What’s In That Shoe Box?

In 1968 there was a brief interruption in my radio career. I left my job at KSTT to sell mutual funds for a company called Investors Diversified Services (IDS). In the few months I was selling funds, I didn’t get many people to invest, but I remember this. There was an old lady who lived in a big Victorian style home, from which she ran a successful photography business. The house looked like the ones you see in horror movies, and was just three blocks from the IDS office. Maybe, because it was a scary looking house, nobody from the firm had ever called on her. I decided to give it a shot. victorian homeShe was very nice and invited me into her home to hear what I had to say. After I had explained the benefits of investing she left the room, and I thought she was going to get her check book. In a few minutes she returned carrying a well-worn shoe box.

We sat down at her kitchen table, and after sorting out the coins and currency which we suspected might be collectible, such as silver certificates and old coins with pictures of Indians, we packed up the remaining loot. She and I drove to the IDS office with the shoe box stuffed with over $23,000 in currency and coins. $28,000 in “today’s money” would be over $180,000. When we piled the money onto one of the big conference tables and proceeded to count it, several fellow mutual fund salespeople watched in awe.

After that, I went several weeks without another significant sale and was not liking the job. It wasn’t long before I realized finance wasn’t my forte, and I returned to KSTT to continue my career in broadcasting. I did learn a couple of lessons. “You’ll do best in a job you enjoy” and “Don’t be afraid to knock on the door of a big Victorian house.”

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