Since the news of Richard Roundtree’s passing I’ve been trying to think of something specific to say. A legendary and iconic actor, sure, but they’re all saying that. And then a hazy memory, 41 years old, surfaced this morning.

I attended a midtown Manhattan press luncheon for One Down, Two To Go (’82), a cops vs. bad guys martial-arts film that was directed and written by Fred Williamson. Roundtree costarred with Williamson, Jim Brown and Jim Kelly, and the gang was all there.

The gathering happened somewhere in the theatre district. There was a meet-and-greet before the food and speeches, and Roundtree was warm and congenial. (Or so I recall.) Wonderful smile, great vibes.

The film was about to come out, and apparently the word was that exhibitors weren’t that happy with it. (Or it wasn’t tracking all that well with Joe Popcorn….something like that.)

At the lecturn Williamson delivered the comic highlight — a now-classic story about a tasty new brand of dog food that had been carefully prepared and brilliantly marketed, but unfortunately the dogs didn’t like it and that was the bottom line.