
From: Norm - WA3KEY <ndrech@fast.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: RE: Ham Web Page

Hi Jim,

I discovered your page while looking up Shep on Yahoo. You might like to add my "Virtual Collins Radio Museum" to your "Radio History & Antiques" links listing.

I've been a fan of Jean Shepherd since the late 60's on WOR. I worked him on 2-meter FM once back in the mid-seventies. He was mobile in central New Jersey and was checking out a new rig. I was in my car too so wasn't sure K2ORS was really Shep, but when I asked him if his last name was Shepherd ... he never came back!

My friend WB3CUU worked Shep on 20-meters SSB about 10 years ago. It was his first contact after he moved to MA from CA. He told me he worked a K2ORS but didn't know who he was. When I told him who he's worked, he said, "he did say that he was an entertainer".

I'd love to catch him on the air someday.

73 and congrats on a nice web page de Norm - WA3KEY wa3key@fast.net

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Thanks, Jim

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Copyright © 1996 James E. Sadur.