GOLIATH MEETS DAVID? When I read of the death of publisher Walter
Annenberg it brought back memories. One story -- the one I like best -- has
to do with an old racetrack character named Eddie McCann.
was easy going, well liked and usually very non-confrontational. He spent his
time trying to dope out a winner and telling stories in the press
box between races. Occasionally he would take on work as a stringer for one of
the newspapers to pay a few bills and get a bankroll going again when the horses
had not been kind.
season, while Eddie was doing his handicapping in the press box he started
paying attention to the grumbling he heard from his fellow scribes. They worked
for Walter Annenberg and they felt they weren’t getting their just dues from
the publishing mogul. Usually this kind of talked rolled right past Eddie. He
was not a crusader. However this time, for reasons no one was ever able to
explain, he got interested. Then he got involved. Before anyone realized it,
Eddie McCann had single handedly started a movement to organize the press corps
and the fight to get more money and concessions from Annenberg was on.
was a tough, costly battle. Annenberg had to go to the mat to quell the uprising
and restore order. When the dust settled he was back in control, but it had
taken all of his power to do it.
ever-resourceful Eddie, undaunted by his loss, thought he might be able to
salvage something from the situation. He confronted Annenberg at the next
opportunity and tried to talk the powerhouse into giving him a job.
Eddie went back to handicapping and Walter went back to publishing. But, I’m
sure he never forgot the name of Eddie McCann.
yarn involves Walter Annenberg, Steve Wynn and Gene Kilroy. Back
in 1987 when Gene was working at the Golden Nugget, the billionaire
publisher called to say he was coming to Las Vegas for a visit.
immediately made arrangements for the stay and set up a meeting so Annenberg
could meet his boss, Steve Wynn.
is a graduate of The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, a major
benefactor of Annenberg’s generosity.
expected, Wynn was very impressed with the former ambassador to Great Britain.
But, the ambassador was also quite taken with Wynn. The two found much in common
and a friendship that endured to the end was formed.
A RUMOR! There was a bad story floating around that Carl Icahn blew
nearly $5 million recently betting games in Las Vegas. It seemed like a large
amount of money to lose anywhere, even in Las Vegas. Big bets not in a
pari-mutuel pool are slim and none, especially since most of the stores dread
big action on a man-to-man basis.
I decided to call Icahn. He certainly fits the description of a big bettor.
It’s a pastime for him and the size of the bet has to match the size of his
told me point blank that the story was phony: “I haven’t been in Las Vegas
FOR THE MEMORY! Andy and Frances Jerry, now well-known Las Vegans,
marked their 69th wedding anniversary Oct. 6. The happy couple has been holding
hands all those years. And, unlike another story, if these two lovebirds ever
let go it would only take a New York minute before they embraced.
were wed on Long Island in the town of Lynbrook. Late in life they moved to Las
Vegas and bid farewell to the island.
you kids, don’t do anything you’re not supposed to.