1. Buffy Root
    Buffy Root November 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm | | Reply

    LOVE IT!

  2. Kelly Green
    Kelly Green November 20, 2019 at 8:36 pm | | Reply

    I loved the show but I have to tell you, most of your fears do not reflect reality. The objective truth is that you look great in a miniskirt and you are more visible than you have ever been in your entire life. You have more listeners, more exposure of your work, more people wearing RumbleStrip tee-shirts, more friends, more ambition than when RS began, and more love than ever. I can’t wait to hear the next big show.

  3. EAH
    EAH November 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm | | Reply

    Simply wonderful. What a 50th birthday party for you and all of the rest of us. I was one of the lucky ones who got to go the party and didn’t have to sing on the little stage. And I didn’t have to muse about turning 50 – and what lies beyond that alarming bench mark birthday. The show made me laugh and to marvel that you have so many interesting, eccentric, loyal friends and admirers who joined so loudly in the last part of the song. And these were just the lucky few who were close enough to be at the party itself. The far flung radio fans join me I am sure, in celebrating your birthday. For the record, I am well beyond my “Use by date” age and predict with the authority granted by experience, that yours will be an extraordinary final 1/3 of life (and maybe lots more) filled with marvelous friends, curiosity and contentment. Keep on doing what you are doing for – yourself and the rest of us.

  4. Deb Fleischman
    Deb Fleischman November 21, 2019 at 9:19 pm | | Reply

    So so awesome! I’m about to turn 60 and it couldn’t be more relevant. And wacky and impossible and hysterical. I love this show and love that it’s you doing it. There’s only one EH. 50, 90. Keep on truckin.

  5. janie
    janie November 22, 2019 at 5:45 pm | | Reply

    This is so FUN!
    I don’t even like the song but laughed and cried, the delivery is priceless.
    Happy birthday, you nailed the spirit of it. . . cheers to the excellent accompaniment too.

  6. Howard Norman
    Howard Norman November 24, 2019 at 7:46 am | | Reply

    Erica Heilman is a rare gem, the rarest. Her birthday party was great fun. I will say that she and Tobin
    (Tobin Anderson, a national treasure of a writer as far as I’m concerned) should definitely NOT go on the road
    as a duet. But the band rocked, the evening rocked, and everyone laughed and cried. The whole party was
    deeply informed by mortality, but probably no one uttered that word. I eavesdropped all over the place,
    and heard “Erica is awesome” oh I’d say thirty times (28 from Erica, but so what?) I don’t love every episode
    of RumbleStrip but even the ones I feel dubious about are inimitable—Erica is that rarest thing on public
    radio—an original voice. I think “Total Eclipse of the Heart” now should be the B-side of
    “Moonlight in Vermont.” (But please, not in Erica and Tobin’s version!) Erica is also, as you know, an amazing
    private investigator. She is the hero —and written of by actual name—in my novel set right next door to Erica’s
    house. She deals with crimes in reality and in fiction. I myself can’t remember turning fifty but I’ll never forget Erica’s
    party. It was so generous. I love the photograph in front of the post office; it looks like a 60’s album cover.

  7. D
    D November 24, 2019 at 9:42 am | | Reply

    I just got a chance to listen to this. I was saving it until could pay attention because I am closing in on 50 *and* I have a thing about Total Eclipse of the Heart and I wanted to hear about both of those things. I realized, almost at the end, that the entire time I had a smile stuck on my face. I laughed so hard where your friend was describing putting you out to pasture and then what the pasture would be like. When I was 11, in 1982, my parents separated and I moved into an apartment with my mom. She was crazy about Bonnie Tyler and that song in particular. (I don’t know, did she actually have other songs? There was a B side at the very least…) My mom listened to that 45 all. the. time. I would come home from school and open the door and hear it blaring. Weekends while we cleaned the apartment? Blaring from the living room. Late at night while she and her friend (also recently divorced) drank wine on the couch? Quietly playing on repeat… I hear it and I feel all cringe-y inside. But listening to your version has given it a new life! I can think about this instead! I got a little bit teary at the end when the people at your party were singing along, too. This was so good.

  8. Sarah
    Sarah November 25, 2019 at 8:31 am | | Reply

    Loved it, thanks for bringing us along for the ride! Happy Birthday Erica!

  9. stan
    stan November 25, 2019 at 6:05 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Erica Heilman. Total Eclipse of the Heart, being so melodramatic, might have worked wonderfully with that twang. I loved hearing everyone at your party singing along. You tapped deep into something. On becoming invisible – you sure are audible to a lot of people these days. Thanks for sharing a little vulnerability.

  10. Patrick
    Patrick December 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm | | Reply

    I’m so grateful for this entire podcast. Your work is so illuminating! From the brilliant “Problems” series, to your ability to show the majesty in minutae, from the personal dignity that you invite your subjects to offer, to the real time affirmations that I hear in your voice with each piece, I’m just plain grateful.

    I live in Portland, Oregon, but I’m from Massachusetts (and spent some time as a child and adult in Vermont), but when I listen to Rumble Strip, I feel like I’m back in the Berkshires…I don’t know how you do it, but it’s magical.

    I also did my graduate thesis on the Poet/Playwright David Budbill, whom I assume you’re aware of. I haven’t heard a Rumble Strip episode on him (I know, he’s passed, but it’s never too late…he’s the NE Kingdom’s poet laureate in my opinion, but you’d know far better than me).

    Please do a show on his work some time.

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Extras, chatter, and other observations (and show notices, of course):


  • erica commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: That's so funny. I was just talking about Dav (...)
  • Patrick commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Erica, I'm so grateful for this entire podcas (...)
  • stan commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Happy Birthday, Erica Heilman. Total Eclipse (...)
  • Sarah commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Loved it, thanks for bringing us along for th (...)
  • D commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: I just got a chance to listen to this. I was (...)