I wasn't the ideal son-in-law. Sherman used to say I was like fine wine: I didn't travel well. But we were very, very fond of each other. It was hard seeing him at the end, when his cancer had robbed him of much of his resilience, because he was one resilient guy.
He also had opinions, and wasn't shy about sharing them.
"Sherman, what did you think of that new play everyone is raving about?'
And that novel we suggested?"
But what he loved, he loved deeply and fiercely. He loved his family and friends, and was well loved in return. He was so proud of his daughters; I'll always be grateful for his part in creating those two wonderful women.
Sherman liked to name-drop as much as the next guy. He used to play in Jackie Gleason's orchestra, and liked to tell the story of how Gleason magnanimously paid for his wedding party. I watched the Gleason show as a kid--I got a kick out of the opening overhead shot of the June Taylor Dancers on the floor, splayed out in radial symmetry like a kaleidoscope. Little did I know I was listening to my future father-in-law.
Gleason had two catch-phrases on that show: "And away we go," was one. I think Sherman, looking back at the totality of his long and rich life, would have echoed the other: "How Sweet it Is."