Hornung (859 Views)
Posted by: TGJB
Date: November 15, 2020 10:08PM
So with the death of Paul Hornung, and it being a quiet time in racing (and here)...
Some of you have seen the plaque on the pillar at Siro’s commemorating “Paul Hornung’s last tackle” (yeah, I know). I was there, this is what happened.
Back then in Saratoga I met a couple of horseplayers who turned out to be neighbors of mine in Greenwich Village. Tommy Meyerhoff, along with his dad Harry, owned Spectacular Bid. Lewis Friedman was (among other things) a comedy writer, he ended up writing screenplays, and the monologues for most of the awards shows you’ve seen. The two of them liked to drink, and were the ones who got me started on vodka martinis.
They especially liked to drink in Saratoga, where they teamed up to rent a house every summer. I stayed there a few times, as did David Cassidy, David Zucker (Airplane, Naked Gun, etc.), and various others. (Cassidy was a good guy and one of the least full of crap celebrities you’ll ever meet. And he loved the game. He handicapped using our stuff, and bred and owned horses. He also gave the keynote speech for the Hall of Fame one year, which Lewis wrote— “I want to apologize to my daughter about her college fund, but they say he’s training great”.
But I digress.
So one time (maybe Travers weekend) I’m staying there, as is Zucker. Not sure about Cassidy. And we are all pretty lit up, and end up in Siros, which in those days was pretty happening. (Same people, but 25 years younger).
Lewis and Zucker grew up in Milwaukee, where they went to high school with a bunch of other creative/musician types. They had grown up with the Lombardi Packers, so when we ran into Paul Hornung at the bar— all 300-plus very drunk pounds of him— it was a big deal. They had to take his picture. Then he had to try to take theirs, though mostly he got some shots of his fingers. Then finally he decided to celebrate by picking the waitress Tommy was dating up off the ground and hugging her. Which didn’t work out so well.
He staggered forward with her into Meyerhoff, who staggered drunkenly backwards and crashed through an interior window— there were people having dinner at a table on the other side, and all of a sudden there’s broken glass and Tommy’s ass appearing over their food.
Anyway, nobody got hurt, and Lewis and Zucker had the plaque made to commemorate the “historical site”. That’s the story.