Sunday, July 16, 2017

#10 Sells-Floto

Jack Dempsey.


mike zim said...

I wonder what those glove extensions are for.

Roger Smith said...

It was a hell of a thrill to meet Jack Dempsey. It was 1974, and I was in NYC on the way to a contract upstate. I had 10 days to myself to explore Manhattan. Jack Dempsey's Broadway Bar was established in 1935, at 8th Avenue and 50th Streets, directly across from the 3rd Madison Square Garden. Expansive murals covered his walls, with almost photographic depictions of the famous people he counted as friends. As I roamed the rooms, taking it all in, I spotted Dempsey at a big table with 4 or 5 obviously well-heeled associates. Then he saw me, and was on his way across the room, his massive hand extended and a big smile on his face. He was known for greeting everyone this way. For a guy my size, Dempsey looked like a giant. I later read he stood 6' 1", but damn, he was big. His hand looked the size of a soccer ball. We shook hands, and he asked if I saw anyone on his walls that I knew. I pointed to the artwork of Clyde Beatty and told him I had worked for him. Dempsey said, "No kidding. You know, that little guy had more raw guts than anyone in the fight business, and a great guy to know. We met at the Garden before I got this place open." Then, his guests rose to leave, and the old champ excused himself to see them off. This done, he turned to wave at me, and disappeared down a hall. It was quite a moment, and none too soon, as later that year Jack Dempsey's closed. Losing the place broke his heart, and for the next decade he was never the same. Dempsey died in New York City, on May 31, 1983, at age 87.

Roger Smith said...

Jack Dempsey's Broadway Bar has been in several movies. Next time you see THE GODFATHER (the first one), look for it when Michael is picked up by Sollozzo, right in front. This is when Michael takes the meeting with this guy and Sterling Hayden's policeman character, and guns them down over their plates of pasta.