By Matthew Silverman

I stopped in to see Larry and Virginia in western Massachusetts in 1988, just after graduating with a B.A. in English. I was having trouble not just finding a job, but finding someone to provide an interview. Larry and Virginia did so, even though there was no job available at the Shelburne Falls & West County News, a 3,000-circ weekly tucked in the northern Berskhires between Springfield and the Vermont border. Shelburne Falls was a small town but a nice town. Still, I wondered why anyone would move there after living in Washington and New York City. When the newspaper’s one-person editorial staff quit and they unexpectedly offered me a job, I got to answer the question myself.



By Marie Silverman Marich.

It has been about a year since Syd Silverman, our family’s beloved patriarch and long-time publisher of Variety, departed this earth. To say that Dad has been greatly missed would be an understatement. Here are some thoughts (taken from the eulogy I delivered at his memorial service) on the wonderful man I was lucky and proud to call my father.

For many people, Variety was a family. Dad was well-known for never breaching a confidence, and he heard plenty over the decades. He never wanted to embarrass or humiliate anyone. The few times he had to let someone go, Dad did it quietly and without drama or hysteria.

He was no drama king himself, but Dad was surrounded by drama at work. Variety could be a pretty dramatic place, populated as it was by some very talented and eccentric people for whom the office was a home away from home.

Dad enjoyed those Sunday lunches at the Gaiety delicatessen and Tuesdays at Balan Graphics where Variety was printed. Laying out the paper in the morning and putting it to bed late at night were part of his job for many decades. He never seemed to get tired of it. In fact, the later it got, the more energized Dad got.

My husband Bob, our son Nick, and I were privileged to have spent both quality and quantity time with Dad in in the last two months of his life. Though frail at age 85, he was still Dad, tall and slim with those grasshopper legs and always dressed impeccably. He might not have said much, but he was always listening.

Throughout his long life, Dad was known as the quintessential gentleman. And I do believe that he is dwelling in the house of the Lord forever with Mom and his cherished loved ones.

In conclusion, I will close these reflections with words from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” that always make me think of Dad: “Good night, sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest…”


White Plains, NY Aug. 26, 2018

“A Yank in Franco Madrid” by Peter Besas

Reviewed by Bob Marich

Variety’s long-time Spain correspondent Peter Besas provides dry wit and keen insight on cultural frailties from decades traveling both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in his new book A Yank in Franco Madrid-1959-1975. The English-language memoir also recounts some of the quirks of the old Variety.



Madrid, Dec. 31, 2017

Here we are at the end of yet another year, and many folks will be celebrating at the stroke of 12, though I never could quite understand why they do so on New Year’s Eve. In our case, maybe we should do so just to feast our still being around. Ditto for the continued existence of Simesite.

This year we have managed to receive a total of 19 submissions. Though there are some notable absences from those still above the ground, it once again shows that there are plenty of muggs out there that appreciate keeping on touch, at least once a year, with each other.