Bill Heslip

The year was 1978 and I had recently been promoted to full-time after doing part-time work the previous 6 months. It was around 3pm and I was running a studio camera for John Stanners, who was putting a commercial together. The shot was a lock-down and wasn't about to change, so I decided to pull up a chair and cool my heals until John called for something else. Then, out of nowhere, I heard a strange commotion going on in the front office and the halls surrounding the studio. It wasn't until later that I learned what the ruckus was all about.

The hell that was being raised was by none other than M.D. Smith III. It became apparent that M.D. III had entered the studio and observed me sitting down while on camera duty. Little did I know, but THIS WAS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! I later learned that he was demanding that I be "released" from my employ at WAAY-TV! Lucky for me, he calmed down, cooler heads prevailed, and I kept my job (by the skin of my teeth). Needless to say, I never again would be caught sitting down in the studio.

Now, a very different experience. Early into my tenure at WAAY-TV, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Mrs. M.D. Smith III (Kirby). I was very low on the totem pole at the time, yet she seemed to express a genuine interest in meeting me. She asked me several questions and we had a nice little chat. I didn't think much more of it until a year or so later, when I bumped into her again at the station. Not only did she remember my name, but followed up on our previous conversation (which I had long forgotten)! I can't tell you how much I was impressed by this.

© 2003 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 7-22-2003]