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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Cerf:

No. I was lucky to make it myself. There was room only for me beside the engineer and the fireman. Talk about feather bedding! The fireman sits there doing nothing except to give an occasional encouragement. “There's a green light ahead.” Anybody that can see can see the green light.

Another 1953 episode in my life was totally unimportant but a dazzling experience for me. I interviewed Marilyn Monroe! I told you that I've always had stars in my eyes. The one star I was most anxious to meet in 1953 was America's great sex symbol, Miss Monroe! How was I to meet her and not be murdered by my wife? That was the big problem.

We were going out to the desert for a vacation. We spent several winters at a place called La Quinta, which is near Palm Springs. I got a brilliant idea. I went across the street from my office to Esquire and said that I would like to do an interview with Marilyn Monroe. They said, “We can't afford your prices.” At that time, Esquire was struggling along. I said, “Who cares about prices” I don't care what you pay me. I just want to be officially designated to do the interview.” So we made a big deal, which didn't impress Phyllis at all. My stratagem didn't work. She said, “You went over and arranged all that.” I tried to tell her that they had beseeched me.

At any rate, we got out to the Coast. Marilyn was working for Twentieth-Century Fox. Harry Brand was the head of publicity there and an old, old friend of mine. I told



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