‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’
By Tom Morrow
During my 40-plus years in newspapers, television, public relations and advertising, I have the good fortune to encounter many famous people. Here’s is one such encounter I had waiting for PSA flight out of Lindbergh Field.
Jack Carter, born June 24, 1922, was a comedian, actor and television personality. Brooklyn-born Carter had a long-running comedy act similar to fellow rapid-paced contemporary Milton Berle.
In 1984, I’m sitting in the Pacific Southwest Airlines waiting area to catch a flight from San Diego to Los Angeles when I realized a very familiar face was sitting alongside. He was frantically searching his pockets for something.
“Buddy, can ya spare a dime?” he asked me. It was famed stand-up comedian Jack Carter. Luckily I did have a dime. He took the coin over to a pay telephone and made a call. When he returned it was time for the flight to board.
“C’mon kid, you’re my valet,” he quickly told me as he faked a “limp” toward the gate. He went up to the agent and informed her I was needed to help him board the plane. I went along with it. We were boarded along with the women and children and had our pick of seats. It was small talk over the next hour, but big in my memory.
Carter hosted an early television variety program called “Cavalcade of Stars” on the old DuMont Network. He was lured to NBC to host his own program titled “The Jack Carter Show.” He made dozens of appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Carter died on June 28, 2015.
GAS-X? —- In light of the state Legislature dramatic gasoline tax increase, one reader made this suggestion for a bit of pump relief: cut the state gasoline taxes.
“The state Legislature could reduce state taxes on gasoline,” he suggested. “It won’t deal with the supply or resource problem, but it would help with our pocket-book shock.”
He added, “As the price of gas goes up, the sales-tax collection increases, so, if the price drops through a tax cut, wouldn’t the rush for full tank resulting in additional sales make up the difference?”
HE SAID IT— Dictatorial 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck once declared he didn’t want to vacation in the Rockies because the climate disagreed with him. Overhearing Zanuck’s remark, comedian Alan Young quipped, “It wouldn’t dare.”
HE SAID IT — “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and the car keys to teenaged boys.” —- P.J. O’Rourke
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