Tales of the Shep

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

Volume 8

Previous Home Next

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 19:54:03 -0500 (EST)
To: Jim Sadur
From: joelb@thorn.net(Joel Baumwoll)
Subject: Re: Shep's ham tag

Thanks for your reply. Do you remember a story Shep told about catching an alligator gar in a row boat late one night on an Indiana lake? It was one of his classics but I don't see it on any of Max's tapes. I treasure the fact that I became one of Shep's spies in 1958 when I sent him a story from a 1942 New York Post that he read on the air.

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 17:14:56 -0800
From: "Dean C. Paige" <ecopaige@metro.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Barnes and Noble Shep Tapes

First, what a great page! I had only very brief experience with Shep on radio. Early 1970's, Eola, Illinois, just outside of Aurora. (Party on Garth) Lived with my girlfriend - now wife of 21 years in a small barn converted to a house.

H (the then girlfriend) and I were attending the local JC getting ready to transfer to U.C. Santa Barbara. Listened to NPR every night and discoverd Shep's radio show. We caught Shep in the early evening and being poor broke students would sit in the car in the driveway to listen until we finally bought a second hand stereo receiver. His shows were the highlight of our evenings, during the week that is. Weekends in those early 70s days were something else again. We probably only caught 3 months or so of shows but they made a lasting impression on us both. One of our favorite scenarios though, was on film in The Fourth of July and Other Disasters.

In the darkened theatre as Ralphie learned to his utter dismay that it was not the girl beside him but he himself that was the BLIND DATE! A classic moment and evocative of my early experience with the fair sex, and the condition of my then fragile ego. Also a condition that I quickly outgrew. Nice to know I'm not alone with my memories.

I knew nothing of his previous radio career until I found you page. I have yearned over the years to hear him again. I found him originally a few years earlier in Playboy (where else). Reading Wanda Hickey in algebra at St Procopius High in Lisle and laughing uncontrollably out loud got me kicked out of the class. Nearly ruined me for mathmatics. That and similar transgressions eventually got me booted from the whole school. I've remained a cultural infidel since.

To the point though... Barnes and Noble as of today has a SALE on the 7 tape set... $18.00 plus shipping and handling. Around $25.00 total. Such a deal. Get them while they're hot. I did. Same catalog number as you listed.

I'm on board for the E-mail campaign to encourage the release of Shepherd programming. To all the other Shepites out there

Dean Paige
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 02:03:12 -0800
From: Ira Chineson <irac@worldnet.att.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Shep and Me

Outside of my late father there is no one who has influenced the way I look at the world more than Jean Shepherd. I first heard him when I was in the 8th grade, spending my nights tuning across the AM radio band hoping to catch radio signals from such exotic places as Cleveland and Wheeling WVA. The first night I heard him on the decidedly unexotic WOR he was talking about the prairie land surrounding his home in Indiana. There was something about his voice and the passion he brought to the radio that hooked me. Listening to WOR in the early 70s was not exactly a hip thing to do for a 14 yr old New Jersey kid, but I soon discovered 2 fellow Shepherd fans in my junior high and we instantly bonded. We cajoled one or another of our parents to take us to various personal appearences he made at local colleges. The high point of our lives was the time we treked to a local Bamburgers for a Shepherd book signing session. He was about 50 minutes late and was a tad testy and possibly hungover when he showed up, but we didn't care. Even if we couldn't afford the book we got to stand right next to our hero. The world he talked about every night on the radio seemed so much more interesting than the world I inhabited that sometimes I wondered if I was missing something. I remember scrawling on my school notebooks "Open your eyes and look at the world" as if this would help me see the world in a more Shepherdian light. For my money that's his biggest contribution to my life: he made me open my eyes and see the world as the mad and bittersweet parade that it is.
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997 19:37:47 -0400
From: Barbara Scheide <bscheide@pop.dn.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Shep Nostalgia

http://home.dn.net/~bscheide the home of hoyden arts

I want to add myself to the long list of Shep admirers from the mid to late '50's. I never learned to properly treasure my radio until I made the miraculous discovery, when I was about 10, that it was possible for a man to utter fantastical thoughts and strange fables and outrageous stories about his mother in Chicago in her rump-sprung bathrobe. I loved his readings from the "Bestiary" and his uniquely energetic literary "style". He brought imagination, his own strange humor and a great freedom to the radio at night. I listened with glee and awe and a high point of my life was seeing and hearing him live at Alexander Hall when my father took me when I was about 15. It is impossible, as some of the others on this Web page have noted, for those who haven't been captivated by Jean, to understand the fervor he inspired in those of us who have. For Jean to think his radio work wasn't important or as good as his books andother work is just wrong!!! I hope he is reading all that's written here.... he inspired and set free the imaginations of a lot of young boomers!!!! No small feat!!!

Here's looking at you, Jean!!!
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 22:24:56 -0300
From: "Mike Schultz" <mschultz@voicenet.com>
Subject: Shep

I'm not sure how I stumbled on this website, but I'm sure glad I did.

I, too, grew up with Shep and WOR, and I miss them both.

I saw him in action on two occasions. The first was in a production of "Destry Rides Again" at the long since defunct Music Circus in Lambertville NJ. This was a true theatre-in-the-round with a rotating stage. My parents treated myself and my big brother to this show. Of course, I still have the program. I don't remember much about the show itself, with the exception of the gunshots (blanks) which Shep had mentioned on his show.

The other time, he was serving as the announcer for the New Hope (PA) antique auto show, circa 1968. It was a disappointment, but only because the circumstances didn't give him the freedom to spin his yarns. He was signing dollar bills for a while, but he stopped before I could get to him. I cherish the memory, though, watching him while I sat propped against the fender of someone's E-type Jag.

I grew up in Princeton. A mystery has bugged me since my junior high days (early 60's). There was this kid in the school who was rumored to be Shep's son. He was known as "Beaver" and was he kind of a wierd kid (not that I wasn't). Does anyone know any more about this person? He would be mid 40's now.

Mike Schultz
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 16:20:01 -0500
From: Silver Streak <rcv@izzy.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: Shepard on WOR
I discovered Jean Shepard in 1966 on WOR. I listened to his incredible narrative pastiches as often as I could on a battery powered multi-band AM/FM/SW radio I had bought for diversion from the intellectual demands of being a mathematics graduate student at Cornell University.

The story I remember most vividly involved steel-workers' after hours bar that had a monstrous and myterious (at least to the pre-adolescent narrator) pickle jar. I think the denouement involved the consumption of one of said pickles with unexpected gastronomic consequences. Anyone else remember this gem? Beyond that I remember Flick and Schwartz described in Jean's wondrous oratorical style.

Thanks for the pages and I intend to order several of your tapes.

-- Dick Vile
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 19:56:16 -0700
From: Robert Moskowitz <bobofgsm@southeast.net>
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
Subject: It runs in the Family

The reason that I am looking up Jean Shepherd at all is because I am currently in a school play at Baker County High School in Glen St. Mary, FL based on some of Shepherd's stories.

The play I am in is somewhat unique, in that it is three plays in one. The first play is "County Fair". This play is about the family going to the county fair. The next play is about Delbert and the Bumphas hounds. That play is about the crazy nieghbors that live next store. The final play is Wanda Hickey's night of golden memories. Which is the story about going to the prom.

The funny thing about these plays is that they take place in different periods of the charters lives. So we have different actors playing the different parts in each play. What is unique is that I play the younger Flick in "County Fair" while my younger brother plays the older Flick in Wanda Hickey. I guess playing Flick must run in the family.

Just thought it was neat,
Mary Moskowitz
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:43:33 -0400
From: Gregory W. Wright <Greg.Wright@rnb.com>
Subject: Jean Shepherd
To: jsadur@keyflux.com

Dear Jim,

This is just a little note to express my thanks on keeping a Web Page for Jean's Fans. All during my college experience I kept a paperback copy of Wanda Hickey in my back pocket. When ever I got depressed I would take it out and read a few pages. It always helped me out of the blues and got me back into the swing of things. It was better than seeing a shrink.

Now that I am all grown up and commute to work in New York guess what I have in my brief case. You guessed it. An old and well read copy of Wanda Hickey. The stories never get old. They only get better.

Greg Wright
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 20:28:20 -0400
To: jsadur@keyflux.com
From: mhenke@gwi.net (Max Henke)
Subject: Shep, my often heard but never seen mentor.

For whatever it's worth, I first hit on shep's Radio monologs while stationed on Nantucket in the late 50's, I think it was 57 or 58. I could not believe what I was hearing. We had just hit the sack and was searching around the dial for something to go to sleep to.....well you can imagine the rest. My listening cont'd from that day onward, whenever duty assignments allowed me to tune in WOR. I have many radio recordings from later days, whenever reception allowed pickup in such places as Morocco (skip) or while at sea. Let me tell you, those where interesting times. I hope Shep's illness is not too serious. Is he still a resident of what's that island off Florida. Man, this isn't saying much for myself, but if it wasn't for Shep, I wouldn't have a personality, heh,heh.

Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 21:13:22 -0400
From: "Paul Casadevall" <blkstone@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Jean Shepherd type stuff

I remember Jean always kidded WOR..particularly John A Gambling. I always wondered if that had anything to do with his leaving radio. I just listened to the WBAI show called "mass backwards" and they were doing a rebroadcast of one of Shep's limelight shows from May of 1965. Boy It took me back I can tell you, 10c phone calls, horn and hardart automat, and the phone number on the phone booth wall for "Marie" that turned out to be for the La Guardia control tower. I always wanted to go see one of his shows at the Limelight but I was only a 14 year old male type living in the wilds of Whippany NJ...the Limelight seemed like the emerald city. What exactly is Jean's health situation?

IN HOC Agricula conk and EXCELSIOR you fatheads.
Any other Shep fans out there from Hanover Park HIgh school, class of '65?

Previous Home Next

Do you have stories, anecdotes or trivia for this page?

Send them to: jsadur@keyflux.com
Thanks, Jim

Return to the Jean Shepherd Page

Copyright © 1997 James E. Sadur.