With the passing of yet another legend of my parents’ generation, I’m reminded of a story that he had nothing to do with.
A quick side-note: one of the many, many differences between when I grew up and kids today (and this quick reminder–Get off my lawn!) is that, as I grew up, I paid attention to what mattered to my parents. I was raised at a time where families did things together, like listen to Dodger games on the radio together because the game wasn’t on TV, or having a television show be a weekly family event. I paid attention and followed the musical groups and social phenomenons of my time. But for every Jack Benny episode I watched, I bought a Three Dog Night album. Sure I knew about Art Linkletter and how kids say the darndest things, but I could also tell you all about the Monkees. I guess I respected their importance to my parents’ life, so they became important to me.
And so, another one of those people I grew up watching has passed away. But, like I said, he was nowhere near place this story took place.
It was the 1970s and a young guy by the name of Larry Nelson had taken over the KOMO Radio Morning Show. It was before he hired yours truly as his producer, but with a couple of years of morning show exposure under his belt, he was enjoying an after-shift lunch at a nearby restaurant. As he sat there, he couldn’t help but notice a guy staring at him. Soon, this stranger approached him and said, “I can’t believe it’s you!” “It’s me,” replied Larry.
The guy asked, “Would you sign an autograph for me?”
Larry said, “Sure!”
“I’ll be right back!” And with that, the guy made a mad dash out to his car, ran back into the restaurant and asked Larry to autograph…..his Andy Williams cassette! Yes, the guy thought Larry was Andy Williams. Not to shatter his dreams, Larry signed the cassette, “Best wishes, Andy.”
Somewhere out there right now is a very sad Andy Williams fan, listening to a cassette with a forged autograph on it.
Let’s keep it our secret.