Feb. 8, 1958
"Paul, I am in financial difficulties. The proffeser gave me a job one day–the best he could do.
"My wife just brought me two big beef sandwitches. A friend of mine who works in a restaurant gave them to my wife.
"The only thing I can think of now is to sell my life story back to
Memphis Ward, Hollywood, for 25 bucks. It would be a payment on another
"Groucho Marx mentioned me in a Saturday Evening Post story last May
without my permission. He did not mention my name but talked about a
taxi driver on his show that crossed the San Francisco Bay without his
"That’s when I had my small amphibious Jeep as a cab.
"Groucho still doesn’t answer my letters to tell me why he doesn’t show the other show of his I was on on television.
"Paul, I challenge Groucho Marx to fight me at Hollywood Legion Stadium, and that is no joke!"
—Parkey Sharkey, Palo Alto Hotel, Palo Alto
Now, Parkey, that’s irrational. you know that Groucho can’t make your weight.
Parkey Sharley? That’s a name that I haven’t seen in print for 50 years. Just like Nature Boy, who lived in a cave in the Hollywood Hills and Gypsy Boots, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore.
Yer pal, Bill Hilser
Parkey Sharkey was real? I read Coates’ Sharkey columns when I was a kid and thought they were his best invention. The obit seems a little incomplete, but I can’t imagine The Times fooling around, as we did on the Examiner. I saw Bill Drummond around the newsroom when I was a Times rimrat, and he seemed pretty serious, too.
–Parkey was real. No kidding!
–Thanks for reading.