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Notable New     Yorkers
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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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so beautiful, all in handwriting. We kept him busy. There was one day when Gene Fowler, one of our authors, who wrote Timberline and Good Night, Sweet Prince, came in with Gabby Hartnett, who was then the catcher and manager of the Chicago Cubs. We were always playing tricks on Pop. I told Hartnett that Pop loved to boast about his short career as catcher with the Dodgers, and Gabby said, “Leave this to me.” We called Pop down. Pop could recognize a big league baseball player three blocks away, and was very excited at meeting Mr. Hartnett! Gabby, who was a very good actor, looked intently at Pop and murmured, “It can't be.” Pop turned very suspiciously to Donald and me. We looked absolutely angelic. Pop said, “Could it be what?" Gabby said, “No, it's not possible.” And Pop said, “What's not possible?" Gabby mused, “Well, there was a fellow named Cerf who caught for the Brooklyn Dodgers some years ago.” My pop drew himself up and said,"That's me. How the hell do you remember that?”

Gabby said, “Mr. Cerf, I'm a catcher. That's my business. I know the name of every catcher that's been with a big league team for a single week. Catching is my business.” Pop was so delighted that Gabby Hartnett had remembered him that we never told him the truth of the matter. Well, so much for that. My father met me in Stockholm and finished the trip with me, and back we came. That was just before I met Sylvia. That was the next memorable episode in my life, which I've told you about. It all began on New Year's Eve of that year. 1935 was pretty much devoted to

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