As I sit here typing my mind is still in a whirl. The idea that something I've written is actually getting published seems unreal. Then again a lot of things I've done in my long life feel that way.
The first time I stepped out onto a stage in vaudeville to play a part in one of the Marx Brothers routines I felt the same way. I'd been helping out in their rehearsals and knew the routine by heart, so when Gummo wasn't able to appear with his brothers one night, I was drafted then and there. I'm proud to say that I did not suffer stage fright, but that was mostly because I had Julius, Arthur and Leonard with me. I knew they had my back and I wasn't about to let them down. In a way, it was like being back in the Union Army, where I knew I had a bunch of guys watching out for me just as much as I was keeping an eye out for them. When we finished our routine they made sure I took a bow with them. After that I started finding myself on stage a number of times with some of the other acts who knew me pretty well.