Vic Skolnick 1929-2010
It's hard to describe someone as a friend who i had maybe half a dozen conversations with, the last a brief one at a mutual friend's 75th birthday a decade or so ago, but i think anyone who ever met Vic considered him a friend.
I have one story about Vic that i want to share. In 1981 or so i was a grad student in Public Policy at SUNY Stony Brook. I was also producing public affairs programming at the radio station there. Vic and Charlotte had managed to book a first-run documentary at the cinema, and it's possible that it was an exclusive showing in the New York area. It was a thing called The Atomic Cafe, and it traced the history of atom bomb through media portrayal from the 40s through the 70s, including, as i recall, the infamous 4 minute Duck and Cover "educational" short that terrorized a generation of US schoolchildren. It also had a killer soundtrack. Vic asked me if i would help produce a PSA for the run that could air on non-commercial stations in the area. It seemed that selling out the Cinema was pretty important. Of course, they couldn't pay, but i wouldn't have taken his money anyway. I spent about 20 hours putting a 60 second spot together. Vic and Charlotte loved it, and as far as i know it got a bit of airplay on a bunch of stations. I got a pair of passes from Vic as a thank you, and a couple of weeks later i took a date to a screening of something that i have no recollection of. Free movies, though, are a pretty nice thing for low paid grad students. Maybe not quite as nice as being on the list with a plus one for a Clash concert, but not bad.
So we went to the show, i gave Vic the passes, and to my surprise he gave them back to me when we walked in. "What's that for?" i asked. "Oh, those are good for a whole year," he replied. "Use them as often as you like."
I probably should have gone more often, but Huntington was a few towns away, and not always the easiest place to get to. But for the half dozen or so times i went, Vic, i was always appreciative of the chance to help you out, and your generosity in return.
Long Island is a better place for your having lived there.
Rest in peace.