Kitty Felde |

I used to work for Walter Shorenstein

Back in the dark ages, when I was yet another struggling actress in LA, my day job was collecting rents in the 5900 building on Wilshire Blvd. It's the tall white one across from LACMA. It was the perfect job for someone sneaking out on auditions. We only got busy a couple of days a month, when I'd have to knock on the doors of Bon Appetit and Ogilvy & Mather to collect checks of $50,000 and more. (Five times more than I made that entire year doing Skippy peanut butter and Ford commercials!)

The building was owned by Mr. Shorenstein - in those days with Milton Meyer & Co. I met him just once.

The entire LA office was flown up to San Francisco one year for the company holiday party. I remember the ivory mohair sweater and skirt I wore. We "girls" were told to be on our best behavior as we entered the San Francisco version of our own white high rise. It was decorated with enormously tall trees decked in lights and shiny metal ornaments. The party was packed with men and women in suits. We knew nobody and were too shy to strike up conversations.

At last, the boss himself appeared. I knew nothing of his political or philanthropic activities at the time. All I knew was that I was being presented to Mr. Shorenstein, a man who seemed even back then to be older than my grandfather. He shook my hand, moved on. And so did I.

I wish now that I had met him again in my second life as a journalist. I'll bet he had some wonderful stories to tell about California Democratic politics and fighting to keep the Giants in San Francisco.

Goodbye, Mr. Shorenstein.