It’s Not Easy Being Old
But It’s Not Letterman’s Fault
That I’m old, but it hit me when David Letterman announced his retirement. Even qualifying for Social Security didn’t make a difference how I felt, just Letterman.
In 1971, I was all set to move to LA and throw my hat into the ring of comedy but a 7 lb 10 oz package was delivered, and that changed priorities immediately. Of course, I wouldn’t have made it as you can tell from this piece, but nobody has ever said I wasn’t a hard worker. Anyway, my forte was more along the lines of working off other people spontaneously; not putting pen to paper so the percentages would have been against me.
A few years later, while living in Chicago, I happened to see Letterman’s morning show. Didn’t know much about him or who he was but Don King was a guest and being from Cleveland I knew about him and watched the show.
I starting appreciating Letterman the second I heard,”what’s the deal with your hair”? Might not be an exact quote but you get the picture, and through the years I watched and enjoyed his shows, especially after he moved to CBS. I also felt a certain kinship as he started in LA around the time I would have been there as did Leno, Williams and plenty of others. What a ball that must have been!
Feeling old just wasn’t in my DNA. I always tried to think young, stay active while keeping myself clear of people my age. Letterman, from afar, was as close to associating with somebody my age as I got but I felt the same way about him; we’re not old!
Then he said it, he’s through, time for the younger generation to take over and I felt like a ton of bricks dropped on my head. If he’s old, I must be too, and I’ve been depressed ever since.
Trying to prolong my worse fears I watched every show hoping for a stay of execution that never came, plus I loved the band and the writing. Being teary eyed is an understatement, and I bawled at the end of the last show, and I’ve missed it ever since.
Not as an overzealous groupie with no life, but as somebody with an appreciation for the writing and execution of the interview; IMO, no one or show was ever better. And have I mentioned the band? My God, I could listen to them all day every day.
None the less, my age is what it is, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to embrace it. I’m not prosperous by any means, and until Letterman’s bombshell, I was actively pursuing the American dream, but when he decided to quit, I quit and have been struggling to find the energy to finish projects that can make my last years much more comfortable ever since.
The end of days is, I think a long way away, and as each day moves into the next, I do get surges of energy and continue on but still, I miss you Letterman and wish we could turn back the clock.