Sammy Davis Jr. - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

by Paula Bloom
(Philadelphia, PA)

Way back in 1971, when I was in high school, my girlfriend and I skipped school for the day to go see the Mike Douglas Show. It was a talk show that was produced in Philadelphia, my home town. That day, Sammy Davis Jr. was the guest star. We watched the taping of the show. After the show was over, as we were leaving the studio, we saw Sammy Davis Jr. and his small entourage, enter a restaurant. Being the star-struck teenagers that we were, we also entered the restaurant to be near him. After his meal, he departed the restaurant, but left his hat behind on the back of his chair. We grabbed it! I can still remember the feel of the heavy black material, the crisp curves and the silky lining of his fedora. We held the hat and followed Mr. Davis as he walked down Walnut Street to his hotel. We wanted to return it to him, but we were too afraid to approach him, so by the time that we mustered up the nerve to talk to him, he had already entered his hotel and disappeared on the elevator.

Holding his hat in hand, we didn't know what to do next. So we went to the desk clerk to ask for his room number to return the hat. Needless to say, the desk clerk would not disclose his room number and was a little leery of the "hat story." We didn't want to just hand it over for the hotel personnel to return, so after a little persuasion, the clerk called his room and explained that "two young ladies" found his hat and wanted to return it in person. We were allowed to go to his room with the hat. Mr. Davis opened his door and we handed him the hat. I don't think that we uttered a word to him because we were so nervous. He took the hat and thanked us very much.

Sammy Davis, Jr. made two starry-eyed girls very happy that day and gave us a memory that will last us forever.

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