In November 1968 my parents, sister and I made our annual Thanksgiving trip to Manhattan to visit my senile-but-favorite grandmother, Bobby. She was withering away in a very small-but-immaculate apartment in an elegant building on Park Avenue. It was the kind of building where a man in a fine wool suit could walk his wife’s miniature poodle through the lobby on the way to a pay phone around the corner, so he could place a call to his mistress. And old ladies in fluffy fur coats carried itsy bitsy black purses with enough room for a lipstick, a hankie and a couple of quarters for “The Help.”
It was always an experience to see Grandma Bobby because I never knew what to expect… sometimes she couldn’t remember what city she was in, or what language to speak (and she spoke a lot of them). Other times, she would open the…
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Although I was barely out of college, having never worked in a “real” office before, it didn’t take more than a day on the job for me to realize that the firm of Goldwynn, Shipp and Sullivan* had been out of the PR business for a very long time. At best, Howard Goldwynn’s dwindling roster of clients were sticking with him out of obligation, pity, sentiment or most likely, because they didn’t even realize that he was still representing their companies.
He was very tall, very old and very bald – like a human Jiminy Cricket in his three-piece suit (minus the spats and the top hat). His face was dwarfed by oversized, black framed glasses. A few wispy strands of flossy white hair lay placidly across his age-freckled head.
Mr. Goldwyn spent most of his days acting the role of a feudal landlord – hovering over a motley group of small time entrepreneurs and…
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