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I have lost my diaries from the mid 1970s so most of this is from memory and a few things may be wrong but one thing I am certain of is that it was the most perfect ten days of my life.
It started off as a disaster because I knew that since the personal relationship with Bernie was over the business relationship was going to sink also and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I needed to get away and I wanted to run back to where I had escaped from just 5 years before. As Bernie would remind me I left Manhattan with very little and was now a big fish in a small pond.
I had money now so I booked a first class ticket to New York city and booked a room at the Plaza, across from Central Park and facing 5th avenue, both of which were hard to get two days before Christmas Eve. I checked into the hotel, unpacked and decided before I called anyone or did anything I would go down to the Oak bar and restaurant and have a drink. I know what follows sounds like a Hollywood movie script but it did happen. We met ‘cute’.
Sitting at the bar drinking my Haig and Haig Pinch on the rocks a guy sat on the stool next to me and ordered a Haig and Haig Pinch on the rocks. I wouldn’t have stopped myself even if I could but I told the bartender to put it on my tab and the guy and I started to talk. This may sound crazy but I can remember some very intimate details but I have no recollection of his name! Not for any particular reason let’s call him Herb.
Herb and I talked for awhile his telling me he was here for 2 weeks from the mid-west and it was his first trip to New York. I told I had been born and raised here but was now living in Memphis and had lived in Miami Beach during the late 1950s, early 1960s, returned to New York in the 60s and left in 1969. I believe he worked in the automobile industry if I remember correctly. I offered to show him around the city and he thought that would be great.
We decided to have dinner in the Oak Room and afterwards I suggested we take a walk to, what I remember was called the Hampshire Bar on 57th Street down the block from the Plaza. It was known for the recreation of a NorthEastern Storm with all the lighting and noise effects with lightning, snow, rain, thunder, etc., every hour on the hour, on the wall behind the bar. Herb was delighted.
We walked back to the hotel and made plans to get together for a late breakfast and then I would take him sightseeing. Without going into details--that’s another post!--we spent the night together and the next day he checked out of his room and stayed in mine.
(To be continued)

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