The Fall of 1977 was showing promise.
I was 25 and had been in New York about a year and had just appeared on a New York Public Access television show.
Sardi’s Restaurant, the theater-district landmark, had lost their doorman of 30 years. They were looking for a replacement and someone saw me on that show.
I took the job. I got a poor fitting uniform, $5/hr plus tips and a 45 minute dinner break with the same cannelloni every night.
I got tired of the cannelloni.
So instead I stood in the back of the Shubert Theatre across 44th Street and caught the same 40 minutes of A Chorus Line.
In those days Sardi’s was the Broadway place to be and a parade of stars walked through my front door every night.
Robert Preston was doing “Sly Fox” at the Broadhurst and instead of the standard 25 cents for pulling the door, he handed me a crisp single every time.
One night, Diana Ross from the Supremes stepped out of a cab while I held the car door, then shrieked “My bag!” as the cab pulled away.
I burst into a sprint in my grey monkey suit, chasing the cab all the way to 7th Avenue. I caught him, jerked the door open and grabbed the glittery clutch still in the back seat.
Trotting back like a golden retriever, I remember thinking “If Preston’s door is worth a buck...?!?”
She beamed and palmed her chest in gratitude. Then took the bag, kissed me dreamy on the cheek and disappeared inside.
Sorry Mr. Preston.
Worth way more than a single.