Issue: 13.01
e-mail me e-mail Brian
Hi Gang, and greetings from Hollywood!

Shalom, Gang.

It’s like the end of an era for me. Probably for us all. Michael’s passing left me speechless. In the years I knew him he always seemed a little larger than life, an immortal of a fashion; like so many of my friends from the old days. To have known him was to love him. His character, his compassion and above all, that indefatigable sense of humor. I remember connecting with Michael while I was feeling particularly nostalgic, missing the old days at Grossinger’s where I had performed in the 70s. In my research I FOUND AN ARTICLE Michael had written for the Megillah, and wrote him. That was, to quote Bogart, “The beginning of a beautiful friendship.” My God, the hours we spent swapping stories! We laughed, we cried, and we shared. It was glorious.

Then, when he asked me if I’d write "Backlot", I was so farklempt, I nearly plotzed! I’d never written a column before, but Michael nurtured me and guided me, giving me an education in ‘Journalism 101’ that six years in college couldn’t have matched. But that was how Michael rolled. Nothing was too big for him to tackle nor too small for him to care about. His generous spirit and his big heart were an inspiration to, I would argue, us all. I know I benefited immeasurably from knowing Michael. If I learned anything at all from Michael it was to never let things stop you. He was a fighter, albeit a gentle one. His weapons of choice were intelligence and charisma. With those attributes, one can overcome just about anything.

I’m not going to say “Goodbye” to Michael. Partly because I still haven’t accepted his being gone, and partly because I know that any time I’m feeling inadequate or unsure, I’ll hear his voice urging me to press on. I’m sure he’ll be watching over us all. I hope so; God, but I hope so.

I’ve missed writing my column for the Megillah, and I’ll probably always miss it. I was in grand company with all of you. It was an honor and a privilege. I wish everyone every good fortune in the future. And, I ask you all to keep Arnold in your prayers. As painful as Michael’s passing is for all of us, I can’t begin to imagine what Arnold is enduring. Arnold, you’re a great man. You made someone we all loved very happy, and for that, you have my respect and affection. I especially wish for you, happiness and peace.

And now, for that last time, my Megillah family….Shalom, Gang!

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