Traveling a six-county area, I seemed to be quickly building a profitable district. Each workday I laid out my area to be covered, a list of potential customers and a list of accounts to call on. Diligent about completing my duties, I sometimes grabbed a quick sandwich on the run for my lunch. I was keeping to my plan until I discovered David Letterman on the radio.
I had seen him giving weather reports a few times on a local television station and knew that he enjoyed his work. One day, quite by accident, while dialing through the radio stations in my car, I came across Letterman, who was hosting a talk show on WNTS-AM. The station was licensed in Beech Grove and operated out of a small building on Raymond Street.
I was hooked in about 20 minutes. I never knew what he might talk about or who his guest would be, but I did know that he seemed to have a blast. Because of my interest in his show, I realized that my enthusiasm to reach a destination and make a presentation was waning.
When it came to Letterman’s attention that he had left a job before utilizing his vacation time and had started a new one with no time off coming, he started a segment called “Vacations for Dummies.” The skit was aimed at folks like himself, who had lost vacation days in a job change, and myself, who had no time to get away.
Letterman made phone calls to resorts like Nashville, Tenn., or Disney World and explained to the person answering the phone that he was making a “Vacation for Dummies” call. He then asked the person to tell his listeners what was going on. Letterman might ask vacationers to thrill us poor dummies at home by giving highlights of their day. Can you imagine receiving a call like this from a guy at a radio station hundreds of miles away?
I can still remember listening to him in my car and laughing.
Well, that laughing will come to a close tonight as Letterman does his final “Late Show” before stepping off into the wonderful world of retirement from television.