These photos are from a unique and special time. It was the golden era of television. Back then, TV only aired on three channels ABC, CBS, and NBC. When people planned to appear on national television, they traveled to New York or Los Angeles, although there were some opportunities in Canada. After I showed Johnny Carson how to start a fire with flashlight batteries and cook breakfast in a paper sack, my classic camping book, Roughing It Easy, soared up the New York Times bestseller list.

After Johnny Carson’s appearance, National Shows started coming in. I was busy doing Mike Douglas, Phil Donahue, Jessy Raphael, Martin Short, ABC’s Home Show, Good Morning America, Canada AM, and several local shows.

When I started, I wasn’t a city slicker. Instead, I was a country girl. So when I started making appearances on national television in the Big Apple, New York, one day, I thought, “This is the hardest thing I ever do, but I will not let it lick me.”

Getting ready to go to do a National TV show was quite a job.   Watching my Dad pack a horse taught me the importance of using every inch of space when packing to travel. Now, with the understanding that I needed to take almost all of my equipment for TV appearances from my home in Salt Lake City, I prepared by laying everything out on my kitchen table. Everything was from batteries, steel wool, and a tuna fish can be filled with rolled-up cardboard. I prepared to teach hosts and audiences how to cook a hamburger on the manifold of a car or boil water in a paper cup. I also knew I needed to be as prepared as possible to enhance my appearance as a professional. Once I had everything laid out, my Dad would often come to my home and pack all the items just as he did when he packed a horse.

The photos from top left to right are:

  1. Dian at the NBC Today Show

  2. NBC’s Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

  3. NBC’s Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

  4. Tom Brokaw and Dian cooking hamburgers on a flat-nose shovel and hot dogs on a pitchfork

  5. NBC’s Tonight Show

  6. NBC’s Tonight Show

  7. Jane Pauley on NBC’s Today Show

  8. Martin Short on Martin Short Show

  9. Willard Scott and Dian on NBC’s Today Show

  10. Joan Lundin and Dian on ABC’s Good Morning America

  11. Dian interviewed President Reagan on ABC’s Home Show