Longest Listener Contest Semi-Finals

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Michael reviews the entries for the "Longest Listener" contest and starts sifting and winnowing to find a winner!


Submitted by Kris Pagenkopf (not verified) on

Been listening since circa 1995. At that time I caught your show on WMFE in Orlando on Sundays coming back from my my monthly trip to visit my Mom in S Florida. It was (and still is) refreshing to be reunited with my WI spirit. I was torn from the Dairy State (screw CA - they will never be more cheesy than WI). I then started listening to you on WJCT and caught your visit to Jax in 2008. I also caught your show live in Madison twice with my bro from MKE. I grew up in MKE attending Wilbur Wright & Washington before being exiled to FL in 1964. I find your interviews insightful & delightful. And I am most appreciative to you for introducing me to Michael Perry - thank you! I also love John Thulin's jazz. I now listen regularly through streaming & podcasts. My week is not complete without your show. What would I do without your show? Not much....

Submitted by Dr. Gary Seng (not verified) on

The first time that I heard Whad’ Ya Know was during the third weekend in October of 1994 while I was driving a tractor in North Central Iowa, disk-ripping a field. I was quickly drawn in and given my amateur farming status, I had to force myself to concentrate on the field and not end up plowing my way North to Minnesota. That day not only hooked me on your show, it pulled me into NPR in general, and I became a regular weekend listener. After retiring in 2013 from my real job as a scientist and manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, I became an avid NPR listener and I owe my original interest and NPR allegiance to you and your entertaining and mentally challenging show. By the way, the farmer that I continue to help for a week every Fall was a fellow research group member at Michigan State, who received his Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. in 1977, and then promptly said, “to heck with this, I’m going home to run the family farm,” but that’s another story. My very best to you and the program family at Whad’ Ya Know, and wish you and the entire production team another great 30 years of success.

Submitted by Jill Forger (not verified) on

I started listening to WNYC in the Fall of 1989 when I gave up my real job and began a home business. I enjoyed listening to the radio at home, but didn’t want commercials. One Saturday I came home and heard this strange game show on my radio. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t understand the questions and the players kept trying to cheat to get the answers from the audience and host! I turned off my radio and thought nothing of it until a week later when I came home and heard this fantastic interview and a very clever repartee between the host and a guest. “This guy can schmooze!” thought I. But when the game part came on I realized that it was the same show I didn't like a week ago. This time I laughed since I knew what to expect. I have listened with great love and devotion ever since to Whad'YaKnow.

I’ve never had the opportunity to play the Whad’YaKnow? game, but I have attended Michael’s show when it was in New York City. The first time he came I bought tickets for my whole family. My son (age 3 or so) opted to wear a batman suit. He wore that most days. He was so cute. When he saw Michael, he said, “Michael Feldman” and Michael smiled a radiant smile that I’ll never forget. My son—now grown up— saw Michael’s show with me around a year or so ago in New York. We loved it as always!

These days I listen to the show on my computer. In addition to the show I love Michael’s writing and the music he has collaborated on. To this day my husband wonders why we have a Whad’YaKnow sticker in our car window.

Thank you, Michael, for all these years. Your show is truly an important part of my life! I keep hoping for a justification to spend the money to fly to Wisconsin for a weekend. Maybe I can fly in for the day? Someday I will! I have some kind of connection with Wisconsin since people in New York City sometimes ask if I’m from there—even though I have never been! Go figure! Do you think it’s because I listen to Whad’YaKnow?

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