Hello Frisco Hello
The click clack of the wheels on rails lulled Sam to sleep most nights. He willed his mind to remain motionless, so sleep could overtake him. But lately he found a not altogether unpleasant dream creeping in. It was a dog, becoming more real than even the prickling it caused on his skin. And then when the dream precluded sleep, he started with self-questioning, wondering for the hundredth, perhaps thousandth time, why did he sink so low? Of course the Depression was a motivator, but not everyone ended up riding the rails like him, especially when the starting point was in the stars.
The Supreme Sam Lewis, was how he was billed, his name above the show’s Broadway title, proof of stardom. He would serenade with his trumpet and then a spotlight of winking stars, would follow Sam and Alice Faye as they waltzed offstage to an ethereal chorus of Stairway To The Stars. The tux he wore for the finale was an apt garment for the waiting taxis and the silver lady, the hair, the jewelry, the gown! His taxi nowadays, more like Cinderella, was a boxcar, straw for a bed, not caviar from the Stork, but a ten cent sandwich in an all night diner.
The lights had gone out on Broadway Dreams, his musical play, with the onset of the Depression and friends proved as evanescent as these lights when his free flowing money melted away. Some nights he would manage a fifteen cent bed in various men’s shelters, when not riding the rails, but not this night. It was past the ten PM curfew. ~A doorway in an abandoned building would suit for a couple hours’ rest. As his thoughts began blinking out, the dream started again, but NO not a dream! He opened his eyes and stared. There he stood! The large dog of the haunting dream, in the flesh! This dog lowered himself and lay beside Sam, as if he had found a home.
“Well I’ll be snockered” declared William Williams, of the old days. “Where ya been hidin’ Sam? You doin’ a dog act now?” And the talking began until the sky was lightening in the East.
The dog, he had named Frisco, after Alice Faye’s film Hello Frisco Hello, had managed, with William William’s help, to get noticed by a booking agent who had the idea of Frisco for an action film with a dog hero. It was an immediate success with millions of kids plunking down nickels for tickets which would transport them into Frisco’s world of derring-do. Another, another and then more films came along, with money that far outweighed Sam’s Broadway heyday.
They were in talks, the producers, Sam, with Frisco looking on attentively, and William Williams, of course. A book, with movie to follow, was in the works, outlining the magical life of Sam Lewis and the Super Dog Frisco, who was loved by all kids. Frisco’s personal appearances were greeted by thousands of screaming moppets under age 12. But Frisco accepted the adulation like a pro and after all, didn’t he have a silver bowl for his Red Heart dog food now?
Frisco and Sam’s book was on sale at these events at only 25 cents per! “Stairway To The Stars”
Sam’s trumpet played, Alice Faye sang, on their recording of, “You’ll Never Know Just How Much I Love You”, which they dedicated to Frisco, who had brought Sam from degradation to Stairway To The Stars.
Hello Frisco Hello