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Richard Smiraldi

After having graduated from a small college in Westchester with a degree in English literature, I moved into Manhattan in order to find a life of which to write about. I was young and eager. I wandered around the town with only F. Scott Fitzgerald to guide me. Most of the places he mentions in his novels no longer existed, like Club El Morrocco, which at the time I was there, had become a trendy rave bar. I spent a good deal of time at The Plaza Hotel Oak Bar but I never really was able to meet anyone who could help me with my quest to become the greatest living American novelist. I donned the attire and the snappy pseudo-British dialect that is common in so many of the 1930's flicks I enjoyed and in no small time at all I found my self in the company of Janet Sumner, a dowager from Gramercy Park. She took me all about the town and introduced me to "society." It was wonderful. I tried for a time my hand at Art dealing, but I was never so good at selling those contemporary artist's works at $14,000 a piece, which I detested myself. I would say things like,"It reminds me of a dream I had in my childhood." But what I actually meant was "a nightmare!" I had my share of billionaires come after me with their eager glares, attempting to bed me or wed me, male and female. But some small town scruples kept me from ever taking them up on it. Offers, I've had many, but never was I able to take a single one. And so my youth was swallowed in the bottom of a bottle of gin - good gin mind you. The years went by and I meandered from temporary administrative assistant job to job. Eventually one company sent me for graphics training and I developed into a graphic designer. I still enjoyed for a few seasons the private club life that exists in New York City, such as National Arts Club, Salmagundi, Century, Union League, New York Athletic Club or that wonderful club at fifth and 60th street- Metropolitan. Those of you who are familiar with club life will know of what I speak. It is a very e,lite regal and dignified world. You'd better put on your patrician best! I went from ball to ball and pillar to post. I had a wonderful time in Tarrytown on Cobb lane at The Davis', or at the Rockefellers. A few times I went yachting with one of the Hughes. And now there's a movie out, go figure!

Yes, it would seem I was finding a world to write about. I plummeted for a season and hung in the village at Dixieland jazz bars, piano bars, and any nightclubs where talent lie. I think I was searching for Jack Kerouac. But where have all the beatniks gone?

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