My first post in draft form is going to languish for a few more hours. Instead, I want to pay tribute to and thank Tom Magliozzi and his brother Ray, and everyone associated with putting and keeping Car Talk on the radio. And to those besides Tom, my deepest sympathies for your loss. And ours.
Car Talk has given me untold hours of information, entertainment, laugh aloud pleasure at knowing I had wasted another good hour listing to what Tom and Ray claimed was absolute cringing by NPR executives. They created a unique radio show format, combining their brand of wit and good cheer with our frustrations about our national love – and hate – affair with automobiles. They engaged with callers and seemed to gain an immediate and intimate rapport with people from all over the country, from every walk of life, and of all ages and backgrounds. Perhaps they should have been teaching human relationship management at Harvard instead of telling us about Harvard Square during the weekly Puzzler.
I had a hard time partitioning my amazement properly. Was it for the breath and depth of their car knowledge? Was it for their humor and good nature? Their creative puzzles and prizes? Or for the amazing end of show credits? I laughed at each sign off as hard as the one before, even knowing them all by heart, hoping a new clever name might be added to the list. Better to simply be amazed at the totality of Car Talk itself.
If there is a bright spot in the day, it is having NPR play a snippet of Tom’s contagious laugh played as a tribute and having the show’s management say that it would continue to be aired and available as long as people wanted to listen to it.
I can only dream and hope that someone will think enough of me to want to hear my laugh after I am gone.