The wonderful artist Richard Merkin diedthis week. I always admired the drawings he did for The New Yorker that showed his interest in jazz music, baseball, and celebrities that no one talks about anymore. A gentleman’s gentleman, Merkin was known for his personal style that included bespoke suits, custom hats, and walking sticks. We never met but he wrote a terribly kind review of my book Jazz ABZ for Vanity Fair in 2005. A well-timed trip to London and a friendship with Peter Blake landed Merkin right next to Fred Astaire on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.