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Remembering Larry King

January 30, 2021

Larry King, a superb interviewer, one of the best ever, did so with almost all, who were possible when King walked the earth,  marrying many times.

He gambled, owed, and unlike so many, did the right thing and paid his debts. King stood to the left, (my side) on a superb overnight radio show and “middle grounded” on a more popular, subsequent television one.

One he wanted to interview was Jesus and PERHAPS, by now Mr. King, certainly not a bad man and largely a good and intelligent one, has completed the “other way interview,” with say Jesus, St. Peter or maybe a Talmud scholar or the ubiquitous (on forms) “other,” and made it to a better place.

Mr. King gave me some nice memories, one, as time has passed, the embarrassing one his “exaggeration/perhaps lie” involving Sandy Koufax getting the group to travel a long way for some delicacy, included.

That one first, as I nervously waited for a collector who must have bugged Sandy every day in Vero Beach spring training 1982, for autographs/signed balls et. al, what was I to open with, in an interview with my hero, Sandy Koufax.

I chose the King story, which Sandy said was a “nice” one, but false. I thought Sandy was wrong, but he was right. King made it up.

Again, as time has passed and subsequent questions to Sandy, not all, were much better received, the embarrassment “caterpillars” into better.

Sandy, of course, is a great gentleman and I better find my interview with him and share it in some way.

King’s recollection of the ticker that updated scores in so long ago better times, and its sounds, as he listened to recreations or live reports on his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers’ games will always resonate with me.

He had other, better known stories, such as the appeal he had to a certain woman listener, with his voice and certain tricks thereof.

My best memory involves meeting him, when he hosted an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the great 1951 National League Pennant race.

He was gracious, talking to me and liking that I brought up the “ticker.”

Then, he so deftly shifted into a light “command,” for the few people around him. “A little respect please,” this is Mrs. Gil Hodges, as she walked toward him. King remarked to Gil Jr. that he looked like his dad.

Somewhere there is good, class, intelligence and nice moments. I rarely find them today. That moment and others provided by Larry King, are nice to contemplate, especially on this bitter cold day, a week after Mr. King departed to that “big interview place,” in the sky.

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