I was talking with someone over the weekend about the things we did at one time in our life. We were in the 1970s and he was recalling the time he did a great radio promotion involving paper dresses. Pouncing on the opportunity that someone would actually know what I was talking about, I shared with him the story of my one week job as the chauffeur for the founder of the KING Broadcasting empire, Dorothy Bullitt.
I’m not making this up.
It was a series of unlikely circumstances, but I had recently graduated from the University of Washington, with a major in communications. I had interned at KING radio, back when it was a Top 40 station. The KING lineup included Rob Conrad, Dan Foley and Andy Barber. Over on “the competition”, it was Gary Lockwood, Chet Rogers and others. I tried to land a writing job with KING, but lacked the experience. Someone who had been a writer for Planned Parenthood for five years was the preferred hire. While continuing my search for full-time employment, I did odd jobs at KING–phone music surveys, helping out a tad with radio production, etc. Then one day, someone approached me about being Mrs. Bullitt’s driver for a week.
I must have made an impression with someone, but the following Monday, while her regular driver Frank took a week of vacation, it was my job to go to the radio station, get the keys to her Volvo and pick her up at her home at 9am. It was a very proper week. I’d ring the doorbell, she’d answer, come out to the car and ride in the back seat as I drove her around. I remember taking her to the yacht she was having restored. There were lunches at the Washington Athletic Club, shopping, meetings, whatever. We didn’t talk much, we both knew our places, but at the age of 21, I find it amazing that they would have trusted someone of my age to drive around the owner of the company.
It was so matter-of-fact at the time, I didn’t think much of the fact I was driving around Mrs. Bullitt. But I suppose it’s one of those “claims to fame” I’ve got buried in the gray matter of my brain. That and the being the announcer for a “Salute to Michael Jackson”. But that’s another story….