I am still reeling at the sight of those Norman Scherer tapes. What a find for Simesite!
I spent some time last night reflecting on these tapes. The loss of so many good people to either the Cahners corporate machinery or to the grim reaper. The sights that move me especially are of the late Dick Hummler (who led me to Variety in the first place), the late (I believe) Fred Kirby, Peggy and the late Joanie, the late Fred Birnbaum, Nick the Russian in his salad days (a good looking dude in his time), Johnny Madden (who looks almost exactly the same today), the late Norma, et al.
I could go on and on.
I note that relatively few editorial people were caught on the tapes. It was mostly production and ad sales types. Perhaps that’s fitting. The editorialists on the second floor always regarded those on the ground level as thoroughly and rightfully beneath them. What I enjoyed particularly was seeing the physical layout of each floor, and viewing some new corners on the upper floors that I rarely if ever saw. I think I even can spot where my desk — in front of Jose’s — used to be.
Mort Bryer looked a bit shifty in the tapes, but now I understand why. Undoubtedly he was among the first to correctly sense what was coming. I know I was blissfully ignorant at the time in Chicago. Dummy me.
Those seen on the tape are like penned sheep awaiting slaughter.
Both Hawk and Vito seem totally depressed on these tapes. The Hawk waived away the camera in favor of the woman opposite him (I don’t recall who that woman is).
I think it’s safe to say the very soul went out of V the moment it vacated 46th St. Looking back from today’s vantage point, I sadly conclude that the sale was inevitable. What we are seeing on the tapes are artifacts from a truly different media era, one that undoubtedly could not exist today.
Anyway, what a wonderful treasure trove Norman has brought us. The new year can only go downhill from here. I think that for all the mixed emotions these tapes evoke, we should consider ourselves lucky to have seen them, and lived most of our professional lives the wonderful environment that these tapes to some extent bring back.
Let’s lift a glass to Norman.