The first time I heard Tom and Ray Magliozzi was on a Saturday morning running errands. The car radio was tuned in to WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio station.
Saturday morning and public radio were as much a part of weekends here in Chicagoland as high school football games and caramel/pecan coffee cake from the corner bakery. As I drove, two guys who, except for their strong Boston accents, talked and laughed and could just as easily been sitting around the kitchen table of my childhood. There they were, on 91.5, bantering back and forth, one ribbing the other about who was smarter – and they were discussing cars! Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers; graduates of MIT who managed to engineer a living talking to folks from around the United States about their cars.
As time went on, Car Talk became a Saturday morning ritual. Cleaners, grocery, softball practice – and Car Talk. Whether making the bed, folding laundry, or heading to a cross-country meet, Car Talk was our conversation of choice. Tom or I would make sure the other was “tuned in” if we weren’t together – and if we were, we laughed out load, puzzled over “The Puzzler”, and smiled as the audio credits rolled, attributing the show to illustrative talents such as the law firm that represented them. Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.
They were that kind of funny!
Car Talk. A radio talk show as much for women as men.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi reminded me of my father, uncles, and the rest of the gang “discussing” life’s events around the table of my life, while they also taught me a bit about cars and a bit about life as big brother, Tom, and younger brother, Ray, gave folksy advice to listeners calling in, with some armchair therapy along with it.
Tom Magliozzi has passed on to that great garage in the sky. My Tom sent me an email message with the news while I was in a meeting on Monday. That sort of news just couldn’t wait until I returned home, and I know it is one sad bit of news Tom did not want me to hear on the radio, the media that mad the Magliozzi boys famous.
As I read the message, I swear I could hear Tom Magliozzi’s infectious laugh, the windows to his car wide open, as he entered the Pearly Gates Auto Shop.
Image from Boston Globe via Google. Also on Car Talk website.