Interview with Jessie McCrary

Tell me one of your fond remembrances of being at the Sir John Hotel.


You know I remember being in the Sir John Hotel one night, just sitting around drinking with the boys. And there's a small trio there. And some guy gets up and starts singing. Well, I don't know the guy from the man in the moon but he looks familiar. Lo and behold, it's, ah, Little Willie John, singing "Fever". I mean it's that kind of thing. I also remember that I probably got my first job as a law clerk from being in the Sir John Hotel. I was in there and there was this very distinguished gentleman who was a lawyer, he, named Henry Arrington. And I was so awed by Henry Arrington because Henry Arrington had represented Joe Louis, Dinah Washington, you name him, represented Cassius Clay. I mean Muhammad when he was Cassius Clay. So I went up to him and I said, "Mr. Arrington, you know, I'm just so happy to meet you." Because he was an imposing fellow, you know, very distinguished looking, and ask him for a job. I didn't get one but, ah, he subsequently helped me get a job at some other place. But it was a place, all the time, that you could see a celebrity. And I guess that's why a lot of people went there because they knew at some time during the night or day somebody famous was going to walk through there.