Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saying "Goodbye" to a Piece of My Childhood

It's with a heavy heart that I write this post. Yes, I'm being slightly totally dramatic. If you know me, that won't surprise you. But, in all honesty, I have gotten teary-eyed a few times as I ponder this news, mostly for the memories it brings me.

Yesterday, as I was watching Nightly News with Brian Williams, he ended the show with story that stopped me in my tracks. (I'm being dramatic again. But this is a piece of my childhood we are talking about!) The hosts of NPR radio show Car Talk, brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi aka Click & Clack, announced that after 35 years on the radio (and over 25 with NPR), September would mark their last new show. Now, NPR will run old episodes during their usual slot, which is why this entire post is over-dramatic, but it got me thinking. 

As I've mentioned several times, I was a serious 'Daddy's Girl' growing up. Don't misunderstand, I loved my Mom dearly, but my Dad traveled a lot. When my Dad was home, I'd stick to him like glue, spending every possible second I could with him. That usually included his Saturday errands. On Saturday mornings, he would get up and start his weekly ritual of making homemade pancakes. I can close my eyes and remember how it felt to wake up and smell the griddle. After pancakes, we would dress and Dad would make his list of errands. He would graciously take me along, even though I probably slowed him down. But he was an amazing Dad so, I like to think he enjoyed the time with me just as much as I enjoyed the time with him. 

But, I digress. 

We'd hop in the car and start on our journey of errands. This usually consisted of the post office, the copy shop, the bank and sometimes the cleaners, the hardware store and/or the liquor store. (Don't judge him for that. There were always tons of kids there with their parents, and the liquor store we went to always had a bucket of bubble gum or dum-dums, so it was a huge treat to get to pick out of the bucket when we left.) And in the midst of the errands, we would listen to NPR - specifically Car Talk. The Magliozzi brother's voices were my first introduction to a Boston accent, which I am in love with to this day. They made my Dad laugh, a sound that I love, and even as a kid, they made me laugh too. I tried to pay attention to the "car stuff" they'd talk about, even when it was often ridiculous but funny advice, but I always looked forward to the end credits the most. Not because the show was over, but because that was the funniest part to me. They'd rattle off the names of everyone who worked on the show - but they would give each person a nickname or a fake name altogether. Things like 'Doug "the subway fugitive, not a slave to fashion, bongo boy frogman" Berman' or 'Haywood Jabuzoff'. (Say that one out loud a few times. You'll get it.) 

And then, the part that is currently making my hair stand on end as I hear their voices in my head. They'd close the show with the same phrase every time. Ray would say, "Don't drive like my brother," and Tom would reply, "Don't drive like my brother." My Dad and I would say it along with them every time. (He'd take Ray's line and I'd take Tom's.) And while NPR will continue to run old shows long after September, it feels a bit like the end of an era to me. And that era happens to be the bulk of my childhood. So, thank you, Click & Clack, for over 20 years of Saturday mornings. I cannot imagine those years without you. 

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