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has been torn down since, but was then sort of a Toots Shor
bar and grill. In fact, Toots Shor once was the bouncer at
The Tavern. I remember saying to O'Hara, “John, this is a
great day in my life because I think that you're one of the
great authors of America.” John said, “One of the great authors?
Who else?" I said, “Well, Hemingway and Faulkner.” He said,
“Well, I'll buy Faulkner.”
Do you think of him as a very conceited...?
No. No, but he has supreme confidence in himself. I
think he's right. I think John O'Hara is very underestimated
by the literary critics. He gets their goat by his insolent
manners and the fact that he's an utter loner and non-conformist.
He says what he thinks and usually blasts people, but I think
he and I understand each other. Phyllis and I are genuinely
devoted to him.
We've just been down to Princeton Sunday for his birthday
party. He's childish in some ways but he's loyal. Very
endearing to me is the fact that he's the one famous author
we have who follows my personal activities. I can tell you
that pleases me. If I make a speech in Columbus, Ohio, John
knows about it. If I don't mention him, he knows about it.
It's incredible how he follows my activities. Most of the
other authors don't care a rap about my lecturing or TV life.
If they do, they resent it. They think that I should be out
pushing them, not pushing myself. In fact, some of my
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