“Here’s Johnny!!!”

First off… my apologies for being away so long, it’s just been a case of out of sight out of mind. Meaning, since the recent closing of our bar, I’ve kind of been on this mental holiday from Barland.

Secondly… my sincerest thanks to all you regulars who still stopped by every week (which I’ve noticed on my Dashboard page almost making me feel guilty) only to find a bar with no damn bartender. However, since I’m still in that mental holiday mode while my apron hangs unemployed on a goddam nail somewhere, I’ve decided to share a story that’s not about Barland. I hope you don’t mind.

I watched a show on television last night which aired on American Masters, a documentary on Johnny Carson’s life which was wonderful. For many reasons. It was thoughtful, it was probing (probing without being “tabloid-y”), it was filled with priceless photos and footage from Johnny’s Iowa childhood (beyond the obligatory tomahawk throw that put Ed Ames in the pantheon), and overall a worthy tribute to an American master. A television master! But there was one theme that ran through the show which everyone seemed to agree on… the “so-called” aloofness Johnny displayed and the distance he kept when the tape stopped rolling and the lights went out. To which I can personally attest having seen it first hand. Check this out…

A long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away (Los Angeles to be exact) your friendly bartender worked in television game shows. In a “Development” crew whose job was to create new shows. Well one day out of nowhere, and a day I’ll never forget, Dick Carson, Johnny Carson’s brother, who’d been directing The Tonight Show back in New York but decided to go off on his own and move back to California, walked through the door of our run-through room to join us. He’d just been hired as a writer/director/producer.

Is this freaking possible, I thought, Johnny Carson’s brother joining this madhouse??? But Dick had a good deal. If a show we created got on the air he wouldn’t just get to direct the thing and produce it, he would get a piece of the action in the form of a royalty. (Unlike me and the other guys who would just get a pat on the head and a healthy raise.) Anyway, Dick was a welcome edition to the gang, as down to earth as it gets, and he and I became semi-friends beyond work. So much so that one Friday night as we walked to our parked cars after closing the office, he invited me out to his house that Sunday for brunch. Then he added, “Johnny’s in town and he might stop by and join us.” The Tonight Show was still based in New York but a couple times a year they taped two weeks in L.A.

I tried to act tres cool when he said it as if his brother was Morty from Queens, the barber, so I casually said, “Great, Dick, I’d love to.”

“Terrific,” he said, “and since I live near a park we can work off the meal with touch foortball.” Then he gave me directions to his house and that was that. Until Sunday. When I couldn’t believe my good fortune as I drove to his house as nervous as a kid on a first date. I mean this was Johnny Carson!

So Johnny pulled up around eleven o’clock in a rented Continental Mark IV. He got out of the car, looked around, and in that trademark thing that he always did when he had to take off his blazer on the show for a bit, he sucked in his stomach, threw out his chest, and ambled across the lawn like Mr. Fitness. All of which I watched like a kid through the living room window.

“Johnny’s here,” I finally yelled, (no I didn’t yell, “Here’s Johnny!”), to Dick and his wife Pat in the kitchen making Bloody Mary’s. Then Johnny knocked on the door and it was showtime. I felt like one of those rookie comedians about to make his debut on The Tonight Show.

“Hey, John,” Dick said, walking him into the living room, “say hello to my friend who’s a colleague at work.” Then he said my name. Johnny shook my hand firmly, but looked like he’d just been ambushed by a Paparazzi. He had no idea there’d be a third party and when Dick and Pat returned to the kitchen there was Johnny and me in this awkward silence. A silence so thick it almost gave off a hum. But the funny thing was, and this I swear, Johnny seemed to be even more nervous than I was. After taking a seat across from me he fidgeted with the hem of his bell bottoms, craned his neck as he cased the room, until he finally broke the ice with, “You live here in the valley?”

“Ah, no, Sir,” I said, “I live in the hills.” Then more silence.

It was all too surreal because here was the greatest conversationalist in the world, or at least in television history, unable to relax and talk to little ol’ me. Which believe it or not made me start to relax. Dick and Pat soon rescued the moment with a welcome tray of Bloodies, then off we went to the table for Sunday brunch. But now the “awkward” was all on me because they had stuff to catch up on so I stayed silent. Until finally, when Jack Daniels replaced the Bloodies, Johnny’s request as I recall, things got a little looser and I got to speak. They’d been talking about New York City when Pat maybe sensing my alienation asked if I’d ever been there and that was my cue.

I said, “The only time I’ve ever been there was three years ago when I went with a buddy for New Year’s. The point was to go to Time’s Square and watch the ball drop, but since the mob looked way too nuts and we were staying with a bunch of stewardesses, I figured it made more sense to stay home with them.”

“Good m-o-o-o-o-v-e!” Johnny said, like he used to do on his show, then he tapped his temple and smiled as if to say “Schmart!” The glacier had thawed. Then things loosened up even more from there and we actually had a four way conversation. In fact, Johnny almost joined us for the football part but since he had to tape a show that night (in those days they taped from Sunday to Thursday working on a one day delay) he decided he’d better get back and take a little nap. And off he went.

And that’s when I said the following to Johnny Carson’s brother. “Ya’ know, Dick,” I began, “I’ve hardly ever mentioned Johnny’s name in all the time I know you, because I’m sure your tired of hearing, ‘Tell me about Johnny’. Him being the famous one. But I finally have to tell you now your brother’s my goddam idol, and this was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. Hands down! But it’s also, in a funny way, the most disappointing.”

“How’s that?” he said, smiling as though he knew where I was going.

“Because I was expecting to meet that warm, charming guy from television.”

“See, I told you!” Pat shouted from the kitchen. For whatever reason.

“He just seemed so uptight,” I said,”like he didn’t even want me to talk to him. In fact I think he was really upset that I was here.”

Dick knew just what I meant and laid it all out. He said, “You see, my brother is terribly shy and he’s not very good at all in social situations. No matter who the person is. Plus, now that he’s not Johnny Carson but JOHNNY CARSON, he’s wary of people because everyone wants a piece him. And so that guy you see on TV every night, that warm, charming guy you described, that’s the real Johnny and the brother I grew up with. On the show is where he’s at home now, sitting behind that desk, that’s where he can relax and be who he is. It’s almost sad in a way.”

And that said it all. Then we walked to the park and worked off the meal with some football.

Dick didn’t stay with the company long, he’d gotten an offer to direct Merv Griffin and I remember him asking my advice at the time if he should take it. I said, “Hey, Dick, this stuff’s all on spec, it may take a year til we get on the air if we get something on at all, Merv’s already a show and that’s a payday.” I don’t know whether that made up his mind but he took the job on “Merv” and never looked back.

But I’ve looked back many, many times to that amazing afternoon I spent with Johnny Carson!

All the best til next we meet, dear reader!

43 Responses to ““Here’s Johnny!!!””

  1. 1 M.Lane May 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    What a great post!!!! I agree it was sort of sad too though. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. 2 scribbler50 May 16, 2012 at 8:57 am

    M.L.: Thanks for the kind words, and yes it does seem sad. But it’s not that he didn’t have a life outside it’s just that the best of Johnny needed a camera.
    Thanks again.

  3. 3 marty wombacher (@martywombacher) May 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    That is one hell of a story! I grew up watching Johnny Carson and he is certainly the best talk show host in history. I read a biography of him and one of his sons was quoted as saying that he would watch the Tonight Show and wish that his Dad was that way off camera. I always wondered if he was as aloof as the rumors always had it and you’ve proven it true! A great story and wonderfully written as always!

  4. 4 scribbler50 May 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Marty: Thanks. But I have to say, even though “aloof” was the word used a lot on the documentary, I doubt it accurately describes who the man was. (That’s why I said “so-called aloofness” in my post.) Aloof connotes a snob and Carson was anything but. He was shy, he put up walls, became wary of people later on, so his distance was simply perceived as being aloof. I think a better word for the man is “complicated”. There was a lot going on there which the show rightly pointed out..

  5. 5 MikeQ May 17, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Great story, Scrib! A look behind the scenes, lots of heart … outstanding story. Welcome back! Damn it’s good to see you back in action here …

  6. 6 scribbler50 May 17, 2012 at 12:54 am

    MikeQ: Thanks a million, Mike, good to be back. I’ll try not to stay away as long but like I said in the post… out of sight out of mind, ya’ know? When I get behind the stick again I’m sure the stories will come.

    Cheers, Pal!

  7. 7 Susanne May 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    That is a wonderful story. It’s good to know that the people you see on TV are different in their real lives. In some cases nowadays you just hope they are different.

  8. 8 scribbler50 May 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Susanne: Thanks for your comment, glad you liked the story and I really agree with what you said at the end. If they only knew, right?

  9. 9 Anonymoustache May 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Great anecdote, Scrib50! Dude, you’ve met some people…some history. Anyway, Carson was the best. I meant to catch that American Masters but couldn’t….will try to catch the rerun whenever. Also, I think it’s great how you made the distinction between ‘aloof’ and ‘shy’…..makes a world of difference….

  10. 10 scribbler50 May 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Anonymoustache: Big distinction indeed, aloof to me comes nowhere near who he was. And do catch the show, my man, ESPECIALLY sinceyou’re a fan because it was wonderful… a glimpse at a legend and an era we’ll never see again.

  11. 11 1bluegirl May 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Wild, wacky stuff, Scrib. πŸ™‚

    Very cool experience! He’s one of my favorites. Looked up to him as the funny, witty, charming “grown-up.” Hate to sound old, but can’t think of anyone who even comes close these days. Not by a mile. Not by 100 miles!

    Scribbler, off topic: I’m in dire need of a new computer. Because it’s so old, yahoo email does not work for me anymore. Most times I can *get* email, but can’t send. Working on a fix for that but it might be awhile.

  12. 12 M.A. Peel May 18, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Great story. As you saw in the documentary, Johnny’s mother was the root of all his issues . . .

  13. 13 scribbler50 May 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

    bluegirl: Make that 1,000 miles, but times have changed as well so that late night exclusivity that Johnny Carson enjoyed… it was THE place to be seen and it was THE place to get launched if you were a comedian, where now that terrain is splintered into God knows how many spawn,.. coupled with the fact that, as you say, he was funny, witty, the charming “grown-up” earning him the title of “King of Late Night” in the first place, engendered a certain magic that almost mythologizes him. And who can touch THAT?. He blazed the trail and the rest just follow the map. To me Letterman comes closest (maybe because I’m closer in age and he was actually Johnny’s choice for successor) but even he would say he can’t shine Johnny Carson’s shoes.
    Thanks, Blue Girl, and thanks as well for that info on your email. Phew! πŸ™‚

    M.A. Peel: Boy are you right, and boy was that woman some piece of work. Jesus! I couldn’t believe the part where when he won that prestigious award for something and all she could say when he told her was, “I guess they know what they’re doing.” Talk about mommy issues!!!

    Hey, thanks for stopping by, M.A., always a treat to hear from you. And let’s (as they say) “do that lunch” we talked about.

  14. 14 physiobabe May 18, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I know a few semi-famous people who have this peculiar personality πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the post, Scrib. Great, as always.

    Hurry back, you are missed – molto.

  15. 15 scribbler50 May 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

    physiobabe: I bet you do, bella mia, and you must tell me about them. (Insert wink which I don’t know how to do.)
    And as far as me being missed (for which I’m grateful), I’ll try not stay away too long this time, I promise. (Don’t insert wink!)

  16. 16 Pharm Sci Grad May 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    It’s hard, no matter the profession, when you’ve reached a level of influence. Then, all of a sudden, people come to you and want things, things you can deliver – but at what cost to you, your mental health, your reputation, your time? It is enough to make any person shy away from contact with unexpected guests or just with professionals in non-work enviroments. There are times when it is a blessing to be a stranger, and for some people, like Johnny Carson, that was an impossible dream after a while. You have to feel for his kids though…

    Glad to hear you are well Scrib – it was good to see you pop up on my RSS feed the other day. Enjoy the break from the normal pour and take care.

  17. 17 scribbler50 May 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Pharm Sci Grad: And it was good to see you pop up in my comments section, it’s been a while. Thank you for the thoughtful comment, my friend, all of which I agree with, especially the part at the end about his sons.
    All the best!

  18. 18 IrishIrritant May 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for the shout. Nice story, I think there is another post in there about some Pittsburg kid coming up with game show ideas.
    Glad you can do with out the guilt, enjoy the time off as a reward you so richly deserve…both for your work behind the stick and the posting that eases the mind with thoughtful enjoyment.

  19. 19 scribbler50 May 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Irish: Thanks, bud, I’ll still be posting every now and then til thimgs get rolling again so keep tuning in.

  20. 20 chris May 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    ….as i write this i’ve just finished watching the carson special…..absolutly wonderful….and you my friend have a priceless memory….also as i picked up the computer to write this….the headline in the entertainment section reminded us all that it was 20 years ago tonight that johnny did his last tonight show…really ironic…

  21. 21 scribbler50 May 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    chris: Ahh, the serendipity of it all!
    Don’t know about my memory being priceless (though I thank for the sentiment) because how could one NOT remember such a day? It was way too special. As was the documentary which you just saw..
    Thanks, Chris.

  22. 22 Pat May 23, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Loved this story; thx. for sharing. Saw “American Masters” last night…very odd the “women” issues in his life. Plus he was the middle child. His mother was a hard taskmaster who admittedly liked the daughter best of all. Yes she kept a box of mementos in her closet that Carson kept until his death. Hmmmm…guess we never get past this familial stuff huh?
    Is Dick Carson still alive? And whatever became of Alexis Maas? I heard they were estranged at the end and am impressed the documentary alluded to this.
    I just bumped into this site so I am a “newbie”. Hope you are well and happy. Thx. for sharing this first-person story on the 20 year anniversary. A reign like that will never be replicated. What a time that was.

  23. 23 scribbler50 May 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Pat: First off, welcome to the site, even though things are a little slow right now. (Lot’s of stuff to catch up though if you want to go to the Archives!)

    Now as to whether Dick is still alive I think the answer is yes because
    (speaking of you bumping into this site) this past Friday night at a bar here in midtown I bumped into Ray Siller, the last head writer on Carson’s Tonight Show. I’d met him once before at the now defunct Elaine’s. Anyway, I think he mentioned that Dick had recently received some kind of lifetime achievement award, is retired now and still very much alive. I sure hope so.

    By the way, a great guy this Mr. Siller who again shared wonderful stories from his days on the Tonight Show. It must’ve been magic! He knew Johnny well and has nothing but the highest praise for his former employer.

    And as far as Alexis Maas goes, your guess is as good as mine, I Googled her name just now and found very little.

    Again, welcome aboard, Pat, see you on my next “shift”.

  24. 24 Maureen Lordon May 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

    so glad you ‘re back. I waited tables & tended bar on and off for 20 years I just found this blog & I’ve been catching up. would have been so diappointed if I found it after you stopped writing it. I love it

  25. 25 scribbler50 May 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Maureen: Thank you for the kind words. As I said in my previous comment, it’s always nice to welcome a new reader (especially one who knows whereof I speak). So you keep catching up on my blogs while I start scratching my head for some new ideas, okay? And just for the record, this blog isn’t going away.

    All the best, new friend!

  26. 26 red dress May 26, 2012 at 5:02 am

    First off, there is only one and only Morty in New York and you know who that is. (insert a smile with the wink here and I do know how to do it) Ah, I’ve missed you so much!!

    I actually saw the show a couple of times recently and, goodness, what a lovely man he was and it was great to really “get to know” Johnny Carson in a deeper way. For those of us, who caught the show at its last leg. You sharing your story actually just made me double like him even more, cuz it was journalists or strangers describing traits of his personality, but hearing it from you sort of sealed it with conviction. And I absolutely adore that he was shy….I know, that it is not actually a compliment in most cases (if not all), but I so love when a man IS shy. πŸ™‚ It was his charm and his probably weakness as well, I guess. The mother problem certainly attributed to his issues with women, but I actually feel guilty assuming what was there and what wasn’t. Everyone has their own prescriptions of how to live their own life and by the looks of it, he did beautifully.

    I loved this story you wrote very much and it may be one of my favorites, I especially liked the part “a case of out of sight out of mind”. I can relate and totally understand. Sometimes, I just want to be with my thoughts and sort of rummage through there and see what I can find without any distraction. Also, it feels so wonderful when I do return and get to be distracted again. I am here f you ever need me to distract you, Morty dear. BIG WINK! Hahaha Till next time. (Sorry for the long comment)

  27. 27 scribbler50 May 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

    red dress: No apology needed, sweets, for writing that long comment, I enjoyed it very much. I also like the fact that you found his shyness charming, a nice way to look at it. It seems that everyone has a take on this guy and to me the so-called “bad” in the man (whatever that “bad” was) was far outweighed by the good and by a lot! And that’s all that matters. And as you said, despite the myriad issues he had that shaped his later behavior, “by the looks of it, he did beautifully.” We should all do so well, eh?

    Hey, thanks you for stopping by, red dress, and I hope you’re doing well in your new job.
    See you soon,
    Your “Morty” (insert a big hug)

  28. 28 NY girl May 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Wow, what a great story. Thanks for sharing. I watched Johnny Carson as a kid and was mesmerized by his comedic talent. He was so much better than the Lettermans ,and Lenos of today.I can understand Mr. Carsons personality without finding it disappointing. I too was much different at work than I am in a crowd of strangers or even friends. I ve heard the words aloof ,peculiar, unfriendly more times than you can imagine. A friend of mine once introduced me to a female celebrity here in NY. To say she is famous would be an understatement , more like iconic. We were at the Oak Room and I begged my friend , if he introduced us to not leave me alone with her. So of course he introduces her and I , and then excuses himself and goes to the men’s room. She held my hand as she was talking to me and she was shaking a bit,at which point I realized she was as nervous as I was, but she was also extremely sweet. Just because someone is a huge celebrity doesn’t mean they have that huge personality away from the camera. It’s nice to know they can be just like us. Now I know I’m not alone. You can be funny and talented ,and yet not quite know how to work a room as well as some who can BS their way through an entire evening.

  29. 29 scribbler50 May 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

    NY girl: To paraphrase you, “Wow, what a great comment!” Truly.

    Of course I’m curious as hell as at who that celebrity was, but more importrant than that is the point you made. And made well. We do have different sides that we display at different times, depending on where we are and who we’re with. And I guess in Johnny’s case since the only side we knew was that charming TV personna that everyone loved, anything short of that act was deemed (pick a negative). Which in my case wasn’t a negative, just disappointing.

    And speaking of “depending on where we are”, isn’t the Oak Room bar one of the most beautiful settings in NY City? Or anywhere for that matter? I rememeber sitting at a table one day while the snow was falling outside, it was night, and the scene looked like an extension of those amazing wall murals. I was literally transported to old New York (and believe me it wasn’t the Jack Daniels!) πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for your comment, ny girl, please come back.

  30. 30 mvpalex May 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm


  31. 31 scribbler50 May 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Alex: Thanks, Bud, glad you enjoyed.

  32. 32 Mike S. June 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for a great story. Johnny Carson was lucky to have a fan as compassionate and understanding as you — able to see his weaknesses and limitations, yet still retain an appreciation for Johnny Carson the person.

  33. 33 scribbler50 June 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    MIke S.: Thank you, MIke. Glad you enjoyed the story and thanks for stopping by.

  34. 34 Pieter B (@DragonCalf) July 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Hey, Srcib. Sorry to have been away so long.

    To me, the big difference between Johnny and all his successors is that he understood that his job was to make his guests look as good as possible. He’d bring on someone like the winner of a cowboy poetry contest, and the audience would be snickering up their sleeves at first. By the end of the segment they’d be in love with the guy. That was the magic of Johnny Carson.

  35. 35 scribbler50 July 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Pieter: You’re absolutely right. It was all about the guest with Johnny and that, as you say, was his magic.

  36. 36 Jack July 17, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Wow, what a great story! I found your site after Googling Alex Maas Carson to see what I could find. I watched the PBS show and am just about finished reading a book about Carson written by Lawrence Leamer who was featured on the special and came across to me as someone who didn’t like Johnny. I grew up watching Carson from the early 60’s when he started to his final show and thought he was the coolest and funniest guy I had ever seen on TV. I got a chance to go see the show in the early 80’s spending the night outside the studio in Burbank drinking with some guys in reclining lawn chairs who had come down from Canada to see some sights and the show. I am a former bartender ( 20 yrs ) and can really relate to Carson’s personality as I always felt comfortable behind the bar but completlely opposite that at parties or just one on one with someone else. This is my first time commenting on a site as I like reading other peoples comments but never felt the urge to write my own. Plan on reading more of your stories from before and new ones as well. Really envy your chance meeting with Johnny at his brothers house for brunch and could only imagine feeling the same uneasiness had I been lucky enough to be in your shoes that day. Thanks for the great read.

  37. 37 scribbler50 July 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Jack: Welcome aboard there, newcomer, and thank you so much for your thoughtful comment especially since it’s your very first comment anywhere. Interesting you shared Johnny’s shyness when you weren’t “on stage”, whereas I’m a canned ham both on and off. πŸ™‚
    Cheers, Sir!

  38. 38 deeaiden October 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I met Johnny one evening at a friend’s house…just the three of us. It was in February, 1971, the day of the big Northridge earthquake. He had come over to my friend’s house–she was a beautiful German actress–and I was going to babysit her dog until the next morning while she was gone (Johnny was between marriages.) A decorative wall of stones had collapsed onto my friend’s living room floor during the earthqauke, and the rubble, a couple feet high, was still there as we talked. Johnny was great. It was incredible to hear his voice–which I had only heard on television–in the next room, and he was very friendly when I was introduced to him. We talked and joked for a few minutes–maybe he was not so shy when there was a beautiful woman around–and he even got that famous wincing shrug when I described the avalanche of stones in my friend’s house. All by himself–no entourage–and very friendly.

  39. 39 scribbler50 October 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    deeaiden: A terrific story and the perfect counter experience to what I witnessed. Lucky you! For in my case it took not a beautiful woman but a glass of Jack Daniels to loosen him up.
    Truly appreciate the comment, thanks a lot!

  40. 40 Elyse November 30, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Had a chance meeting in the mid ’70’s when Johnny, wearing sunglasses, came into my office at LaGuardia Airport having gotten lost looking for the United Airlines VIP room. He took off his dark shades and my jaw dropped open!

    My office provided Uniforms for the airlines, many of which were made by Hart Schaffner & Marx, a company he was involved in. HS&M made Johnny’s suits and because he wore the suits on the show, they rolled out a line with his name connected to it and he had a piece of that business for quite some time. We spoke a bit about the mfg. and then he opened up his jacket to show me he had the same label as the thousands of uniforms I had in my office! He was quite funny, made a joke in realizing his custom suit mfg had other “not so custom” clients! All the United personell would also be wearing HS&M uniforms that day!

    He was very normal, no entourage, completely alone, and he actually told me he was quite embarrassed that he was lost. He blushed as he told me that most people thought he flew only in private jets so he didn’t like to wait amongst others at the gate. I walked him to his destination, he shook my hand, put his sunglasses back on before he went into the VIP room, smiled so kindly and told me he was now in full disguise to travel incognito and off he went…..leaving a 24 year old fan totally thrilled!

    I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Diamond, Robert Klein, Art Garfunkel, Walter Matthau, Woody Allen and Peter Jennings who took over my office for an ABC special report one day. I had a great view of the runways and there had been an incident. Great to have had the pleasure of meeting these iconic individuals under “normal circumstances” since they usually traveled like ordinary people, and often got lost looking for that United VIP room….which if memory serves me was called “The Red Carpet Club” How apropo was that! πŸ˜‰

  41. 41 scribbler50 November 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Elyse: What a sweet story and nice to read about the nicer side of Johnny. Sounds like where you worked was “where it was at”, to steal a popular phrase from Johnny’s heyday.
    Cheers… and thanks for sending that along!

  42. 42 Steve August 6, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Ah yes …”life is but a dream” so glad I got to read yours! Like to hear more .
    I accidentally had one .around 06 my wife and I sat at a empty table for 6 on a Caribbean cruise and behind us another couple a few years older also at an empty 6 top. Some how got to exchanging quips with them so invited them to join our lonely table. Turns out its the son of thee Tommy Dorsey! Also named Tommy…. Ex IBM salesman not musical,but shared the booze delima that killed his father. Story after story. How Frank Sinatra got out of his contract with Tommy. Mafia stuff.Getting a free swimming pool fill from NYC fire department.How the wife Tommy would be divorced from in 3 days ,but Tommy choked on his own vomit and died, took everything from the estate and Tommy Jr got nothing… not even his trombone. So goes the rich and famous. I’ll chose not being famous…
    Been searching for Johnny stuff. Loved your tale and hope for more. That is exactly how I’ve pieced together the real Johnny, like you described the time you had with him. So sorry for his shy and drinking ways.his brother doesn’t seem to be like that. Go figure same parents..

  43. 43 scribbler50 August 6, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Steve, thanks for your comment and the story that went with it. What a shame, I didn’t know that about the old man let alone about his son. That had to be an amazing little sit-down for you to be a part of. By the way, as you can see by the date of my last post this blog has been dormant for quite some time (since I retired from the bar business) but I guess these comments will still dribble in here and there. Which I sure appreciate. That said, thanks again for your comment and cheers to you and the Mrs.

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