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It was Christmas a few years ago the first time I heard about it. Something casually dropped into the conversation, that not many people think about.

I was home from DC at the time, over at my friend's house for a Christmas get together... which basically consists of drinking beer and raging bonfires. My friend AJ was there. In high school he was one of my best friends. We had lost touch since graduation so it was an unexpected surprise that he was at the party. We sat for a bit and caught up and that's when he told me about it.

"So what are you doing these days?" I asked him, in the casual tone that friends do.

"Right now, I'm in broadcasting school. Looking to get into the radio and, hopefully, get my own show" he answered. Then he hit me with it. "Have you ever heard of This American Life? It's out of Chicago and I'm looking to do something like that."

"This American Life, eh?" I say. "Nope, never have."

That started it. I looked into the show and started listening to the back episodes on their website, getting into the radio show a little more each and every week. It was good, the stories were always entertaining and managed to keep my attention - which is a rare thing with radio shows - and... well, there was just that special bit of "magic" that came along with Ira's voice every week. I was immediately hooked.

The reason I bring this up is, on Saturday night, I bought tickets for Alexis to see Ira Glass give a little talk at Eastern's Pease Auditorium. I had no idea what to expect, with the exception of Ira being on stage.

We arrived a bit later than planned (dinner ran late) and could tell the place was packed already. After taking our seats in back of the balcony we heard the spiel about all the great things Ira's done. Then the lights dropped and a shadowy figure could be seen walking in the back and taking his place at the desk sitting in the middle of the stage. The crowd erupted. After we calmed down, a snippet about gang members is played for about 2-3 minutes while we sat in darkness. We hear Ira jump in at the end of the quote and say "OK, let's bring the lights up." Again, the crowd goes crazy as if applauding the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.

He leads with his past mistakes, playing snippets of his early days with NPR. Laughing along with us at the report he filed on the corn tortilla shortage in Mexico after being in the business 8 years. He's very self-aware, poised and, surprisingly, hilarious. His timing is impeccable and he knows hows to deliver a punchline. He entertains with his storytelling.

For two hours he held a captive audience of 1,500 people with just his voice. He taught, he laughed, we clapped. Was the talk worth it? Let's put it this way, I would go anywhere possible to see him again.

I don't know how to put into words the respect and admiration I have for Ira Glass. Maybe that's the highest compliment I can pay him.

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