Catherine the Great

By Joan Juliet Buck Vanity Fair April, 1989 “Do you blow your money? I mean, just blow it?” she asked. “There’s a vertigo in going too far—the thrill that produces—especially if it’s likely to put you in an impossible situation. And then, cash worries are easier to...

Cher And Altman on Broadway

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine February 1, 1982 Cher had been careful to chew two of the quarter-size vitamin pills before swallowing them, she says, but they tasted so bitter that she decided to down the third one whole. It jammed, horizontally, in her windpipe,...

On Revision

By Nora Ephron From Nora Ephron Collected November, 1986 I have been asked to write something for a textbook that is meant to teach college students something about writing and revision. I am happy to do this because I believe in revision. I have also been asked to...

Swifty Lazar Is a Big Deal

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine July 18, 1983 The beautiful lady and the reporter sit facing each other on wicker sofas in the lady’s small but elegant Los Angeles office. They are silent, sheepish, like schoolgirls who have been collared in the hall by a teacher...

A Last Good Place to Live

By Chip Brown Harper’s February 1992 From the outset the deaths had come in flurries, often at night when the house was hushed, and so it was no surprise last May that when Bill died Hector followed on his heels, and then Harvey, and then Jack. The news was posted in...

The First Church of Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer

By Lawrence Wright Rolling Stone December 13th-27th, 1990 “I had meant to time the closing of the door with a subtle emission of a fart,” my guru said as he pulled shut the door to his room at the Holiday Inn in Oxford, Mississippi. “Evidently my timing was off.” He...

Who the Devil Is Fred Rogers?

By John Sedgwick WigWag November, 1989 Up close, the set for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood seems to belong to a high school stage production, not to a television show beamed out to 290 stations across the United States. Erected in spacious Studio A of Pittsburgh’s...

Oh, You Beautiful Doll

By Jennifer Allen Life December 1981   At rush hour on this dusky autumn afternoon taxis and buses clog the streets of lower Manhattan; the sidewalks are jammed with weary workers heading home. But it’s business as usual here in the executive offices of LJN Toys....

Seven Scenes From The Life of A Quiet Champ

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports June, 1980 “I don’t ever want to fight Ali. Ali’s a legend, I’m hoping he retires. It would be a lot of money [for an Ali fight], but money isn’t everything. When Ali dies, people going to remember him being more than a fighter…”  ...

Holed Up With Nolte

By Fred Schruers The Movies November 1983 “Come on in.” Nick Nolte is planted on the overstuffed couch that is one of three surviving pieces of furniture in the sitting room of his hotel suite. Wisps of acrylic batting, thousands of them, dot the blue rug and cling to...

James Earl Jones At Bat

By Helen Dudar The New York Times March 22, 1987 Just before the opening night curtain rises on Fences on Thursday, a voice in the corridor will call “five minutes,” and James Earl Jones will make his way to the darkest corner of the stage. There, he will stand, rapt,...

Where Have You Gone, Mickey Mantle?

By Bruce Buschel Atlantic City Magazine April, 1984 You smell hot dogs and beer. You feel the anticipation. Men sport bright caps with fancy insignias. Women wear shiny team jackets two sizes too large. Kids struggle with long leather mitts. They hand over their...