Tales of the Shep
Contributor's Stories and Comments about Jean Shepherd & These Pages
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 19:54:03 -0500 (EST)
To: Jim Sadur
From: email@example.com(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" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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
I'm on board for the E-mail campaign to encourage the release of Shepherd
programming. To all the other Shepites out there
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 02:03:12 -0800
From: Ira Chineson <email@example.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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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" <email@example.com>
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.
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 16:20:01 -0500
From: Silver Streak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
-- Dick Vile
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 19:56:16 -0700
From: Robert Moskowitz <email@example.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,
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:43:33 -0400
From: Gregory W. Wright <Greg.Wright@rnb.com>
Subject: Jean Shepherd
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.
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 20:28:20 -0400
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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" <email@example.com>
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?
Do you have stories, anecdotes or trivia for this page?
Send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to the Jean Shepherd Page
Copyright © 1997 James E. Sadur.