When I was a kid in the 60s, the rumor went through my school that Jean Shepherd had a son, his name supposedly was “Beaver”. This was something of a shock as it was never mentioned on the radio show, and the immediate assumption was he was born out of wedlock.
Turns out he did have a son in 1951 named Randall (the source for his brother’s name in the movie, perhaps), and that was by his first wife.
I was bothered by this, but I came to realize that the stories that he told really were fiction, though always with a basis in fact.
No one criticizes Mark Twain for fictionalizing his early life in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.
Public figures always have private lives, and they aren’t always what we would like them to be.
So, I eventually let all this slide because I enjoyed Shepherd’s work so much.
I've read most of his stories several times over or the better ones anyway. My dad had me read them in my late teens.
The dad in the movie was not even close to being like the dad in the written stories LOL. I live in East Tennessee. But my uncle lived and grew up close to Gary, Indiana. Yea he was like The Old Man in the stories even down to the Lucky in his mouth and scalding hot black coffee and that stare in the mornings. LOL.
Although the cars we had in my your were 1950's vintage mainly I can relate to jumping on the bumper to get the solenoid to engage on our old 59 Rambler wagon that acquired a taste for them.
My ad wasn't the old man in the stories though. :>} He just taught me such things like cars as I grew.
Ollie Hopnoodles Haven of Bliss was my favorite of his written stories. "I wanna peanut butter and jelly sandwich" LOL