Jean Shepherd talking and A Chirstmas Story
The other day I saw a *Cingular commercial on TV that took the idea of Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story” movie and ran with it. Everybody has seen the movie “A Christmas Story” and people related to it, so I’m sure people lit up with they saw a near duplication of it in the commercial – they did the part where the blond headed kid with glasses was much anticipating his visit on Santa’s lap in a department store and before he got to tell him all Santa gave him the boot which sent him down a chute. And Santa was saying, very drying and bored “Ho Ho Ho.”
That got me thinking about the person who wrote “A Christmas Story”,Jean Sepherd (1921-1999).
In the Navy, in our barracks of HU-4 (Helicopter Utility Squadron Four) late at night I would tune in on the NYC radio station WNBC (I think) and for about two hours, probably from 10pm to midnight Jean Shepherd would talk and talk. He would talk mostly about his memories growing up in his formative years. And he would elaborate.
Can you imagine talking 2 hours a day, 5 days week of your memories? That is ten hours a week you literally have to cough up. I googled Jean and learned he is credited for talking over 5000 hours of memories on radio.
Plus he wrote long articles for Playboy magazine, Help magazine, and others!
At times, when maybe his mind drew a blank, something like writer’s block, without writing – Talking Block? During these times he would pull out his kazoo and play. That was enjoyable too, for a while, anyway.
My mind just reminded me of a first cousin’s husband who probably could come close of talking 5000 hours non-stop. Each time we run into them he talks and talks non-stop. We ran into him and my cousin at Penny’s the other day and he talked and talked... it got to a point where I was looking for a pause in his flow of sentences to look at my watch and tell them we had move on to do something by a certain time… but I think we finally solved the problem by nodding our heads and slowly walking backwards and he talked and talked, and finally the sea of people got between us and them and we broke out in a run. It wasn’t quiet like that, but could have been, almost.