Stunned At The Loss

So, I have to confess that Car Talk is about the only NPR show I regularly tune into any more, and that I do so quasi-religiously–much to the chagrin of the rest of my family. And so it was this past Saturday–I tuned in about 4 minutes late and came in the middle of one of Tom’s riffs with a caller…fun business as usual. So, with the radio on, I set about cooking breakfast in the adjacent room while listening–the sound cranked up (come to think of it, maybe that’s why my family runs for cover every Saturday morning at 10:00). Well, there I was thoroughly enjoying this regular weekend treat, when very slowly, it started to dawn on me that this was a very different car talk–it was not following the usual format, there was an abundance of segments strung together featuring Tom’s great voice, delivery, and crazy, infectious laughter…Odd, I thought, and then there was Ray, framing the next series of bits, talking about Tom’s ability to relate to callers and guess their names…it was then it began to dawn on me…the numbness started to move through my body. I stopped what I was doing, went in and sat down stone faced in front of the radio…thinking…“no…please don’t let it be…make me wrong”. Then Ray came on again, and stated outright that this was a tribute to Tom who had passed away on Monday. I found myself in tears, staring at the radio…tears Tom, tears for Ray, their extended family–Tom’s kids and wife (not to mention all of the much touted ex’s), and the rest of their inner circle of family and friends. But also tears for myself and all of us who LOVE Click and Clack and eagerly anticipate our “Perfectly Good Hour” spent indulging in their humor, chemistry, and questionable mechanical wisdom. We will so miss Tom’s laughter, his off beat sense of humor–the letters he read, the puns and terrible jokes, his guesses at the spelling of names, his love for the slant 6, his intoning “Stump The Chumps”, and his calls of BOOOOGUS to Ray’s machinations. So, all I can say is that we’ve all lost a dear friend–a rare one-of-a-kind classic, and Ray, my condolences for the loss of your brother and partner in grime…you guys are the best…thank you for the laughs, the puzzles, the unraveling of the mysteries of mechanical malaise. And remember, Ray…no one…anywhere…could “drive like your brother”! Mountain Mick