Tickets by mail

The ticketing process was a terrible bother. In 1960 this was still a handicraft business — no Ticketron or Ticketmaster to take care of it for you. People would send in a check for their season tickets, and we would laboriously record their names and addresses by hand for our mailing list. I had lifted the method from Harry Zelzer, the classical impresario, whose business depended almost entirely on his mailing list. It worked, but it was not the most efficient way to run a business.
Usually we sent the tickets out before the checks cleared. Those records are all lost now, but I think our bad checks amounted to half of one percent of the total, if that. When someone sent you a check, the check was presumed to be good, and you sent out the product by return mail.
I was interested to note that most of the bad checks we did get came from what I thought of as the newly-rich areas of town — not the establishment or middle-class neighborhoods, and not from where the poor lived, but from the new suburban developments that were springing up all over. That‘s where they tried the hardest to beat you. As time went on this began to get out of hand, and in the end, when Ticketron came along, I got out of the ticket business altogether with a sigh of relief.

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