Tom and Ray in the Hall of Fame?!

A somewhat interesting tale--a parable, perhaps--about life, hard work, the fruits of one's labors and the "happily ever after" syndrome.

A few months ago, our Producer Dougie Berman was in his usual work mode...sound asleep on his keyboard at Car Talk Plaza--when something rather startling happened. The phone rang. Berman perked up from deep REM slumber just as the voice on the other end announced,

"Congratulations! Car Talk has been inducted into the Hall of Fame!"

Dougie, of course, was not about to get duped into yet another telemarketing scam, and immediately hung up.

A few weeks later, however, a slick package arrived in the mail. We were indeed inducted into the Hall of Fame!

We were dumbfounded. Tom hadn't rounded the bases since his glory days with the DeFazio Brothers Roofing and Siding softball team in the East Cambridge Little League, 1954. Ray hadn't swung for the bleachers since Paul Anka topped the charts and Ford Falcons ruled the roadway. But apparently someone had been watching, all those years ago. We were finally being honored!

As the night of our induction into the Hall of Fame approached, we grew nervous. Would Jose Canseco be there...and would he try to peddle steroids to us? Would "Rocket" Roger Clemens make us catch his fastball barehanded? Would Marge Schott make unseemly advances? Would Tom break Ray's nose again?

And then the bubble burst. Amid our dreams of Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Ty Cobb, we discovered that yes, we have been inducted into the Hall of Fame--but no, you dummies, it is not the *Baseball* Hall of Fame! Duh. Why would the Baseball Hall of Fame have any interest in you? (How would we know? You just said we were dummies, didn't you!)

"So, what Hall of Fame is it?" we asked, and Dougie tells us it's the *Radio* Hall of Fame.

Who knew there was a Radio Hall of Fame? Certainly not us! It turns out our lame radio show, Car Talk, had somehow duped the judges on the nominating panel. (We suspect that an NPR briefcase full of large-denomination bills was involved, but we can't prove it. Yet.)

But, wait! This was even more exciting than the Baseball Hall of Fame. Radio. Radio! Isn't that what we actually *do*? The thought that people who actually know something about radio had decided that we were worthy of being honored was quite mind-boggling. After all, the six listeners who we know we have could be any six jamokes on the planet. But the Radio Hall of Fame? Could they be jamokes?

In the midst of this newfound euphoria, however, we were dealt a serious blow. The Radio Hall of Fame is in Chicago! As many of you know, Tommy is terrified of flying, and the train trip would be five or six days in each direction. (Driving out there was out of the question, since neither Tom nor Ray has a vehicle that could make the trip.)

So Ray went, with our pal Susan Stamberg from NPR, Bugsy "Free Lunch" Lawlor--and a cardboard cutout of Tommy.

It was a night we'll never forget--mostly because of the nasty fisticuffs between Casey Kasem and Shadoe Stevens and the crazy congo line Paul Harvey led...out the hotel, down past the wharves and right up to the top of the Sears Tower!

Someone at the Radio Hall of Fame had the foresight to take a few photos and a video. We thought you might like to take a look, and humbly suggest you hurry--it's only a matter of time before Harvey's attorneys slap a cease-and-desist on this material.

And, to those kind folks at the Radio Hall of Fame, Tom and Ray say, "Gee, guys. Thanks. We're actually speechless."

See the photos from Tom and Ray's induction into the Radio Hall of Fame.
  Check out the Web site of the Radio Hall of Fame.