Strangest of All: A podcast of true fiction, and false facts

Strangest of All: A podcast of true fiction, and false facts

Over the Christmas holiday, I decided to try my hand at the podcasting game. Thanks to a microphone delivered by Santa and the ease with which all the little tools can be acquired these days, I sat down for a day and got something that sounds like … an amateur who sat down for a day. Still, I enjoyed the process and it gave me a chance to talk about something that has obsessed me for more than half a century: the books of former radio host Frank Edwards.

I won’t got into it at length because that’s a big part of what the podcast covers, but Edwards was something of a unique character, a more recent version of Charles Fort crossed with a bit of Ambrose Bierce and a dash of Walter Cronkite. For decades Edwards was a straight newsman, first on local radio programs and then on Mutual Broadcasting System. But he got into something that was … let’s just say strange. I stumbled across the books he made by compiling his radio broadcasts in the back row of a little public library in my hometown when I was about 10. I read them all. I bought them all. I read them apart. Then I bought them again. Something about Edwards’ style—strange tales told with a journalist’s directness—just floored me. It still does. If you’ve got 15 minutes, give: “Strangest of All: The disappearance of Oliver Larch” a listen.

I realize that many of you are, like me, fans of much more polished podcasts on subjects like history (hardcore, of course) or junkies for true crime. And I know this little “production” doesn’t stand up very well next to the polished products available in an exploding podcast market.

But think of this as a first draft. If there’s any interest, I’ve already worked up a second episode. And started a third. I’m going to let you guys decide whether those episodes ever see “air” time.

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