In memoriam
Ralph Chatham, Ph.D. Oct 15, 1948 - May 18, 2013

Early influences:

Pogo Walt Kelly's classic comic strip was a lifetime favorite.

The Goon Show Another childhood favorite, from BBC radio.

Flanders & Swann Ralph was particularly pleased to get the chance to see Flanders and Swann in one of their last live performances. He also mentioned being so astonished to learn that the London omnibus drivers did in fact say "Hold very tight please!" (just like the song) that he forgot to do so and nearly fell over when the bus started.

Rocky & Bullwinkle or (wikipedia) Bullwinkle and his assorted friends were another often quoted influence.

Monty Python of "confuse-a-cat, limited" and encyclopedia salesman-- sorry, burglar-- fame.

Gilbert & Sullivan The University of Kansas performend "The Grand Duke" for the first time since the original show closed while Ralph was in college.

Other favorites:

Calvin & Hobbes Bill Watterson's classic was set in the same landscape where Ralph grew up: Chagrin Falls, OH

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, most particularly:
The original radio episodes
and the Infocom game, which you can still play here (with choice of illustrated backgrounds) or here (text only) in which Ralph was proud to have worked out how to get the babel fish without reference to the hint book.

Willy Claflin & Maynard Moose In the late 90s, Ralph's daughter came home from college with a twice-dubbed tape acquired from a friend who had kept quoting, "The uglified bears get to dance with the prince and I have to sit in this dirty puddle, fu." Intrigued, Ralph tracked down Willy Claflin on the internet several years before he became famous in the storytelling world.


Voices in the Glen storytelling guild, of which Ralph and Margaret were longstanding and influential members.

B-Girls Reunion Association Ralph served on USS Barbel from January of 1971 through July of 1973.

Falls Church Concert Band After a thirty year post-high-school lapse, Ralph returned to playing the trombone here when his son needed extra activities in high school and he and Margaret were inspired by the promise that there would be no marching.