The shock of losing his position was exacerbated soon after at a local mall.  "I was in a consumer electronics store, and passed by one of those walls filled with televisions.  The theme music for Pulse Plus! came on, and I had a visceral reaction.  I broke out in a sweat.  'That's my theme music, and I'm not in the studio!'  I was very much shaken by that and realized I'd become some sort of programmed, Pavlovian dog.  I suddenly felt that my life had become somewhat distorted.  The only thing I was interested in was being a TV anchorman.  There really wasn't any other aspect to my lifemaking friendshaving a girlfriend."  In fact, Shuster had recently met a young woman at an art show and was about to embark on the first serious relationship of his life.  But he couldn't quite shake the anchorman DNA out of his blood so fast.

"I thought immediately of Dan Rather's invitation to 'stay in touch.' I phoned him in New York and he was very welcoming.  Dan was in a rush when I called and he asked me to write him, which I did.   He responded in writing, encouraging me to go to St. Louis, Houston, or Detroit, where he had weak lead-ins.  He offered to contact the news directors if I decided to try."

Shuster took Rather up on his offer and drove off to visit the markets in a Volkswagon microbus.  A first-look at Houston did not impress Shuster and his girlfriend, and he journeyed on to auditions in St. Louis and Detroit.  Ultimately, Shuster decided to take some serious time off and continue his own personal development. 

Scott lets his hair down and takes some time off

A $30,000 cushion from profitable stock market investments allowed Shuster the time to kick back, travel, and 'get a life.'  "There was a tremendous relief in not wanting to be a local TV anchorman anymore," Shuster explains.  "I felt that the job didn't hold any more surprises for me.  Dan Rather didn't take that news well.  He said 'Nobody's going to take you seriously anymore if you leave the air like that.'  He's known as the hardest working guy in television, but I didn't get itwhy would anybody criticize me for taking a few months off?"  Scott and his girlfriend traveled to Mexico four times, meandered around the south, and got a dog.  For the first time since the age of 15, he enjoyed 18 months of not having to work. It was 1975, and Shuster was only 26 years old.