As an 8-year-old, I wrote a letter to Jerry Lewis.
No one thrilled me more than seeing him on our 12-inch black and white RCA, the "Colgate Comedy Hour" with Dean. There was no one funnier to an 8-year-old and, maybe, I equally flipped for Sammy Davis because, early in his career, he did an impression of Jerry.
Not a normal child, at age 12, I wore a three-piece suit, carried an attache case and had my own "client list."
Once or twice a month, I cut school and either hung out with the black disc jockeys at WHAT radio station, three buses from my home, or hopped the subway and went downtown, visiting the magnificent hotels such as the Bellevue Stratford.
I befriended the doormen. "Anybody famous staying here?" I asked -- and was immediately given a list with...