Thursday, February 01, 2007

Jeff Page

He's retiring from the Bergen Record.

I met him years ago, when both of us worked for Ralph Ginzburg. Was it Moneysworth we were writing for?

Very handsome young man. Blond. Open and easy-going. He did good work, too, researching stories. His predecessors had been losers.

I came in one day. "I fired Jeff," Ralph said. I was shocked. "You didn't like his work, right?"

I was immediately depressed. Now I had more work to do.

I guess that was one of Ralph's motivations: Get me to do more work. Also, a need for variety and change in his life--he fired people left and right. There was actually an office pool on how long a new hiree would last!

(One person who worked as a secretary for us: a woman who became famous as a comedienne. I'll insert her name when I remember it.) (Lily Tomlin.)

Anyway, years later I applied for a job at the Bergen Record--having worked there before. Jeff Page was already working there--and kept insisting that I had fired him! But I think I finally persuaded him that I had had nothing to do with it.

A memory:

Jeff told me (when we worked for Ginzburg) that he had been walking in NYC when a young man came up to him and said, "Are you Jeff Page?" Yes, he said. The man then screamed and ran away. Page was upset and disturbed. I told him: A friend had seen him, and prompted his own friend to do that--as a joke.

Jeff was grateful for my explanation.

But when I reminded him of it years later, he didn't remember.

He wasn't as good-looking during his second incarnation in my life, but he was still an easy-going, affable person.

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