Page 12 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 12

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020

                The  second  instance  of  stardom  is  when  I  appeared  on  The  Ed  Sullivan
                Show as a member of The Port Chester Senior High School Choir. Sullivan
                had been involved somehow with Port Chester Senior High  and he decided
                to do his own biography on television, so he invited the high school choir
                to  perform.  In  addition,  I  believe  he  was  currently  living  in  Port  Chester.
                People saw him at one of the Catholic churches. The Choir sang "Beyond
                The Blue Horizon" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." It was, as Sullivan used

                to say, "a rilly big shew," with Bob Hope, Pearl Bailey, Smith and Dale (Neil
                Simon's "Sunshine Boys"), and others. Everyone looked at least ten years
                older than they did on TV. I remember having to stand for a long time under
                the  hot,  bright  lights.  More  recently  (1991),  my  friend  Ishmael  Reed
                generously  described  me  in  Time  magazine  as  a  "literary  luminary"  of
                California.  When  Ishmael  told  me  what  he  had  done,  I  was  so  surprised -
                flabbergasted -that  the  only  thing  I  could  think  of  to  say  in  reply  was,  "In
                1955  I  was  on  The  Ed  Sullivan  Show."    Ishmael  waited  a  beat  and  said,
                "You've topped it."

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