By Jay Lloyd
KYW Newsradio 1060

NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBS) — When I was sidelined for a few weeks on the disabled list, I took a getaway in literary doses — back in time, to a storied Greenwich Village.

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A former KYW Newsradio editor named Jack Englehard went on to become the author of the hit film, Indecent Proposal.   His books are riveting.

He also wrote The Days of the Bitter End, a fictionalized account of the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the event’s effects on a group of real-life (or nearly so) characters in Greenwich Village.

In this nostalgic journey, Englehard captures the Village at the very summit of its great experiment in changing lifestyles, music, and comedy — more like its transition from shtick to advocacy.

These were the days of Lenny Bruce; a young Woody Allen; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and the central character, “Cliff Harris.”

Harris is based on the real-life comedian Vaughn Meader, who built a career on his impersonations of President Kennedy.

Days of the Bitter End takes us to the clubs these young entertainers played, and to the roundtable at McSorley’s Pub.

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(Some of the memorabilia along the back bar at McSorley's, in Greenwich Village. Credit: Jay Lloyd)

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Both the Bitter End and McSorley’s are still alive and well today (see photos).

The book is largely set on the day that Kennedy died (also taking down Harris’ career), but highlights the youthful exuberance that branded the Village of 1962.

Can’t get away?  Try a book — it’s a great way to travel.

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