|Poster © Aaron Van Fossen, UNI student designer (2014)|
Lewis's life was in a mess. But I was to have a marvelous summer, oblivious of his suffering. He never took a single drink while I worked for him; I remained in total ignorance of his history [of alcoholism]. I saw a surface that was gentle, kindly, boyish, and vividly entertaining. He treated me as a young friend, insisting that I call him Red. My work was fun. Taking his rapid dictation and reading it back to type it was like doing a crossword puzzle: I caught every fourth word with a squiggle of Gregg [shorthand] and had to figure out what went between. "If you want my autograph," he would dictate in a note to a fan, "you must send me a self-addressed envelope with a postage stamp on it"—chuckling at the idea that I would have to address an envelope and put a stamp on it to send the note.