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,...

Wonderdrink—A Slow, Sad Farewell

By Nicholas Pileggi New York/World Journal Tribune March 5, 1967 To many native New Yorkers seltzer is the wonderdrink of the Lower East Side and a source of gastronomic nostalgia comparable only to Marcel Proust’s chocolate madeleine. It is a carbonated gestalt, an...

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...

Jerry Lewis, Birthday Boy

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy January 1974 “And then they say, ‘Now, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the star of our show,’ and we both come out and go for the microphone, and you grab it and start right in, ‘Good evening, folks, it’s so great to be here in Miami,’ and I...

The Girls on the Bus

By Mary Bruno New York Woman October 1988 Alessandra Stanley is slumped on a couch in the lobby of the Merrimack Hilton. Amidst the frenzy all around her, she looks like an oasis of repose. But her blue eyes are aggressively alert. They slip and dart like a cat’s,...

Will the Next Lenny Bruce Please Speak Up?

By Robert Ward GQ August, 1984 I remember everything about the first time I heard Lenny Bruce. I was filing records in the Modern Music House in Baltimore, Maryland. They were Miles Davis records, and I was putting yet another copy of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in...

A-Hunting We Will Go

By Donald Hall From The Country of Baseball 1976 Dock Ellis is moderately famous for throwing at batters. On May 1, 1974, he tied a major league record by hitting three batters in a row. They were the first three batters up, in the first inning. They were Cincinnati...

Down and Out in the Minor Leagues

By J. Anthony Lukas Harper’s June 1968 “Ladies and gentlemen, we regret there will be no national anthem tonight,” the public address system announced to 159 ladies and gentlemen and about 9,841 empty seats in Knoxville’s Billy Meyer (pronounced Billa Maahr) Stadium...

I Was a Champion

By Floyd Patterson The American Weekly May 15, 1960 (as told to W.C. Heinz) For almost a whole year I’ve seen it day and night, maybe a thousand times. Me and Ingemar Johansson boxing and Johansson sticking out that left jab and me ducking under it, and then I’m down...

Hot Chicago

By Bill Zehme Vanity Fair November 1984 This year Chicago delivered to Broadway the two most important new American plays of the season, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and David Rabe’s star-studded Hurlyburly. Both plays originated in...

Angry Young Man with a Horn

By Bruce Buschel GQ February 1987 Wynton Marsalis leans forward, peers through his glasses and says with his usual fervor, “People actually want to discuss music with me. Me! Their knowledge of music is so limited that I don’t understand how they even think they can...

Kiss ’n’ Kill

By Judith Rossner The Movies November 1983 Pornography, erotica, fantasies of beautiful women are probably as old as excess energy and leisure time. It was Hugh Hefner’s inspiration to bring them, on a large scale and slickly packaged, into the middle-class living...