David Goodis story
late husband, Eli Halpern and David were first cousins;
Eli's father and David's mother (Molly Goodis) were
siblings. This was Eli's favorite David story:
During the summer of 1952, Eli was in New York City taking
post-graduate courses. To earn money, he got a job on the
Hudson River Day Line, and worked evenings as a bartender
on ferries that drew their passengers from Harlem.
These were not genteel gatherings; brawls and stabbings
were not uncommon. The young bartenders were instructed to
stay (in relative safety) behind the bar.
One evening, a swarthy man, came out of the sea of black
faces, and ordered a whisky. The conversation went like
Eli (puzzled): David?
David (recognizing Eli): I'm gathering material. Don't tell
And he disappeared into the crowd. And Eli didn't tell
This essay appeared in the GoodisCON program book
photographed this item from the collection of David Goodis
pulp materials. The collection was compiled by Dennis