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Monthly Archives: February 2010

I try to listen to Prairie Home Companion every week, there is something about radio variety shows that appeals to me, for that matter just audio entertainment … music, stories … sounds in general, natural or man-made. I can only think it’s because it allows more use of the imagination than watching a movie … I always fall asleep watching a movie.

As a kid I would seek out radio shows like CBS Radio Mystery Theater and The Herb Jepko Nitecap Show. The Nitecap Show was just people calling in to talk about nothing, kind of a lonely hearts club. I would also listen to the Carol Burnett Show on the radio, it was on Sunday nights after my bedtime, I could get the UHF channel 25 TV station on my trusty little transistor radio next to my bed!

Anyway, tonight PHC is being broadcast from the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Garrison usually talks about the history of the theatre and town he’s performing in, I look forward to that. He brings in local musicians, tonight Bettye Lavette is one, I’m a big fan of hers. And with Guy Noir Private Eye and The News from Lake Wobegon it’s like listening to Radio Mystery Theater and the Nitecap Show all over again.

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Here’s a link to the June 14, 2008 Prairie Home Companion from Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

Here’s a link to the November 26, 2005 Prairie Home Companion from MSU Concert Auditorium in East Lansing.

Here’s a link to the December 15, 2001 Prairie Home Companion from Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. In August of 2001 I sold my spare ticket to see Gillian Welch at the Ark to Jo Serrapere who performs on this PHC show. My brother could not meet me so I sold the ticket to the first person I found looking for one. She asked how much? I said $25 and explained that’s less than what I paid and unfortunately she would have to sit next to me. Before the show started we had a very interesting conversation where I found out that she was a singer/songwriter musician.

I saw another fireball on March 26, 2003 while driving home from a concert in Ann Arbor, performing were Arlo Guthrie and Odetta. I was aware of Odetta at the time but not that familiar with her or her music.

Odetta ended up being “the show” in my opinion, she has a presence about her, a calm aura, she could have just recited from a book and I would have been blown away!

Odetta has been attributed as a major influence upon many artists, from Bob Dylan to Janis Joplin.

The fireball in the sky was like a nod from the heavens acknowledging the caliber of the evening’s performer and performance. My brother whom I met for the show also witnessed the celestial event while driving home.

Here is some actual video of the fireball/meteorite, “News Footage (3)” is similar to what I saw, the other two videos only show the sky brightening.

spiritual embrace

a dream

flames swell

Dad was inducted into the Army on June 10, 1944 and arrived in Europe on December 6, 1944. He saw combat for the first time on January 30, 1945 earning his Combat Infantryman Badge. He served in the Rhineland Campaign and the Central Europe Campaign as part of the 17th Armored Infantry Battalion.

He returned to the United States on August 13, 1945 and stayed at Fort Sam Houston Texas where he mostly played baseball until his discharge April 30, 1946.

When I was 7 years old I remember looking out my bedroom window one day after school and seeing a bright burning object that I thought was a comet, that’s what I said to my Mom when I ran downstairs to tell her, “I just saw a comet!” It looked like those pictures in my space books of comets, a fireball with a tail. I don’t recall her reaction but the image of the fireball is burned into my memory. At some point we reached the conclusion that it must have been a meteor, probably looking at my books and determining that comets don’t come burning into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The next day as my Dad was dropping me off at school he ran into a friend of his that worked for the local newspaper, his friend’s son also went to my school. Dad told him about what I saw and he quizzed me about its size … as big as an apple? grapefruit? … the quote in the paper about it being the size of a grapefruit was his word, not mine, it was just a ball of fire with a tail on it that was big! Anyway my quote was included in the article you see here, we cut it out of the paper and saved it, that article has been tucked away, stumbled upon occasionally while going through old stuff, all but forgotten.

Then one night in 2007 while watching TV I stumbled upon a show about the “Kecksburg UFO”. The witnesses’ description of what they saw in the sky jogged my memory, it said it was visible for hundreds of miles. I thought it sounded very similar to what I saw so I dug out the article to read. It did not have a date on it but mentioned I was 7 years old … mmm … that would have been 1965 the same year as the Kecksburg incident. That’s what I saw!

I eventually went to the local library to look up the newspaper from December 10, 1965, I printed out copies and finally read the continuation of the article that was on page two. Below is a scan of part of that front page and the preceding day, December 9th, to me it helps to understand what all was going on in the world at that time.

One thing I found interesting is that the Gemini 6 & 7 space missions were going on at that same time, below is a scan of the article that was below the “fireball” article. One of the program objectives of Gemini was “to perfect reentering the atmosphere and landing at a specific point on land”, that is just one of the strange coincidences I have found in preparing this story.

Here are links to some of my finds …

Here’s an Ohio papers story:

“‘Fireball’ Brightens Sky”

Pictures taken from the Pontiac Michigan area:

“Analysis of the “Kecksburg UFO” Fireball Trajectory”

A collection of reports of the incident:

“A dark December evening”

Information on a power outage in the east that same day:

“portions of six neighboring states and eastern Canada were plunged in to darkness”

A recent (November 2009) news story:

“Is case finally closed on 1965 UFO mystery?”

I have no conclusions, it’s just interesting stuff!

Okay … I just realized that the link about the power outage is November 9, 1965 … not December … but I’m gonna leave it there because I still find it interesting!