It’s time to climb into our way-back machine.
It’s August 6, 1995.
Twenty years ago.
Hot as blazes here in Santa Claus.
The Raven is new and it’s a hit.
And it’s a Sunday afternoon. Will passes along a call from two very excited local teachers.
And they want “stuff” to take with them to New York.
Not being a late-night person, it took me a while to interpret their rather odd request.
I knew one of the teachers (best first-grade teacher ever!) and would come to know the other (best high-school English teacher ever!). Betsy and Elaine were Letterman fans of the highest order. And they had a plane to catch.
Dave himself is from Indiana, so it was time to step up and provide gifts for the King of the Late Show. And we had about 20 minutes to make it happen.
Betsy and Elaine (and Will) were convinced that proof that their hometown was Santa Claus, Indiana, would capture the attention of the gap-toothed star.
And so, I rather begrudgingly parted with my two-and-only Santa hats. I liked those hats. I used those hats. Why couldn’t Dave buy his own Santa hats?
“Bring them back safely!” I called, as the teachers dashed off to catch their plane. I meant my Santa hats, of course.
Betsy and Elaine’s ultimate goal, it seems, was threefold.
It had to do with a canned ham.
And a deli named Hello.
And getting Dave to notice them.
I believe they accomplished just that:
Betsy and Elaine were literally picked out of the line as they were waiting to get in to see the Late Show.
It was a Christmas wish come true!
And so, as Dave retires this week, we have just one final question for the Hoosier-born host: