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Monday, August 17, 2015


There is this great dramatic series on Showtime called "Ray Donovan".
It stars Liev Schrieber, and Jon Voight has a major supporting part and is magnificent.
Schrieber plays Donovan and there is another actor who plays one of Donovan's brothers.
The character's name is Bungie.
It's astounding to me how events from one's past get triggered by something as seemingly insignificant as a character's name.
When I was a child, until my mid-twenties, my parents were friends with a couple from Boston, Bernie and Blanche Stone.
We would visit each other when we were in Boston, or they were in New York.
My memories of Blanche are rather vague.
But my memories of Bernie are totally vivid.
Bernie was one of my favorite people of all time.
He was a contemporary of my fathers.
I think that he was a little older.
If he's still alive, he'd be in his late 90's.
Bernie owned a record store in the late fifties.
He gave me my first Victrola when there were such things.
And my first record----David Seville's "Witch Doctor"
I loved Bernie.
He didn't have to do any of that to make me love him.
He was easily the most charming, engaging man I'd ever met.
And the Boston accent didn't hurt either.
After the Beach Boys, he stopped selling rock and roll records.
This coincided with my turning my ears off to rock and roll.
Obviously, Bernie was not without influence.
Bernie and Blanche had these friends, a couple who they'd often refer to as "Bunny and Gyawdge"
I don't specifically remember Bunny and Gyawge, but they remembered me.
Apparently, I was very appealing to them as a child.
I was an adorable baby, after all.
One thing I am certain of, is that their names were "Bunny" and "Gyawge".
They were never anything else.
But my mother, in her totally predictable way, once she mispronounced somebody's name, it remained that way for the rest of their and her lives.
No amount of correcting could make a difference.
I had a childhood friend named Steven Dezorett.
His mother played mah-jongg with my mother.
It didn't matter.
He was Steven Gazoreth, and his mother was Norma Gazoreth
And that was it. Forever.
I don't know if Norma ever had the need or desire to correct her.
If she did make the effort, it didn't take.
In the same tradition, it was never "Bunny and Gyawdge".
It was rather "Bungie and Gyawdge".
Nobody else ever called her 'Bungie".
Only my mother.
And everyone involved were way too polite to correct her.
Or maybe they, too had tried and failed.

The last time I saw Bernie was in Florida.
Bernie had retired to West Palm Beach.
I had gone with my parents to Nassau in the Caribbean to play Blackjack and brought them along.
And on the way back, I stopped off in West Palm Beach primarily so I could see Bernie again.
He was part of the agenda.
Also part of the agenda was seeing my Aunt Myrna, my mother's older divorced sister, who lived there.
Bernie had become a widower by that time.
And I knew a set-up was in the works.
I also knew it was a complete mismatch.
My Aunt Myrna was a complete loon.
The apple doesn't fall far from the other apple.
My mother was in the last six months of life, having suffered the ravages of cancer for about fifteen years..
My Aunt Myrna literally threw herself at Bernie, honestly thinking that she had a shot with him.
Bernie could not have handled it more deftly, with more aplomb.
He just oozed charm.
And my parents and I bore witness to all of this.
And of course, my mother did not check her "Bungies" at the door.
She was Bungie-ing all over the place.
It was "Bungie this, and Bungie that, here a Bungie there a Bungie, everywhere a Bungie, Bungie"
And Bernie just indulged her.
My Aunt Myrna actually had a boyfriend at the time.
His name was 'Bucky".
As Aunt Myrna started to realize that she was striking out with Bernie, she picked up the phone, and in an apartment way too small to provide any privacy, she got into a shouting match with Bucky which was way too embarrassing for all concerned.
Except for Aunt Myrna.
This was apparently standard operating procedure.
She even implied that there was someone "new" in her life, meaning Bernie.
This too rolled completely off of Bernie's back.
So now, when I watch "Ray Donovan" and Bungie is either addressed or referred to I am reduced to helpless snickering.

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".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. My Irish-Catholic mother had quite a bit in common with your mother.
    Mom heard and saw things in her own way, none more so than people's names.
    When we were watching TV, she always liked to point out her favorites, like 'Andy Griffin'.
    And that great character actor, 'Clu Gallagher'.
    And that other great character actor, 'Victor Bruno'.
    And Julie London's husband, 'Bobby Thorp'.
    And many, many others.
    And of course, Dad and the rest of the family ... we just smiled.
    I guess it's a universal thing (it might even be paramount).
    Your Jewish mom - my Irish-Catholic mom.
    It sometimes works out that way.

    By the way -
    That character on "Ray Donovan" is named 'Bunchy'. (I looked it up at the website.)
    Congratulations, Mark.
    You have officially become your mother.
    Welcome to the club.

  2. It's close enough. Cut me some slack. His name didn't appear anywhere.
    It sounds like Bungie to me.
    I think were picking nits, here.

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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."