When I came home after work and checked Facebook I learned of the death of Tom Maggliozzi, one half of the famous NPR Car Talk team. Maggliozzi, 77, died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. NPR has been running archived episodes of the program for the past 2 years and their car advice column had ceased publication.
The advent of Car Talk marked a turned point for National Public Radio as a place for entertainment. Tom and his younger brother Ray built relationships with thousands of callers over the years. Their sign offs were legendary, listing several real and imaginary characters including Doug the subway Fugitive Not a Slave to fashion Berman, the producer.
I was a regular listener and sometimes found Tom and Ray’s advice useful. But they did not always just talk about how to repair something. A lot of the time, people would call because they were questioning the advice given to them by a loved one. Their parents or significant other had suggested that you always do something or never do something and the caller asked the car guys whether they were led astray. Of course, the car guys would also lead people astray. My companion Lizzy swears by the car guys and their advice.
I never called in although I was sorely tempted to ask for their advice and never take it. I hope that when people read this blog entry, they will go to the NPR website and listen to a classic Car Talk episode and laugh along with Tom and Ray.