The title story in the book contains one of Shepherd's slippery references to his own age--he talks about his fellow male students carrying around copies of PLAYBOY--but the Bunny Mag didn't go to press until late in '53, and if what I have read is correct, Shepherd went to college after he got out of the army around '44 or so. How easily one can lose nine years of their own life--it also means that one of the hippest radio fellows of the 1960's was OVER THIRTY . . .
Yep, your observations are correct. IMHO, Shep frequently gave "free publicity" to friends, and at the time of the storytelling, Shep was of course an acquaintance Of Hefner. We know Shep was born in 1921, (so he was exactly my dad's age.)
You're both right regarding Shep and his slippery attitude toward his age. But ya gotta realize that this is a book of short fiction told in the first person. Shep frequently insisted on the fictional nature of his stories, even as he simultaneously told them on the radio in a way that convinced us they were true autobiography. It's one of the enigmatic aspects of our hero--one I write about in "Excelsior, You Fathead!"--Gene B.
The guy who stuck his tongue on the railroad tie was my dad's cousin.[ The source for the telephone pole story in the movie.He was also known for hitting his head on the wall when his mother wouldn't let him go swimming in the Little Calumet!] My dad was born in '09 and gradäted fromTech in'25.