Sydney, Jan.30, 2015

I do apologise for being late with this – I don’t tend to check my gmail account very closely during working days but Don Groves prompted me, so my apologies! I always love to see what the muggs have been up to. Hope I’m not too late.

To which PB answered that it was great to hear from him, but that he really hadn’t told us what he’s been up to. Came the reply:

Ooops, quite right. Although I did write it was an unremarkable year! I guess my main activity was activity: embracing training in a gym, a lot, at 52. And as I mentioned, having to learn about serious digital publishing -this isn’t just WordPress! But serious software for a government agency that has a huge international profile. And peer comparisons. And in communications. So I count them as “activities”! And watching my son become a man. You know what that’s like. My activity last year was watching that and learning communication skills I (and everyone) would have had no concept about 10 years ago. Glad you’re still a tough editor, but that’s all I’ve got! Didn’t change my sex, get married (being divorced for 11 years now), traveled to the Himalayas, or met my soul partner! Sorry for being boring!


Madrid, Jan. 12, 2015

Having just returned from a long trip, I found these two late submissions for the Simesite year’s end wrap on my computer. The second of them, from Marge Prezioso, who used to work at the Valley Stream plant in Long Island where the paper was laid out each week, is brief and sad.



Dec. 22, 2014

As we near the year’s end, here is a round-up of what some of the muggs have been doing since we last ran this annual entry. In all, we’ve received 21 replies, which ain’t bad, but is fewer than the previous year.

In the event we receive others in the coming weeks, we’ll post the latecomers in mid-January.

Here, then, in the order in which they were received, are the “magnificent 21”. Be sure to scroll down to the end, where Mark Silverman has included some pics of Syd.


New York, Nov. 11, 2014

Former mugg Fred Lombardi alerts us to a new feature film that is now in release in the States made by a Variety alumnus, albeit one whose tour of duty was only for a few months.

Nightcrawler, written and directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhall and Rene Russo (Dan’s wife) opened in New York on October 31. Dan, the son of the playwright (The Subject Was Roses) and film director (From Noon to Three) Frank Gilroy, worked briefly as a reporter on 46th Street, circa 1986.

I remember Dan as a good guy. He gave me a review copy of a book on John Ford that he had received and I wound up reviewing the book for Variety.

P.S. Fred recently received the longest in-depth critique of his book Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios from the Bright Lights Film Journal, reviewed by its editor Gary Morris. Bright Lights was begun as a printed publication back in the 1970s but, in a sign of the times, now appears only online.



Norwalk, CT. Oct. 10, 2014.


Former Variety sales manager Mort Bryer sent us this amusing contribution of an offbeat sales assignment he undertook in 1979 to darkest Africa. This was during the years when the sheet was expanding prodigiously overseas and special sections were being added zeroing in on areas such as Latin America, Portugal, the Far East, New England, the Magreb, Australia & New Zealand and a dozen other territories around the world.

Here is Mort’s account of the trip: