Jean Shepherd's death, to show a very strange Topps item he likely inspired. Shep was a radio personality in Cincinnati and Philadelphia before hitting the Big Apple in the mid 1950's on WOR AM and FM and was later known for his books and the now de rigueur A Christmas Story. He became a media sensation in New York and is fondly remembered today by many Gothamites.
Shep had a huge following and was known for some off the wall stuff, including the nose flute serenade he used to play along with when commercial jingles ran. Topps, in one of their stranger moments, marketed a nose flute sometime after 1965 (the header card has a Duryea, PA address for Topps which would make it 1965 at the earliest.) I'm pretty sure Shep didn't actually have an instrument though, he literally used his nose!
This is among the oddest Topps products out there:
I knew about Shep through reading his books, which my parents had when I was growing up and I remember seeing his old PBS show a couple of times back in the day; I only got into his radio stuff a few years ago. You can find many old Shepherd radio programs on Ebay and I highly recommend them along with his books. You can find out about all things Shep here, and also listen to some shows if interested.
A Fathead is an affectionate term for a Shep fan! The title of today's post is taken from Gene Bergmann's excellent Shepherd biography.
(12:30 PM Update-A brass figlagee with bronze oak leaf cluster is awarded to Gene Bergmann, author of said tome, for alerting me to the fact Shep likely DID use an instrument when playing the nose flute. Ya learn something new everyday!) Seltzer Bottle!