is Duchess. She
joined me in Miami Beach. Her photo is
here because she was a part of P.J. Clarke's history. You can read about her
in another part of my web site. She and Skippy, P.J. Clarke's guardian,
became great friends. If Skip didn't like your dog it wasn't welcome in P.J.
The first trip to New York with
Duchess was around 1959-60. We were out for a walk from our hotel, the Great
Northern on 57th Street, and wandered into P.J. Clarke's. I didn't know about
Skip, but the two of them met and it was love at first site. I had a lady
friend who had a beautiful German Shepard and couldn't bring him into the
bar because Skip didn't like him. She was furious, After the first visit we
became regulars whenever we were in New York.
P. J. Clarke's on Third Ave. in New York City was one of my favorite places;
learned that it was also one of
Frank Sinatra's favorite. The
fall of 1960, I was sitting at a table with my dog, Duchess, who was eating a
hamburger under the table. PJ Clarke's had a dog named Skip. Skip and
Duchess were great friends, therefore Duchess was permitted in the restaurant.
One morning, around two Sarah
Vaughan came in with a group of people. When she saw me, she
came over to say "hello" and to pet Duchess; she and Duchess were good
friends. She invited us to join her group.
Syd Shaw and a couple of other people, were in the group. I was
introduced all around and sat with Sass. Later, we left PJ's and went up to
Johnny's apartment to listen to his latest record.
A few days later I had a message at my Hotel from Johnny,
inviting me to go hear Adam Wade at the Roundtable. People said Adam sounded
like Johnny, so Johnny wanted to hear him.
That night I met Adam and Helen Noga,
Johnny's Manger. Syd Shaw was there and we had a good conversation about the
music business. Some years later, Adam and I became close
friends through a mutual friend, Maria de Aragon. We performed in a play he
wrote, The Dancer; his wife directed it.
Also, Syd Shaw and
I became good friends. Years later he wrote an act for my wife, Paula
Samonte, who was and is a fantastic singer, Syd did not want to hear her
because of our friendship, he didn't want to hurt my feelings if she didn't
meet his standards. Finally, I got him to go to a club in Astoria where she
was appearing, and when he heard her, he flipped. Syd wrote an act for her
and we recorded her using Sarah Vaughans' band.
LOUIS TROISI &
Shorter fellow is Louis
Troisi, "Hurry up, Louis". Best of the bartenders who worked the front room
at night. Came from Mike Quinto's Michaels II bar where high brows mingled
with low brows in late 50's and early 60's. He has retired to New Jersey.
Taller fellow is Bill
Grennan, wonderful fellow who worked the front bar many years. Also retired,
living in Florida.