Happy birthday, Peter Marshall!

peter-marhsall-book“Sharing is caring!”  I always like that saying from first grade.  Not always true…I mean, keep your flu to yourself.  And when did the “average” sneeze become a menace?  One sneeze and you can push back a crowd o’ folks at least 10 feet—even in a five-foot elevator.

Remember when “gesundheit” was an expression of concern? It was said to wish good health upon the one who sneezed. Today, it’s said like an accusation. It might as well be “guess who’s leaving!”  We also used to say “God bless you” which now is more like “God bless my strength to not run away screaming.”

But I digress, as I always like to do.

The sharing (and caring) I wanna do is to let you know my friend Peter Marshall turned 90 on March 30.  I grew up with him being “Super King Set Up Host and Response Master” for the game show “Hollywood Squares,” but never knew his showbiz credentials until I worked with him years later. Movies, TV, Broadway, and a comedy team in the ’50s, Peter did it all. He’s an author, too.  Just check his Wikipedia entry.

Once in Palm Springs, when I was his opening act (one of many times), he introduced me to one of his friends. “Hey, you wanna meet Jerry?” Peter said.  “Sure,” I responded, not knowing exactly which Jerry he meant.

Fortunately, I had a solid show and former president Gerald R. Ford moved his Secret Service folks out of the way to shake my hand while saying “I haven’t seen Betty laugh that hard in a long time. Thanks for that.”

Apparently Mr. Ford and Mr. Marshall were playing golf the next day and needed to talk tee times, but I got in that intro before the consequential stuff started.  Also, Peter’s manager Glo Burke urged me to hurry up and marry the woman I was dating after hearing me talk about her. I did! But that’s about me, and this is about Peter.

I crossed paths with Peter many times over the years on ships, at corporate events, and at a few social events I was lucky enough to not be kicked out of. At every encounter, I was reminded what an incredibly kind, professional, funny, and talented act he is. And a caring and attentive husband as well. Peter’s wife Laurie was at most every event.

Peter Marshal is just as warm and witty in person as he was on TV. That’s rare—and wonderful.  Thank you, Peter, for so many great years and great memories.