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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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my name? I'm George Gershwin.” His astonishment and rage and our enjoyment of that I've never forgotten.

We were together in Florida when the banks closed, just after Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as President. George was trying to cash a check at the Roney Plaza Hotel. I came downstairs and heard him screaming at the cashier. They wouldn't cash his check! I came over and said, “What's the matter?" George said, “They don't know that I'm George Gershwin. They won't cash my check.” I knew the girl at the cage and said, “He's a friend of mine. He's a very famous composer.” She said, “Oh, Mr. Cerf, if he's a friend of yours, it's all right.” George got so angry because they cashed the check for me and not for him that he didn't talk to her or me the rest of the day.


Was he ever humming tunes in his mind or did you ever see...?


A couple of other Gershwin stories I'll tell you and then we've got to get on with the Cerf oral history!


Yes. I know.


One of the great stories about George...at a big dinner once, he whipped out a gold cigarette case that a score of famous people had autographed. Apropos of nothing he said, “I want to show you people my new cigarette case.” cerfb.trans.

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