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Letters: 'The Big Broadcast' And Laughing Down The Hall


Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.


Also in that story, some of you may have heard us refer to Black Castle. But fans of the book and HBO TV series "Game of Thrones" know that it's actually Castle Black. Apologies to our listeners and to the old gods and the new. And now to your letters.

SIEGEL: And we want to share this letter with you today about a chat last week - or, some people say, week the last - with Ed Walker, longtime host of the Washington, D.C. radio program "The Big Broadcast."


ED WALKER: Well, here we go again, folks. Time for "The Big Broadcast" and we hope you're ready for some old-time radio for the next four hours.

SIEGEL: In addition to "The Big Broadcast," Walker is famous for another show he hosted decades ago with Willard Scott. The duo was known as the "Joy Boys." Well, Dana Shifflett of Newton, Kansas says he caught the tail end of our segment with Ed Walker, and he writes this: My mother is now in a health care facility near me. I stopped by to tell her what I'd heard. She was already seated for supper with her neighbors. And I asked, do you remember Ed Walker?

Who? Ed Walker, I said again. "The Joy Boys?" Yes, with Willard Scott. She closed her eyes and began that noiseless laugh of someone with weak lungs. She laughed long enough that the other ladies began to chuckle.

BLOCK: And Mr. Shifflett continues: Mom is 94. She's not always in the here and now and occasionally slips into her childhood. It's occurred to me that for someone in her condition, dementia may just be a blessing and happy childhood memories would be a good place to live. If that's the case, then I would like Ed to know this: Should I live long enough to slip into that twilight, they'll hear me laughing down the hall.

SIEGEL: Thanks for your letters, and please keep writing. Just go to npr.org, and click on contact. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.
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