Lonesome Whistle Blowing

Lake Wobegon's tall tale teller is tickling the radio dial and best-seller list

"When I was a boy," says the yarn-spinning champion of St. Paul, Minn., "the storyteller in our family was uncle Lew Powell, who was my great uncle, my grandma's brother, who died only a couple of years ago, at the age of 93. In a family that tended to be a little withdrawn, taciturn, my uncle Lew was the friendliest. He had been a salesman, and he liked to drive around and drop in on people. He would converse, ask how we were doing in school, but there would be a point when he would get launched, and we would try...

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