Daniela Stolfi-Tow on the time Barry Fey made a bunch of preschoolers cry just by being Barry
Tonight at the Seawell Ballroom, Barry Fey will be inducted into yet another hall of fame, this one the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame. In honor of his induction, we've been posting the stories that didn't make his memoir, Backstage Past. Today, Daniela Stolfi, Barry's assistant, recounts one Halloween that Barry made a bunch of preschoolers cry -- not on purpose, mind you, just by being Barry.
By Barry Fey
Daniela Stolfi-Tow, Barry's Assistant
Daniela made a dramatic rise. She came as the runner. She was my driver -- well, not just my driver, but anything that had to be taken some place, she would drive it. She wanted to set her sights higher, so she then became the receptionist, and two or three months before I left, she became my assistant. She's very talented and very imaginative. I quit in '97, and I kind of lost track of her for a little while, but she'd always keep in touch. Now she lives in Hawaii and she handles all of my Internet things. So all those things that you see are because of Daniela. I do my own posts, but she sets up the Rock Talk with Barry Fey and BarryFey.com -- the Rockfather, she made that up. She really rose like a meteor.
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I was Barry's last assistant. The old Fey office on Orchard used to be on the top floor of a four-story office building that had a preschool on the first floor. Every year, we would get a memo that the kids would be trick-or-treating in the building, so all the offices would get candy and the kids would make their rounds.
One Halloween, the first month I was promoted to his assistant, we had prepared for the trick-or-treaters. I was still getting used to Barry's monster Rolodex file (that was before we had electronic methods for contacts). The thing was huge, the size of a spare tire. Barry asked me to call someone. I was rifling through the Rolodex trying to find the number as fast as I could. Barry was, of course, screaming, "COME ON, COME ON, COME ON!"
Just then, the door opens and the teachers come in with a long line of small children holding hands in their little costumes. Barry doesn't see them come in and is escalating into one of his famous Barry tantrums. He starts screaming, "Oh, my GOD! What the FUCK are you doing? MOTHERFUCKER!" and a string of other profanities. The teacher U-turned the poor kids right out the door. Someone else walked in a few minutes later and said, "Why are all of those kids crying in the hallway?" Needless to say, that was the last time the kids ever came to the fourth floor.
Also, I used to place bets for Barry in Las Vegas, which often involved me collecting his winnings. Once when I was going through McCarran airport with large amounts of cash located on various parts of my body (how Barry instructed me to carry it), there was apparently enough metal in the strips holding the bills together that the metal detectors started buzzing. I was wanded, then patted down, and I had to remove all the bundles of cash, which the security people made a big deal of fanning out on the table in front of the rest of the passengers. Once my story was confirmed with the Mirage, I was clear to go, but I was sure someone was going to follow me and hit me over the head and steal the money.
After watching Barry bet for a while and seeing how successful he was, I started placing bets with him. I bought my first brand-new car, cash, after eight months.