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Antique Auto Show

New Hope, Pennsylvania

August 14, 1966

Shep was master of ceremonies at this 2 day event in New Hope, NJ Shep fan Gary Evans of Lavallette, NJ met Shep at the auto show and tells his story of a one to one encounter with the man himself: "On a beautiful day for a car ride, I found myself in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It was the first or second weekend in August, 1966. There was a fair going on, its purpose being mostly to separate the tourists from their money. Wandering over to the nearby high school athletic field, I found that there was an antique car show in progress, and the cars were slowly going around the running track. While listening to the announcer commenting on the cars, it struck me that the announcer sounded very familiar. I wondered who it was, and tried hard to place the voice. Suddenly I realized... it was Jean Shepherd! Shep! Like so many others at that time, I was a big fan and a devoted listener, and I could hardly believe the good luck to find myself in the presence of the man himself. He announced each car and gave some interesting fact about each one. It was great. I imagined myself going up to greet him after the show, but I thought that he would be mobbed, and I wouldn't get near him. But when the show was over, everyone left, presumably for the next event at the fair. They didn't seem to know him as anyone other than the car announcer. Shep was left alone behind the mike, gathering his notes and getting ready to go. As he left and began walking across the field toward the parked cars, I hurried up to see him and tell him I was one of the Thirteen (from time to time he claimed to have about thirteen listeners.) "Excelsior, Fathead!" I shouted, hoping to identify myself as a true believer. To my amazement he called back the standard Shepherd answer, "Seltzer!" I started to walk with him and asked him what had induced him to leave Greenwich Village and come all the way down here to New Hope to announce a local car show. He replied that if I was a regular listener, then I knew that he was a car nut. (I did know that, and even had read his occasional contributions to Sports Cars Illustrated, the former name of Car and Driver magazine.) I told him that I knew that, but why did he agree to do the announcements instead of just coming down to see the show. He said he could have just come down, but then he would have to listen to someone else do the announcing poorly. He explained, imitating a fictional inept announcer: "And now ladies and gentlemen, here is another...car. Yes, it is a car. This one is... I'm pretty sure it is... green! And this green car has... (one, two, three...) I think... yes, four wheels!" Shep continued the "schtick" until we reached his car, a fastback Mustang in which a leggy blonde sat waiting for him. After he left I had to pinch myself. Was I awake, or did I merely dream that Jean Shepherd and I were walking across a field in New Hope, and he was doing a routine - just for me?"
Photos:


August 11,1966
Town Topics

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


August 13,1966
New Hope Pa - Antique Auto Show - MC

Courtesy: Mike Schultz


August 13,1966
New Hope Pa - Antique Auto Show - MC

Courtesy: Mike Schultz