A couple of years ago, one of my best friends invited me to a New Year's party at his home on Long Island, saying out of nowhere "Budd Schulberg might be there." I said, "Are you kidding me? THE Budd Schulberg? He's one of my heroes. 'What Makes Sammy Run' is one of my all-time favorite books." My friend, a former boxing writer, much to my surprise, knew Schulberg well enough to invite him to a private party. "But he's pretty old and not feeling well these days," my friend said. "So I'm not sure if he'll make it or not." Well, it ended up he didn't. And I must confess that I was crushed. I don't know what I would've said to him. I probably would've gushed something about how much I loved What Makes Sammy Run or how great a movie On the Waterfront was. But just to meet him, even once, I know, would've been so memorable for me.