January 31, 2007
SIDNEY SHELDON 2/11/17 – 1/30/07
I became friendly with Sidney Sheldon in the 80’s, when I was hosting Genghis Cohen, the Chinese restaraunt I named for my friend, Allan Rinde. Although it was starting to become a trendy hangout for the “Brat Pack”, Hard Rockers, Country divas, and Pop Icons it was Sidney who started bringing “Classic Hollywood” through it’s doors!
I couldn’t help getting excited everytime Sidney made a reservation! He always was in the company of the most interesting people in the World! Among others, he introduced me to Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, US Ambassador John Gavin and international financier Marvin Davis. He always treated me like his guest as opposed to a guy working in a restaurant. Although I acted like I owned the place, I wasn’t one of Allan’s partners. Sidney knew this and after leaving a generous tip for the staff, which I didn’t particpate in, he’d slip a fifty or a hundred dollar bill in my pocket before he left!
When he started throwing big dinner parties at the restaurant, I felt honored and flattered that he asked me to put them together for him and privately host them. When he said he’d leave the menu up to me, I had to confess that I didn’t know shit about Chinese food and it was Allan’s choice I was hawking! He laughed and said he trusted me to take care of everything…and I did!
Although I was familiar with the TV shows he created, “I Dream Of Jeannie”, and “The Patty Duke Show, I never read one of his super successful novels, “The Other Side Of Midnight”, “Master Of The Game” or “Rage Of Angels”. Just knowing, however, that he became a novelist after the age of 50 has been an inspiration to me and thousands of writers all over the world!
Although he won an Academy Award, a Tony, and A few Emmys, I’ll always remember him as one of the humblest, most genuine people I’ve ever known with an incredible work ethic. The biggest tip he ever gave me, came after his passing…and through a newscaster who quoted his philosophy, “Don’t talk about writing…Do it!”
I’m doin’ it, Sidney…Thank You! R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity!
From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
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For more of Sidney Sheldon’s philosophy, bibliography and list of credits and awards http://www.answers.com/topic/sidney-sheldon