Book In Common: Listen with me to Jean Shepherd read “Duel In the Snow; or, Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid”

On these stormy days I always think of something to read. But I have chores that involve my hands and eyes, so books are inconvenient. Sometimes I turn an old movie on the tube, but there’s not always something good playing. Today I went to youtube, and found Jean Shepherd. 

Jean Shepherd was an American writer and radio personality who wrote the short story for which he later co-wrote the screenplay that became “A Christmas Story.”  I love that movie, I could watch it all day – and one  year, stuck in a motel room in a Sierra snowstorm, I actually did. The Turner network played it all day long, over and over. There was not much else on appropriate for our kids, so in between forays out into the snow, we watched bits and snatches of that movie, and laughed and laughed. 

Who doesn’t remember, the Bupkiss hounds? The leg lamp? The Cleveland Street Kid? “YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!” is still an oft-used catchphrase in my family.

So, look what I found  – this is even better – I can do  my chores in any room of the house and listen to the original story, as read by author and disc jockey, Jean Shepherd. Who, by the way, also  narrated the film, you’ll recognize the voice almost immediately.

While it’s true, I could listen to it from any room in the house, still, it’s distracting. I find myself standing, hand poised on dishrag/broom handle/spoon/stove handle, ear turned toward the speaker, face slack, mouth open, listening to every word out of this guy’s mouth. He’s a great story teller, in this case, reader of his own work, and I find myself transfixed. 

So, I listen in bits and snatches, and I can make it last a few days. I hope you will enjoy it too. No going ahead to see what happens, either. 


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