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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Interview #4
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
October 4, 1967


...Arrived in Paris I headed for a little pension on the Left Bank. It was right around the corner from La Ronde and all those famous 1920's saloons at the corner of Montparnasse and Raspail Boulevard. I knew Manuel Komroff, the Liveright Manufacturing man, was there, along with a young man named Jack Clapp, who was a salesman. We had a happy reunion. Then I was called for by Dick Simon and Henry Sell, editor of Town and Country, and got my first look at Paris after dark. I came home, I remember, in a taxicab by myself, trying out my very sketchy French. When I came to the house the taxi driver tried to tell me that after midnight the fare was doubled. We began having quite an argument, and the window opened and Manuel Komroff and Jack Clapp leaned out of the window and said, “Don't let him get away with it.” Finally I gave him what the meter read and added a ten percent tip. He promptly threw the money in my face and drove off in a rage. When I came upstairs, my two dear friends told me he was absolutely right--the fare did double after midnight. I'll never forget. That was my first night in Paris. If I could have found that taxi driver to apologize, I would have.

I next discovered that there was only one bathroom, although there about 14 rooms in the place. I thought, “My God, this is going to be absolutely terrible, only one bath tub.”

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