by PETER BESAS
On April 23 it’ll be one year that the co-founder of the Simesite joined so many other ex-muggs in the Great Beyond. I still remember with a smile that day in London in November 2002 when Rog and I met Jack Kindred at the Atheneaum Hotel on Piccadilly and the three of us went to have a snack and a drink at a nearby eaterie. Since the conversation inevitably turned once again to the latest scuttlebutt about what some of the former muggs were up to, I at one point threw out: “At times I have thought it would be useful to put out some sort of a newssheet about the old Variety and circulate it”. Whereupon Rog immediately countered that what should be done was put up a website. Well, by the time I got back to Madrid, I was amazed to learn that Rog, with the technical help of his son Ian, had already uploaded Simesite into cyberspace, for Roger was always an enthusiastic “do-er”.
The result has been close to five years of often delightful copy and pics being posted on our Site. Lest anyone forget just how many articles, comments and chatter is now contained in the Site, just access the Archive (listed right) or Search buttons and it will jog your memory.
For nearly two decades after Sime Silverman cashed in his chips in 1933, the “boys” on 46th Street, along with many of the leading show biz personalities of the time, each year remembered him by congregating in the former modiste shop that was the Variety headquarters. They then set off in a cortege for the Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn where Sime is buried. We can’t do anything like that for Rog, so let this short note suffice instead to serve as a memorandum from all those who knew Rog and into whose lives he brought a smile and who remember him with fondness.