Interesting (to me, at least) autographs
from my late father's and uncle's files
Charles Brackett. A writer with Paramount and other studios, collaborator with Billy Wilder. My father was a busy magazine writer in the 1940's and dealt with many people on the west coast.
Olivia DeHavilland. Actress. Father wrote an article about the "feud" between sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHavilland ("Why they don't speak?" Cosmopolitan Sep-49 p. 48.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike was an avid bridge player. My father included material about him in The Fireside Book of Cards (Simn & Schuster 1957) which he co-edited with Oswald Jacoby.
Jackie Gleason. My uncle Ray Bloch conducted the orchestra for several of Gleason's TV shows, including some episodes of The Honeymooners and for The Jackie Gleason Show, as well as ghost-conducting some of the albums released under Gleason's name.
Charles H. Goren. Goren was a colleague of my father in the bridge-expert and bridge-book fields.
General Alfred M. Gruenther. Like Eisenhower, Gruenther was a bridge player and also worked with my father in some other projects, including a War Orphans Scholarship contest.
George S. Kaufman. Playwright and humorist Kaufman was a friend of my father's who also served as an advisor in some of father's writing projects.
Oliver LaFarge. LaFarge was an American writer and anthropologist best known for his novel Laughing Boy, a love story with a social message set mostly in the Navajo nation about a hundred years ago. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929.
John V. Lindsay. Lindsay was best known as Mayor of New York, but he was at another time Senator. My father dealt with him in connection with some copyright issues.
General Mark Clark. Another bridge-playing general.
W. Somerset Maugham. My father worked with the celebrated British novelist on a collection of The Best Novels of the World (Winston) in abridged form, for which Maugham wrote the prefaces and my father did the abridging. I used to have the marked volumes (including Moby Dick, The Red and the Black, and others).
Ogden Nash. Another celebrated author whose work was included in The Fireside Book of Cards.
Stephen Potter. The creator of "gamesmanship" was also included in the Fireside collection.
Dinah Shore. My father wrote a magazine article on Dinah in 1955. This letter is from my father to her, with a short card from her stapled to it.
Risë Stevens. My father, in his article-writing days, wrote a piece about the famous opera singer ("Four Ways to Fame," Redbook Aug-47 p. 26+).
Ed Sullivan. My uncle Ray Bloch, "Flower of the Musical World," was the conductor of the orchestra for all forms of Sullivan's program on radio and TV, which began as "The Toast of the Town" and later became "The Ed Sullivan Show", famous for many appearances, including the Beatles.
DeWitt Wallace. A "rejection letter" from the founder of The Reader's Digest.
Governor/Senator James T. Morehead. In this letter from 1842 the then Senator from Kentucky (my great-grandfather, junior senator to Henry Clay) describes his meeting with Charles Dickens ("Boz"), who was visiting the U.S. (A transcription of the letter is given at the bottom of the page.)
Maurice Sendak. I erroneously received from my publisher NAL (New American Library) a royalty statement intended for the famous author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. I sent the statement on to the proper recipient, who responded with this letter. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the performance of his production of Where the Wild Things Are and consequently never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Ede (Eduard) Remenyi. This famous Hungarian violinist (1828-98) passed through Chattanooga, TN in 1881 and signed my great-grandmother's signature album, with great flourish and humor.
Franz Xaver Scharwenka. Distinguished German-Polish pianist, composer and teacher (1850-1924) also came to Chattanooga, in 1894, and signed my great-grandmother's signature album. I was struck by the entry because the piece he quotes was the first piece in five flats that I learned in my piano studies.