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Reader shares her memories of listening to Iowa icon

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:10 a.m. CDT

To the editor:

At the ripe old age of 85, I have many fond memories, but can’t necessarily remember the beginning or end of an incident.

One of my memories occurred in the 1950s when I was listening to a favorite radio program. I don’t remember the names of the hosts or the station, but I vividly remember the guest.

His voice had a distinctive timbre and you could hear the humor as he told about his wife, Ann. She was gone for the week — I can’t remember why — and had left a casserole in the refrigerator to be re-heated. On it was a note: “I hope you enjoy this food.”

Later, he sat down to continue reading his book and again found a note: “I hope you enjoy reading this book.” When he went in the bedroom, there was a note as he switched on the light: “I hope you locked the door.” And on his pajamas he read: “I hope you brushed your teeth.”

When he turned back the covers, there lay a Raggedy Ann doll with a note pinned on her bosom: “I hope you are alone.” I still remember the laughter in his voice as he told the story.

And I know many Iowans came to recognize the distinctive voice of Mr. Iowa State Fair himself, Bill Riley.

Betty Snook


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