Getting these guys to talk is sometimes difficult, because I call them out of the blue. I used to send letters first, but that took too long and they rarely called me.
"You writers can be a little long winded, that's why I asked. I'll give you 15 minutes and see how it goes. Okay, when do you want to do it?"
"How about now?" he said. "You know, I'm 86. I'm not going to be around forever," he said.
"So, you might not make it until Thursday, is that what you're saying?" I said.
I figured he would find that at least slightly amusing, but it only irritated him more.
Initially, he was giving me one-word answers and I thought maybe this guy is not a great story teller, it happens.
So, I was a little disappointed, but after about 10 minutes, he really got on a roll and after we were done, I looked at the clock and realized that we had talked for almost two hours.
He turned out to be a damn good story teller after all!
"If I have any follow-up questions, can I call you back, Mr. Roebuck?"
"Absolutely, but call me Ed, Ed!"
I love this gig.
Excerpts from the interview will be available soon on www.thisgreatgame.com.