Category Archives: Holidays

TRR: Episode 87, “The Pumpkin Giant”



For Halloween, we have for you a story of a horrible giant who devours fat little children.

The story was “retold” in the 1970s by Ellin Green, and wonderfully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Here, we tell the original tale first published in a collection of children’s stories called “The Pot of Gold.”

“The Pumpkin Giant” (1893) by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

The Reader

TRT: 29:31

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 83, “The Unknown Soldier”



The purpose of Memorial Day seems to have been lost over the past several decades. Instead of a day of remembrance to honor our fallen soldiers, the day has become little more than an excuse for a three day weekend and big sales events. Ironically, we hear people saying, “Happy Memorial Day,” and they do so without the slightest trace of irony.

In this episode, we have three readings about the Unknown Soldier, the fallen soldier who stands for all the forgotten common men who died in battle, including the poem read by Angela Morgan at the original dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921.

“The Unknown Soldier” (1922) by Angelo Patri
“Unknown” (1921) by Bruce Barton
“The Unknown Soldier” (1921) by Angela Morgan

The Reader

TRT: 18:31

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR EXTRA: “The Old Year and the New” by W.H. Rhodes



Out with the old, in with the new. Here’s a fitting poem to end 2016 with, by William Henry Rhodes. Rhodes’ most famous work was “A Case for Summerfield” (1871), which featured a villain named Black Bart. A real criminal later took up the name as an alias, and we still recognize the name “Black Bart” as a western outlaw today via songs, cartoons, and stories set in the Old West. Here’s hoping your new year will be bountiful and full of good fortune and joy.

“The Old Year and the New” by W. H. Rhodes

The Reader

TRT: 3:15

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR EXTRA: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”



Here we share with you the classic Christmas poem better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” A little candy cane for your holiday!

“A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore

The Reader

TRT: 4:40

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 64, “Christmastime”



In this episode, we offer you a few Christmas stocking stuffers in keeping with the season.

“The Willow Man” by Juliana Horatia Ewing
“What I Want for Christmas” (1897) by Robert G. Ingersoll
“A Christmas Turkey” (1862) by Crocket McElroy
“The New Food” (1910) by Stephen Leacock
“Christmas Afternoon” (1921) by Robert C. Benchley

The Reader

TRT: 21:49

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 61, “Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake”



In 1705, the residents of Colchester, CT faced a crisis. No molasses was available for the Thanksgiving holiday! Imagine, no pumpkin pies for the forthcoming feast! What was a colonial housewife to do? Based on a real historical event, we offer you a Thanksgiving story about the Great Colchester Molasses Shortage.

“Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake” (1910) by Kate Upson Clark

The Reader

TRT: 24:17

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, Archive.org, and Hymnpod.com.


TRR: Episode 58, “The Werewolf” by Eugene Field



Unlike other classic monsters, the curse of the werewolf is particularly cruel in that when he transforms into his wolfen form, he is compelled to kill those he loves best.

For our final selection of spooky tales for October, we offer you a tale of lycanthropy from author Eugene Field.

“The Werewolf” (1911) by Eugene Field

The Reader

TRT: 25:56

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 57, “What is a Ghost?”



Spiritualism was all the rage in the late 19th Century and well into the 20th. Psychical research, the attempt to study and discover proof of the supernatural via the Scientific Method became a cause celeb, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, among others, working to debunk the frauds and charlatans in order to find the truth. Hereward Carrington, an author and amateur magician, worked and wrote on the topic of supernatural phenomena. For our fourth installment of spooky tales this October, we’ll examine some of his research on what he claimed to be real encounters with ghosts.

“Real Ghost Stories” (1915) by Hareward Carrington

The Reader

TRT: 19:32

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 56, “Varney the Vampire”



Contrary to popular belief, Dracula was not the first vampire in literature, or even in film. Decades before Bela Lugosi essayed the evil, undead count, and before Bram Stoker chronicled his famous novel that film was based on, a vampire was introduced in England through a series of penny dreadful periodicals. “Varney the Vampire” introduced to popular culture much of the vampire lore we know today. For our third offering of spooky tales this October, we share the first chapter of that story.

“Varney the Vampire” (1845) by James Rymer and Thomas Prest

The Reader

TRT: 22:39

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 55, “The Raven”



Edgar Allen Poe was a man seemingly marked for unhappiness throughout his life. Even so, he wrote a large body of work that has secured his legacy for all time.

For our second installment of spooky tales in honor of this Halloween month, we offer you one of the most famous poems in all of American literature.

“The Raven” (1845) by Edgar Allen Poe

The Reader

TRT: 14:57

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.