By Nicole Pence
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 4, 2015)– It’s the end of an era. David Letterman is retiring later this month from CBS. The Indianapolis native is the longest-serving late night host in TV history.
Jeff Eshowsky is a 1965 graduate of Broad Ripple High School.
It’s been a long time since Eshowsky has walked the high school’s hallways, but he won’t ever forget his teen years here with David Letterman.
“I don`t think any of us expected him to do what he has done. It makes me proud to say I was a very, very small part of that. He was always very quick and very shy and could be sarcastic as I recall. He was just Dave. Just one of the guys!” said childhood friend Jeff Eshowsky.
Before Letterman was known around the world, he grew up in a house not far from Broad Ripple High School.
Some of Eshowsky’s fondest memories include time at Letterman’s childhood home with his mother, Dorothy.
“He’s from the old neighborhood. I remember his mom’s fried bologna sandwiches, and I finally got my nerve up and told her that we used to use them as door stops and hockey pucks,” said Eshowsky.
Just down the street from their neighborhood, Eshowsky and Letterman worked as stock boys at Atlas Supermarket.
Eshowsky says he will always remember heading down to Atlas with Letterman and asking Sid Maurer for a job.
“Sid Maurer looked down to us and said, ‘If you are going to work for me you are going to put on white shirt and ties,’ and he did this. So, we turned around and walked back home and put on shirt and jobs and we asked for jobs.”
They started working the next day, making 85 cents an hour: “We were just trying to grow up!”
Mike Akers is the principal of Broad Ripple High School. Akers is constantly reminding the students of the school’s most famous alum.
“I just tell them always to reach for their dreams because Dave always did. He likely didn’t know what he was going to do. When an opportunity came along, he took it,” said Akers.
David Letterman was honored as Broad Ripple’s Distinguished Alum in 2003. Letterman wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but his mom sent the school a top ten list, titled “How to Tell Your Son Is Not a Genius!”
“The number one reason how you can tell your son is not a genius, he failed lunch!” Akers reads.
The top ten list and note from Letterman are proudly displayed in the main officer and will stay there even after David Letterman says goodbye to late night TV.
“You’ve made a lot of people laugh. You’ve given back and I admire that. Congrats and have a happy good healthy retirement,” said Eshowsky.
“Dave, you are welcome back at any time!” Akers added.
This fall is the 15th reunion for Letterman’s graduating class at Broad Ripple High School.
Eshowsky says he is working on getting Letterman to come back to Indianapolis for the fun.
Letterman has said he will miss the show desperately, but he is excited to spend more time with his family.
The last broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman airs on May 20 at 11 p.m. on CBS4.
Be sure to share your memories, photos and videos using #ThanksDave on social media!