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August 1944

Alcoholics Give Famous Producer Moving Experience

There are a few unforgettable experiences that take permanent place in memory and become a continuing source of enrichment--the first dollar I was given as a child and which I promptly spent on an ugly hassock, as a present for my mother; the day I left home for preparatory school, accompanied by my undemonstrative and taciturn father, expecting some words of advice, but hearing nothing until my foot was on the car step when he said: "Don't make a damn fool of yourself"; the middle-of-the-night visit when the hospital attendants could not keep him out of my room because he had to see for himself that I was alive; the day when as a cub reporter in. Cleveland I established the identity of the mysterious slayer of McKinley; the day just a little later when I was assigned to cover Theodore Roosevelt's hasty inauguration at the Ansley Wilcox home in Buffalo and saw Elihu Root, in tears, administer the oath, nearly everyone in the room crying, but not Teddy; the night my first play opened in New York and was a success; the night I presented John Barrymore in "Hamlet." There are a few more, but in recent years the most unforgettable experience was a meeting at Webster Hall of Alcoholics Anonymous.


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