The Value Of A Name

autograph

My wife has a cousin who manages Hollywood stars. I’m not going to tell you who she manages because I’m not a name dropper, but I can assure you these people still draw the big bucks. She began her career as a talent coordinator for Mr. Kelly’s night club on Rush Street in Chicago. Mr. Kelly’s is long gone, but her cousin is doing quite well for herself in the world of Hollywood.

Many years ago, she invited us to be her guests for a live show of Jackie Mason doing stand-up comedy. The room was cozy and we sat at a ringside table while Jackie performed. His act was topical humor and it was crisp and hilarious. After Jackie completed his set, he walked off the stage and sat down at our table, next to my wife’s cousin. We made small talk and Jackie asked me how I liked the show. I told him I enjoyed it very much. He asked me if I wanted his autograph. I don’t collect autographs, but didn’t want to offend him, so I replied, ”Sure, I would certainly appreciate it.” He autographed a menu and I put it away and forgot about it.

Time galloped away on me and forty-five years later I was cleaning my shelves (I do this once every forty-five years, whether it needs it or not). Lo and behold, I stumbled onto the autographed menu bearing Jackie’s autograph. I was stunned to see the highest priced item on the menu was $5, and this was filet mignon!

Checking the Internet, I found that autograph collecting is big business, so I ended up phoning the biggest autograph buyer in the business. I hadn’t seen Jackie’s name in the list of highly valued autographs, so I asked him if I was sitting on a gold mine. He laughed and said Jackie Mason was worth $5.  Staggered, but retaining my cool, I told him this autograph was special because it was written on a menu of a now-extinct nightclub, and the highest-priced item was a filet for $5. He said I could stand on my head, and the best he could do was $5.

Nonplussed, I read off some of the celebrities worth hundreds of dollars. He said there was one significant difference: Jackie was still alive. Gosh, what a morbid business. I couldn’t counter that, and thanked him for his time.

I put the autograph away, again collecting dust; it’s in such a good place I’ll never find it. There goes my potentially prosperous autograph collecting career. If I get desperate, keep in mind that I still have that $1.37 I made selling my coins. Five dollars added to that is nothing to sneeze at and with all the dust I collect I have no problem sneezing.

For the continuation of Jerry’s story click here!

(photo courtesy of Nuttapong/ freedigitalphotos.net)

 

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Smiles For All