Steven Eisenstein, CERP, left, meets Henry Winkler, center, at the Classic Tents & Events-sponsored event.
Every once in a while, the business of event rental places an operator side by side with a well-known, iconic figure from the entertainment world. Such was the case for Steven Eisenstein, CERP, president of Classic Tents & Events, Norcross, Ga., when, on Nov. 5, a local organization his company is involved with hosted an appearance by Henry Winkler — “The Fonz” himself.
The event was the 32nd edition of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s (MJCCA) Book Festival. The festival brings noted authors to MJCCA’s facility for Q&A sessions, book signings and photo opportunities.
“Classic Tents & Events has been a longtime supporter and sponsor of the festival,” Eisenstein says. “Over the years we have provided the seating for the event along with tables to make a bookstore and stanchions for lines afterwards to get a signed copy of the book by the author.”
Winkler participated in the festival as part of a tour to promote his latest book, a memoir reflecting on his 50 years of acting in Hollywood titled “Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond.”
Henry Winkler as Fonzie on “Happy Days”
The appearance resonated with the 1,200 people who filled MJCCA’s gym who remembered Winkler best for his breakthrough role as the cool, leather jacket-wearing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the hit ABC sitcom “Happy Days,” which aired from 1974 to 1984. Winkler’s portrayal of The Fonz earned him a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Television Series and three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, according to IMDb.com.
Thanks to the show’s wild popularity, Winkler’s The Fonz appeared on lunchboxes, T-shirts, in action figure form and has even been memorialized in the Smithsonian Institution when his leather jacket was added to the National Museum of History and Technology’s History of Entertainment collection.
What made Winkler’s appearance at MJCCA’s Book Festival extra special — aside from the presence in the room of a beloved character from a golden age of classic TV sitcoms — was the fact that the guest of honor was a genuinely nice fellow.
“Before his presentation, sponsors and patrons of the festival were taken to his green room and had our picture taken with him,” Eisenstein says. “He is a super nice guy and was very humble and full of gratitude.”