"I like to drive with the windows open. I mean, before you know it, you're going to spend plenty of time sealed up in a box anyway, right?” Tom Magliozzi, Car Talk, WBUR (Boston)
They were a new presence on NPR, occupying the Saturday morning spot on a Public Radio station in Syracuse. A couple of clowns from Boston, talking about cars. I was five minutes into the first show, on my way to take a final, when I was hooked for life.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi were unlikely mechanics. Both had graduated prestigious MIT. Tom eventually attained a PhD in marketing. Yet, one could envision them peering into the engine compartment of virtually any car, puzzled, shrugging their shoulders and laughing. They were extraordinarily ordinary, a couple of...car guys, swapping stories, theories and life observations with listeners. Their shade tree manner never seemed an affect.
Their intelligence shone through even as they traded "auto noises," gave dating advice (often telling a woman to keep the car and get rid of the guy) and offered wry observations about life - “Kids: get away from the cell phones, get away from the computers, and mail someone a fish before it’s too late.”
Tom died of "complications from Alzheimer's Disease" at age 77. Honestly, maybe someday someone with cache will do the same and we'll dedicate ourselves to finding a cure for this fucking scourge. In the meantime, there are the archives, which his brother Ray insists be broadcast as long as there are listeners.
Via NPR's airwaves, the patented Tom Magliozzi laugh lives on, the brotherly banter between two American originals preserved as a way of saying - "Reality often astonishes theory."
Farewell Click. Or, were you Clack?