For the Birds Radio Program: The Pigeons of Madison County

Original Air Date: Sept. 8, 1995 Rerun Dates: Aug. 23, 2012; Dec. 9, 2009; April 1, 2009; Dec. 30, 2002; March 5, 1999

Whether you loved or hated The Bridges of Madison County, you won’t want to miss the Baker’s Blue Jay Hall of Fame Theater production of The Pigeons of Madison County. John and Karen Keenan are featured. And a LOT of the dialog came directly from the book–I am not making that up. (Original date confirmed)

Duration: 5′43″


Baker’s Blue Jay Hall of Fame Theater is proud to bring you this production of The Pigeons of Madison County, starring Jim Baker as Robert Kincaid and Meryl Creeper as Francesca Pigeon. But first this message from Baker’s Blue Jay Barn, Building Better Blue Jay Bodies since 1987.

This is Jim Baker with a simple question for you. How come middle age angst is so fashionable all of a sudden? When I got to the point where I couldn’t hack how my life was turning out, I didn’t gripe and moan about it—I quit my job and hightailed it out of the city, bringing nothing but my Blue Jays and my bagpipes.

Of course most people have too many responsibilities to just skip out like I did. If you’re yearning to breathe free and find meaning in your life by getting back to nature, but can’t break away from all those encumbrances, bring the best of nature home to you—with Baker’s Blue Jay Blend.

Nature’s perfect birds, with their perky crests and jolly ways, can snap anyone out of the depths of despair. And a pair of Blue Jays, with their shy, romantic ways and expressive little faces, are a lot sweeter to see and hear than Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood pawing at each other under some decrepit bridge. Yep—don ‘t fritter your life away crying over contrived Hollywood romances and whining about how you only go around once—get Baker’s Blue Jay Blend and put some real meaning back in your life—and money in my pocket. That’s Baker’s Blue .Jay Blend—available only at Baker’s Blue Jay Barn, “Up the Shore a Ways.”

Narrator: Our story begins in Winterset, Iowa, a small rural community in Madison County, famous for its covered bridges and the pigeons who live in them. Right now only one pigeon remains under Roseman Bridge—Michael and Carolyn Pigeon have just left with their father for the state fair, leaving their mother Francesca alone with her thoughts.

Francesca: I feel so cooped up here. And ifs soooo hot. How did a homing pigeon from Italy ever end up in Winterset, Iowa?

Narrator: Suddenly Francesca was aware of the sound of whirring wings, and realized she was not alone.

Francesca: Who could that be?

Narrator: She stared and stared at the winged form rushing toward her. He stretched out his legs­, as if in greeting, she thought, and wheeled to a stop as she sat, barefoot, pigeon-toed, watching him. She’d never seen anyone like Robert Kincaid. He was big—longer, leaner, more muscular than any pigeon she’d ever seen before.

Robert: I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went out to sea.

Narrator: He didn’t talk like any pigeon she’d ever seen before, either.

Robert: I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for a covered bridge out this way, and I can’t find it. Roseman Bridge it’s called.

Narrator: His eyes looked directly at her, and she felt something jump inside. The eyes, the voice, the face, the easy way he moved his body…how stupid he must be not to realize that he was actually inside Roseman Bridge right that moment. No, he certainly wasn’t like any homing pigeon she had ever known.

Francesca: You’re standing right under it.

Robert: You’re kidding!

Narrator: He looked about at the wooden walls of the bridge, confused by the shadows and the darkness.

Francesca: I’ll prove it to you. There’s a sign on the outside of the bridge—I’ll be glad to show it to you, if you want.’‘

Narrator: She was not shy, but not forward, either. The only thing she could ever conclude was that Robert Kincaid had drawn her in somehow, after only a few seconds of looking at him. He had those ways that rearrange the molecular space between male and female, regardless of species. He was obviously taken aback, slightly, by her offer. But he recovered quickly and with a serious look on his face said he’d appreciate that.

He could have flown out on this earlier, could still fly. Rationality shrieked at him. “Let it go, Kincaid, get back on the road. Skip the bridges, go to India.” But his blood surged within, as Francesca took off and flew ahead, and he found himself inexorably drawn toward her. They rose together in flight, the slow street tango beginning and ending as ever when falcon and bird are drawn together. She felt him pull close, her heart pounding with joy and then the searing pain of his touch as he engulfed her.

When her husband and children returned four days later, there was no sign of Francesca or Robert Kincaid­—just a handful of feathers and a little aluminum band, old and faded, but clearly lettered “Francesca.”

Many tragic tales of love and longing have taken place at Roseman Bridge, but none so sad as the story of Francesca Pigeon, consumed by her love.

Jim Baker: “For the Birds’‘ was written by Laura Erickson, produced by Laura Erickson, featuring Laura Erickson and Karen Keenan, and starring me, Jim Baker, from Baker’s Blue Jay Bam—“Up the Shore a Ways.”