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Audiobiography

Some articles on this website include MP3 audio clips.  Click on a symbol below to jump to the appropriate place in the article.  When you get there, scroll down to the audio box and click the Play button.  (If the audio player doesn't appear, try clicking the "URL" button.)

3:06

Family

1929

Vernon M. Thomas starts selling "the best little car that's ever been sold."

2:16

Family

1936

My father hears a big band on Catalina Island.

15:11
7 clips

Family

1961

Christmas dinner, conversation, and music-making with the Thomases.

2:04
3:02

BroadcastRichwood

1961

Our shortwave radio, and a 1961 Richwood High School basketball game on WMRN.

1:52

Poetry

1962

A tape recorder enables me to play Beethoven twice as fast.

2:20
3:43
2:29

Sports

1962

The Kentucky Derby, taped off television, with the band playing "My Old Kentucky Home."

1:45

Richwood

1963

A song I thought I wrote for the Roman Banquet.

1:41

Sports

1964

As a high school junior, I call the play-by-play of a basketball game.

0:16

Richwood

1965

The "dream theme" from my senior class play.

0:40

Richwood

1965

A paragraph from my valedictory address.

A disclaimer:  Before 1967, I used a poor-quality reel-to-reel machine with lots of hum and distortion.  Afterwards, I recorded on cassettes.

0:36

College

1965

I recreate, with synth sax and synth harp, a tune that we Oberlin freshmen sang.

0:57

WOBC

1967

The reconstructed opening to the radio program Oberlin Digest.

1:37
1:27
1:40

College

1967

Parts of four folk-pop songs from the Armenian Nightingale and his college friends.

30:40
13 clips 

College

1967

By torchlight, students agitate for liberalized housing rules.  The WOBC microphone is there.

13:30
11 clips

WOBC
Math/Science

1968

On the day I fake an on-the-scene news report, I also discuss lab supplies with my partner Jan Olson.

0:30

College

1968

The chimes of Finney Chapel.

1:08

Images

1968

A warning about the approaching judgment day.

8:53

College

1969

A visiting student gives his view of the war in Viet Nam.

1:12

College

1969

Chanting, anti-war Oberlin College students invade the administration building.

0:54

College

1969

The Oberlin president talks with the students.

0:40

WOBC

1969

I speak in multiple voices for a WOBC radio announcement.

2:26

Broadcast

1969

A fragment from my radio play "The Sorcerer's Effects."

0:42

Broadcast

1969

The theme music to the Marion CATV program Potpourri.

19:19
7 clips

Richwood

1970

I talk with former high school classmate Terry Rockhold, now a math teacher.

0:33

Broadcast

1970

A promo and ID from FM 88 in Syracuse.

8:20
5 clips

Broadcast

1970

Fantastic Fred Legend, the radio star, presents his Annette Funicello Dance Festival & Retrospective.  I play a scientist.

5:02
4 clips

Poetry

1970

More of me as a scientist, voice breaking appropriately, plus two singers whose voices also crack on cue.

3:34

Sports

1971

An in-car recording of the Rockhold/Thomas Rally Team reaching a checkpoint.

75:44
29 clips

Family

1972

In Livermore, Kentucky:  conversations with relatives and a church service on Mother's Day.

1:30

Broadcast

1972

An interview from our TV coverage of the Harding High School prom.

0:41

Broadcast

1972

Listen to the bouncing Bingo balls.

1:49

Broadcast

1972

Sandy and Judy cover the opening of a country club.

0:20
1:25

Broadcast

1973

Then they promote their daily show, Marion Today, on which Judy ad-libs a commercial.

2:56

Broadcast

1973

A Marion Today viewer calls in with an opinion about Watergate.

0:11

Broadcast

1973

An especially annoying test tone.

0:54

Broadcast

1974

Voice-over announcements for Marion Today.

1:22

Broadcast

1974

A commercial on Marion's TV-3.

1:54
2:33
2:08

Broadcast

1974

A song by Trinity High School's Susan Downing.  Later in the same article: Messiah and "Pomp and Circumstance."

1:21

Poetry

1975

Quoted in 1995: "All the people we used to know..."

3:43
4 clips

Broadcast

1976

Excerpts from a 1976 cable newscast.

44 min
4 clips

Poetry

1978

I play old Broadway standards on the piano for my parents.

2:26

Broadcast

1981

"AM Drive" performs in the TV-3 studio.

2:20

Sports

1981

Lanny Frattare describes a Pirates game on KDKA radio.

1:43

Broadcast

1985

Inside a TV production truck, we begin to edit Paterno.

1:02
0:40

Poetry

1985

A Stevie Nicks song plays the role of Joe Paterno's wife.

3:08

Poetry

1988

A multi-track recording of a Bach chorale-prelude.

0:50

Poetry

1989

The wall has come down, and the cry of "Freedom!" rings out in East Berlin.

0:31

Broadcast

1999

A modern commerical recalls a 1962 sing-along show.

3:15

Richwood

2003

The finale of my centennial organ recital.

1:04

Family

2005

One of my grandfather's favorite songs.

3:05

Poetry

2006

A Bach bourrée, played very slowly and emotionally.