Friday, December 08, 2017

Mom Stix, Jeff Bezos, and Jonathan Schwartz (Part III)


[“Part I: Lots of Broken Eggs, but No Omelets” (Part I); and

“Disappearing Red Old White Men (Part II).”]

By Nicholas Stix

Twenty or thirty years ago, Jonathan Schwartz claimed to have spent a year in Paris in 1962, when he was 21.

When I told my mom this, she shot back, “He wasn’t 21, he was 24!”

I have no idea how she knew this, but she was right; Schwartz had fibbed. His birth year is now listed as 1938.

I don’t believe Mom ever met Jonathan Schwartz, but there was only one (or is it two?) degree of separation between them.

My grandfather, Louis Simpkins, had had his own advertising company, which failed during Great Depression I. Jonathan Schwartz’ father Arthur was one half of the songwriting team, (Howard) Dietz & Schwartz.

(Both of my grandfathers were named Louis. For reasons unknown to me, this was a wildly popular name for Jewish boys born in the late 19th and early 20th century.)

While Arthur Schwartz lived off of his music royalties, Howard Dietz never gave up his day job, which was as PR chief at MGM.

The ads (trailer taglines, etc.) for the big studios’ pictures were as stupid as they were insipid and hyperbolic. You’d never know that those departments were at times run by gifted people.

To make a short story long, one time Grandpa Simpkins brought my little girl mom by on a visit to Howard Dietz’ office in New York.

It’s been a terrible week for Jonathan Schwartz. Just a few days earlier, I determined that Jeff Bezos had disappeared one of Schwartz’ wives!

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