Citizen Bill

When working the overnight shift you quickly find out that between 2 and 4 AM things slow down to less than a crawl because 99 percent of the people listening to you are working like you are and everybody else is asleep except for a few insomniacs.

Suddenly one night in the middle of my air shift the Hotline rang. My first thought was "What does Rick (Reynolds, the Program Director) want now? When I answered the phone I was surprised to be greeted by a very deep and resonant voice. "Hi! I'm Citizen Bill with AT&T Toll Test. I have a conference call happening among a number of disc jockeys all across the United States. Would you be interested in joining the conference call?"

Of course my answer was "Yes!"

It seemed like the call had just started when the lights came on in the KONO Newsroom and Dick Porter walked in to get started on the newscasts he would deliver during Howard Edwards Morning Show. Listening and talking with others doing the same thing I was doing had made my shift time pass really quickly.

From then on, usually once a week I could depend on getting a call from Citizen Bill and enjoying time visiting with other jocks across the country.

Just as quickly as they had started the Toll Test Calls stopped. There were rumors, which I have never been able to actually confirm, that Citizen Bill was no longer with AT&T but on the air as a disc jockey.

I not only enjoyed the Toll Test Calls because they caused my air shift to pass quickly, but they also enabled me to more easily keep up with what was happening elsewhere in the country and incorporate it into my show on KONO.

John Steel

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