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#18 The Long Ride

As Andy Heyward weaved his Range Rover through snarled traffic on Fairfax Avenue, it occurred to me this was the first time in my young career as a television writer that I was in over my head. Me, who never blinked as he was trained in the Air Force to be lowered out of helicopters to pick up downed pilots. Me, who smiled and warmly shook hands with Mario Puzo and chatted about how much I enjoyed his The Godfather when I met him at G.P. Putnam’s Sons offices, my own novel six months away from its pub date. Me, who calmly turned to Frank Sinatra, our tables side by side at Michele’s at the Colony Surf in Honolulu, to tell Old Blue Eyes how much I’d enjoyed his concert a few months earlier in Chicago.

This was different. I’d only written two scripts for The Littles. Heck, I’d only written two scripts for TV! What was I doing going to CBS to meet with Judy Price?!

I glanced at Andy on his car phone as he stopped at Melrose Avenue. He moved his hand over the phone and said, “You’ll be fine.” The light turned to green, and he started driving, adding, “Just try to sound intelligent.”

I wasn’t quite sure how to take that. Instead, I asked, “Who are you on the phone with?”

When he answered, “Jean” and I sighed and said, “Great…” Ahead I could see CBS Television City sprawled across twenty-five acres of prime L.A. real estate. “Just great,” I repeated under my breath.


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