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Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Very Sad Sunday Morning.

I was watching "CBS Sunday Morning" a couple of weeks ago.
This has always been a very classy program.
Charles Osgood is a very classy host.
It is usually quite upbeat, and a wonderful way to start your Sunday.
But a couple of weeks ago, they did a couple of stories, pretty much back to back,
that left me totally depressed.
They were stories that mourned the passing of two inanimate objects.
I had never seen either of these inanimate objects in person.
Nor did I realize that they were gone.
It took "Sunday Morning to show me and tell me.

One was the S.S. United States.
Our flagship of ocean liners.
I thought it was still functioning.
Still making regular crossings across the ocean blue.
It turns out that it has been sitting in mothballs in Philadelphia since 1969.
Was I the last person on earth to realize this?
They showed what it looks like now.
Paint peeling.
You could barely tell that it was ever painted.
It was like Gloria Swanson's mansion in "Sunset Boulevard"
Then they showed the ship in its heyday.
And boy, was it painted.
It was painted great.
They interviewed a guy who was the head of a restoration committee for the
S.S. United States.
And he wasn't holding out much hope.
I remember when it was first launched.
It was 1952. I was five. And full of hope.
Just like we all were in 1952.
And now, the S.S. United States is just a bucket of rust, most likely headed for the scrap heap.
That's how I started my Sunday Morning.

Then they segued to a segment about the Borscht Belt.
Because there is a show now playing Off-Broadway called "Old Jews Telling Jokes"
Now, you'd figure that this one would at least be upbeat.
And clips from the show were upbeat indeed.
But then, we were regaled with the information that most of the famous Borscht Belt
hotels were gone. Vanished. Destroyed. Rubble.
The flagship hotel of the era, the 50's and 60's, was the Concord Hotel.
Grossingers was a close second.
That's where the Headline entertainment and the best food was.
Grossingers was best remembered for hosting Liz Taylor's and Eddie Fisher's wedding
They're gone now too.
Just as gone as Grossingers.
And I had no idea that these hotels weren't still thriving.
Am I the last Jew on earth not to know this?
I never saw either of these hotels in person.
When my family made our summer excursions to the Catskills, we usually stayed in bungalow colonies.
That was the equivalent of steerage on the S.S. United States.
A few times, we stayed at the grade B Hotels, like the Nevele, the Laurel, and the Pines.
But we never got a whiff of the Concord or Grossingers.
Sunday Morning took a camera to the former site of the Concord.
It was a weedy, dirty, empty field, surrounded by wire fences, which, too, were falling down.
And I wept.
And I wept all the way through "This Week With George Stephanopolous"


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



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  5. I visited Grossingers in 1962. I was only six, but it remains a vivid memory. I vaguely recall Mrs. Grossinger making an appearance at the dinner hour. I also recall having some sort of hamburger steak, done rare. Another memory of a Borscht Belt comic making a joke about a witch (it was Halloween time); unfortunately I don't recall the punchline!

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."