American Original: A Life of Will Rogers

By Ray Robinson | Go to book overview
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Best Pal

Will never stayed in one place long enough to make any firm friendships. He must have figured he didn't need close friends because he had Betty, as good a pal as a man could have. But aside from Betty, it was a versatile actor, Fred Stone, who became the closest pal and confidant. Trying to explain why Stone became so important to him, Will speculated that it was because Stone only got as far as the "Fourth Reader," while he only reached the "Third." "That's why I think we always hit it off so well, because neither was liable to use a word which the other wouldn't understand," he said.

Will had developed a great admiration for Stone even before they met. When Stone played the lead on Broadway in The Red Mill, Will took Betty to see the successful musical. It was only a matter of time before their paths would cross.

Life remained busy for Will in the months after Clem's death. He was still throwing around his spontaneous comments, off-the-cuff jokes, and stingless barbs, although his barbs weren't always so stingless. (Evidence that Will rehearsed ahead of time was found in a memorandum he wrote under the heading, "Gags for Missing the Horse's Nose: I should have sprinkled a little


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American Original: A Life of Will Rogers


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