Monday, July 20, 2009

What's My Line

In July 1962 Bennett Cerf went to Oxford, Missisippi for the funeral of William Faulkner. Both men were 64. The townspeople were sullen and unfriendly, and Faulkner’s relatives at the house treated the New York publisher with suspicion bordering on hostility, until one of them recognized Cerf as a panelist on the Sunday evening television program “What’s My Line.” Suddenly everyone wanted to be his friend. Among the other mourners was novelist William Styron, whose account of the funeral appeared in the July 20th issue of LIFE magazine. Faulkner appears six times in A Book of Ages, Cerf twice, Styron once.

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