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Last Film Last Film
In my day, people used to gather 'round the old Pied Piper radio ("Hammy," we called it, after the Pied Piper of Hamelin, not the advent of the crude, impersonal ham radio) and listen to Eugene John as he hosted the Missouri Championship Joke Races, broadcast in part by the sponsorship of Armour Hot Dogs ("Even kids with chicken pox!" went young Sally's favorite part) and Lux Toilet Soap. Eugene had a warm, friendly timbre, even when you could tell the man was hard at work; "The Fastest Officiator in All the Great Southeast," he was known as, and though I didn't realize what it meant at the time, I knew my mom liked Eugene because she'd blush every time she called him that. I remember that last warm, baseball summer night I heard Eugene John's effervescent voice come rambling out of Hammy's shining pink grille, because the next day Verizon invented the Juke phone and the whole damn country went to hell.


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