Tahoe Pine Nuts: An American success story
Don’t you love American success stories? Me too. I got to talk to one this morning on the telephone…
Forty years ago, a Maui mom who had raised her kids got a divorce and became an empty nester for the first time in her life. Curious about what it might be like to get paid for work, she took her first job at the age of 40. I remember the day she walked in.
As a newbie sales representative, a poor soul who had to make cold calls on business managers who had already allocated their advertising budgets for the year, she marched into that radio station like she owned the place.
This lady had something those Maui business managers had never seen before. She had the personality of Bette Midler and the looks of Megyn Kelly. She could sell bottled water to a man drowning in the Alenuihaha, and that man would sink with a smile on his face.
Maui was a two station market and we were number two, until she walked in. When she made a sales call, the first thing she did was to find a radio and tune that radio dial to us, and then that business manager would go to lunch with a lipstick trademark on his cheek that confirmed her contract had been signed. Our station manager raised our advertising rates, made her sales manager, and we all received a much appreciated raise.
Everybody who worked at that station fell in love with her, including me, but the only one lucky enough to get a date with her was our program director, who left his wristwatch at her house, which she hocked at the Kahului Pawn Shop for fifty bucks. Our program director had to pay $70 to get his watch back.
Everything she touched turned to gold. She played the stock market and won. She frequented the cock fights on Sunday mornings and won. She flew to the 9th Island, Las Vegas, and won some more. She burned through money and men like Sherman burned through Georgia.
Then one morning she did something conservative, she bought the number two radio station in a two station market, us. She continued to make sales calls and turn radio dials to our station until we became number one, then she sold our little station for one million dollars and moved to Las Vegas. She had become a millionaire in her very first job.
But that’s not the best part of this “Only In America” story. I learned from her on the phone this morning that she recently remarried all these years later, and guess who she married? Elvis! Yes! She married a retired Elvis impersonator who sings “Love Me Tender” to her every evening before dinner.
She told me she doesn’t listen to the radio anymore. Why would she? She’s got Elvis. Only in America…
Visit http://www.ghostoftwain.com to learn more about McAvoy Layne.