I was thumbing through an old magazine when I remembered this one. Don’t think I’ve ever shared it.
Early in the 1970’s at the Boston television station where I worked. The newsroom was on the third floor and we had a lobby receptionist who looked and sounded like Thelma Ritter.
The phone rings at my newsroom desk. It’s the receptionist in the lobby. “Hey, Geeery, got a guest fer ya. An old guy. Odd ‘boid.’ Sez his name is Frankie and he’s gotta book fer ya.”
I was puzzled. Didn’t have any celeb guests booked. Who was this “Frankie?”
“Geeery, Hon. Ya still there? Frankie’s got this book fer ya? Whadda I do, Hon?”
I was still puzzled. I didn’t play the ponies and I didn’t know any bookies. I asked him to send the guest up on the elevator, then I raced out to meet him. The elevator opens and out steps … FRANK CAPRA. I simply stared with my mouth wide open.
Capra laughed at me. “Hi Garry, will you interview me?” Capra continued laughing as I continued to stare.
Of course, we went out for a few drinks afterward. He shared some great stories about working with Harry Cohn at Columbia. Capra had “director’s final cut” in all his contracts.
Harry used to go wild. He wanted a different ending for “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” Frank told Harry where to go.