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week--to by this time making $60 a week, which in 1937 was a lot of
money; and sort of managing a whole domain, and having direct access
to the managing editor, who was always very nice to me--I never quite
understood why--but he was a marvelous editor. Your copy would have
gone in, and he'd call you in, and you'd stand in front of his desk,
and he always started off by saying: “Fine story, fine story.” And
then without ever reading the story, he would edit it beyond belief.
He could start rearranging the words and go right through the whole
story, rewrite practically the whole thing, and say: “Thank you,
Andrew, that was very good.” [laughter] You'd sort of stand there
and think: “Oh, all my fine words have been destroyed”, and he says
a fine story.” Very amusing.
What would Longwell's function be in those years?
He was the Jack-in-the-box who dreamt up new ideas, new
departments, new this, new that. Every day he would come in with a
complete change of view about any subject, or you know--“We got to do
this, we must do that”. He was a frenetic character. He had a lot
of good ideas, a lot of terrible ideas, and Billings would sort of
manage to separate the bad ideas from the good ideas, and mostly the
good ones got done--sometimes the bad ones too.
Where did people go to lunch and dinner in those days?
You know, that's funny--I can't remember where I used to
lunch and dinner in the Chrysler building.
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