Thursday, April 6, 2017
DON RICKLES----I LOVED HIM SO MUCH
LOSING DON RICKLES..............
I HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THAT MY OLDER FRIENDS ARE DYING. IT'S JUST WHAT HAPPENS. BUT IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S HAPPENING EVERY WEEK, AND I'M HAVING TO TURN INTO AN AUTOMATON OF ACCEPTANCE. IF I DON'T, I'LL JUST NEVER GET OUT OF BED AGAIN.
I was a kid out of school when I started at the Hollywood Reporter. My job was to interview celebrities for me daily column. I ONLY really met celebrities, and we formed lasting friendships, even though they were all much older than I was. Your friends become the people you meet and see all the time, and that's what happened.
I had two father figures----Milton Berle (a grandfather figure) and Don Rickles. My father was Milton's lawyer, and I saw him a lot. I would go to The Friars Club in the afternoon on many occasions, and join my fayer and Milton, plus comedy writers like Harry Crane, and I'd listen to them talk. Don Rickles, a mere boy to them, would stop by occasionally. While, Milton counseled me about my father, who had a very problematic wife, Don actually felt like my father. He made me feel loved and treated me in such a special way.
I met Don at his house for our first interview. I knew how funny he was and that his "put-down" humor was all an act. He was actually a very serious, sensitive, sweet man. For our first interview, all we talked about was the holocaust and family. I also visited him in Las Vegas many times, where he would always introduce me from the audience.
The last time I saw him was in 2014, at Melissa Rivers' house for Joan's shiva. He sat in a large chair in the quiet den. Only his wife was there with him. He was extremely upset about Joan, and people would stop in the den, one-by-one to talk to him. I went in and literally sat on the floor by his chair and just held his hand.
My God, how I will miss him.
Love to his devoted, wonderful wife Barbara, his daughter Mindy, and his best friend, Bob Newhart. Now Don can be with his son, Larry. Thank God for that.