Column Chronicles
Celebrities I warmly recall with warm memories
Frank Cotolo
May 14, 2020
I have had the honour in the length of my lifetime to meet many celebrated people from many areas of life. Some of my remembrances are written below.
I was only six the night famous opera singer Mario Lanza came to my family’s apartment on a dare. Mr. Lanza not only sang loudly, he talked loudly and he kept us up all night just talking about his wealth.
When I met Leonard Bernstein he was trying to kick the tobacco habit. In fact, he did stop smoking cigarettes, but he did it by eating them. He was munching three packs a day by the time I finished writing his autobiography, which he did not approve and destroyed.
Bing Crosby was a favorite of mine and when I worked for his show on tour he made me laugh a lot. However, the day I told him that the only other celebrity to make me laugh as hard was Bob Hope, he fired me.
David Brinkley taught me all I know about broadcasting and loved my impression of him. He let me attend all of his news broadcasts when he was partnered with Chet Huntley. I liked Chet but he did not care to teach me anything and treated me like a bellboy. Once, Chet not only asked me to get coffee for him, he demanded I personally travel to Brazil for the beans.
Willie Shoemaker did not like me. I never did anything to him to cause him not to like me. I think it was because he felt when we talked I looked down on him.
I went to the funeral of Haystacks Calhoun, who, at the time of his death, was the largest professional wrestler in the business. He was so large that they had to bury him in a piano crate. To this day, though, I do not know why I went to the funeral of Haystacks Calhoun, though I once dated his daughter, Wellstacked.
Amazingly, when I was learning about the world of politics, New York Mayor Abe Beame took me under his wing, hiring me as a city intern. He did not give me an office but was kind enough to supply me with a stapler, ink blotter, ruler and protractor. I learned a lot about politics at that time but soured on it when Abe was not re-elected because he did not get enough votes.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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