Real Smells of Springtime in the Air / Rumpelstiltskin
Monday - March 17, 1969
WOR Show Original Airing
First Line After Theme Ends
Well I have made a definate resolution. . .
Promises not to talk about the holiday - St. What's? Day
A touch of Spring is in the air. "You can see every cigar butt - every bum etched in clear delineated lines against the sunset"
Flying over Jersey on Sunday - a "soft, blue Jersey haze at 500 feet -- A woolly blanket of haze"
Recollections of anticipating a date while a "yardbird." "Men know the madness that sweeps over them, but later realize that they might rather be at Howard Johnson's having a Texas Tommy"
Distorted views of the fairy tales that Mrs. Ossenschlager told in 5th grade to keep the class quiet - Dumplestilsken, and Andora's Box, and Sampson and Gretchen
Describes being in a classroom at a small campus of Indiana University in the middle of a huge refinery complex - a "gamey atmosphere like living in a tremendous sea of rotten cabbage where every once in a while a bubble of ancient primal methane gas would break the surface." Times when people would be afraid to strike matches in the air - the whole town would go up! Octane in the air was close to the standard antiknock Texaco gas sold in the area Could run a car on the air - the car wouldn't know the difference!
That Spring afternoon - like an enormous compost heap which is just a pile of life itself. The professor was dissecting a word at the board as Shep only thinks of Betty Lou Morrison outlined against the windows as he glances through his school wardrobe issue of Esquire magazine showing idealized views of models next to expensive Italian autos. The campus reality is the refinery cracking plant where petroleum is cooked to produce wax, kerosene,
and bezene! Then Kaboom - a sound like a big wet dishcloth hitting a bass drum as the light in the classroom changes to mustard yellow, and a mushroom cloud rising to 5000 feet is observed. Kerosene dropped from the air on everything in the county including the canvas top of Shep's own convertible as the professor just went on. Months after, the beer ordered in restaurants tasted of kerosene, but there were no complaints - people accepted life as it
A second incident of an exploding cracking plant is described as occurring when Shep was a kid as they drove in a car over a bridge. "The widows in the car just caved in, and the Old Man never looked back"
Shep also refers to the excitement of emerging Springtime in the episode of 4-5-73.
Also, Shep apparently left Indiana University in 1948 to work at WSAI (see Biography).